Basketball: Tough stretch awaits Bears

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.

Jeff Faraudo


  1. That’s two opponents (Iowa State and KU) with at least one player who will likely be in the NBA next year.

  2. Hey, I think the parade would happen if they go 1-3, with the 1 being Kansas!
    Well, okay, how about 2-2 with a win over Kansas. Then a parade.

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