Oct. 12, 2010
BERKELEY - Defending the 2010 Pac-10 championship for the California men's basketball team commences when the team begins practice for the 2010-11 season this Friday. In addition to some returning veterans like senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison and junior guard Jorge Gutierrez, the Golden Bears boast six newcomers to this year's squad after losing seven members from last season's conference championship team.
Fans will get their first chance to see the new Bears when Cal holds a practice that is open to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Cal finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 24-11 overall record and a 13-5 Pac-10 record en route to its first conference crown in 50 years. The Bears also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season under head coach Mike Montgomery.
Gutierrez and junior forward Harper Kamp will provide the veteran presence for the 2010-11 squad. Gutierrez, who averaged 5.5 ppg a year ago, will be called upon to be one of the Bears' key contributors after Cal lost five seniors from its' Pac-10 championship squad. Kamp redshirted last season as he recovered from knee surgery following the 2008-09 season. Kamp and Sanders-Frison will lead the Bears in the front court.
Two of Cal's more notable incoming freshmen this season are guards Allen Crabbe (Price High School) and Gary Franklin (Mater Dei High School). The 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year, Crabbe was also a Parade All-American a year ago. ESPN listed Franklin as the No. 66 recruit. The incoming class was ranked No. 17 by Scout.com and No. 21 by ESPN.
The season tips off Tuesday, Nov. 16, when Cal faces Cal State Northridge at Haas Pavilion. Prior to the official opener, the Bears host Sonoma State in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Highlighting Cal's nonconference home schedule is a visit from the 2008 NCAA champion Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 22. KU's only previous game on the Cal campus was a 66-56 win for the Jayhawks during the 1956-57 season. The Jayhawks, who were ranked seventh nationally at the time, were led by center Wilt Chamberlain. The Bears will also welcome local opponent UC Davis on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
For information on tickets for the 2010-11 season, please click here.