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Without the Noel injury Cats would have likely made a deep run warts and all...it was coming together and Noel was the one guy they couldn't afford to lose. They have been lucky with virtually no injuries the last few years and they were unlucky this year. Plus cal whiffed on Shabazz...which he rarely does when it's down to 2 schools but Shabazz would have made them possibly a 1 seed. Point being Cal ran into some bad luck and was a piece or 2 short.
Don't know about a deep run but I do agree it seemed to be coming together when Noel went down.
Still a big problem was we had 2 or 3 guys that consistently just quit playing when things didn't go their way. Regardless of whether or not Noel was still healthy that attitude alone from multiple guys that we had no choice but to play would have been a death knell in the tourney sooner rather than later.
However a healthy Noel AND Shabazz may have been enough to counter that because then Cal might have been able to use the bench as a motivator.
The Cats would have certainly made the Tourney with Noel but I'm not sold on a deep run. They were getting handled by Florida when Noel went down. They could play with anyone on a given day but were not consistent enough to make that run although they could have been a dangerous game for nearly anyone. Of course, if they were an eight seed in Gonzaga's bracket I would take back the lack of confidence in a deep run.
Even with Shabazz this team would not be a #1 seed, however. They would have certainly been better with another scorer on the wing. That would have allowed Mays to come off the bench in a complementary role instead of playing 38 minutes. But it would not have addressed the PG deficiencies.
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