Basketball: Oregon State scouting report

The Golden Bears aren’t exactly full of themselves after posting a pair of wins over the L.A. schools at home to open the Pac-12. After all, they were just two more home victories for a team that is now 11-0 at Haas Pavilion.

Now the Bears try again away from home, where they are 1-3 (1-1 on a neutral floor, 0-2 on an opponent’s court). Cal plays Thursday night at Oregon State, whom they have dominated in recent years. But the Beavers are more anxious than ever to prove they’re a different team this season after a 10-2 non-conference record was dented by an 0-2 start to the Pac-12.

“Coach told us, `You guys haven’t done anything on the road yet.’ He told us straight out,” junior guard Brandon Smith said.  “As far as I’m concerned, we haven’t won a game on the road. So I think this will be a big step, these two games. We’ve got to climb over that hump.”

The Bears may get sophomore forward Richard Solomon back for the Beavers or Oregon on Sunday afternoon. Solomon was on the team plane Wednesday afternoon, and Montgomery said Monday he wouldn’t travel if there was no way he’d play.

So maybe the Bears’ top rebounder will play after missing four games with a stress reaction in his left foot.

Either way, Smith said the Bears’ confidence is growing.

“UCLA was picked to be No. 1 in the conference and due to a bunch of stuff they didn’t really have a great preseason. But they’re still UCLA,” Smith said.

“To handle them in the fashion we did, I think it sent a statement to us that, `You know what guys, we’re real contenders. We’re not a bunch of pretenders just hoping to get this done.’ We can (win) if we stay focused and execute.”

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Under fourth-year head coach Craig Robinson, the Beavers went 10-2 prior to the start of conference, their best start since 1989-90. OSU then lost 95-80 at Washington and 81-76 at Washington State to open the Pac-12 . . . The Beavers have started the same lineup all 14 games . . . Junior SG Jared Cunningham, formerly of San Leandro HS, leads the Pac-12 in scoring (17.0 ppg) and steals (2.9 spg). In November, Cunningham scored 35 points in a win over Hofstra, then 37 in an overtime victory over Texas three days later. “Cunningham’s a good player,” Montgomery said. “He’s explosive. He’s hard to guard. He’s so explosive the first step. He gets to the basket and rises up, He’s had huge games — he’s somebody you have to pay attention to.”

 OSU has switched from its steady diet of 1-3-1 zone defense to playing primarily man-to-man. “They’ll use the 1-3-1 zone some. I think (Robinson) is trying to establish them as a man team. That’s different,” Montgomery said. “He’s got different personnel. They play big. They’re physical.” . . . The Beavers lead the conference in scoring (82.6 ppg),  field-goal percentage (.494), steals (10.1) and turnover margin (plus-4.4) but are 10th in scoring defense (68.1).

THE SERIES: Cal leads 77-59 and has won seven of the past 10, and 29 of the past 34 meetings. The Bears won 87-76 last season at OSU in the most recent meeting. Allen Crabbe scored 26 points in that game and Jorge Gutierrez added 14 points and nine assists. In the Bears’ 85-57 win at Berkeley, Gutierrez had 16 points and 11 assists.

MISCELLANY: Cal is hoping to start 3-0 in the conference for the first time since 2008-09 — Mike Montgomery’s first season — when it opened 4-0 in the Pac-10, then finished 11-7 . . . Jorge Gutierrez needs three points to become the 40th Cal player to reach 1,000 for his career.

TIPOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday at Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore. Radio: 910-AM.

Cal (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. 15.9 5.7
PF Harper Kamp 6-8 Sr. 9.3 5.3
PF David Kravish 6-9 Fr. 5.9 5.9
SG Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. 13.9 5.1
PG Justin Cobbs 6-2 So. 12.4 4.6*
Key reserves
G Brandon Smith 5-11 Jr. 4.3 3.2*
F Richard Solomon 6-10 So. 6.6 6.9
F Bak Bak 6-8 Jr. 2.1 1.5


Oregon State (10-4, 0-2 Pac-12)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
C Angus Brandt 6-10 Jr. 9.6 2.9
PF Joe Burton 6-7 Jr. 9.3 6.5
SF Devon Collier 6-7 So. 12.8 4.6
SG Jared Cunningham 6-4 Jr. 17.0 3.4
PG Ahmad Starks 5-9 So. 13.0 2.7*
Key reserves
G Roberto Nelson 6-3 So. 10.4 3.0
F Eric Moreland 6-10 Fr. 4.9 6.9
G Challe Barton 6-3 Fr. 2.5 0.6


Jeff Faraudo

  • rollonubears

    isn’t thurman a key reserve now?

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Believe it or not there are many -even ranked teams that have not performed on the road.

    We have some mature players and to make any type of noise – we have to be able to win most of our road games against especially weak competition this year.

  • rollonubears

    steve, as much as i tire of the indiana talk, i have to admit, watching them take ohio state over the holiday weekend, in indiana, was something to behold. i only wish i could have been in that stadium to see it live.

    i wish we had that enthusiasm at our venue. i’m thinking a road sweep here might do the trick.

  • GoldenBV

    As far as building enthusiasm at Haas, the games against USC and especially UCLA were a good start. Strong crowds even though some chairbacks and students were absent. Too bad though that the home series against the WA schools has been replaced by Utah and Colorado this year. Not sure how well those will draw, but if Cal sweeps Oregon there will be some nice momentum. Another run at a conference championship will get Haas rockin, especially for that 1/29 game against the furd.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Rollon I use Indiana as a frame of reference-having a few teams I love gives me perspective.

    Both IU and Cal have similarities. Both are the best public universities in their respective state. Both have attractive campuses and both are larger than average. They are also in top conferences (although the Pac 12 has been down a bit). Neither school has a sports over academics attitude and neither is a big spender. Both recruit good smart kids and shun thugs Zeller picked IU after visits to IU, North Carolina and Notre Dame, where he spend an inordinate ( too many) amount of time at the business school.

    This perspective gives me an idea when one or the other school is doing something that isn’t effective. This is why I criticize Cals basketball recruiting. Check out the site “Inside the Hall” IU fans go into a frenzy over each desired recruit. Videos are posted and scores and point totals are published from every serious target’s game. By the time a recruit is signed many of the fans know everything about him.

    So when I say “Why isn’t Cal as intense?” I’m really wondering “Why?” Are Cal fans different kinds of fans? Wouldn’t we like to see video highlights of our future recruits? MORE IMPORTANTLY wouldn’t our future recruits like this kind of attention? A young recruit seeing all the attention online and in person is going to gravitate towards IU. WHen an IU recruit attends an IU game – all the fans seem to know him and start spontaneous cheers. A few days ago a ranked recruit for 2013 Luke Fischer who had been courted by Wisconsin (his home state) attended that IU Ohio State game and got carried away by the fans and committed as soon as it was after.

    Both schools also have good coaches. I’m not as familiar with Monty’s recruiting methods but Crean perhaps because of his love of kids and basketball, eats and breathes recruiting. He follows kids at young ages and goes everywhere to see the games. Monty may be too old for this-its taxing. An IU game ends and Crean is on a plane somewhere to look at someone.

    Our University of California has all the tangible attractions that Indiana University has – we just have to work on the intangibles.

  • milo

    Go Bears! Beat Beaver!