Feb. 27, 2013
BERKELEY - Winners of five straight and seven of eight overall, California is entrenched in the race for the Pac-12 Conference regular-season title with three games remaining on its slate. The Golden Bears play their final three regular-season games at home, beginning with Thursday's matchup against Utah at 6:05 p.m. (PT) at Haas Pavilion.
Thursday's matchup will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein handling the play-by-play and Miles Simon serving as the analyst.
The Cal IMG Sports Network will carry the game on KSFS NewsTalk 910 AM in the Bay Area with Todd McKim (play-by-play) and former Cal standout, Jon Wheeler (analyst) on the call. The broadcast is also available online by clicking here. The pre-game show starts at 5:30 p.m.
Cal, 18-9 overall and 10-5 in the Pac-12, sits in fourth place in the conference standings, a game behind Arizona, Oregon and UCLA. The Bears won their only matchup against Arizona, swept Oregon and split their two games against UCLA this season. They currently own the tiebreaker against the Bruins should the teams finished tied atop the standings. Cal is the only one of the four schools in the hunt for the league title that plays the remainder of its regular-season games at home.
After securing its 10th win in league play this past Saturday in Corvallis, Cal is the only team in the Pac-12 Conference to post at least 10 wins in conference play each of the last five years, the first five years of the Mike Montgomery era.
The Bears are 6-1 in the month of February with a pair of victories over first-place and nationally-ranked Oregon, a win at nationally-ranked Arizona, a road win at Oregon State and home triumphs over UCLA and USC.
Cal's current five-game winning streak is its longest in league play this season. The Bears won six in a row in the Pac-12 last season, defeating Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Utah. It is the Bears' second-longest winning streak of the season overall, after opening the year with six-straight victories. It is the longest active streak of any team in the Pac-12, the second-longest among BCS conference schools (Georgetown has won nine-straight) and the 16th longest overall among Division I schools.
Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 in defense (giving up 63.9 ppg.) second in assists (14.9 apg.), third in blocked shots (4.8 bpg.) and fourth in steals (7.0 spg.) during league games. Junior Justin Cobbs leads Cal with 79 assists in the 15 games and his 5.3 apg. average in league action ranks second in the Pac-12.
Mike Montgomery, the NCAA's eighth-winningest active Division I head coach with 653 wins, is the fourth winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 270 league wins. He moved past Washington's Hec Edmundson (266 wins from 1921-1947) in the win against UCLA on Feb. 14. Montgomery is just six wins shy of matching the legendary Oregon State head coach, Slats Gill, for the third-most wins in Pac-12 history at 276. Montgomery became the fifth coach in Cal history to record 100 wins and the third fastest to achieve the milestone mark on Jan. 31 against Oregon State.
The junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs is the highest scoring pair in the Pac-12 with a combined average of 33.9 points per game. Crabbe leads the Pac-12 and ranks 27th nationally at 19.0 points per game, while Cobbs ranks 11th in the conference at 14.7 points per contest. The pair has combined to score 913 of Cal's 1,829 points (49.9 percent).
Allen Crabbe, who was named to one of the top-30 candidates for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award, enters the Utah game as the Pac-12's active career scoring leader and 10th in school history with 1,442 career points in 92 career games.
CRABBE CONTINUES TO CLIMB ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
ONE OF 30 CANDIDATES FOR NAISMITH AWARD
COBBS NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
It was the second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor this season for the junior who also captured the award on Nov. 26 after leading Cal to the DIRECTV Classic championship in Anaheim. The junior was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after scoring 58 points in three victories. The guard was 25-of-29 (.862) from the free-throw line and posted 17 rebounds, 13 assists and six steals in the tournament. Cobbs scored four of his 21 points in the final 71 seconds to lead Cal to the 73-70 win over Drake. He followed that with 17 points in the 68-57 win over Georgia Tech and 20 points in the 78-58 victory over Pacific
Cobbs has scored in double figures in 22 of Cal's 27 games this season with six games of 20 or more points in the scoring column.
A LOOK AT UTAH
Utah is the Pac-12's top defensive team, limiting opponents to 39.0 percent shooting from the field and allowing a league-low 62.2 points per game.
Over the last five games, Utah has held its opponents to 27.2 percent shooting from three-point range (28-of103), but is a minus-41 on the glass (28.6-36.8).
Senior guard Jarred DuBois (11.8 ppg.), senior center Jason Washburn (11.7 ppg.) and freshman forward Jordan Loveridge (11.7 ppg.) pace the Utes in scoring. Washburn and Loveridge also lead Utah on the boards, averaging 6.7 rpg. and 6.6 rpg., respectively.
Larry Krystkowiak is in his second season as the head coach at Utah. Krystkowiak played under Mike Montgomery at Montana.
CALIFORNIA-UTAH SERIES HISTORY