College Men

Men's fall countdown: No. 23 California

Shotaro Ban will take on a larger role for California this year.
Shotaro Ban will take on a larger role for California this year. ( Alexander Fisher )

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 23 Cal:

Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.

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California Golden Bears

Preseason rank: 23

Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 6

2013-14 in review: While last season didn’t measure up to the Bears’ historic 2012-13 campaign, it was still a good one. Cal won four times in the fall and then added two victories in the spring despite the midseason departure of Michael Kim. The Bears finished a disappointing T-11 at the NCAA Championship, but still ended up sixth in the final Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

Notable departures: Brandon Hagy, Joel Stalter, Michael Weaver and Pace Johnson

Key returnees: Juniors Keelan Kilpatrick and Shotaro Ban, sophomore Cameron Shaw and redshirt freshman Alexander Wilson

Newcomers of note: Freshmen K.K. Limbhasut, Sebastian Crampton, Ben Doyle and Tanner Hughes

Circled on the fall calendar: Tavistock Collegiate Invitational, Oct. 19-21, Lake Nona (Fla.) Golf and Country Club

Fall outlook: Cal head coach Steve Desimone anticipated a “strange sight” when his team gathered for the first time this week. Gone are Hagy, Stalter and Weaver, three mainstays in the Bears’ lineup for the past few seasons. Now, it’s up to a young team led by Kilpatrick and Ban to continue Cal’s national success. The junior duo played well at times a season ago, combining for eight top-15 finishes. Shaw, who saw limited action as a freshman, figures to see an increased role while Wilson could also be an integral piece in the lineup – both players have played well this summer. The freshmen class is led by Western Junior champ K.K. Limbhasut, who has the potential to be one of the top freshmen in the country this season.

Coach's perspective: “(The last few years) you knew what to expect. This year it’s a complete 180. . . . We’re going to be young, no question, and it will take a while to sort (the lineup) out, but come March, we’re going to be pretty good.” – Desimone