Basketball: Kreklow to return for Stanford

* 6 p.m. Wednesday at Haas Pavilion (ESPN2)

Guard Ricky Kreklow, who has missed the past 11 games with a broken hand, is expected to play for Cal against Stanford on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.

Point guard Justin Cobbs called Kreklow a “glue guy” for the Bears (15-7, 6-3 Pac-12), who are playing their first game since knocking off top-ranked and unbeaten Arizona 60-58 on Saturday.

“He brings the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s Jorge-like,” Cobbs said, comparing him to former Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez, the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“He fights for everything, he’s very aggressive, physical,” Cobbs said. “He does a lot of the dirty work. He brings those things that make a team a team.”

Kreklow hasn’t played since Dec. 14 against Fresno. The 6-foot-6 junior┬ástarted five of the team’s first 11 games, averaging 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds. He will come off the bench against Stanford.

“He needs to kind of ease himself back in and not try to be everything to everybody,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “What he’s always done is play hard. The kid’s got a lot of energy. He’s not afraid to bang, he’s not afraid to mix it up. If there’s a loose ball, he’s generally the first guy on the floor.

“Those are things we’ve sorely missed. So that would be very valuable to us, to get us that boost of energy and get guys going.”

Cal beat Stanford 69-62 at Maples Pavilion to open the conference schedule. The Cardinal (14-7, 5-4) comes off a 76-70 win over Arizona State, following a three-point loss to Arizona.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Did you brothers see that cbs sports has jabari bird going 25th overall in the first round per their first official mock draft of the year.

    I hope he comes back. But his and his familys plan from day 1 has been to declare for the draft after year 1 if he could go in the first round.

    Reminds of the allen crabbe fiasco. Kid needs to come back.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I don’t know about that Juancho. In the much more wide-open NBA there will be more room for Jabari’s pure athleticism to be put on display (much more isolation play) AND he can already shoot – the ball-handling and whatnot will come if he is willing to work like a pro. He can get by guys now and finish well or block a shot spectacularly, but working as part of a 5-man team on the court in Monty’s system does not seem to be his strong suit.

    One-on-one, he beats anyone on the team, but 5-5 he gets lost and can’t (not yet) just take over the games whenever he wants – that is coming though, whether at Cal or in the NBA. I can see him leaving after this season, I hope he doesn’t but I can see it happening for a variety of good reasons: #1 being Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Mathews who both play his position and are way good enough to take away his minutes. #2 being first round $$. Crabbe made a mistake – he is not close to the athlete that Jabari is, and I’d argue not as good a shooter either – history will tell.

    With that being said, I don’t know why the Bears aren’t running more alley-oops for Bird. He should be posterizing somebody on a nightly basis, I bet he does it in practice all the time…

    I will be there early tomorrow night, can’t wait. Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    Bsb yours is one of the best posts of the year. Its very understanding of the gravity these families feel in deciding to go pro or not.

    One thing i respect about jabari is he was very open about saying his goal was to be a one and done.

    And watching the team this year it seems monty made zero adjustments for bird. And instead hes being asked to do the role of a young allen crabbe. Unlike arizonas coach who changed the offense for gordon, monty is a system coach who wontess with that formula. Which has worked out pretty well.

  • Gobears49

    Bird is clearly not ready for the NBA. He needs at least one more year and probably two, to be ready. With Cobbs leaving, Bird will get much more opportunities to shoot next year, but will still have to share the shooting guard position with Mathews.

  • Tall Bear

    Agreed Gobears49… Jabari is going to be an outstanding player but at this point he still needs at least 1 year to develop. Unless he really steps it up the last 2 months of the season, I hope for his sake & Cal’s that he decides to stick around.