Cal To Open With Alcorn State and Kennesaw State
BERKELEY – The Cuonzo Martin era at California will officially begin on Nov. 14 when the Golden Bears host Alcorn State at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
The opponents for Cal’s first two games and the entire field for the 20th annual 2K Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project were announced on Thursday. The Bears will host Alcorn State on Friday, Nov. 14 and Kennesaw State on Sunday, Nov. 16 at Haas Pavilion during the tournament’s regional rounds.
As previously announced, Cal will compete in the championship rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. Nov. 20-21. The Bears will face Syracuse on Thursday, Nov. 20 at approximately 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and will face either Texas or Iowa on Friday, Nov. 21.
Tickets for the regional round games of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Haas Pavilion are on sale through the Cal Athletics Ticket Office at 800-GO-BEARS (462-3277) or online on CalBears.com.
Tickets for championship round games at Madison Square Garden are on sale through Ticketmaster at 866-448-7849 or Ticketmaster.com.
Martin, who led Tennessee to the Sweet 16 last season before being introduced as Cal’s head coach in April, inherits an experienced unit that includes three returning starters from last season’s 21-win team. Leading the way is senior forward David Kravish, Cal’s top returning scorer (11.4 ppg.) and rebounder (7.7 rpg.). Kravish has started Cal’s last 88 games and enters the 2014-15 season just 30 blocks shy of Cal’s all-time record of 207 and just 107 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He is joined by returning starting guards Tyrone Wallace (11.3 ppg.) and Jabari Bird (8.5 ppg.). Cal’s deep backcourt also features 2014 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection Jordan Mathews (8.5 ppg.).
Cal has faced Alcorn State just once before, posting a 77-73 victory over the Braves on Dec. 13, 1980 at the Hoosier Classic, Bloomington, Ind. Cal and Kennesaw State have not previously matched up on the hardwood.
Alcorn State, out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, returns four starters from last season’s 12-win team, including forwards LeAntwan Luckett (15.1 ppg) and Octavius Brown (12.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg). The Braves are guided by head coach Luther Riley.
Kennesaw State, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, returns its top four scorers and seven players overall from last season. Highlighting the returnees for the Owls are senior guard Delbert Love (12.6 ppg) and junior forward Orlando Coleman (9.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Jimmy Lallathin is in his first season as the head coach at Kennesaw State.
This will be Cal’s third appearance in the 2K Classic. The Golden Bears also played Syracuse in the 2009 Championship Round of the tournament in Madison Square Garden, dropping a 95-73 decision to the Orange on Nov. 19. In the 2009 consolation game, Ohio State defeated Cal, 76-70, on Nov. 20. During the Regional Round of the 2009 tournament, California earned victories over Murray State (75-70) on Nov. 9 and Detroit (95-61) on Nov. 11 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Bears also appeared in the Regional Round of the 2004 tournament, posting a 78-61 victory over UC Riverside on Nov. 11 and dropping a 62-51 decision to Saint Mary’s on Nov. 12 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.For more information on the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, visit www.gazellegroup.com/events/wwp.