BERKELEY - California wraps up its season-opening, four-game homestand on Monday, Nov. 18, when the Golden Bears host Southern Utah of the The Big Sky Conference. Tip-off is set for 8:06 p.m. (PT) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Bears look for their 32nd-straight November home victory after opening the year with wins over Coppin State (83-64), Denver (77-50) and Oakland (64-60).
Monday’s contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Dan Belluomini (analyst) on the call. The Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast all the action on KGO 810 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 7:30 p.m. (PT) with Todd McKim (play-by-play) and former Cal assistant coach Jay John (analyst). Fans can also listen to the game for free through the TuneIn app located on CalBears.com.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
• Cal won its first three games of the season for the fourth-straight year. The Bears are looking to open the year with victories in their first four contests for the third-straight season.
• Cal has won its last 31 games in the month of November at Haas Pavilion. The Bears were last defeated in a November home game at Haas Pavilion on Nov. 12, 2004 (61-52 defeat to Saint Mary’s).
• Mike Montgomery is the NCAA’s ninth winningest active Division I head men’s basketball coach with 660 career victories in 31 seasons of collegiate coaching. He ranks 28th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list for Division I coaches, just four wins shy of 27th-place UCLA’s John Wooden. Montgomery is the fourth-winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 272 career conference victories.
• Senior Richard Solomon ranks fourth in the nation in rebounding at 14.3 rpg. through Saturday’s action. The forward has posted double-doubles in two of the first three games, setting a career-high rebounding total in each of the last two contests. Ending last season with 14 rebounds vs. Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, Solomon posted 16 reb. vs. Denver and 17 reb. vs. Oakland last time out.
• Sophomore Tyrone Wallace was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week last Monday following his 20-point, seven-assist, six-rebound, two-steal performance in 34 minutes vs. Coppin St.
• Senior Justin Cobbs has posted 17 assists through the first three games to give him 344 for his Cal Career. The Pac-12’s active career assist leader ranks 10th on Cal’s all-time assist chart.
• The Golden Bears returned four of five starters - senior G Justin Cobbs, senior F Richard Solomon, junior F David Kravish and sophomore G Tyrone Wallace - from last season’s 21-12 team that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior G Ricky Kreklow made his first career start in the season opener vs. Coppin State and freshman G Jabari Bird has started the last two games.
• All five freshmen - Jabari Bird, Jordan Mathews, Roger Moute a Bidias, Kameron Rooks, and Sam Singer - played in the first two games. Moute a Bidias was the lone freshman not to appear vs. Oakland. Bird, a McDonald’s All-American, has been the most productive with 46 points and 15 rebounds over 78 minutes in his first three collegiate appearances.
• The Bears recorded their winningest five-year stretch in more than 50 years with 109 total victories in head coach Mike Montgomery’s first five seasons. Cal is the only school to place in the top four in the league and win at least 10 conference games each of the past five seasons.
STUDENT FACES TEACHER In the first of at least two occasions this season, Cal head coach Mike Montgomery will coach against one of his former players when the Bears meet Southern Utah. SUU head coach Nick Robinson played under Montgomery at Stanford for three seasons during the 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 campaigns. Later this season when Cal hosts Utah, Montgomery will face Larry Krystkowiak, who he coached at Montana from 1982-86.
SEASON-OPENING SUCCESS UNDER MONTGOMERY Cal has opened the season with victories in its first three games in five of its six years under the direction of head coach Mike Montgomery. The Bears own a 27-6 record in the month of November in the Mike Montgomery era. Cal has won its last nine November contests, including a perfect 6-0 mark last season. The Bears’ last November defeat came at the hands of Missouri (92-53) on Nov. 22, 2011 in Kansas City, Mo. Cal has not lost a home game in the month of November in the Montgomery era.
NON-CONFERENCE HOME GAMES UNDER MONTGOMERY The Bears are 36-6 in non-conference home games under Mike Montgomery. They are 3-0 this season and completed the 2012 non-conference slate with a 4-3 record. The UNLV loss on Dec. 9, 2012 was the first non-conference home setback since dropping a 78-63 decision to No. 3 Kansas on Dec. 22, 2010. The defeat to No. 13 Creighton on Dec. 15, 2012 was the first time Cal had dropped back-to-back non-conference home games under Montgomery.
COBBS IS LEAGUE'S ACTIVE CAREER ASSISTS LEADER With 344 assists in just 70 games at Cal, Justin Cobbs is the Pac-12 Conference’s active assist leader. Cobbs’ 4.9 apg. career average ranks fourth in school history.
SENIOR GUARD AMONG CAL'S ALL-TIME ASSIST LEADERS Senior Justin Cobbs has recorded 17 assists in Cal’s first three games. The Pac-12’s active career assist leader has 344 assists in his 70 games as a Golden Bear. He is 10th on the school’s all-time assist chart.
KRAVISH & SOLOMON LEAD BERKELEY BLOCK PARTY Junior forward David Kravish and senior forward Richard Solomon combined for 100 blocks last season to lead Cal to a school single-season record 161 in 33 games. Kravish broke the single-season school block mark with 63. Solomon was second with 37 blocks. He became the first player with at least six points, six rebounds and six blocks in a game when he posted seven points, eight rebounds and a career-high six blocks vs. Washington State last season.
Through 70 career games, Kravish has totaled 109 blocks and ranks fourth on Cal’s career chart. Through 82 games, Solomon has posted 85 blocks to rank seventh on the list.
SOLOMON RANKS AMONG NATION'S BEST REBOUNDERS Senior Richard Solomon ranks fourth nationally with an average of 14.3 rebounds per game. He owns a conference-leading 43 rebounds in his first three games. The senior has posted career-best rebounding totals in three of his last four games, dating back to last season. He recorded 17 rebounds vs. Oakland last time out. In the forward’s last four games, he has recorded 57 total rebounds to go along with 52 combined points.
BIRD OFF TO BEST START AS A GOLDEN BEAR SINCE 2006 Guard Jabari Bird’s 46 points is the best point total by a Golden Bear freshman in his first three games since Ryan Anderson scored 66 in his first three contests in 2006. Bird’s point total (14) vs. Coppin State was the best for a Golden Bear in his first game since Nov. 15, 2006 when Anderson posted 20 points against Utah Valley State. Anderson is now in his second season as a starter with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Below is a comparison of Bird and Anderson’s first three games as a Golden Bear.
WIN IN EASPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL Cal opened play in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational with a 64-60 victory over Oakland on Nov. 12. The Bears will travel to Maui Thanksgiving week to play three games at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Bears join Syracuse, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Baylor, Arkansas, Dayton and Chaminade in the three-day event Nov. 25-27. Cal will face Arkansas in its first game in Hawaii on Monday, Nov. 25 at 12 p.m. (PT).
CAL VS. THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE While Cal and Southern Utah have never met on the hardwood, the Bears have faced nine current members of the Big Sky Conference. Cal owns a 17-1 all-time record against teams currently in the league with their lone defeat coming at Idaho State (98-73) on Dec. 18, 1976. Cal has faced Big Sky members Northern Colorado (1-0), Eastern Washington (2-0), Idaho State (4-1), Montana (1-0), Portland State (1-0), Sacramento State (2-0), Northern Arizona (2-0), Montana State (2-0) and Weber State (2-0).
A LOOK AT SOUTHERN UTAH Southern Utah has split its first two games of the season, defeating Arizona Christian (85-78) and falling to Utah State (90-57). Nick Robinson is in his second year as a head coach of the Thunderbirds. He played for Mike Montgomery for three seasons at Stanford during the 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 campaigns. The Thunderbirds are averaging 71 points on .385 shooting. SUU has allowed opponents an average of 84 points on .534 shooting. Freshman Trey Kennedy leads SUU in scoring with an average of 11.0 ppg.