After missing the final seven games of the 2013-14 season due to a stress fracture in his left foot, California center Kameron Rooks entered the offseason with hopes of not only getting healthy but also becoming a more integral figure for the Golden Bears. And with Richard Solomon out of eligibility, the door was open for the rising sophomore to step forward and earn more than the seven minutes he averaged as a freshman.
Unfortunately for Rooks and new head coach Cuonzo Martin there’s a good chance that the 7-footer won’t be able to play this season, with multiple outlets reporting that Rooks suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last week. And considering who the Golden Bears have in their front court, the loss of Rooks is a significant one.
While Cal returns starter David Kravish, who averaged 11.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season, he’s by far the most experienced front court player on the roster. David Behrens averaged 1.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest in 24 games last season, and Roger Moute a Bidias played 5.9 minutes per game in 15 contests in 2013-14.
The addition of 7-foot-1 center Kingsley Okoroh, who originally committed to join Martin’s program at Tennessee, will help the Golden Bears. However with the loss of Rooks (and the de-commitment of Idrissa Diallo when Mike Montgomery announced his retirement), Cal will enter the 2014-15 season without much margin for error in the paint when it comes to factors such as foul trouble and injuries.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.