clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ESPN ranks Cal basketball 12th in their newest top 25 rankings

Under 100 days away.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It still doesn't really feel real. The California Golden Bears didn't play any postseason basketball last season. Now they could be ranked in the top 15 come opening day in November. What a turnaround Cuonzo Martin has managed to engineer in expectations in a short period of time.

In the latest college basketball rankings poll put up by ESPN's Eamonn Brennan, Cal is placed at 12th. Let's check in on what Brennan had to say about Cal.

My colleague Jeff Goodman raised a valid point in his look at the top 25 in late June: What will Cuonzo Martin do with his rotation? Thanks to an unforeseen spring coup, when Martin convinced elite wing Jaylen Brown to come play alongside elite power forward Ivan Rabb, the Bears are long on perimeter talent and short on bigs. Word is a local hoops outfit recently experienced some success with unconventionally small lineups. That might be worth investigating. If Rabb can play "center" and Brown can defend bigger fours on the block, Cal might just be the most entertaining team in the country.

In any case, the Bears went 18-15 last season. The fact that we're thinking about how Martin will build his rotation around two NBA prospects is crazy. But here we are.

The Golden Bears are ahead of the top two Pac-12 teams in Utah (checking in at 13th) and Arizona (15th), which generally is frightening. I don't want to be considered the favorites to win the Pac-12 just because we landed two dynamo recruits--there's a lot that needs to happen before we're ready to cross that bridge. Right now the only West Coast team ahead of us is Gonzaga.

It should be noted that besides their Pac-12 counterparts, Cal will play one of the teams on this list in their building. Virginia is currently ranked 4th; the Bears are headed there in December. Cal could potentially also play West Virginia (currently ranked 20th) in the Las Vegas Invitational, but it depends on how their first round matchups go.

The official preseason polls won't be released for another two months, but expect Cal to be on most of the unofficial ones leading up to it. Our chances of being ranked are quite good.

How do you feel about Cal being ranked in the top 12? Hyped? Apprehensive? Nervous? Let us know in the comments.