Allen Crabbe was the best player on the California Golden Bears this past season. Unfortunately, he will no longer be with the team thanks to that NBA thing. At the same time, Cal will be getting a highly rated recruit in Jabari Bird, but he still has some big shoes to fill in the 2013-14 college basketball season.
Assuming that Bird starts next year–I would assume he would–there is going to be a lot of pressure on him to meet expectations. His talent aside, it is never an easy thing for a freshman to come in and lead a team. With that said, there will be good players returning to California, so it is not like Bird will have to completely carry the Golden Bears, although that would be nice.
Crabbe put up 18.4 points per game last season. So yeah, the pressure is definitely going to be on Bird to succeed in his first year in college hoops. He is one of the best shooting guards coming in to college and all.
California will not be the best team entering the season in college basketball and it will also not be the best team in the Pac-12 entering conference play. However, if Bird can live up to the hype, Cal may be a surprise team in the upcoming season.
This team has the talent to make the Big Dance, but someone is going to have to carry the Golden Bears. Justin Cobbs will be relied on a lot, since he did average 15.1 points per game last season, but it is Bird who will have to fill the shoes of Allen Crabbe.
If you’re a tweeter, feel free to follow me @TheTrevorLowry.