Basketball: Missouri scouting report

Well, it would have been interesting to see how the Bears might have fared against Notre Dame, a big, physical team that forged a ridiculous 21-5 halftime lead against Cal in Orlando, Fla., last year.

 “You mean the ugliest game in the history of college basketball?” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey quipped last week. “We came out after halftime and Mike (Montgomery) said, `You know, Mike, we usually don’t shoot it this well.’

“They were young last year and we were old. I’m very, very impressed this year with them. I think they’re a very very confident group”

The 20th-ranked Bears should be confident after their 70-46 dismantling of Georgia in Monday’s first round of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Now they face a quick and athletic team in 21st-ranked Misouri, which obliterated Notre Dame 87-58 in the early semifinal.

This will be Cal’s toughest challenge of the non-conference schedule. The Tigers are older, better and faster than Georgia.

Brey had serious concerns about the Tigers’ four-guard offense prior to their meeting.

“They spread you out. They’re so good off the dribble and finding each other,” Brey said. “They’re so quick. That’s the ultimate test: us taking care of the ball against their speed.”

The Irish failed the test miserably. Cal gets its chance Tuesday night.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Missouri is 4-0 under first-year coach Frank Haith, who came from Miami after Mike Anderson left to work for Arkansas, his alma mater . . . The Tigers are a guard-oriented squad led by senior Marcus Denmon, who scored 26 points in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame. An All-Big 12 pick a year ago, Denmon is shooting 52.6 percent from the 3-point line and 90 percent from the FT line . . .Wing Kim English is shooting 15 for 23 from the 3-point arc so far, helping the Tigers convert 47.9 percent as a team through four games . . .  Brothers Phil and Matt Pressey, also starting guards, are the sons of ex-NBA standpoint Paul Pressey . . .  The club’s only starting big man is senior Ricardo Ratliffe, a 6-8, 240-pounder who showed a nice jump hook against Notre Dame . . . Missouri is outrebounding its foes by 7.0 per game, is plus 6.3 turnovers per outing and is holding opponents to 28.8 percent from the 3-point arc . . . They have won by an average margin of 23.3 ppg, and by at least 15 points in every game.

THE SERIES: Missouri leads 4-2, including a 93-66 rout of the Bears in Columbia, Mo., in 2008-09, Mike Montgomery’s first season at Cal.

MISCELLANY: Cal improved to 8-10 all-time vs. the Southeastern Conference with its semifinal win over Georgia. The 24-point margin was the Bears’ second-biggest ever against an SEC team . . . Missouri assistant coach Ernie Nestor spent three years on ex-Cal coach Lou Campanelli’s staff in the late 1980s . . . Missouri sixth man Michael Dixon attended Lee’s Summit West HS, rival to Cal freshman David Kravish’s alma mater of Lee’s Summit North . . . Cal has led by an average of 18.3 points at halftime of its first four games . . . The win over Georgia snapped a six-game losing streak by the Bears in the state of Missouri dating back to 1982 . . . Cal has won its first four games by at least 17 points for the first time since the 1952-53 season.

TIPOFF: 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo. TV: ESPN2. Radio: 910-AM. 

Cal (4-0, 0-0 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. 14.8 4.0
PF Harper Kamp 6-8 Sr. 11.3 7.0
PF Richard Solomon 6-10 So. 5.8 7.3
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. 15.3 6.5
PG Brandon Smith 5-11 Jr. 7.0 3.5*
Key reserves
G Justin Cobbs 6-2 So. 9.3 4.5*
F David Kravish 6-9 Fr. 6.3 6.8
G Emerson Murray 6-3 So. 2.8 1.3


Missouri (4-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
PF Ricardo Ratliffe 6-8 Sr. 11.8 7.3
SF Kim English 6-6 Sr. 15.3 5.3
SG Matt Pressey 6-2 Sr. 6.8 3.5
SG Marcus Denmon 6-3 Sr. 20.0 6.0
PG Phil Pressey 6-1 So. 14.3 3.5*
Key reserves
G Michael Dixon 6-1 Jr. 10.0 3.3
C Steve Moore 6-9 Sr. 2.8 2.8
F Kadeem Green 6-8 Fr. 2.8 2.5


Jeff Faraudo

  • c98

    Go Bears!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    That was a triple treat last night.
    1. Bears were on national tv
    2. They won big time
    3. Bobby Knight was the analyst.

    Knight predicted our backcourt might be too much for Missouri. At one point in the game he was saying with Smith playing so well, Gutierrez would be relieved of the burden of carrying the ball all the time and could come in and make super plays. The next play Smith penetrated and then dished off to Gutierrez who made a brilliant drive to the basket.

    Lots of fun. If Knight we have the edge – I believe him. He did say the team who makes the most mistakes will lose but that’s a given.

  • rollonubears

    Is Dick Vitale doing the color tonight? That would be so much nicer.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Rollon – yeah Rollon because it was Dick Vitale who said if he had to pick one coach to win one big game it would be “General Robert Montgomery Knight” Pete Newell said similar things.

    I know Knight is not popular on Berkeley boards, but he helped me out once and I saw both sides of him. Besides his IU teams won 3 NCAAs and were in something like 17 NCAAs in row.

    I’d like that for Cal.

  • CalBearister99

    I love Bobby Knight. The guy is honest, funny, graduated his kids and won basketball games. Quirky, sure, but what genius isn’t?

  • Esquire Joe

    I think it’s going to be Vitale. He’s their No. 1 color guy, isn’t he? Maybe it was because the Bears’ game was late local time last night, but Bobby sounded tired. It would be nice to have Vitale’s energy calling the game tonight.

    I hope this game against Mizzou is a good one. You have to think that Monty is going to find a way to force the Tigers into a half court game where Cal will have the advantage on the boards. I think if Harper outscores Jorge and Crabbe again tonight, the Bears win. If it has to be the guys on the outside shooting to keep them in it, this could be a long night.

  • Mike D

    It will be Knight doing the Cal game tonight…Usually the same announcers stay for the entire tournament. I doubt they would fly in a new pair just for tonight when they have a crew there.
    I thought Knight was excellent. His observations and knowledge are always spot on. He was a great coach and that has carried over to his job as an analyst. I really enjoy listening to him. He’s one of the few announcers out there where I feel I learn something from listening to him as opposed to most guys who just spew out a bunch of meaningless stats and try and create false hype…

  • Uh Huh!

    I’d be interested in hearing your personal ‘+’ Bobby Knight story. Or anyone else’s. Because the only other personal story I have from Bobby Knight is this:

    Indiana was playing at the Garden, about 20 years ago, and a friend was helping the operations of the tournament. It was his duty to inform the Indiana team that there were only so many minutes left in the halftime break. Indiana was losing and as my friend went to the locker room to say “5 minutes”, Bobby made an example of him. You see, Bobby was ripping his team good with profanities and such, yelling and screaming at them, extolling them to play better. Along comes this 20 year old, 6’6″ 250 pound kid with the dutiful time notification…

    “Don’t you ever f’ing interrupt my locker room!”, Bobby marched across the room and screamed in his face. A paw to the chest, and vicious slam of the door in his face, out he went. Now, my friend’s size meant that he didn’t get intimidated easily. But, this, he said, was like a huge fire breathing dragon. Bobby Knight, he pointed out, is his own mountain of a man.

    So, just add that to all the Bobby Knight criticism you hear in the media. If I ever heard one nice thing about the guy, I would listen.

    But I don’t think I will. Instead, I expect the only thing I’ll hear is that he has basketball insights. I need more than that to respect a person.

  • Uh Huh!

    This will be a whale of a game!

  • rollonubears

    I don’t think Dick will do both games, we we’ll probably get Knight.

  • rollonubears

    If we can get through this game, it’s conceivable to go 13-0 before entering pac12 play. We can beat UNLV and San Diego State on the road, I’d think. Regardless, we should be looking at 20 wins well in advance of the pac12 tourney, which will be a HUGE relief. Looking forward to this one tonight.

  • milo

    Cal needs to get Crabbe the ball and he needs 20+. If he does that and the rest of the crew do their usual job, Cal has a good chance.

  • jabes

    Knight was wearing a red shirt just because the Cal fans told him @ College Gameday a couple years ago not to wear red.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    UH Huh – Sure I’ll tell you my story with Bob Knight.

    In 1976 I was bored finishing my first year of law school at IU ( I went to Cal undergrad but wanted a different region of the country for law). I decided to challenge a state law that said one had to own land to hold office. I ran for county council and they wouldn’t put me on the ballot. I got an injunction and got on. Bobby Knight made some public comments favorable to my campaign and privately said “this guy has a lot of balls” I especially appreciate that because I was a liberal democrat and Knight was the opposite.

    I didn’t like Knights temper -ego- and now he could become defensive when challenged. ON the other hand he was always doing something for someone in need.

    Many people have both good and bad sides. I really appreciated his concern for academics, he got good kids and made them study. I think in all the years there only one kid got arrested= for being in a car where there was a joint- big deal.

    I’m happy to hear him do the play by play and announce Cal’s victory tonight. Knight has always liked Cal but that may be because of his friendship with Newell.

  • SeattleBear

    FWIW: Georgia beats ND 61-57

  • Uh Huh!

    thx, Steve.
    I’ll say this. He stands for certain things and many of those things are good ethics and morals. So, I can say I appreciate that. And when he stands for them, he stands for them!

    However, let’s also say that he stands for things that are not so admirable. HIs temper, his ego, his people skills are really low. And he really stands for things that are not admirable: his ego, his poor people skills…

    So, he becomes a polarizing character.

    I would suggest he take a slice of humble pie, use a bit of self deprecating humor. He’d be more effective, maybe wouldn’t have been FIRED from Indiana, maybe not have so many detractors.