Tuesday, October 24, 2006

CAL BASKETBALL MEDIA DAY


The summary of Coach Braun's Q&A is available here.

Highlights:
* DeVon Hardin's (left) recovery from off-season shoulder surgery appears to be on track. Nikola Knezevic has a gimpy knee, but can participate in drills. A pretty clean bill of health compared with seasons past.
* Braun will look for more outside scoring from his bigs, especially Jordan Wilkes. In theory this makes perfect sense, but I still have awful visions of Amit Tamir's senior season dancing in my head.
* Ayinde Ubaka will play both point and two-guard. If Knezevic is healthy and/or freshman Jerome Randle can handle the half-court set, I assume we'll be seeing quite a bit of Ubaka at the two in conference play.
* Some optimism that Omar Wilkes will create more at his natural SG position than he could playing the 3 last year.
* No comments on Randle, which I thought was odd given the whispers that he might be the fastest guard we've ever had.

Most publications place us as an NIT or bubble NCAA team. I think that's about right, but there's the potential for us to slide into the top four teams in the Pac (which would probably get us a bid).

Non-conference schedule:
11/15: v Utah Valley State
11/18: at San Diego State
11/20: v Santa Clara
11/23: v Marshall (Great Alaska Shootout)
11/29: v Kansas State
12/3: v Nevada (in San Jose)
12/8: v Chicago State (Golden Bear Classic - other game is E Michigan v San Diego)
12/19: v Furman
12/23: at DePaul

Interesting slate - for what it's worth we'll probably be underdogs to SD State, K-State, Nevada and DePaul. The Shootout has lost its luster - the rest of the field includes Loyola Marymount, Anchorage (of course), Missouri-KC, Pacific, Hawaii and Hofstra. That's right - we're the only major conference participant. Strange.

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