Washington State certainly isn't the team they were in the past. But still, you can't overlook the effort Cal showed at Pullman on Thursday night in a 57-50 win.The Cougars no longer have the superstars they once had, but they still play pretty good defense. Washington State held Bears star guard Jerome Randle to only eight points, well below from his 20-points-per-game average.
Yet, Cal didn't fold.
Instead, other players stepped up. Patrick Christopher scored 22 points, and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range. This is the kind of team effort you can expect from a team coached by Mike Montgomery. This would have been a huge letdown game for Cal in the past. Especially after such a huge win against Arizona State. A trip to Pullman would have easily derailed the momentum of this team under the former regime.
In fact, you can reason that this game says more about Cal's character than its upset win over Arizona State. Look at what Boston College did after it beat No. 1 North Carolina -- it lost to Harvard. But the Bears didn't fold, instead putting up a great effort. This win is pretty impressive and Cal fans, go ahead and get excited about this team.
Some other games around the Pac-10 on Thursday:
Washington 84, Stanford 83: The Cardinal, on the other hand, you can be very skeptical about. Stanford can't play Cal State Northridge every week, eh? Saturday's game at Washington State will be a big test for them. Washington has put together some nice wins, but they still need to beat a good team. Beating Stanford is a nice start. But they need to prove it against UCLA, Arizona State and -- can you believe it -- Cal.
No. 20 Arizona State 69, Oregon State 38: The Sun Devils had no trouble bouncing back from their loss to Cal. And this was the game they were giving us on free television. What gives? And what's up with Oregon State? Are they packing it in after win its token Pac-10 game of the seasons? This makes USC look even worse.
Arizonan 67, Oregon 52: Did they play "Glory Days" during halftime? Congratulations Oregon, you are the bigger underachiever.