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Basketball: Bears blown out in Vegas

By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 5:22 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

First a disclaimer: I was not at Cal’s game Friday afternoon at UNLV. Ben Enos from our staff made this trip, also covering the Saint Mary’s games Thursday and today. But . . .

The Golden Bears’ 85-68 loss to the No. 21 Runnin’ Rebels was much worse than the final score. Vegas led by 20 points at the half and by 27 with 8 1/2 minutes left.

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The wire service game story from ESPN.com.

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The outcome, coupled with Cal’s 39-point loss to Missouri last month, raises some serious questions about the Bears:

   — Can they compete on the road? They are 10-3 overall, but 1-3 in games outside Haas Pavilion.

   — Can they hang with high-level teams? In two tries against Top-25 opponents, they have been outscored by 56 points.

   — Are they capable of winning the Pac-12 title? A tougher question, in my opinion.

Given that the Pac-12 remains winless in 12 tries against Top-25 teams, asking whether there are any high-level teams in the conference is a fair question.

But there will be road games, nine of them to be exact. And teams such as Arizona and Washington will come at the Bears with the same quickness, length and athleticism they saw against Mizzou and Vegas.

And they were not competitive in either of these games.

UNLV led 46-26 at halftime as the Bears shot 8 for 27 and had six turnovers. They missed five layups and got clobbered on the boards.

For the game, sophomore Justin Cobbs scored 20 points, had five assists and just two turnovers.

But the Bears’ two leading scorers struggled. Jorge Gutierrez was 3 for 14 and scored 12 points; Allen Crabbe was 4 for 13 and had 13 points. That’s a combined 7 for 27.

Harper Kamp contributed 12 points and nine rebounds and David Kravish came off the bench with eight points and seven rebounds.

UNLV just had too many weapons. Anthony Marshall had 22 points and nine rebounds. Chace Stanback scored 15 and Mike Moser 14 to go with eight rebounds. Point guard Oscar Bellfield had 11 points and 11 assists.

Cal woke up Friday morning with a No. 66 rating, according to RealTimeRPI.com. It will be worse on Christmas Eve morning.

This game won’t help Cal’s potential NCAA tournament seeding and it doesn’t do anything to dispel the notion that the Pac-12 is a mess.

Right now, the Bears have more immediate concerns: In six days they open the Pac-12 schedule at home against USC. 

 

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  • rollonubears

    wow.

    size matters.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    THE GOOD; We are still the only Pac12 team to beat a top 50 team according to Sagarin. We are 1-3 vs Top 50 the rest of league is 0-25 or so. We may be the best team in the Pac 12 anyway.

    THE BAD: The Pac12 is horrid and probably doesn’t deserve 3 teams in the NCAA. We should get in with low seed.

    THE UGLY: We may not be ranked again for years. Next year will be worse and our poor recruiting (and most on here disagree) will keep us out of the NCAA’s next year.

  • RandyBear

    Hey Steve, where’d you buy your Crystal Ball? We’ve barely started THIS season ….. and you’re already telling us what’s going to happen NEXT year??? But I do agree that Pac-12 is weak and we’re a product of it.

  • eric

    Bad loss. Can’t compete against fast teams. That has been issue for the last few years.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Randy its a prediction-people predict into the future all the time- ied who may be elected next year etc.

    I don’t see good replacements for Kemp and Gutierrez – I actually predicted that the years after those two graduated would be weak as soon as I saw Rivals or Scout list us last in the (then ) Pac 10 recruiting.

    I can predict the rest of the year because we are as good as the best teams in the Pac 10 more or less. If some of them are much younger they may overtake us later in the season but we should be in the mix. Against really good teams or even the Top 50 we are not so good so if challenged in the NCAAs would be underdogs especially if we got through the first round.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Hey, this was a game where our best rebounder and post defender, Solomon, did not play, which costs us maybe 7-8 rebounds, and then UNLV does not outrebound us by 9. According to the TV announcers, 4-5 Cal players had the flu this week. Even though Jorge was running up and down the court, his shooting showed he was probably weak in the legs. He looked like he had lost 10 pounds in his upper body, and was playing on adrenalin alone.

    UNLV played as good as they could play. They played great defense, rebounded great, and in the first half, made everything they threw at the basket. In spite of all this, Cal made a valiant run in the 2nd half, for about five minutes, cutting the lead from 27 to 13.

    This game was nowhere near as bad a loss as the Missouri game. I think with everybody healthy, Cal can play with Vegas, and maybe beat them at Haas. Not so with Missouri.

  • GoldenBV

    Pretty lazy “reporting” not to mention the absence of Solomon and the substandard health of Jorge, Kamp, Kravish, and Crabbe.

    At full strength, I think it would have been a closer game.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    GoldenBV — Did not mention Solomon’s absence here because it has been well-reported. As far as the others, my scouting report file from the day before noted that all three were feeling fine. Can’t imagine Mike Montgomery making the excuses for his team that you are making.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Kevin Golden – ok add up every excuse you can think of and then understand – that UNLV let up on us after the game was out of reach. They could have easily won by 25-30.

  • gobears49

    By the end of the season, the Bears should be fine and could surprise people in the NCAA’s. Montgomery will mold them into a very good team, especially because their top seven players, as a group, have so much talent. Crabbe is a sure future pro, Gutierrez has an excellent shot at it, and Kamp should surely be a solid European player, if he wants to play there. On the bench, Cobbs is a potential star and Kravish is good now and is only going to get better with time. I don’t see anyone in the league having the talent that Cal has with their top seven.

    The big surprise is that Kamp is playing worse than he did last year. I seem to recall he was bothered by something before this season started and nobody has followed up on that to see if he has fully healed. He does have a history of major injury problems.

    I agree that the cupboard will start to get bare after this year and if Crabbe leaves early after this year or next, the lack of good recruiting is really going to catch up fast on Cal. Great coaching can only get you so far.

  • Bears

    Really surprised Jorge has played so poor on the road. Need our seniors to be consistently strong, come on.
    Crabbe needs to toughen up, guy looks soft. We need some attitude and toughness. Where did our grit go?
    Terrible loss and very concerned.

  • rollonubears

    Crabbe is probably still suffering from the concussion. We need some big guys.

  • Yoda

    Jeff, Monty wouldn’t and shouldn’t make excuses but he couldn’t even start Kravish because Kravish has been ill. Jorge and Crabbe both looked off and missed the last game because of the flu. I think it’s pretty obvious they weren’t in the best shape to play the game. And Solomon would have helped.

    However, we have problems against deep athletic teams who push the pace. One problem is that the Bears got sucked into rushing things. When they actually ran their offense they got good looks. Didn’t necessarily knocke them down, but got them. The other thing is that UNLV is actually an underrated team as was Missouri earlier this year.

    All the questions you raised were legit.

    Steve, the Bears have a highly ranked replacement for Jorge coming in next year, though I don’t know that anyone can really replace that guy exactly. As for whether there’s a replacement for Kamp, we won’t know that until the spring signing period but it’s definitely an issue. And actually it’s more correct to wonder who will replace Kravish as the backup in that role right now, as he’s going to be a very good player. We need depth at the big spots though, no doubt.

  • rotfogel

    Can Cal please recruit the Bay Area so we can get some good players. Stop going to Montana and Maine and concentrate on THE FREAKING BAY AREA!!!

  • Kevin Thomas

    GoBears49 – I wouldn’t be that worried that Crabbe will leave early. In my mind, he is not a sure future NBA player. He is a very good outside shooter, but his shot suffers when he doesn’t get his feet set. He is not quick enough to get open for his shot against good defenders. He does not have an aggressive drive to the basket where he can finish strong. He is developing a floater and a short range pull up jumper, but they are not dependable shots yet for him. He is not much of a passer, and has few assists. He is probably not tall enough to play the wing in the pros, so he will have to play guard, and he doesn’t yet have the ball handling skills for that.

    All that being said, he has doubled his rebounding output from last season, and he has become a lot better defensive player. He is a very good player, but needs to keep working hard, if he wants to get to the NBA level.

  • rob bear

    First of all, who cares whether the conference is tough or not. A PAC 12 Title is a PAC 12 Title and the Bears will WIN IT THIS YEAR. We will be fine. If anything, what the non-conference schedule has painfully displayed is that we are thin in numbers and cannot afford injuries or shady behavior as with Solomon this year or Amoki last year. With Crabbe, Jorge, Kamp, Solomon, Smith, Cobbs and Kravish, we will be fine. Buy your tickets to the Staples Center NOW! We will be the #1 seed and win our second title in the past 3 years! GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Rob Bear – ddi you go to Cal during the drug days?

    WHo cares if the conference is bad? Duh that relates to how many berths we get in the NCAAs and how high we are seeded.

    LOL the Pac12s 1-27 or so record vs the Top 50 demonstrates we are “thin”?

    Seriously Rob pot ought to be legal but stay away from the other stuff.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Did you really just make fun of someone while using ‘duh’ and ‘LOL’ in one post?

    Nice.

    I suppose over at IU that duh and LOL are the best words in all of college sports, but please stop mentioning IU nobody cares..

    ————–
    We won’t be ranked next year because of this year???? Makes no sense.

    ————–

    Tough loss and we should temper expectations but Monty’s teams always improve and I still think we are conference favorites. Go bears.

  • jim crow

    Can’t disagree with Faraudo’s point about our ineptitude to this point on the road.

    We will know considerably more about this team after the first four games of the year:

    Can we sweep the LA schools at Haas? As bad as both have played, our recent debacle at UNLV and the loss at SDSU are reasons for concern.

    Can we win on the road against either team in Oregon? Our road record to this point has to make a Cal fan nervous.

    Everyone, including Montgomery, is going to make predictive errors. However, his early statements about his feeling better about our depth up front, as opposed to the guard position, have certainly not borne out.

    I would say, even were Solomon healthy, we are too thin virtually everywhere.