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Basketball: San Jose St. scouting report

By Jeff Faraudo
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 9:45 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

The Bears return to Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night to begin a four-game homestand against Bay Area rival San Jose State.

Once again, Cal is expected go without starting forward Richard Solomon, suspended last Friday for “for conduct contrary to athletic department and university values.” Solomon missed Sunday’s 64-63 loss at San Diego State in which the Bears were outrebounded for the first time this season.

But this is a game the Bears should — and must — win. They are 5-0 at home, the Spartans 0-4 on the road. San Jose State has never beaten Cal in Berkeley.

It will be interesting to see if Cal coach Mike Montgomery again uses a four-guard lineup, as he did at San Diego State, or gives freshman forward David Kravish his first start. I’m betting on the former because he may not be ready to remove returning starting PG Brandon Smith from the first unit.

Cal needs more from its seniors than it got at SDSU, when Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp combined to score 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting. It will be a big surprise if they both don’t play better.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS: Coached by George Nessman, a Cal grad and one-time Bears assistant, San Jose State is coming off a 17-16 record in 2010-11, its first winning record since 1993-94 . . . SJSU lost 91-89 in double-overtime at Weber State in its most recent game, and also lost in OT to USF . . . Junior guard James Kinney has been a revelation in his debut season with the Spartans. A native of Champaign, Ill., he spent a year at Ohio U, then one at Eastern Utah JC, and leads SJSU with an 18.1 scoring average. Over the past three games, Kinney is 18 for 31 from the 3-point arc and is averaging 27.3 ppg. He scored 30 vs. Texas-San Antonio . . . Sophomore PG Keith Shamburger also is an explosive scorer. He started all 33 games a year ago — more than any WAC freshman — and averaged 12.4 ppg, most by any Spartans’ freshman since freshman eligibility was reinstated in 1972. He scored 20 points or more five times . . . SJSU shoots just 40 percent from the field as a team and has been outrebounded by an average of 5.4 per game.

IS JABARI COMING? Not to Cal, mind you, but word is Jabari Brown has interest in San Jose State (among other schools) after leaving Oregon’s program two weeks ago. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Oakland, rated one of the nation’s premier high school prospects a year ago, gave up on the Ducks two games into his freshman season.

THE SERIES: Cal leads 18-3, including an 18-0 record vs. SJSU at home. This is the first meeting since the 2005-06 season, when Cal posted a 70-52 victory.

MISCELLANY:  San Jose State is converting 76.2 percent of its free throws, Cal 73.5 percent . . . The Bears lead the Pac-12 in FT and 3-point accuracy (44.4 percent) . . . Sophomore Allen Crabbe tops the conference with four 20-point games . . . Despite being outrebounded at SDSU, the Bears are second in the Pac in rebounding margin at plus-8.4 . . . Cal is 25-3 in non-conference home games under Mike Montgmery.

TIPOFF: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Haas Pavilion, Berkeley. Radio: 910-AM.

Cal (6-2, 0-0 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. 15.4 6.0
PF Harper Kamp 6-8 Sr. 9.5 5.8
SG Justin Cobbs 6-2 So. 11.8 4.2*
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. 13.5 5.1
PG Brandon Smith 5-11 Jr. 5.9 2.7*
Key reserves
F David Kravish 6-9 Fr. 5.1 5.3
F Bak Bak 6-9 Jr. 1.4 1.1
G Emerson Murray 6-3 So. 1.7 0.6

*Assists

San Jose State (3-5, 0-0 WAC)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
PF Wil Carter 6-8 Sr. 10.9 8.4
SF Jaleel Williams 6-6 Fr. 4.5 1.6
C Matt Ballard 6-9 Sr. 1.3 3.7
SG James Kinney 6-2 Jr. 18.1 3.3
PG Keith Shamburger 5-11 So. 14.6 5.1*
Key reserves
G Calvin Douglas 6-3 Sr. 9.5 2.3
G Lavanne Pennington 6-4 Jr. 5.4 3.3
G Chris Jones 6-4 Jr. 3.5 2.1

*Assists

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  • GoldenBV

    “It will be interesting to see if Cal coach Mike Montgomery again uses a four-guard lineup, as he did at San Diego State, or gives freshman forward David Kravish his first start. I’m betting on the former because he may not be ready to remove returning starting PG Brandon Smith from the first unit.”

    Interesting that you think the choice is between Kravish and Smith. Reading between the lines means that Cobbs has now earned the right to start.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    We are out of the rankings now and off the radar. The Pac 12 was ranked #8 among conferences but still may get a few bids. We have as good a chance as any and in some projections at least before the SDSU game we were an 8th seed.

  • Rollonubears

    I think we’ll end up being a 5 or 6 seed. Barring injuries and further suspensions.

  • eric

    If we win the Pac-12, we’ll be at least a 7 seed. I’d rater be a 10 seed than an 8 or 9.

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    I don’t see how we would end up a 5 or 6 seed.

    Two years ago, Cal finished first in the Pac 10 and got an 8 seed (facing No.1 Duke, the eventual champion, in the second round).

    Last year, Pac10 champ Arizona got a 5 seed.

    The Pac12 has *at most* as much respect as the Pac10 from two years ago. No way, we will end up with a 5 or 6 unless we run the table from here or lose maybe one more game (UNLV would be a must win, and Cal could afford maybe one loss in league play).

    The Mizzou and SDSU losses were supremely devastating. Scheduling good teams on the road but not at home could turn out to be a disaster.

    Also, falling out of the top 25 and national conversation means that Haas will continue to be empty, which is frustrating because the team does play very hard. They deserve better but Cal fans are lazy. (Don’t yell at me: I’ve been at every home game except Denver and will be there again tonight).

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Cal SHOULD win its next 7 games. IF that happens we will be 13-2 and ranked again. Missouri will be a top ten team all season long, so no shame in losing to them in KC. And, obviously, we were a rebound or free-throw short of beating sdsu on the road, a quality team. Beating unlv is essential, we need to have at least ONE QUALITY ROAD WIN. But other than that, there is not a difficult game left on the schedule except @uw and @furd. I expect this team to approach 25-28 wins, and that is not a reflection on how GOOD the Bears are, more a reflection on how BAD the competition is. I mean really, how bad are utah, asu, usc, ucla, wsu, colo, etc… The Bears SHOULD win the conference and SHOULD get a decent (4-6) seed, if they can get to something like 27 wins, which doesn’t look TOO difficult. Go Bears!

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    @BlakeStreetBear.

    I agree. A lot rides on UNLV. I’m sure Solomon will be back by then.

  • milo

    My guess on Solomon is Monty sits him through finals and he comes back for UCSB and UNLV, rolling into conference play.