Cal needs all hands on deck if they want to have a chance at besting UCLA in Pauley (and probably even beating USC on Sunday). The Bears are short on bodies and played eight rotation players against ASU, but only six of them logged greater than six minutes. Cal is simply not going to survive the season with those type of depth issues. Everyone needs to contribute.
One crucial cog is likely to be back in action this week (and certainly by next week). Head coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed that center Kameron Rooks has been cleared to practice and will be a game time decision on Thursday. Rooks has been out a month with a knee injury and Cal has needed him back on the floor ASAP. The Bears have made do without Rooks but just haven’t had the depth to beat the Virginias and Arizonas of the world.
Cal needs those signature wins to boost that tournament resume. UCLA probably has the most talented collection of bigs in the Pac-12, and Rooks would help take the load off of Kingsley Okoroh and Ivan Rabb.