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What are your keys for a great Cal basketball season?

What do you consider the biggest keys to Cal having a great season on the court? Which players are most pivotal to keeping the team improving upward? 

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Hwang: I’ll say its the depth. The second unit was painful to watch last season but that should already be alleviated with natural point guards in the mix and a lot more shooters around the floor. The starting unit will be fun to watch but when Rabb/Bird are not on the floor where will our points come and how well will we have a consistent offense where the players know their roles. We know Cuonzo can teach defense, but will we have a second unit offense that can hold a lead or trim a deficit is a big question.

If I was to pick a specific player(s) it would have to be Charlie Moore. He has all the tools to take over the starting PG role from Sam Singer after this season, and with sound upperclassmen to handle the pressures of the team, he can continue to grow and develop as a player before we really need him to perform next season, with an outstanding looking 2017 class.

Ruey Yen: The backcourt play is the biggest question mark going into 2016-17 for Cal basketball. With Tyrone Wallace (graduated), Jordan Mathew (transferred), and Jaylen Brown (declared early for the NBA draft) gone, the Golden Bears would need to rely on Sam Singer playing a bigger role and newcomers Charlie Moore and Grant Mullens to handle the ball and feed the veteran front court. I would have to agree with Rob about Charlie Moore being the most important (highest upside) member of the team should the Bears make a serious run to win the Pac-12 and advance to the 2nd weekend (and beyond) of the NCAA tournament.

boomtho: The biggest keys, for me, are going to be maintaining the defensive excellence while incorporating a whole lot of new parts at guard/wing positions (Charlie Moore, Grant Mullins, Roman Davis though I guess he's more of a 4). Cal used its twin towers approach to great effect last year on defense, and while it did lead to poor spacing at times, I think it was still a net positive overall.

Now while the twin towers remain, the guys trying to stop the ball at the point of attack are going to be very different. Ty and Jaylen were spacy defenders, but they were LONG and bouncy, and we're replacing them with guys that are clearly less athletic. J-Mat was a vastly improved defender and his loss is going to hurt, everywhere.

In terms of specific players that will make or break the season, the first one I'll name is Ivan Rabb. Rabb was amazing last year, and he was my favorite damn player on the team to watch - but to propel this team to a higher achievement level, he's going to need to be IVAN FREAKING RABB more of the time. Beyond that, it's kind of a grab bag of who is going to embrace the opportunity in front of them.

Can Grant Mullins be as efficient as he was last year, only off the ball - and with the same shooting? Can Sam Singer be enough of an offensive threat to score that defenses at least have to stay near him, which would open up a helluva lot of spacing for others? Can Charlie Moore be an impact freshman at an really difficult position? Can Jabari maintain his torrid shooting last year and build on his in-between game (I'm in the no camp, but was very happy to be proved wrong last year!!) And which role players (Domingo, Davis, other) will force Cuonzo to play them 10 minutes a game, vs being forced into duty due to lack of depth or injury?

LeonPowe: Keys to success: continuation of the buy-in to Coach Martin's defense. We had an elite defense last year with minus or neutral wing defenders, this year our defense gets upgraded a bit with Singer, Domingo, Davis getting more minutes and another year under the belts of Kam, Bird, Rabb, and King. I'm hoping we're going to strangle teams with just good fundamental rim protection and running them off the 3 point line.

Everyone worries about the offense (me too) - creating more opportunities for potential All American Ivan Rabb - and even though we're not as offensively talented as last year's team (Wallace, Brown, and Mathews leaving) I think the fit is a little bit better. Not as much replication in skill-sets and fewer players that need the ball. I'm hoping this leads to a little bit more smoothness and less stickiness in the offense. I don't think Coach Martin's teams are offense driven teams, so I'm still expecting some blockiness and stalled possessions but with an elite defense and an average offense we should be a top-4 Pac12 team and a 6-8 seed in the tournament, barring injury, or assistant coach surprise firings.

Kevin Wu: Our guard/wing play needs to be very good or great. Period. We've got Rabb down low. He's expected to be the THIRD best player in the country right now. He just needs another big body to support him down low (which we have in Rooks and Okoroh). Our guards need to make their shots. They need to create space for Rabb to operate. I'm putting this pressure on Moore at the point, Bird in the shooting guard role, and Domingo to come in to spell those guys when they need rest.

Reef: Biggest questions for me are on the offensive side, but the biggest key for me is unquestionably defense. It's hard to remember that coming back from Vegas last year we were a mediocre defensive squad, and steadily, from that point forward, we morphed into one of the top 10 defenses in the country. I'm anticipating that we will pick up where we left off, but it's not necessarily a given, and it's certainly the most important part of any Cuonzo Martin team. I have almost no concerns about interior defense, but perimeter defense will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. It's HARD to understand principles and rotations on the perimeter, and to learn to communicate, when you've never worked together as a unit before. It will probably take a little time. But if Cuonzo can do what he is good at, and the team performs defensively, we establish a floor and can weather a whole boatload of offensive struggles and not fall out of the top 40 teams in the nation.