BERKELEY - Winners of five-straight and one of only two undefeated teams in Pac-12 play, California hosts Washington State on Saturday at 1 p.m. (PT) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. The Golden Bears are looking for their first 5-0 start in the conference since 2003, when they opened the league slate 7-0.
Cal recorded its second five-game winning streak of the season with a convincing 82-56 victory over Washington on Wednesday. The Bears began their current winning streak against Furman on Dec. 28, 2013 and have followed with wins at Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, and at home against UW.
Come early to campus and stay after the game this Saturday and enjoy the great selection of both pre-game and postgame activities scheduled around the 1 p.m. (PT) tip-off. The athletic department is sponsoring several activities on Spieker Plaza just outside of the arena. Saturday’s pre-game activities include Kids’ Day with several interactive games for children on Spieker Plaza. The famous food trucks will also be on hand along with a beer garden right outside the arena beginning at 11:30 a.m. (PT).
After the game, fans are invited to stick around Haas Pavilion and make their way over to the Club Room to meet their favorite Golden Bears in the Social Media Day Tweet-Up. The first 150 fans in attendance will receive a free t-shirt. Fans can tweet their questions using the hashtag #CalTweetUp and our special panelists, Jabari Bird, Jordan Mathews, John Montgomery and Theo Robertson will answer questions during the Social Media Day Tweet-Up approximately 20 minutes following the conclusion of the game.
Seating is limited inside the Club Room of Haas Pavilion and will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Fans wishing to get a seat should plan to arrive immediately following the game. A Cal-Washington State game ticket is required in order to attend the Tweet-Up and gain entry to Haas Pavilion. Click here to RSVP to the Cal Tweet-Up.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
• With a win vs. Washington State, Mike Montgomery will move ahead of Oregon State coach Slats Gill and take over sole possession as the third-winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 277 league wins.
• Mike Montgomery is also looking to tie Lou Campanelli as the third-winningest coach in school history with a win on Saturday. He enters the Washington State game with a 122-63 record.
CAL OPENS PAC-12 PLAY 4-0 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE... With the victory over Washington, coupled with wins at Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State, Cal has won its first four Pac-12 games for the first time since 2009. Cal opened the 2009 Pac-12 slate 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 are looking to win their first five games in conference play for the first time since 2003 when they opened 7-0 in the league, defeating Stanford (72-59), No. 12 Oregon (88-72), Oregon State (78-73), Washington (73-66), Washington State (76-63), No. 25 USC (73-68) and No. 25 UCLA (80-69).
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 through Wednesday. Also included in that list are the five teams (Wichita State, San Diego State, Massachusetts, Creighton and Saint Louis) from outside those six leagues in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll.
Seniors Justin Cobbs (14.9 ppg.) and Richard Solomon (12.1 ppg.) lead the way. Junior David Kravish (11.9 ppg.) and sophomore Tyrone Wallace (11.9 ppg.) give Cal four members of its starting lineup averaging double figures. Freshman guard Jabari Bird is averaging 10.6 ppg.
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.
SOLOMON ONE OF TWO PLAYERS AMONG BCS CONFERENCES WITH DOUBLE-DOUBLE Senior Richard Solomon is one of only two individuals who play for a school in one of the six BCS Conferences that is averaging a double-double this season. At 12.1 ppg. and 10.3 rpg., he is joined by Kentucky’s Julius Randle (16.9 ppg., 11.1 rpg.).
After posting four career double-doubles in his first three seasons, Solomon has recorded six double-doubles in 15 games as a senior, including four in the last seven contests.
Last time out, the forward posted 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. Washington. He recorded a 14-point, 13-rebound game at Stanford four games ago. Against Furman five games ago, he posted 10 points and 12 rebounds and vs. Fresno State seven 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.
The Pac-12 rebounding leader, Solomon ranks 13th nationally. He has recorded 155 rebounds in 15 games. The senior posted a career-best 17 rebounds vs. Oakland this season. In the forward’s last 16 games, dating back to last season, he has recorded 169 rebounds along with 204 combined points.
SEASON OPENING SUCCESS UNDER MONTGOMERY With a 13-4 start to the year, Cal has won at least 13 of its first 17 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 15-2 and the 2011-12 campaign 13-4.
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 a 9-0 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.
MONTGOMERY MOVES UP NCAA'S ALL-TIME WINS LIST The win over Washington moved Mike Montgomery ahead of former Maryland head coach Gary Williams for 27th on the NCAA’s all-time Division I coaching wins list with his 669th career victory. He is now six 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.
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 11 of its first 17 games this season. The Bears’ scoring average of 76.8 ppg. is up 9.6 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 MOVES UP CAL'S ALL-TIME SCORING CHART With 253 points already this season, senior Justin Cobbs continues to move up Cal’s all-time scoring list. He enters the Washington State game 27th in school history with 1,177 points in 84 career games in his third season at Cal. Cobbs is 138 points shy of 17th-place current Dir. of Operations Theo Robertson (1,315, 2006-10) and 360 points shy of 10th-place 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe (1,537, 2011-13).
LEAGUE'S ACTIVE ASSIST LEADER CLIMBS CAL'S LIST With 436 assists in 84 games at Cal, Justin Cobbs ranks fifth on the school’s all-time chart. The Pac-12’s active assist leader owns a 5.2 apg. career average, which ranks third in school history. He ranks second in the Pac-12 and 11th nationally with a 6.4 apg. average this season.
Cobbs has been selected to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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.
A LOOK AT WASHINGTON STATE Washington State enters Saturday’s game with an 8-9 overall record. The Cougars are 1-4 in the Pac-12 so far, coming off an 80-48 defeat at Stanford on Wednesday.
WSU downed Utah, 49-46, for its lone league win so far. The Cougars have also faced Colorado (L, 71-70 in OT), Arizona (L, 60-25), Arizona State (L, 66-47) in conference action. Saturday marks their fourth conference road game in six league tilts so far this season.
Washington State’s leading scorer, DaVonte Lacy (17.7 ppg.) has missed several games this year due to injury and has been ruled out against Cal on Saturday.
Redshirt freshman guard Que Johnson is averaging 10.1 ppg. He is coming off a career-high tying 21 points at Stanford on Wednesday.
Senior forward D.J. Shelton leads the team and is sixth in the Pac-12 with 8.1 rebounds per game.
Head Coach Ken Bone is in his fifth year at Washington State.