BERKELEY - California makes its second-longest road trip of the regular season this weekend when the Golden Bears travel to Omaha, Neb. for a Sunday evening showdown with Creighton at the CenturyLink Center Omaha at 4 p.m. (PT). Cal, which made the 2,360-mile trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational in November, will make the 1,420-mile trek to Nebraska to face the Bluejays for the second time in as many seasons. Last year, Creighton posted a 74-64 victory over Cal in Berkeley.
Sunday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 with Cory Provus (play-by-play) and Stephen Bardo (analyst) on the call. The Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast the action on KGO 810 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 3:30 p.m. (PT) with Todd McKim (play-by-play) and Jay John (analyst). Fans can listen to the game for free through the TuneIn app.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
• With a win against Fresno State, Mike Montgomery moved past former UCLA head coach John Wooden and into sole possession of 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 665 victories in 31 seasons. With 117 victories in his sixth season at Cal, Montgomery is two 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.
• Cal has won at least eight of its first 11 games for the fourth time in Mike Montgomery’s six years with the Bears, also achieving the feat during the 2008-09 (9-2), 2011-12 (9-2) and 2012-13 (8-3) seasons.
• 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 34th all-time with 1,077 points in 78 career games at Cal. Cobbs, the Pac-12’s active career assist leader, ranks seventh in school history with 397 career assists.
• Junior David Kravish has posted double-doubles in three of the last seven 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 nationally in rebounding at 10.6 rpg. through Dec. 19. The forward has posted double-doubles in three games, with 16 rebounds vs. Denver and a career-high 17 rebounds vs. Oakland. He missed two games (Syracuse, Dayton) with an eye injury.
SEASON OPENING SUCCESS UNDER MONTGOMERY
Cal has won at least eight of its first 11 games for the fourth time in Mike Montgomery’s six years with the Bears, also achieving the feat during the 2008-09 (9-2), 2011-12 (9-2) and 2012-13 (8-3) 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 CLIMBS CAL'S ALL-TIME SCORING CHART
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 Creighton game 34th in school history with 1,077 points in 78 career games in his third season at Cal. Cobbs is 238 points shy of 17th-place current Dir. of Operations Theo Robertson (1,315, 2006-10) and 460 points shy of 10th-place 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe (1,537, 2011-13).
PAC-12's ACTIVE CAREER ASSIST LEADER
With 397 assists in 78 games at Cal, Justin Cobbs ranks seventh on the school’s all-time chart. The Pac-12’s active assist leader owns a 5.1 apg. career average, which ranks fourth in school history. He leads Cal with 69 in 11 games in 2013.
KRAVISH AND SOLOMON LEAD BERKELEY BLOCK PARTY
Junior David Kravish and senior 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 the first player with at least six points, six rebounds and six blocks in a game when he posted seven points, eight reb. and a career-high six blocks vs. WSU last season.
Through 78 career games, Kravish has totaled 126 blocks to rank third and through 88 games, Solomon has posted 93 blocks to rank seventh on Cal’s career chart.
SOLOMON RANKS AMONG NATION'S BEST REBOUNDERS
Senior Richard Solomon ranks 11th nationally with an average of 10.6 rpg. He has recorded 95 rebounds in nine games. The senior has posted career-best rebounding totals in three of his last 10 games, dating back to last season. He recorded 17 rebounds vs. Oakland seven games ago. In the forward’s last 10 games, he has recorded 109 total rebounds to go along with 130 combined points.
FRESHMEN PLAYING KEY ROLES EARLY ON
All five members of Cal’s freshman class have seen action this season. Jabari Bird is one the Bears’ top guards where he is fourth on the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg., while Jordan Mathews has increased his minutes in the last couple of games and has averaged 7.8 ppg. Mathews had a career-best 22 points at UCSB. Kameron Rooks has appeared in all but one game, Sam Singer has missed two games and Roger Moute a Bidias has missed four contests. In all, the freshmen have accounted for 30.0 percent (248 out of 826) of Cal’s points this season.
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 seven of its first 11 games this season. The Bears’ scoring average of 75.1 ppg. is up 7.9 ppg. from last season’s 67.2 ppg. Cal’s season-high 92 points vs. Nevada is the most since 105 vs. Arizona on Feb. 5, 2011.
A LOOK AT CREIGHTON
Creighton enters Sunday’s game 8-2, coming off an 88-51 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday. The Bluejays’ lone losses came to San Diego State and George Washington in the Wooden Classic in southern California. Creighton has already faced a Pac-12 team this season in Arizona State, posting an 88-60 win over the Sun Devils in the Wooden Classic. Senior forward Doug McDermott, a two-time First Team All-American, is one of the nation’s leading scorers once again this season with an average of 25.3 ppg. McDermott also leads Creighton on the boards with an average of 7.1 rpg. He has scored 189 points in 185 minutes in Creighton’s last six home games. The Bluejays’ veteran starting lineup features four seniors and a junior. Greg McDermott is in his fourth season as head coach of the Bluejays with an 88-32 record at the school.
THE SERIES: CAL-CREIGHTON
Cal and Creighton have played three times previously with the Bears holding a 2-1 edge. The two schools met at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley last season with Creighton pulling out a 74-64 win on Dec. 15, 2012. Both of Cal’s victories in the series came on the road in Omaha, 41-35 on January 7, 1938, and 70-49 on November 28, 1987.
LAST SEASON'S GAME
To the right is the box score from last season’s matchup between Cal and Creighton in Berkeley on Dec. 15, 2012. Justin Cobbs led Cal with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
CAL VS. THE BIG EAST
Cal owns a 6-4 all-time record against current members of the BIG EAST Conference. The Bears have faced Creighton (2-1) and Villanova (2-1) three times each. They have also played Georgetown (1-0), Seton Hall (1-0) and Providence (0-1). Cal’s last game against a team from the BIG EAST was Syracuse on March 23, 2013 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif. The Orange, who were members of the league last season, defeated Cal, 66-60.