Cal Bears searching for a third scoring option 

click to enlarge If Tyrone Wallace (3) or another player can become a consistent third scoring option for Cal, it would ease some pressure on Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs. - USA TODAY SPORTS FILE PHOTO
  • USA Today Sports File Photo
  • If Tyrone Wallace (3) or another player can become a consistent third scoring option for Cal, it would ease some pressure on Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs.

If the Cal men’s basketball team is going to save its season, someone who isn’t named Allen Crabbe or Justin Cobbs will need to step up and put the ball in the basket at Stanford on Saturday.

The Bears (10-6, 2-2) received a wake-up call last week when Washington ran them out of Haas Pavilion 62-47.

Crabbe and Cobbs shot a combined 7-for-27 from the field and David Kravish was the only player outside of the duo to score more than seven points. The team’s two leading scorers are accountable for 50.5 percent of the team’s points this season.  

“If we can get a third and/or a fourth scorer, that would really open things up,” coach Mike Montgomery said.
He said the Bears beat Washington State on Saturday because freshman Tyrone Wallace joined the scoring parade, leading the team with 16 points.

“That really helps to not to have to rely on just Allen so much,” Montgomery said.

Scoring slump: Cobbs opened the Pac-12 Conference season shooting 12-for-40 from the field in three games. He didn’t take a single shot in the first half of the Bears’ fourth contest against Washington State last week and he finished the night 2-for-2.

Cobbs said he isn’t losing confidence in his shot.

“When you miss shots, of course, you’re going to feel a little frustration, it’s going to hurt you a little bit,” he said.

“I’ve been putting in the work, so I have confidence when I shoot the shot.”

Montogomery said his struggles are a reflection of his shot selection.  

“He’s got to figure out what’s a good shot, what’s a higher percentage play — his shot or maybe dishing to another guy,” he said.

Crabbe said the team needs Cobbs on the score-sheet.

“He had zero attempts in the first half and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’” he said. “He was just trying to get the team involved, but at times I just felt like he had shots and he didn’t take them.”

Injury report: Ongoing injuries to Brandon Smith and Ricky Kreklow are contributing to the Bears’ lack of scoring depth.

Smith suffered a concussion against Prairie View A&M on Dec. 22 and has missed the Bears’ last five games.

Montgomery said he expects the senior point guard to return this week against Stanford.

“But I’ve been fooled before. He’s having some tests today with some doctors, we’re hoping he gets the green light,” he said.

Kreklow, a sophomore transfer from Missouri, has been sidelined in 11 of 16 games this season because of a recurring foot injury.

After sitting out the last three games of the nonconference season, he returned to action against UCLA on Jan. 3. But he re-aggravated the injury when a Bruins player stepped on his foot.

Montgomery said there is no timetable for Kreklow’s return.

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