12. California Golden Bears (4-5) Last Week: 12
Plain and simple, there’s no team benefitting from an overall weak Pac-12 more than the California Golden Bears. At 4-5, coach Wyking Jones is right back where he spent the entirety of his first season in Berkeley, the cellar.
Only this time around, six teams already have four losses. This does two things for Jones in diverting attention away from how bad his team has played, and more importantly, instilling confidence in an inexperienced group that it can possibly win some games in the second half of the season.
If that’s not enough confidence, then how about a morale boost?
Guard Paris Austin buried a jumper in the dying seconds of Saturday’s game to give the Golden Bears a 67-66 win over Cal Poly, giving the program back-to-back wins for the first time all season. Four players finished in double figures for California, led by forward Justice Sueing’s 15-point, seven-rebound effort.
The Golden Bears can extend the winning streak to potentially four games this week when they travel to Fresno State on Wednesday and host San Jose State on Friday.
While it was never an expectation that Cal would make noise in the conference, this is prime opportunity for Jones to try and develop his players with many of them being underclassmen.