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Basketball: Maturing Solomon keys Bears

By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, December 14th, 2013 at 8:35 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

James Harden, one of the NBA’s premier wing players, watched from courtside Saturday afternoon as Cal defeated Fresno State 67-56 in front of 9,342 fans at Haas Pavilion.

There was a time Richard Solomon may have thought he could become James Harden. No more.

The Cal senior, having finally accepted his role as a low-post player this season, had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bears (8-3) in what was otherwise a ragged offensive game. Solomon shot 7 of 9 from the floor, adding three steals, two blocks and two assists.

“I didn’t want to be a post player. I thought I was a perimeter player. That’s where the confusion came in,” Solomon said of the problems he sometimes caused himself in the past. “I’m 6-11, I don’t need to be on the wing. I’m not Kevin Durant.”

Or James Harden.

“I’ll be a post player all day,” Solomon said. “It’s just maturity.”

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  • Gobears49

    Missed the game yesterday. Agree with Monty’s move not to start Bird.

    If Soloman keeps improving at the post, he should get a decent shot at the NBA’s because of his great athletic ability, his size, and because he can block shots. He has also shown he can shoot about 8 to 10 feet out from the basket, a skill I think will improve over time. Kravish is the one who is starting to show his marksmanship out on the perimeter (but not 3-point shots, which is not his game, at least not now). If he keeps that up, he will also get a good shot at the NBA after he graduates, something I would never had said a couple of years ago.

    Both guys are good examples of how a lot of hard work can improve your game. Hope to see the same from our youngest Bears.

  • wehofx

    Just watched dvr. This team will/can be a defensive force.

    Agree, like what I’m seeing from Solo. He’s really (finally) developing a back to the basket game: a step through and a drop step. He’s so quick.

    Like what I’m seeing from true frosh Matthews and Singer. Monty keeps giving Rooks 10ish minutes. Let’s hope he starts to figure out what it takes to play in the pac.

    Bird’s time will come – soon. Play through contact. Defense.

    To state the obvious, the pac is one of the best conf in the country this year. Connf play is going to be brutal. It’ll also be a lotta fun to watch.

  • Gobears49

    Solo had a big zero of a back to the basket game when he got to Cal, and not much else on offense either except for brute force facing the basket. Don’t see how he ever thought he was a perimeter player.

    Getting close to Pac-12 game time. Will have to bring out my stats showing most of the top teams in our conference play at least three players 6’8″ or taller in their first seven or eight players, unlike Cal. Still think it is quite likely that, at the end of this season, we will wish Monty had brought in a JC big man this year that he could play a lot more than Rooks. Remember that four out of the past five years Monty had a JC or other transfer who was big and played a lot (Sanders-Frison and Thurman, who each played at lot in their two years at Cal). The only year he didn’t was in his first year at Cal, where he probably didn’t have time to line up another big man and already had four of them he played a lot that year, so he didn’t need another.

  • Mitchie V

    Richard carried the team through the rough stretches. It’s been good to see him grow.

    Fresno seemed to be all over Kravish. They were watching the videotape.

    Creighton has pretty much the same team as last year. McDermott is still a monster. That will be a tough game.

    Creighton is on TV tonight. FYI