Nov. 9, 2010
BERKELEY - California head coach Mike Montgomery and numerous Cal men's basketball players met with the local media for Bay Area Media Day Tuesday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears face Sonoma State in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Haas. The game can be seen on CalBears.com on a webcast with Roxy Bernstein and Todd McKim calling the action. Click here to watch the webcast.
To watch today's press conference, please click on the links below:
Montgomery Press Conference
Gutierrez Press Conference
Sanders-Frison Press Conference
Kamp and Solomon Press Conference
Franklin and Crabbe Press Conference
A year after winning their first conference title in 50 years, the defending Pac-10 champion California Golden Bears have a new look this season as they hope to achieve a similar level of success in 2010-11. The Bears are without four starters - eight players total - from last year's squad, including 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle. Looking to help fill those voids is a freshmen class that has been ranked No. 17 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 24 by ESPN.com.
Third-year head coach Mike Montgomery will rely on three key returners to supply veteran leadership for the upcoming campaign - junior guard Jorge Gutierrez, junior forward Harper Kamp and senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison.
Gutierrez, Cal's lone returning starter, is a tenacious defender who inspires his teammates on the court with his work ethic. He has demonstrated the capability of igniting his team and changing the game's momentum with one big play. Montgomery has stated that Gutierrez has been the glue on the team the past two years, and now it is just a matter of finding where he fits this year. A member of the Pac-10 All-Defensive team last year, he averaged 5.5 ppg and 3.0 rpg.
Kamp redshirted last season due to a lingering knee injury after undergoing surgery following the 2008-09 season. According to Montgomery, he brings a high degree of intelligence and basketball IQ to the court. As a sophomore in '08-09, Kamp contributed 3.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg, primarily as a reserve.
Sanders-Frison suffered from a nagging back injury throughout the second half of last season that limited his playing time. To help alleviate the pressure on his back, he returns this year in better shape after losing 10 pounds through his conditioning work. During his first year on the roster after transferring from South Plains College, Sanders-Frison started 10 games and chipped in 3.3 ppg and 3.0 rpg.
Also returning this season is sophomore guard Brandon Smith. He gained valuable experience coming off the bench while playing behind Randle. Smith, who is regarded as one of the best defenders ever to come out of Concord's De La Salle High School, will likely see increased playing time this year with such a young and inexperienced back court.
Cal's incoming class includes three members of the Rivals' Top 150, led by freshman guard Allen Crabbe out of Price HS in Los Angeles. Crabbe - the 2010 California Gatorade Player of the Year and Parade All-American - should contribute right away. The 6-6 guard averaged 23.0 ppg and 10.8 rpg and earned Los Angeles Times Player of the Year honors.
Among Cal's other standout recruits is Gary Franklin (Mater Dei HS), whom ESPN listed as the No. 66 recruit in the nation. One of the most sought-after guards in the West a year ago, the 6-2 CIF Player of the Year poured in 17.4 ppg as a senior. Two other freshman join the squad from the Los Angeles area - forward Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs, a transfer from Minnesota who attended Bishop Montgomery HS. Solomon was a high school teammate of Crabbe's and was rated the No. 20 power forward in the nation by Rivals.com. One of the Bears' later signings, Emerson Murray from Vancouver, British Columbia, played on the Canadian Junior National team this past summer and was regarded by Hoopstars Canada as the second-best backcourt prospect in Canada. Alex Rossi is a natural shooter who is also known for his defensive abilities. He is the fifth recent Cal recruit to come from the Chicago area (Winnetka, Ill.).