Basketball: Bears homeward bound

Cal’s second road win of the Pac-10 season (in five tries) sends the team back to Berkeley with the knowledge it has four straight games at Haas Pavilion.

The Oregon schools visit this week — first the Beavers, then the Ducks — and Cal (10-9, 3-4) has a legitimate shot at finishing the first round of the Pac-10 schedule above .500 at 5-4. Then two more at home against the Arizona schools.

“It feels a little better to get that win on the road, but what we have to do is bring that intensity at home,” junior forward Harper Kamp said. “We might relax a little bit at home, might be a little bit too comfortable at times. On the road we feel kind of threatened, backs against the wall, and that causes us to fight a little bit.

“We have to bring that same mentality home for this next stretch. That’ll be key if we can make a good run.”

FREE THROWS: The Bears were an ordinary 17 for 28 from the free throw line and missed four of six in the final 33.6 seconds, allowing USC to stay close after Cal took a 66-60 lead into the final minute. Brandon Smith missed a pair, then Kamp and Allen Crabbe each missed one of two.

“They did a good job of execute down the stretch and me and Allen each missed a free throw, and that can be key in a game like that,” Kamp said. “I’m just glad that didn’t come back to bite us because I would have been miserable if they had come back in that one.”

BAK IS BIG: Sophomore forward Bak Bak scored seven points, six of them late in the first half to key Cal’s first comeback. He also had three rebounds and helped defensively when Cal went big in a zone defense. It was his biggest contribution in a Pac-10 game.

“Bak is someone I know can come in and do his thing,” Kamp said. “He’s long and he’s talented. He’s just got to come in and┬áhave the right mindset and bring that energy like he did today. He did a great job of giving us a little boost.”

SPEAKING OF KAMP: The junior forward has scored at least 18 points in four consecutive games, the most consistently productive stretch of his career. Kamp, who had 19 against USC after scoring 21 at UCLA, is averaging 19.5 over the past four games.

He has scored in double digits eight straight games and 14 times in 19 games this season.

Jeff Faraudo

  • uh oh

    AZ: Barely lost on the road. Amazing rebirth.
    ASU: Won on the road.
    UW: Lost (to best team in Pac10 – fair enough)
    WSU: Won against a strong squad in OT – GREAT game!
    UCLA: Barely Lost on the road. Great finish.
    USC: Won on the road. Did enough to finish.

    The kids have looked pretty good in all these games, and I don’t know if it’s:
    a) Franklin is gone.
    b) The kids are getting it.
    c) Monty is a proving his worth, b/c on paper, we aren’t very good.

    But those results above are excellent for this squad.
    So, I’m seriously considering changing my name from Uh Oh to Uh Huh, as in YES!

    Certainly a combination of all the above, plus a few more reasons.
    Stay tuned…

  • uh oh

    Regarding ‘c’, I should say that Monty is proving his worth, ONCE AGAIN.

  • milo

    The Bears are in good position for a decent if not great finish. I really like that the frosh and bench are developing nicely and of course there’s Monty. His method might seem slow but it’s always sure-footed progress that tends not to back slide. Crabbe and Smith will continue to grow but just as important to the team are Solomon and Bak Bak. I hope to see Bak rotate in more, that would be nice.

  • K1W

    I love it when Bak Bak comes in. His effect is becoming like Jamal Boykin coming off the bench (before he was a starter). Well, maybe not quite (yet).

  • wehofx

    It’s a pleasure watching this team develop. Monty is hella coach.

    Go Bears!

  • Bob49

    I’ve felt for some time, in fact since he was a freshman, that Kamp is an unbelievably smart player, and he showed that in spades against USC yesterday. If he played last year and was healthy Cal would have been unbelievably good.

    Anyone believe, as I do, that if three “ifs” had come about, Cal would likely have beaten Duke last year —

    1) If Kamp played and was in the same shape as this year.
    2) If Amoke was not kicked off the team right before the NCAA’s (he will be playing for Cal State Fullerton next year).
    3) If Christopher was not hit in the eye, essentially making him useless for a good part of the first half.

    If Kamp and Amoke had played, Cal would have had a front line to choose from of Kamp, Sanders-Frison (though he was not nearly as good last year as he is this year), Amoke, Boykin, and Max. Robertson could also play some forward.

  • SteveNTexas

    Bob49 its difficult to do “if and if”. Maybe even if all your ifs came true Duke just would have played harder with the same result. I’d rather look to the future and hope Monty gets some decent recruits- because other pac 10 teams are loading up.

  • rollonubears

    #4 SDSU vs. #9 BYU in a battle of Mountain West, and national, powerhouses. I miss the old days. What happened to the Pac10?