LAHAINA, Hawaii - California, 5-0 to open the season for the second-straight year, looks to avenge its last defeat when the Golden Bears meet No. 7/8 Syracuse in the semifinal round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational on Tuesday at the Lahaina Civic Center at 4 p.m. (PT). The Golden Bears’ last defeat came to the Orange in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on March 23 of last season in San Jose, Calif.
Tuesday’s contest will be televised on ESPN with Sean McDonough (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (analyst) on the call. The Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast the action on KSFO 560 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 3:30 p.m. (PT) with Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Todd McKim (analyst). Fans can listen to the game for free through the TuneIn app located on CalBears.com.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
• Cal has opened the season with five victories for the second-straight year. The Bears opened the 2012-13 campaign 6-0, including a DirecTV Classic title. It’s the third time in Mike Montgomery’s six seasons, Cal has opened the season with five wins, also acheiveing the feat in 2008-09.
• Mike Montgomery is the NCAA’s ninth winningest active Division I head men’s basketball coach with 662 career victories in 31 seasons of collegiate coaching. Montgomery is the fourth-winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 272 career conference victories.
• Cal is averaging 43.8 rpg. in five games and has out-rebounded its opponent each contest. The Bears own a +12.6 rebounding advantage (43.8 - 31.2). Cal out-rebounded Arkansas by 16 (48-32) Monday.
• Senior Richard Solomon entered the Arkansas game sixth in the nation in rebounding (12.5 rpg.). The forward, who collected seven rebounds against Arkansas on Monday, recorded a then-career-best 14 rebounds in his last matchup with Syracuse last season in the NCAA Tournament.
• With seven assists vs. Arkansas, senior Justin Cobbs has posted at least five assists in each game this season. The Pac-12’s active career assist leader has 359 for his career. He moved past Gene Ransom (356 from 1976-78) and into ninth on Cal’s all-time assist chart with his performance Monday.
Cal's History In Maui Invitational With Monday’s win, Cal owns a 3-1 all-time record in the Maui Invitational. The Bears also appeared in the tournament in 1996. In Ben Braun’s first game as Cal’s head coach, it defeated No. 25 Iowa (75-59). The Bears later lost to No. 2 Kansas (85-67) and defeated No. 15 Massachusetts (59-55).
Montgomery In Maui Invitational This is Mike Montgomery’s third trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. He owns a 3-4 all-time record in the tournament after Monday’s win vs. Arkansas. Both of his previous trips came as head coach of Stanford. Montgomery’s 1987 Stanford squad rebounded from an opening-game loss to Iowa (78-75) to post wins over Chaminade (93-82) and Baylor (69-56) in what was then called the Maui Classic. In 1992, Stanford lost all three games in the tournament, falling to LSU (72-63), DePaul (76-67) and Chaminade (71-63).
Cal-Syracuse All three of Cal’s meetings with Syracuse have taken place in tournaments. The Orange captured both previous contests in the series. Cal and Syracuse staged an exciting battle in San Jose last year with the Orange escaping with the 66-60 victory in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. In the first meeting between the two schools, Syracuse defeated Cal, 95-73, on Nov. 19, 2009 at the 2K Sports Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Last Season's NCAA Matchup With The Orange Syracuse held 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe to eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and Justin Cobbs to five points and four assists in the Orange’s victory over the Bears in the NCAAs. Richard Solomon collected a career-high 22 points and pulled down a then-career-best 14 rebounds in the contest. Current Bears David Kravish (four points, six rebounds), Tyrone Wallace (12 points), and Ricky Kreklow (three points) also appeared in last season’s game against Syracuse.
Cal vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams No. 7/8 Syracuse is the first nationally-ranked opponent Cal will play this season. The Bears were 3-3 vs. nationally-ranked foes last season with wins at No. 7 Arizona (77-69), against No. 10 Oregon (58-54) and on the road at No. 23 Oregon (48-46). Syracuse was the last nationally-ranked opponent Cal faced when the Orange came in ranked No. 16/18 in the NCAAs last season.
Juniors Have Career Day Against Arkansas Juniors David Kravish and Ricky Kreklow each had a career-high point total Monday vs. Arkansas. Kravish posted 19 points and added 15 rebounds and three blocks in the win, while Kreklow had 17 points in 25 minutes.
Bird Off To Strong Start For Bears Freshman Jabari Bird scored in double figures for the third time in five games with 15 on Monday vs. Arkansas. He leads Cal with a 13.8 ppg. average. Bird has posted multiple three-pointers in three contests and is shooting .534 (12-of-22) from three-point range. The freshman matched his career long with 33 minutes vs. Arkansas.