A quickie scout on the Gauchos with just a 24-hour turnaround . . .
Good news for Cal (7-4) headed into the championship game of the 17th Golden Bear Classic — everyone is fresh. No one on the Cal roster played more than 29 minutes (Patrick Christopher) in Monday’s 85-51 opening-round win over Utah Valley, and forwards Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin were on the floor just 22 and 21 minutes, respectively.
In fact, Mike Montgomery made a point afterward of noting he was pleased to be able to utilize so many players because it’s good for team morale. Thirteen different Bears got into the game and 11 of them played at least nine minutes.
In a perfect world, Monty won’t need to play his regulars much more in tonight’s finale against UC Santa Barbara. The Bears then get just three days off before Saturday’s Pac-10 opener at home against Stanford.
UCSB SCOUT: The Gauchos (5-4) got past Furman 72-60 on Monday night, led by sophomores Michael Nunnally (24 points) and Orlando Johnson (21 points). The win snapped a four-game losing streak that spanned nearly a month.
The Bears know they will see a matchup zone defense and some trapping tonight. It won’t be the long, physical and athletic Syracuse zone, but Montgomery said the Gauchos will be stubborn about staying in it most of the night.
Cal will need to move the ball well and shoot the ball better from the 3-point arc than the 4-for-13 they converted against Utah Valley.
Sophomore Will Brew, formerly of St. Mary’s HS in Berkeley, runs the point for Santa Barbara. Senior Paul Roemer of De La Salle HS got his first start of the season against Furman, but scored just two points.
The Bears are 7-0 all-time vs. the Gauchos and it will be a substantial surprise if that doesn’t become 8-0.
MISCELLANY: Cal reached the final of its own tournament for the 17th straight time. The Bears are 11-5 in championship games . . . As noted in Monday night’s game thread, Jerome Randle was a bit farther away from 1oth on Cal’s career scoring list than I previously indicated. But after scoring 16 points against Utah Valley, the senior guard is 11th all-time with 1,392 points and needs just seven to move ahead of Keith Smith (1987-90) and into 10th . . . Patrick Christopher remains No. 15 with 1,333 points, just 10 behind Jackie Ridgle (1969-71). Chrstopher has led the Bears in scoring the past four games, averaging 20.3 ppg over that stretch.
TIPOFF: 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion, Berkeley.
Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Theo Robertson 6-6 Sr. 14.0 3.4
PF Jamal Boykin 6-8 Sr. 12.3 7.3
C Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-8 Jr. 2.7 3.8
SG Patrick Christopher 6-5 Sr. 16.3 5.4
PG Jerome Randle 5-10 Sr. 18.9 4.9*
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-2 So. 6.2 3.2
F Omondi Amoke 6-7 So. 5.8 6.5
C Max Zhang 7-2 So. 3.8 3.2
UC SANTA BARBARA (5-4)
Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF James Nunnally 6-5 So. 12.3 4.5
PF Jaime Serna 6-7 So. 7.7 4.6
SF Orlando Johnson 6-5 So. 16.6 5.8
SG Paul Roemer 6-1 Sr. 2.2 1.6
PG Will Brew 6-1 So. 4.2 3.1*
G James Powell 6-2 Sr. 10.1 1.9
F Sam Phippen 6-9 Jr. 5.3 3.2
F Jon Pastorek 6-10 Jr. 3.7 3.1
* – Assists