Basketball: Hartford scouting report

Richard Solomon has completed his first set of final exams at Cal.

“I’m just glad they’re over with,” the freshman forward said. “It’s a big adjustment coming from high school to college.”

As the Bears prepare to face Hartford on Tuesday night in their final pre-conference, the adjustments continue for Solomon.

“I think as the season goes on, I’m picking something up every game — how to get through screens, how to set screens, just the little things that help you to win,” he said.

“In high school, you don’t really have to do anything — just show your talent. I feel like I’m getting better every game.”

Junior Harper Kamp sees daily progress from the Bears’ sixth man.

“He’s picking up a little bit more every game, every practice. That’s what you have to do as a freshman,” Kamp said. “I remember my freshman year, and things are never quite what you expect. You have to be able to adjust. He’s really done a great job with it.”

Coach Mike Montgomery said Solomon is “capable,” but he needs more from him. He accepts that it won’t come overnight.

 “He’s been a kid that a dunk will carry him for 10 minutes, rather than (moving on to) the next play,” Montgomery said. “He’s probably not been in a situation where taking a charge and making a pass and running an offense and setting a screen — that whole thing hasn’t been part of what he’s had to do over and over again.

“That’s where he needs to get, where he can understand how he can fit into a team with all five people working together.”

Solomon said he’s appreciative of the help he gets from his older teammates, including Kamp.

“Even in practice, if I don’t do something, he’ll let me know,” Solomon said. “Harper lets me know every time.”

“I’m sure,” Kamp interrupted, “I annoy him half the time.”

Solomon laughed.

 HARTFORD SCOUT: The Hawks of the America East Conference are 2-8 on the season, winless in six road games, and are rated No. 276 nationally by the Sagarin computer. They are 17-56 since the start of the 2008-09 season, just 4-35 on the road . . . Hartford may be the smallest team Cal will face all season, averaging 6-4 and 186 pounds through its usual starting lineup . . . Senior guard Joe Zeglinski is coming off a career-high 31-point performance in Hartford’s 78-74 double-overtime loss to Monmouth. That was on Dec. 11, and Hartford has not played since . . . Senior forward Morgan Sabia is a graduate of Sir Francis Drake High in San Anselmo, where he was the Marin County Player of the Year as a senior. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in a 69-56 loss at Stanford two seasons ago in his only previous return to the Bay Area . . . The Hawks rely heavily on the 3-point shot, having attempted an average of 29.6 per game. They are converting just 26.7 percent from deep, 36.2 percent overall from the field . . . Five of their losses came by a total of just 14 points, but in a 60-38 loss to Florida State, they trailed 30-29 at halftime then shot 4 for 34 in the second half (1 for 22 from 3-PT) in a nine-point half . . . Hartford has been a Division I program only since the 1985-86 season. 

THE SERIES: Cal and Hartford are meeting for the first time. The Hawks are 0-2 all-time vs. the Pac-10, losing to Oregon and Stanford. Cal is 4-0 all-time vs. teams from the America East Conference, winning by an average margin of 26.3 ppg.

ETCETERA: A victory tonight will be the 600th of Montgomery’s career . . . Cal’s strength-of-schedule was rated No. 1 in the country, according to Monday’s version of the collegeRPI.com . . . The Hawks’ greatest former player is Vin Baker, who scored a school-record 2,238 points from 1990-93, then totaled nearly 12,000 points during a 13-year NBA career.

TIPOFF: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Haas Pavilion, Berkeley. TV: None. Radio: 910-AM.

Cal (6-5)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
PF Harper Kamp 6-8 Jr. 12.6 5.5
C Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7 Sr. 9.2 8.2
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 Fr. 7.7 4.8
SG Gary Franklin Jr. 6-2 Fr. 8.3 1.9*
PG Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Jr. 12.8 3.7*
Key reserves
F Richard Solomon 6-9 Fr. 4.3 4.4
G Brandon Smith 5-11 So. 3.7 2.8*
G Nigel Carter 6-3 Jr. 3.1 1.3


Hartford (2-8)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
PF Morgan Sabia 6-8 Sr. 14.5 6.9
SF Anthony Minor 6-6 Sr. 6.4 4.2
SF Milton Burton 6-5 Sr. 10.7 7.3
SG Clayton Brothers 6-1 Jr. 4.3 2.9
PG Joe Zeglinski 6-0 Sr. 15.9 3.0*
Key reserves
C Genesis Maciel 6-9 Jr. 6.0 2.4
G Mustafaa Jones 6-1 Fr. 1.8 0.7
G Joe Nardi 6-1 Fr. 0.4 0.9


Jeff Faraudo

  • rollonubears

    I really like Solomon. Raw, with incredible potential. He may end up being a guy that leaves after his Jr year. We’re in desperate need of a big man for next season, though.

  • Uh Oh


    I like Solomon, too, and agree with you that he has significant potential. But let’s wait until the guy breaks into the starting lineup, or averages more than 15 minutes or 4.3 points per game before we make bold predictions of an NBA career.

    I always like to remind people, especially young people, that fewer than 50 college players get drafted each year, and not all of them ever make an NBA roster. Do the math. In the Big 6 conferences, for example, there are 73 basketball teams, each with 5 starters.

    Think about Leon Powe. He came in and starred at Cal as a freshman, yet can barely hang on to a roster spot as a pro.

    In other words, you gotta be GREAT. Rather than dreaming of the NBA, most kids like Solomon should continue to work on “taking a charge and making a pass and running an offense and setting a screen”, as Monty says, so that they can merely be DECENT college players.

    Combine that with Soloman’s height and bounce and he might even become a GOOD college player.