Jeff Powers once scored a school-record 14 points in a quarter for De La Salle High School in Concord. Other than that, Power says "I wasn't a volume scorer in high school."
Turns out Cal doesn't need him to be one in college, either.
The walk-on junior guard figures to get more playing time because of injuries to Brandon Smith and Ricky Kreklow, and even though he nailed both of his 3-point shots during Saturday's win over USC, what coach Mike Montgomery wants most out of Powers is for him to use his smarts to help the team any which way he can.
"Jeff is just going to be given more opportunities and hopefully he can capitalize on them," Montgomery said in advance of Wednesday's Pac-12 showdown against Washington at Haas Pavilion. "He's a smart player. He understands he's not going to just blow by people and throw down dunks and that kind of stuff. He's trying to contribute to others in terms of a passer, know what he's doing and be in the right spot."
Powers is playing more than he anticipated because of the Bears' injury woes. He's averaged 12 minutes during the past four games.
"With Ricky and Brandon out, we need some help off the bench," Powers said. "I think against USC I did prove that I could come in and play and give some valuable minutes to the team. It definitely helped my confidence a lot."
At 6-7, Powers is versatile enough to play both wing spots for the Bears. And although his reputation is as a sharpshooter, the Bears need him to simply play a solid all-around game to give Cal some stability off the bench.
"If I didn't hit those two (3-pointers) and we won and I got to play and got some rebounds and loose balls, I would have been completely happy with that," Powers said. "Not playing a huge amount of minutes so far this season, I was a little nervous. I think I came in and proved I can play. I think I definitely helped the team, and I helped us get the win. We definitely needed that win."