BERKELEY - Winners of four-straight, tied atop the Pac-12 standings and off to its first 3-0 start in the conference since 2009, California hosts Washington on Wednesday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. Wednesday marks the Bears’ first home game since Dec. 28, 2013 and first home league contest of the season. Cal has opened Pac-12 play with victories at Stanford, at No. 13/17 Oregon and at Oregon State.
Wednesday’s game will be televised on ESPNU with Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Jon Crispin (analyst) on the call. The Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast the action on KGO 810 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 7:30 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
• With a win against Washington, Montgomery will tie legendary Oregon State head coach Slats Gill (276 from 1929-1964) as the third-winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 276 career league wins.
• Mike Montgomery moved ahead of Pete Newell to become the fourth-winningest coach in school history with the win at No. 13/17 Oregon last week. He enters Wednesday’s game against Washington with a 121-63 record at the helm of the Bears, just two wins shy of third-place Lou Campanelli.
Cal OPENS PAC-12 PLAY 3-0 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE... With the victory at Oregon State, coupled with wins at Stanford and Oregon, Cal has won its first three Pac-12 Conference games for the first time since 2009. That year, Cal opened the Pac-12 slate 4-0 with home wins over Arizona (69-55), No. 14 Arizona State (81-71), and road victories at Washington State (57-50) and Washington (88-85).
The Bears have won their first three conference road games for the first time since 1957. That year, Cal defeated Washington State on the road on consecutive days (66-58, 61-51) and won at No. 19 Stanford (67-64) in its first three road contests in the Pacific Coast Conference.
BEARS IN RARE COMPANY WITH FIVE ACTIVE DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORERS ON ROSTER Cal is one of only four teams in the nation who play in the six BCS conferences with five active players averaging double-figures in scoring that have played the majority of their team’s games this season. Also included in that list are the five teams (Wichita State, San Diego State, Massachusetts, Creighton and Saint Louis) from outside the six BCS Conferences in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 National Poll.
Seniors Justin Cobbs (15.1 ppg.) and Richard Solomon (12.1 ppg.) lead the way. Junior David Kravish (11.9 ppg.) and sophomore Tyrone Wallace (11.8 ppg.) give Cal four members of its starting lineup averaging double figures. Freshman guard Jabari Bird averaged 11.3 ppg. through the first 12 games, but has missed the last four games with an injury. He is expected to return Wednesday vs. Washington.
The other three teams from BCS Conferences with five players averaging double-figures that have played in the majority of their team’s games are Florida, Oklahoma and Seton Hall. Of those, only Oklahoma has had all five of those players see action in their team’s last game.
SEASON OPENING SUCCESS UNDER MONTGOMERY With a 12-4 start to the year, Cal has won at least 12 of its first 16 games for the second time in the last three years and third time in the Mike Montgomery era. The Bears opened the 2008-09 season 14-2 and the 2011-12 campaign 12-4.
Cal completed the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule with at least nine wins for the third time in six years under Montgomery, also achieving the feat during the 2008-09 (11-2) and 2011-12 (10-3) 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.
PERFECT AT HOME IN 2013-14 The Bears are perfect at home this season with an 8-0 record at Haas Pavilion. Cal’s last defeat on its home court came to Stanford on March 6, 2013.
It’s the longest home winning streak for the Bears since they opened the 2011-12 season with wins in their first 14 games. Cal finished the 2011-12 season 17-1 at Haas Pavilion.
Cal is 43-6 in non-conference home games under Mike Montgomery. 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.
OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION UP FROM LAST SEASON After scoring 73 points or more nine times in 33 games last season, Cal has already topped the threshold in 10 of its first 16 games this season. The Bears’ scoring average of 76.4 ppg. is up 9.2 ppg. from last season’s 67.2 ppg. Cal’s season-high 96 points at Oregon was the most since 105 vs. Arizona on Feb. 5, 2011.
COBBS VOTED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON MONDAY Justin Cobbs was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 13. He averaged a double-double in road wins at No. 13/17 Oregon and Oregon State. The guard averaged 20.0 points and 10.0 assists to go along with 5.5 rebounds in the two games.
Cobbs guided the Bears back from a 10-point halftime deficit at Oregon State with 20 second-half points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and a steal all in the second period alone. He posted his first double-double of the season with 20 points and a season-high 11 assists to lead Cal to the win at No. 13/17 Oregon.
SOLOMON AVERAGING DOUBLE-DOUBLE After posting four career double-doubles in his first three seasons, senior Richard Solomon has recorded five double-doubles in 14 games as a senior, including three in the last six contests. The senior is the lone player in the Pac-12 to average a double-double 12.1 ppg. and 10.2 rpg.
He recorded a 14-point, 13-rebound game at Stanford three games ago. Against Furman four games ago, he posted 10 points and 12 rebounds and vs. Fresno State six games ago, he totaled 17 points and 14 rebounds. The forward also recorded 11 points and a career-best 17 rebounds vs. Oakland and 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Coppin State.
Solomon ranks 14th nationally with an average of 10.2 rpg. He has recorded 143 rebounds in 14 games. The senior posted a career-best 17 rebounds vs. Oakland this season. In the forward’s last 15 games, dating back to last season, he has recorded 157 rebounds along with 191 combined points.
KRAVISH CONTINUES TO INCREASE PRODUCTION Junior David Kravish, who entered the year with three career double-doubles, already has three this season (vs. Arkansas (19 pts., 15 reb.), Dayton (12 pts., 14 reb.) and UC Irvine (19 pts., 10 reb.)). His 11.9 ppg. average this season is up 4.5 ppg. from last season’s average of 7.4 ppg. and his 7.6 rpg. average is up 1.3 rpg. from his average of 6.3 rpg. as a sophomore. The 19 pts. vs. Arkansas and UC Irvine were a career-high.
WALLACE SECOND ON TEAM IN SCORING OVER LAST FIVE GAMES After scoring 31 points in a five-game stretch from Nov. 25 - Dec. 6, sophomore Tyrone Wallace has increased his offensive production with 81 combined points in the Bears’ last five games against Creighton (12), Furman (18), Stanford (20), Oregon (14) and Oregon State (17). The 90 points is the second-most on the team over the last five games. He ranks second on the team and ninth in the Pac-12 in scoring during conference games with an average of 17.0 ppg.
MONTGOMERY MOVES UP ON NCAA'S ALL-TIME WINS LIST The win at Oregon State tied Mike Montgomery with former Maryland head coach Gary Williams for 27th on the NCAA’s all-time Division I coaching wins list with his 668th career victory. He is now seven wins shy of former Louisville coach Denny Crum (675 from 1972-2001). Montgomery is the NCAA’s ninth winningest active Division I men’s basketball coach.
BIRD SET TO MAKE RETURN WEDNESDAY Freshman guard Jabari Bird, who has missed the last four games with a sprained right ankle, practiced this week and is expected to play against Washington on Wednesday. The guard injured his ankle in the first half of Cal’s game at Creighton on Dec. 22, 2013. Bird, a McDonald’s All-American out of Salesian High School in California last season, ranks fifth on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg. He started nine of the first 12 games of the season prior to the injury.
A LOOK AT WASHINGTON Washington enters Wednesday’s game coming off a 71-54 home victory over No. 15 Colorado on Sunday. The Huskies are 11-6 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12 with wins over Utah and Arizona State along with the victory over the Buffaloes in conference play.
Cal and Washington have met just once each of the last two seasons due to the conference’s scheduling.
The Bears and Huskies have one common opponent this season in UC Irvine. Cal defeated the Anteaters, 73-56, on Dec. 2, 2013, and UW dropped an 86-72 decision to UCI on Nov. 14.
Senior guard C.J. Wilcox is second in the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 20.5 ppg. He is one of four Huskies in double figures in the scoring column, along with Andrew Andrews (13.2 ppg.), Nigel Williams-Goss (12.4 ppg.) and Perris Blackwell (10.9 ppg.).
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar is in his 12th year at Washington.