Freshman Center Out for Remainder of Season

California freshman center Kameron Rooks goes down with a left foot injury the day the Bears are set to face fellow third-place Pac-12 foe Arizona State on the road. How does his loss affect the Bears heeded into Tempe?

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Going into a key, potentially Tournament-determining match up with Arizona State tonight, California freshman center Kameron Rooks sustained a left foot injury which will require the Golden Bear to miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

The seven-foot Rooks played in all but two of the Bears' first 28 games of the season, averaging 1.6 rebounds and 1.3 points in 7.0 minutes per game, spelling David Kravish and Richard Solomon both for rest and, more recently, ineffectiveness and foul trouble. The center posted a season-best eight points and collected a pair of rebounds in six minutes of action in the home win against Washington State earlier this season. He had totaled 20 points and 17 rebounds in 83 minutes over his last 11 games.

What does Rooks's absence mean for the Bears? It shortens the big-man rotation, clearly, to Solomon, Kravish and Ricky Kreklow, who will have to play a small four, but has shown ability to defend that position well. The trouble comes when Kreklow switches into a distinct size mismatch, and while he is quicker than Rooks, his lack of mass when compared to other Pac-12 fours is going to be an issue, particularly down low.

Kreklow moving to the backup four means that three-point specialist Jeff Powers -- who has struggled to get looks when he's been in of late -- will be moved back to the second three spot. Powers has not played much over the past two weeks, mainly because, as head coach Mike Montgomery has said, teams have found ways to defend him and take him out of his long-range game.

Cal (18-10, 9-6 Pac-12) faces the Sun Devils this afternoon at 3 p.m. (PT). The Bears entered the day tied with the Sun Devils, Stanford and Colorado for third place in the conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season. If Cal can stay in the top four, they will get a bye on the first day of the Pac-12 Tournament, which starts on Wednesday, March 12.

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