Basketball: Howland impressed by Bears

We asked Ben Howland this week about Cal, and the UCLA coach said all sorts of nasty things.

Right. Actually, he was all hearts and flowers, like we’d expect anything else a couple days before the teams were about to meet.

“Cal is obviously very impressive,” Howland said. “You knew when Mike Montgomery took the job that he was going to do a great job. (Theo) Robertson, I remember we played up there (in 2005-06), he hit a (3-point) shot to put the game into overtime (UCLA won). Having him come back, he’s been tremenodus.

“Obviously, the two guards, (Jerome) Randle and (Patrick) Christopher are very very good. Randle causes a lot of problems because he’s so quick and can beat you off the dribble, but he can shoot it so well with range. Christopher is no surprise, because he really came on strong as a sophomore. I saw him this summer at the LeBron camp. He’s a very good player with a bright future beyond the college level.

“They play good defense, take good shots, run a lot of good stuff and have really, really competitive kids.”

Jeff Faraudo