The Cuonzo Martin era begins Friday night with an exhibition game against Cal State East Bay. Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7 p.m. and admission is free.
“We’re excited about it, excited to play,” said Martin, hired away from Tennessee to replace Mike Montgomery, who retired after six seasons as coach at Cal. “Our guys have done a great job of working hard.”
The Bears return three starters from a 21-win team, led by senior forward David Kravish, who averaged 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds a year ago. Also back are junior guard Tyrone Wallace (11.4 ppg), and sophomore guards Jabari Bird (8.3 ppg) and Jordan Mathews (8.4 ppg).
Cal State East Bay is a Division II team that posted a 7-21 record last season.
Martin has not announced a starting lineup or settled firmly on a rotation, but said, ‘Hopefully these two (exhibition) games will help us” settle those questions.
“I think we have a strong seven. There’s an eighth guy right there who has really improved,” Martin said. “With that being said, if guys continue to improve through the course of a season, I’m not a guy who says, `Here’s eight guys. The other guys are not playing all season.’ ”