BERKELEY - California leaves Berkeley for the second time this season, traveling south to Santa Barbara for an intra-state matchup with UC Santa Barbara on Friday at 7 p.m. (PT) in the Thunderdome. It will be the Bears’ first trip to Santa Barbara in 34 years.
Friday’s game is the lone regular-season untelevised contest, however the Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast all the action on KGO 810 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 6:30 p.m. (PT) with Cal alum Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Todd McKim (analyst) on the call. Fans can listen to the game for free through the TuneIn app located on CalBears.com.
• Cal has won six of its first eight games for the fourth time in head coach Mike Montgomery’s six years with the Bears, also achieving the feat during the 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
• With a win at UC Santa Barbara, Mike Montgomery will tie former UCLA head coach John Wooden for 27th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list for Division I men’s basketball coaches. Montgomery is the NCAA’s ninth winningest active Division I men’s basketball coach with 663 victories in 31 seasons. With 115 victories in his sixth season at Cal, Montgomery is four wins shy of tying Pete Newell as the fourth-winningest coach in school history. Montgomery is the fourth-winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 272 career conference victories.
• Senior Justin Cobbs became the 43rd member of Cal’s 1,000-point club with 18 points vs. No. 7 Syracuse (Nov. 26). He now ranks 40th all-time with 1,036 points in 75 career games at Cal. Cobbs, the Pac-12’s active career assist leader, ranks ninth in school history with 377 career assists.
• Junior forward David Kravish has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games vs. Arkansas (19 pts., 15 reb.), Dayton (12 pts., 14 reb.) and UC Irvine (19 pts., 10 reb.). He entered the season with three career double-doubles. The 19 points vs. Arkansas and UC Irvine were a career-high.
• Senior Richard Solomon ranks 11th in the nation in rebounding at 10.8 rpg. through Dec. 4. The forward has posted double-doubles in two games this season, with 16 rebounds vs. Denver and a career-high 17 rebounds vs. Oakland. He missed two games (Syracuse, Dayton) with an eye injury.
OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION UP FROM LAST SEASON After scoring 73 points or more nine times out of 33 games last season, Cal has already topped the threshold in six of its first eight games this season. The Bears’ scoring average of 75.2 ppg. is up 8.0 ppg. from last season’s 67.2 ppg. Cal’s season-high 85 points in the win over Arkansas this season is the most since the Bears recorded 85 in the victory over Prairie View A&M on Dec. 22, 2012.
A LOOK AT UC SANTA BARBARA UC Santa Barbara has split its first six games of the season, defeating Hawaii-Pacific, UNLV and South Dakota State. The Bears mark the third Pac-12 team on the Gaucho’s schedule so far. UCSB dropped a 76-68 decision at Colorado on Nov. 21 and an 89-76 decision at UCLA in their last game on Tuesday. Junior Alan Williams is one of the top scorers in the nation, averaging 27.5 ppg. Williams is also averaging a team-best 10.8 rpg. He has missed two of UCSB’s games this season. Bob Williams is in his 16th season as head coach at UCSB. As a team, the Gauchos are averaging 75.5 points per contest.
THE SERIES: CAL-UC SANTA BARBARA Cal has controlled the series with UC Santa Barbara, winning all previous 10 matchups. Friday marks the Bears’ first trip to Santa Barbara since Nov. 30, 1979. It was the first game at the Gaucho’s current arena, which was called “The Campus Events Center” back then. Cal is also the first Pac-12 team to play in Santa Barbara in 11 years when UCSB defeated USC, 69-53. Cal and UCSB also played the first game in the all-time series in Santa Barbara, winning 45-44, on Feb. 8, 1949. The two teams have played the last six games in Berkeley. Last season, Cal defeated UC Santa Barbara, 68-59, at Haas Pavilion. Justin Cobbs has totaled 33 points in two games against UCSB, including 25 in the 2011 game. In his first career start, Tyrone Wallace posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in last season’s game.
CAL VS. THE BIG WEST Cal owns a 71-4 all-time record against current members of the Big West Conference. It’s Cal’s second Big West opponent this week after defeating UC Irvine Monday. The Bears are a perfect 31-0 vs. UC Davis, 11-0 vs. Hawaii, 10-0 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 6-0 vs. Cal State Northridge, 3-0 vs. Long Beach State and 1-0 vs. Cal State Fullerton. Their only losses have come to Cal Poly (2-1), UC Irvine (6-2) and UC Riverside (1-1).
SEASON-OPENING SUCCESS UNDER MONTGOMERY Cal opened the season with six victories in its first eight games for the fourth time in head coach Mike Montgomery’s six years with the Bears, also achieving the feat during the 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. After completing the November slate, 5-2, the Bears own a 29-8 record in the month in the Mike Montgomery era. The Bears had a 10-game November winning streak snapped in the 92-81 defeat to No. 7 Syracuse on Nov. 26. Cal has not lost a home game in the month of November in the Montgomery era.
COBBS BECOMES NEWEST MEMBER OF 1,000-POINT CLUB With 18 points vs. Syracuse on Nov. 26, senior Justin Cobbs became the 43rd member of Cal’s 1,000-point club. He enters the UCSB game 40th in school history with 1,036 points in 75 career games in his third season at Cal. Cobbs is 279 points shy of 17th-place current Dir. of Operations Theo Robertson (1,315, 2006-10) and 501 points shy of 10th-place 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe (1,537, 2011-13).
LEAGUE'S ACTIVE ASSIST LEADER CLIMB'S CAL'S LIST With 377 assists in 75 games at Cal, Justin Cobbs ranks ninth on the school’s all-time chart. The Pac-12’s active assist leader owns a 5.0 apg. career average, which ranks fourth in school history. He leads Cal with 50 in eight games in 2013.
BIRD OFF TO BEST START AS A GOLDEN BEAR SINCE 2010 Freshman Jabari Bird has scored in double figures in five of Cal’s eight games, including a career-best 24 vs. Oakland. Bird’s 106 points is the highest total by a freshman in his first eight games at Cal since Jorge Gutierrez posted the same total in his first eight contests in 2010. Bird has multiple three-pointers in four games and is shooting .455 from three-point range. He played a career-long 36 min. with 17 pts. vs. Syracuse.