Nov. 10, 2012
California Game Notes
BERKELEY - With a strong cast returning that includes its leading scorer and rebounder and three starters overall from last season, California eyes its sixth-straight postseason berth as it opens the 2012-13 season Sunday at 7 p.m. against CSU Bakersfield at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears and Roadrunners will play in front of a nationally-televised audience with JB Long (PxP) and Ernie Kent (analyst) set to call the action on the Pac-12 Networks. The season opener is available through the Cal IMG Radio Network on
NewsTalk 910 AM with Todd McKim (PxP) and former Golden Bear Jon Wheeler (analyst). The broadcast is also available through CalBears.com/All-Access.
Cal welcomes nine returning lettermen overall to its 15-member squad, including the three-member senior class of guard Brandon Smith and forwards Bak Bak and Robert Thurman.
Offensively, Cal returns 63.6 percent of its scoring from a season ago, led by 2011-12 All-Pac-12 honorees Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs and David Kravish.
Crabbe, a first-team all-conference selection last season, returns to the lineup after leading the squad with 15.2 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per contest and 83 three-point field goals made a year ago. His three-point field goals total led the conference and was the second-most in a season in school history.
Joining Crabbe in the Bears' backcourt is Cobbs, who excelled in his first season as a Golden Bear last winter. The 6-2 guard was a Pac-12 honorable mention selection after leading Cal and ranking third in the conference with 169 assists. Following a 2010-11 season where the Minnesota transfer redshirted due to NCAA transfer rules, Cobbs earned a starting role in the ninth game of the season. He averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 assists per contest. Cobbs also contributed from beyond the arc, shooting .413 and was a solid defender with 35 steals.
An all-conference player as a freshman, Kravish looks to build on his standout first-year where he led the team with 41 blocks - the third-most by a freshman in school history - and averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. An off-season under head strength and conditioning coach Scott Thom has produced an additional 20 pounds of muscle on the forward's 6-9 frame.
Cal, which has advanced to the postseason all four seasons under head coach Mike Montgomery, reached the NCAA Tournament last season for the third time in the past four years. The Bears posted 24 victories and finished second in the Pac-12 Conference.
Montgomery begins his fifth season in Berkeley 15 victories shy of 650 wins in his stellar career that spans more than three decades. The Bears have finished in the top-four in the Pac-12 standings each of their first four years under Montgomery and have enjoyed the best four-year stretch - 88 overall victories and 47 conference wins - in more than 50 years.
CRABBE NAMED TO WOODEN AWARD LIST
Junior guard Allen Crabbe was named to the Preseason Top 50 list for the John Wooden Award for the second-straight season by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Nov. 8.
Allen is one of just nine current players in the country named to the list in consecutive years. He is one of four Pac-12 players - Arizona's Solomon Hill, Washington State's Brock Motum and Colorado's André Roberson were the others - on the list, chosen by college basketball media members.
A First Team All-Pac-12 selection last season, Crabbe led Cal in scoring (15.2 ppg.), rebounding (5.7 rpg.), defensive rebounding (4.0 rpg.), three-point field goals made (83), three-point field goals attempted (208) and free-throw percentage (.843) in 2011-12. He ranked among the Pac-12 leaders in three-point field goals made (first), free-throw percentage (second), defensive rebounding (fifth), scoring (sixth), three-point field goal percentage (10th) and rebounding (14th) as a sophomore. The guard scored in double figures in 28 games, with 20 points or more in seven contests. He enters the 2012-13 season just 70 points shy of the prestigious 1,000-point milestone for his Cal career.
THE ANALYSTS TAKE ON CRABBE
- CBSSports.com college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman rates Crabbe the 12th-best shooter in the nation.
- CBSSports.com ranks Crabbe one of the top 100 players in the nation
- Bruce Pascoe of The Sporting News rates Crabbe the top shooter and one of the top-five players overall in the conference
- ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil states "Crabbe is one of the top returning scorers and along with teammate Justin Cobbs, serve as a 1-2 punch of optimism for the Golden Bears this season
- Percy Allen of The Seattle Times, Bob Clark of the Eugene Register-Guard, Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune and Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic each have Crabbe as the best shooter in the Pac-12 Conference.
FROM THE LINE
Crabbe has established himself as one of the team's top free throw shooters. He has attempted 181 free throws in his first two seasons in Berkeley, converting 149 of those attempts. The guard enters his junior season with an 82.3 free-throw percentage, which ranks sixth on the school's all-time list.
COBBS RETURNS AS ONE OF LEAGUE'S ASSIST LEADERS
Junior guard Justin Cobbs enters his second season with the Golden Bears after earning Pac-12 Honorable mention recognition last year. The 6-3 guard, who transferred from Minnesota made his debut with the Bears after sitting out the 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer regulations. He earned a starting role eight games into last season and finished the year with a 12.6 points-per-game average. Cobbs was the Bears' assist leader and ranked third in the Pac-12 Conference overall in assists with 169 on the season for a 4.9 assists-per-game average. His 169 assists was the ninth-most in a season in school history.
KRAVISH LOOKS TO BUILD ON FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN
After a 2011-12 season where David Kravish earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman team, the 6-9 forward looks to build on each of his totals from a year ago. He added 20 pounds to his frame in the off-season and looks to become a bigger presence in the post. As a freshman, Kravish started 24 games and averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds. He recorded 41 blocks - the third-most by a freshman in school history - ranked ninth overall and second among freshmen in the Pac-12 Conference. Kravish's .594 field-goal percentage (98-of-165) was the highest among Cal's regular starters last season.
SOLOMON EYES RETURN TO LINEUP
Junior forward Richard Solomon started eight of the first 13 games where he averaged 6.0 points and 6.2 rebounds to go along with 16 blocks. After ending his season pre-maturely in 2011-12, the forward is eyeing a return to the lineup in 2012-13. In his first game back at Haas Pavilion since Jan. 14, 2012, Solomon scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action in the Bears' exhibition game against San Francisco State on Tuesday.
SENIOR TRIO LOOKS FOR ANOTHER LEAGUE TITLE
The senior class of guard Brandon Smith and forwards Bak Bak and Robert Thurman will provide veteran leadership for the Bears. Smith is one of Cal's top guards with strong perimeter play, while Bak and Thurman are a big part of the Bears' post presence. Each was a member of the 2009-10 team that won the league title. Smith played in 26 games that season, while Bak saw action in eight contests. Thurman redshirted after transferring from Norwich University.
SHARP-SHOOTING KREKLOW WILL MAKE CAL DEBUT
Sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow is expected to make his California debut early in the 2012-13 season. The Missouri transfer sat out last season due to NCAA transfer regulations after leaving the Tigers' program following the 2009-10 season. He played in 32 games as a true freshman at Missouri, averaging 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per contest for the Big 12 school. At Missouri, 13 of Kreklow's 22 field goals were from three-point range. Kreklow underwent surgery on his foot during the pre-season with a 6-8 week recovery time period.
BEARS WELCOME FIVE-MEMBER FRESHMAN CLASS
A talented five-member freshman class arrives in Berkeley this season, providing strong depth to the Bears' lineup. Three of the top scholastic players from the Golden State last season - Bakersfield's Tyrone Wallace, Los Angeles' Kahlil Johnson and Del Mar's Garrett Galvin - will look to add depth to Cal's perimeter. Colorado standout forward Kaileb Rodriguez and Carlsbad, Calif. 7-1 center Geoffrey Frid will add to the Bears' presence in the paint. Wallace and Johnson each saw time in Cal's exhibition victory over San Francisco State on Tuesday. Wallace recorded three points, three rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes, while Johnson registered one rebound and was 0-of-2 from the field in eight minutes.
ROBERTSON RETURNS TO BEARS
Theo Robertson, who was a standout forward for California from 2005-10, re-joins the Golden Bears' program as a graduate manager this season. Robertson starred for Cal from the 2005-06 season through the 2009-10 campaign where he was a two-year captain and voted the team's Most Valuable Player as a senior on the Golden Bears' 2010 conference championship squad. Robertson completed his career with 1,315 career points, good for 16th on the program's all-time scoring list. He is Cal's all-time leader in career three-point field goal percentage at .440 (154-of-350) and is among the school's career leaders in three-point field goals made (seventh), three-point field goals attempted (10th) and games played (seventh with 125). The forward, who was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection as a senior, was limited by injury during his career in Berkeley where he underwent three separate hip surgeries and was forced to miss the entire 2007-08 season.
Robertson completed his undergraduate bachelor of arts degree in social welfare in 2010 with a 3.10 cumulative grade point average. While training for the NBA draft, he suffered his third hip injury that required immediate surgery.
In his new role, the former student-athlete will assist with all facets of the program from a competition and academic standpoint, while working towards his master's degree at Cal.
DeCUIRE ELEVATED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH
Travis DeCuire, who has served as an assistant men's basketball coach for the Golden Bears the past four seasons, was elevated to associate head coach prior to the season.
A part of Montgomery's coaching staff since his arrival in Berkeley prior to the 2008-09 season, DeCuire has helped guide the Bears to 88 victories and a Pac-12 championship over the past four seasons. He has helped develop several all-conference standouts, including the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle, the 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe, and the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Jorge Gutierrez. The Bears have reached the postseason all four years with DeCuire on staff.
CAL PICKED THIRD IN PAC-12 PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
The ARIZONA Wildcats were picked to finish first in the 2012-13 Pac-12 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-12 men's basketball. Arizona, led by senior All-Conference forward Solomon Hill (12.9 ppg/7.7 rpg), tallied 15 first-place votes and just narrowly edges out UCLA. The Bruins, guided by redshirt-junior forward David Wear (10.2 ppg/6.3 rpg), earned 16 first-place votes and is tabbed for second. California rounds out the top three, while earning three first-place votes.
CRABBE, COBBS LEAD CAL PAST SF STATE IN EXHIBITION
Junior guards Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs combined for 50 points to lead the California men's basketball team to an 89-80 victory over San Francisco State in an exhibition contest Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Haas Pavilion. Crabbe led the way with 28 points, including four three-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Cobbs poured in 22 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line. Both guards recorded five assists in the contest.