BREAKING: Ben Braun Out

Posted by: Avinash on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008


In sad developments in Cal sports, Ben Braun could not capture his second coveted “national championship”. So close to being 66th. So damn close!

Unfortunately, that was the cutoff-line for Sandy Barbour.

Cal fired men’s basketball coach Ben Braun Wednesday after 12 seasons, citing lack of NCAA tournament appearances over the last five years.

Braun had a 219-154 record and guided the team to five NCAA tournament berths and three National Invitation Tournaments. In 1996-97, Cal reached the Sweet 16 and Braun earned Pac-10 coach of the year honors. He guided the 1998-99 team to the NIT championship.

The Bears finished ninth in the Pac-10 this season going 6-12, 17-16 overall. A year ago, Cal finished 16-17, 6-12 for eighth place in the conference. Two seasons ago, the Bears finished 13-16, 6-12 in the Pac-10 — also for eighth place. Cal last made the NCAA tournament in 2003.

I feel a little bad–well, actually, I feel nothing–but I have to be happy to see Cal basketball given the chance to restore itself past semi-competence. Too much has been said about Braun that I can’t really add much. Let’s boil it down.

Underdeveloped big men, nondeveloped point guards, overdeveloped defense, subdeveloped ball movement, superdeveloped character. Character wins heart wins love wins Berkeley. Loses Pac-10 college basketball games by six to ten points.

Not bad. Some of those weren’t even words.

So Bears Necessity will be tracking all developments (and by tracking I mean reading the Golden Blogs and the Bear Insider religiously and waiting for them to report on the story). I will assemble a dossier ASAP of the most promising candidates. And then I will wait for the AD to hire Steve Lavin so I can go back to not caring about Cal basketball.

But there is promise again for the other big Cal sport. Thank God.

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