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Basketball: Overnight reflections on Detroit win

A few quick thoughts and observations in the aftermath of the Bears’ 95-61 win over Detroit:

– In a span of 8 minutes, 55 seconds early in the second half, the senior twosome of Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson combined for 28 straight Cal points. All by themselves. Fourteen apiece. When the offense is flowing like that, the Bears are pretty good.

– Mike Montgomery talked afterward about how much better the offense functions when the ball moves quickly. That will be critical next Thursday when the Bears face Syracuse and its famous zone defense. Too much dribbling against the Orange won’t work.

– Robertson was 3-for-4 from 3-point range in the game, but far more encouraging was his willingness to take the ball to the basket and either score or draw fouls. Montgomery said a few weeks ago that Robertson was physically back to 100 percent, but the final step in his recovery from off-season hip surgery was having the confidence to play aggressively without worry that he’d re-injure himself. We saw that in this game.

– Jerome Randle carried the team offensively in the first half, scoring 16 points. He finished with 22 and now has 1,224 for his career, moving him into 17th place on Cal’s all-time list. Christopher has 1,185 points, tying him with Gene Ransom for 20th place.

– Randle is 22-for-23 from the free throw line in two games.

– Center Markhuri Sanders-Frison ran into foul trouble that limited him to 16 minutes, but twice the left-hander scored over a taller defender near the hoop. He had six points, six rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot and didn’t turn the ball over.

– Two nights after appearing timid and tentative against Murray State, Max Zhang came off the bench and played with some spark. The sophomore center had seven points and four rebounds in 14 minutes — all career highs.

– Monty said no idea yet whether junior forward Harper Kamp’s knee will allow him to play at Madison Square Garden next week.

Jeff Faraudo

  • rollonubears

    Solid second half. MSF kinda got hosed on a few foul calls with his body perfectly still and his hands in the air. Hopefully the foul trouble thing isn’t a big issue. Max took some initiative. Didn’t look like the deer in headlights. Monty’s got this team looking a little better every day. It’d be nice to beat Syracuse and at least compete with the winner of the Ohio State/NC game. Ideally, they go in there and win it all. Would do wonders for their confidence. Go Bears!

  • BearItAll

    Great post, thanks JF!

    The news on Max Zhang is promising, of course I hope Monty keeps developing all our players, but he would be a huge (pun intended) asset coming off the bench…

    Everything looks promising, I’m excited to see them play against Syracuse next week, to see how we stack up against another likely tourny team…

    Any word on how Jorge played last night? He looked really good in the Murry St game.

    Go Bears!

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Jorge hardly played Wednesday night, BearItAll, because of foul trouble. He entered the game with 13:55 left in the 1st H, then in a span of 4 seconds picked up two fouls and was on the bench at 12:40. Did not play rest of the half. Returned with 14:53 left in 2nd H and had his fourth foul by 9:43. In other words, played 6 min, 25 seconds and had four fouls. By the time he came back again, it was garbage time. He will have an impact most games, but really did not in this one.

  • rollonubears

    i felt like there were just a ton of ticky/tack calls. its like the officials can’t believe the quickness and intensity of the bears, so they think “they must be fouling. they must be traveling” and they just blow the whistle. jorge is incredible. go bears!

  • Calbear91

    Thanks Jeff, great post. I was really impressed by the second half surge and it sure looked like Monty told the guys to put the hammer down. They just took over. And yes, Max was a different player. Very hopeful.

    What is the latest word on Jorge’s foot injury? Is he still limited by it? Seems he is not playing with quite the same zeal and speed he did last year.

    Go Bears!

  • milo

    Go Bears!