With a challenging four-game stretch in front of the Bears, here is my story on the Princeton game from this morning’s editions.
Here’s what Cal faces between now and Christmas, including a 12-day break (Dec. 10-21) for final exams:
— at New Mexico, Wednesday: The Lobos are 6-0 and are extremely difficult to beat at The Pit in Albuquerque. They’ve won their four home games this season by an average margin of 20.3 ppg and were 16-2 on their own floor a year ago.
— vs. Iowa State, Saturday: The Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchup in Berkeley against the Cyclones features 6-foot-10 forward Craig Brackins, projected as the No. 15 pick in the 2010 draft by NBAdraft.net. Iowa State is 6-1.
— at Pacific, Wednesday, Dec. 9: The game is being billed by UOP as the “Stockton Showcase” and will be played at the city’s new downtown Stockton Arena, which seats 10,500. The Tigers are 4-1, and will be motivated to score just their third win over Cal in a series that dates back to the 1908-09 season.
— At Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 22: The Jayhawks are 5-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. The feature All-Americans Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, along with Xavier Henry, a 6-foot-6 freshman guard who is outscoring both of them.
Do the math: the Bears’ next four opponents are a combined 21-2, and Cal must play three of them on the road. The roster’s health status will be a critical factor.
How will the Bears fare over the next four and what would that mean?
- 0-4: Cannot imagine it, but it would spell serious trouble.
- 1-3: Still quite unlikely, but probably would mean a home loss to Iowa State or an upset loss to a Pacific team to whom the Bears haven’t lost in 55 seasons.
- 2-2: Not hard to envision this scenario, especially given their current manpower state.
- 3-1: This would be an ideal outcome, and likely would require winning the next three. Not easy, but do-able.
- 4-0: A parade down Telegraph Ave. would ensue.