The 24th-ranked Bears did what was expected in a 77-56 season-opening victory over UC Irvine.
A few notes worth passing on:
– Guard Jorge Gutierrez had nothing more than a cramp with 4 minutes left. He’s fine. Same with freshman forward David Kravish, who came up limping in the second half. Coach Mike Montgomery said both will be ready for Sunday’s CBE Classic opener at Haas against George Washington U.
– The starters combined for 60 points, 31 rebounds and 16 assists, although none of them played more than 30 minutes. Seniors Gutierrez and Harper Kamp looked like the veterans they are, operating with calm and confidence. Allen Crabbe got open shots and knocked down 10 of them for a game-high 24 points.
– Montgomery said the Bears need much more from their bench, noting that performance slipped with certain combinations of players on the floor. He also said that’s the purpose of the non-conference schedule, to develop players and chemistry.
– The Bears played unselfishly, totaling 21 assists on 28 field goals. They also forged a 47-28 rebounding margin.
– Kravish, whose parents and younger brother traveled from Missouri to watch the game, had seven rebounds in 15 minutes.
Meanwhile . . .
– Two ex-Bears had strong debuts for their new team. Omondi Amoke had 16 points and eight rebounds in 12 minutes and D.J. Seeley scored 18 points in 17 minutes as Cal State Fullerton routed Redlands 118-68.
– Remember Kyle Wiltjer? The one who got away – stolen from Cal by Kentucky at the last minute — scored 14 points in his college debut as the Wildcats beat Marist 108-58.