Cal basketball was picked to finish 4th in the Pac-12 this season and is currently just outside the top 25. What do you believe constitutes a successful season for Cal basketball this year?
boomtho: I think a top 4 finish, getting at least one win in the Pac-12 tourney, a top 8 seed in the NCAA tourney, and a win would definitely constitute a successful season.
At a smaller level, it'd be great to see Ivan Rabb get some more national press as a potential All-American, to place one other player on the 2nd team all league, see Cuonzo continue his recruiting success (come on down, highly recruited big man!), and see some nice skills growth from the younger and/or supporting players (Mingo, Davis, Moore).
LeonPowe: Top 4 in Pac-12, top 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. top 25 defense, and some smoothness on the offense. Post-season honors for Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird and Charlie Moore.
Nik Jam: With the way everything just fell apart for the Bears in March... I just want to see the team do better in that month. Even if they underachieve, just get into the NCAA Tournament and win a freaking game. Even that may not be satisfying (breaking the Sweet 16 drought would be), but I'd feel so happy for the players like Jabari who technically has not played in a Tournament game.
Nick Kranz: I certainly agree with boomtho and LP as a kind of minimum baseline - if Cal finishes with a top 4 Pac-12 finish and a top 8 NCAA seed, I won't be disappointed. But at the same time, I'm greedy for more, in large part because this is almost certainly our last season with Ivan Rabb, and talents like that don't come to Berkeley often, let alone stick around for an extra year. I really want this team to achieve something more concretely memorable, like a regular season or conference tournament championship, or a Sweet 16 run.
Those are lofty goals, and they might end up being a bridge too far for reasons entirely outside of Cal's control. The Pac-12 is pretty tough at the top without sacrificing a ton of depth in the middle. Single elimination success isn't a given for anybody. But if we think it's reasonably possible that Cal will be as good as last year's team, then hoping for a conference title or a Sweet 16 run isn't some sort of farcical wish either.
I'm ready to be greedy, damn it.
With that said, anything less than a first round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament would be very disappointing. And let's beat Virginia this time!