Basketball: With Bird, Kreklow still out, Bears need new-found depth to show up again

Cal coach Mike Montgomery said freshman guard Jabari Bird, who sprained his ankle Dec. 22 at Creighton, still hasn’t resumed practicing and won’t play this week when the Bears (10-4) visit Oregon and Oregon State.

Likewise, junior guard Ricky Kreklow remains out with a broken hand.

As a result, it was all the more important that the Bears’ bench contributed seven points and 10 rebounds to a 69-62 win at Stanford in the Pac-12 opener last week.

Said senior forward Richard Solomon, “We all need each other to be our best.”

The surprise contributors were senior wing Jeff Powers, sophomore forward Christian Behrens and freshman point guard Sam Singer.

Powers, who scored just two points over the first 12 games, had a break through with 18 points in a Dec. 28 win over Furman. He scored five more points against Stanford and has made seven of his past nine 3-point attempts.

Behrens, who underwent a second ACL reconstructive surgery on his left knee last season, went to Montgomery a couple weeks ago to say he was ready to quit using his knee as an excuse.

“I just wanted to reach out to him, let him know that I was ready to work hard and I was ready to be pushed more,” Behrens said. At Stanford, he grabbed four rebounds in 12 productive minutes and earned more opportunity.

“When those guys come in with confidence, ready to contribute,” senior point guard Justin Cobbs said, “that’s what you call a team.”

Asked what those contributions can mean going forward, Montgomery said, “It’s immeasureable. You don’t need everybody being the guy. If the other people can complement that, then you’re fine.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Mitchie V

    Dana Altman has yet to beat the Golden Bears. Still true?

    Really tough to keep that streak going this year. Lots of talent in Eugene.

  • Eric

    To get to 20 wins, we need to beat OSU – no argument allowed to the contrary. Beating Oregon at home would take pressure off of us later on to get to the 2 handle.

  • Woj

    Great & unexpected win over Stanford last week in Palo Alto. The B-Ball team under Monty always seems to produce more than the sum of its parts. Kind of the opposite of the football team – yeesh.

  • 1brsfan

    A road split would be a great accomplishment based on being shorthanded. That would make us 2-1 on the road when most of us expected us 1-2 or worse.

    Go Bears!

  • Gobears49

    Wish we knew more about when Bird is projected to play and what his actual medical condition is.

    Don’t recall whether Powers plays inside at all. We need more of an inside presence from our subs. Hope Behrens starts to provide that more.

    BTW, I went to a Cal women’s basketball game last Sunday to take a small son of my cousin to his first game. Very entertaining game. Very good tickets cost $15 and it was easy to move to lower seats. Was told the same tickets for a men’s game would cost $65. Cal won essentially because they were bigger and controlled the boards.

  • Juancho

    I wish we knew more about what Coen brothers movie is Jabari’s favorite.

  • rollonubears

    wilner says buh is no longer D coordinator.

  • wehofx

    Ya! All twitter feeds agree. Buh, sacks and stewart are gone.

  • wehofx

    clarification: buh demoted to – I’m assuming – lb’s.

  • Juancho

    Yahoo !