The Golden Bears continue to get a lift from redshirt sophomore forward Omondi Amoke, who now averages 7.0 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds.
Amoke had a career-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench Tuesday against Jacksonville, after posting his first career double-double with 11 points and a personal-best 15 rebounds in 25 minutes against Ohio State. That’s a two-game average of 13.0 ppg and 11.5 rpg in barely 21 minutes per outing.
“He’s been a great spark,” teammate Patrick Christopher said. “He does it every day in practice. He knows what we need out of him, and if he just continues to do that, we’ll be all right. (We need) his enthusiasm and having an nose for the ball, and he’s scoring.”
Coach Mike Montgomery, acknowledging that Amoke’s natural position at just under 6-foot-7 is small forward, added, ”Omondi can do some things at that 4 position. He’s kind of a hybrid.”
With power forward Harper Kamp (knee) and small forward Theo Robertson (foot) both on the shelf again today when the Bears face Princeton at Haas Pavilion, expect Amoke to continue to get minutes. The Bears’ depth is being tested, but Amoke is providing energy and production.
PRINCETON SCOUT: The Tigers feature two starters with Bay Area connection, including San Mateo-Serra HS grad Dan Mavraides, a 6-3 junior guard, who leads the team with a 12.8 ppg scoring average and has reached double-digits three times in four games. Mavraides averaged 10.8 ppg as a sophomore. Marcus Schroeder, a 6-3 senior guard from De La Salle HS, averages 6.0 ppg. The Tigers run the so-called Princeton offense, developed by ex-coach Pete Carril. The offense features lots of ball and player movement out of a high-post alignment, 3-point shots and back cuts to the basket. “The guy who’s coaching played in that system,” Montgomery said of Princeton coach Sydney Johnson. “They do a great job of it. We’ll need to prepare for that so we don’t get embarrassed by the backcuts.”
JOHNSON’S FINAL GAME: The Princeton coach had his final game as a Princeton player against Cal, in a 55-52 Bears’ victory in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Johnson scored four points in the game, while future NFL star Tony Gonzalez had 13 for the Bears. Johnson is the brother of one-time Cal player Stevie Johnson, who played in the 1993 NCAA Tournament.
PRINCETON VS. THE PAC: The Tigers of the Ivy League are 7-10 all-time vs. the Pac-10, but have not beaten a team from the conference since their famous 43-41 upset of UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Princeton has lost three times since then to Pac-10 opponents, including to Cal 55-52 in the ’97 NCAAs and to Cal 70-58 in a preseason game in 2001-02.
Cal’s only other meeting with Princeton came in 1971-72, when the 18th-ranked Tigers beat the Bears 85-59 at the Kentucky Classic in Lexington.
Princeton is 3-1 vs. Stanford (none of them against Mike Montgomery teams), 1-2 vs. UCLA, 0-1 vs. USC, 1-2 vs. Washington State, 1-1 vs. Oregon and 0-1 vs. Arizona. The Tigers have never faced Washington, Arizona State or Oregon State.
ETCETERA: Jerome Randle has 1,285 points to rank 15th on Cal’s career list. He needs seven points to move past Dave Butler into 14th place. Patrick Christopher has 1,232 points to rank 17th. He is just four points behind Ryan Anderson . . . Randle went without a 3-point basket against Jacksonville on Tuesday for the second time this season after going without one just once in 33 games a year ago . . . Cal’s next game is Wednesday at New Mexico, which improved to 6-0 record after an 83-71 win at Hawaii on Friday night.
IN QUOTES: “Princeton runs Princeton. I said that in the locker room and Brandon (Smith) started laughing because that’s what they run at De La Salle.” _ Cal coach Mike Montgomery on the Princeton offense.
TIPOFF: 2 p.m.
TV: CSN California.
Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
PF Jamal Boykin 6-8 Sr. 9.2 6.0
C Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-8 Jr. 4.0 5.2
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-2 So. 6.2 3.0*
SG Patrick Chrstopher 6-5 Sr. 15.6 3.6
PG Jerome Randle 5-10 Sr. 20.2 3.0*
F Omondi Amoke 6-7 So. 7.0 7.4
C Max Zhang 7-2 So. 3.3 3.8
Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Patrick Saunders 6-7 So. 4.7 1.0
C Pawel Buczak 6-9 Sr. 6.8 2.8
SG Douglas Davis 5-11 So. 9.3 2.8
SG Marcus Schroeder 6-3 Sr. 6.0 3.0
PG Dan Mavraides 6-3 Jr. 12.8 4.8
C Zach Finley 6-9 Sr. 9.3 2.8
SF Ian Hummer 6-7 Fr. 5.8 4.0
* – Assists