2006 California Golden Bears Basketball Preview
2006 California Golden Bears Basketball Predictions
Post man, Leon Powe (20.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG) made an early departure for the NBA, leaving the California Golden Bears (20- 11 overall and 12- 6 PAC-10) with a huge hole to fill. With Powe on hand, the Golden Bears would have challenged UCLA and Arizona for top spot in the conference. Instead, California will have to settle for either a third or fourth place PAC-10 finish.
Senior point guard Ayinde Ubaka (14.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 41.3 FG%, 83.3 FT%) is an underrated player nationally. He made All-Conference last season and will continue to create shooting opportunities and hit for points. Opposite Ubaka, Omar Wilkes (7.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.4 APG, 47.8 FG%, 69.4 FT%) must take his game to a new level, increasing his point totals by about 70%.
In the front area, forward DeVon Hardin (7.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 49.7 FG%, 62.5 FT%), a junior, will be asked to use his muscle power to bang inside for points and rebounds. Center Jordan Wilkes (2.1 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.2 APG, 38.3 FG%, 70.0 FT%) has bulked up and will use his new size to create offense and defense upfront. Sophomore Theo Robertson (6.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 46.7 FG%, 77.8 FT%) offered solid output in his freshman season.
Coach Ben Braun (186- 121 in 10 years) has a solid group of players, with a contingent of returning guys who got a taste of what it might feel like to win the conference title last season. Braun knows that he can’t make up for Powe through the contributions of any one player. But he shouldn’t have to; the coach has depth, experience and talent from which he can certainly create points and hopefully derive rebounds.
The Golden Bears may find themselves in a less-than golden period due to the loss of Powe. Rebuilding is essential as is finding a guy or a few guys to reach new heights, especially when it comes to controlling the boards. Last season, California made it to the NCAA Tournament, this year the NIT seems more likely.
If you want more info on the 2006 California Golden Bears College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the Stanford Cardinals and Arizona State Sun Devils.