Sophomore forward Richard Solomon — suspended the past two games — returns to action Sunday afternoon against Jackson State, still seeking its first win over a Division opponent since last March.
The Bears also expect forward Harper Kamp to return to form.
Kamp, the smart and steady fifth-year senior, is in the midst of a mini-funk. After starting the season by averaging 11.3 points and shooting 72 percent through four games, he has scored at just a 7.0 clip while shooting 35.3 percent the past five.
Kamp had six points in the one-point loss at San Diego State, then just four on Wednesday in a 45-point win over San Jose State. In both games, he was saddled with foul problems. Against the Spartans, he gave a rare glimpse of frustration.
Coach Mike Montgomery said after the San Diego State game that the Bears need more from Kamp. If last year is any indication, Kamp could break out soon.
He went through a three-game stretch early in 2010-11 when he averaged just 6.7 points and shot 8 for 23. Over the next three games, he averaged 13.3 and shot 18 for 29. Before the season was over, Kamp had scored 33 points against Arizona.
ABOUT THE TIGERS: Jackson State, which tied for second place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last year, is off to a rough start against a brutal schedule. The Tigers are 1-7 and their only victory was a 73-63 home decision over Concordia College, an NAIA school from Alabama. The Tigers have been outscored by an average of 28 points in six road defeats. They have lost to the likes of Florida, Baylor, Ohio State and Memphis, giving them a No. 2 strength-of-schedule rating, according to the Sagarin computer. But Jackson State is No. 304 in the Sagarin team ratings . . . The team’s best player is senior guard Jenirro Bush, who had seven games of 20 points or more last season, including a 31-point effort . . . Sophomore Kelsey Howard scored 17 points in the loss to Ohio State.
THE SERIES: Cal leads 1-0. The Bears beat Jackson State 117-74 on Dec. 5, 2007. Patrick Christopher scored 26 points and Ryan Anderson had 23 for Cal, which scored the third-most points in school history.
MISCELLANY: Cal is 10-0 all-time vs. teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, winning by an average of 21.9 points. Included among the 10 games was an unlikely five-game series from 1992-93 through 1996-97 in which the Bears won all five by at least 12 points, including the final two by 39 and 37 points . . . Just for fun, we looked it up: Cal hasn’t beaten back-to-back opponents by at least 40 points since the 1951-52 season, when it topped the Hilo All-Stars 95-41 and 102-48 in Hawaii, identical 54-point margins.
TIPOFF: 2 p.m. Sunday at Haas Pavilion, Berkeley. Radio: 910-AM.
Cal (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12)
|SF Allen Crabbe||6-6||So.||15.7||5.9|
|PF Harper Kamp||6-8||Sr.||8.9||5.9|
|PF David Kravish||6-9||Fr.||5.6||5.8|
|SG Jorge Gutierrez||6-3||Sr.||13.6||4.8|
|PG Justin Cobbs||6-2||So.||11.6||4.3*|
|G Brandon Smith||5-11||Jr.||5.7||2.9*|
|F Richard Solomon||6-10||So.||6.0||7.3|
|G Emerson Murray||6-3||So.||1.7||0.6|
Jackson State (1-7, 0-0 SWAC)
|SF Sydney Coleman||6-7||Fr.||3.1||4.3|
|PF Willie Readus||6-6||So.||8.0||4.0|
|SG Jenirro Bush||6-7||Sr.||13.4||4.1|
|SG Kelsey Howard||6-3||Fr.||13.8||4.9|
|PG Christian Williams||6-1||Jr.||8.4||2.6*|
|F-C Davon Jones||6-8||Jr.||3.4||3.4|
|G Keeslee Stewart||5-9||Fr.||3.3||1.8|
|G Derrell Taylor||6-5||Fr.||3.0||3.4|