Nov. 8, 2011
BERKELEY - California men's basketball head coach Mike Montgomery and the Golden Bears are inviting all Cal students to cheer them on, at Haas Pavilion, as they open the 2011-12 regular season. As an incentive, the basketball program is offering free admission to all Cal students with valid identification for the first three games of the regular season, Nov. 11, 13, and 15.
San Francisco Soup Company will be on hand to give away free food to the first 1,000 students to walk in the door for Friday's (Nov. 11) season opener presented by AT&T against UC Irvine. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. game. A couple of lucky students will also be entered into a contest to win tickets and pre-game field passes for the Cal-Oregon State football game on Saturday (Nov. 12).
In addition to UC Irvine, the free admission offer is good for the Bears' contests against George Washington on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m., and against Austin Peay on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
Cal is ranked No. 24 in both the preseason AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. The Bears were picked to finish second in the conference by the Pac-12 media and are coming off an 18-15 season in 2010-11 that saw them advance to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Cal returns four starters, led by first-team All-Pac-10 selection and team MVP senior guard Jorge Gutierrez, who paced the squad in scoring with 14.6 ppg in 2010-11.
Sophomore guard Allen Crabbe, the 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, also set the school's freshman record for three-pointers made (62). Both Gutierrez and Crabbe are on the Preseason John Wooden Award Top 50 Watch List.
Senior forward Harper Kamp and junior guard Brandon Smith are also back from last year's starting lineup. The Bears welcome returning reserves Bak Bak, Emerson Murray, Jeff Powers, Richard Solomon, and Robert Thurman, as well as 2010-11 redshirts Justin Cobbs and Alex Rossi.
New additions to the squad include freshmen forwards David Kravish (6-9, 210) and Christian Behrens (6-8, 190), as well as two freshman walk-on guards, Rob Filley (6-4, 195) and Raffi Chalian (5-11, 165).