Basketball: Halloween at Haas

I’m at Haas Pavilion this evening for Cal’s open basketball scrimmage — “Halloween at Haas.”

There are maybe 50 fans here so far, so to call this a low-key event is an understatement. One fan decked out for Halloween, wearing a penguin costume.

— Kravish may have gained 10-15 lbs, but still has that nice, soft tippy-toe mid-range jumper.

Notes and observations . . .

— The “blue” squad features basically Cal’s starting five: Allen Crabbe,. Justin Cobbs, Richard Solomon, David Kravish and Brandon Smith, plus Jeff Powers and Bak Bak. The “gold” team: Tyrone Wallace, Robert Thurman, Khalil Johnson, Kaileb Rodriguez, Christian Behrens, Garrett Galvin and Geoff Frid.

— Wallace, the freshman combo guard from Bakersfield, looks like a player. Already. Early on, he’s made two quick drives into the lane and finished, once in halfcourt, once in transition, when he also drew a foul from Crabbe.

— For those unclear, Galvin and Frid are freshmen walkons. Galvin is a 6-4 guard from Torrey Pines HS in the San Diego area. Frid is 7-1, 200 — and looks it — from Impact Academy in Las Vegas.

— Wallace just made a 3-pointer. This guy will play. A lot. Right away.

— Freshman Khalil Johnson also hits a 3-pointer and the underdog gold squad has tied the score at 18-all.

— Not playing tonight is sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, potentially a starter on the wing. Kreklow, a transfer from Missouri, had foot surgery Oct. 8 to repair a stress reaction. Due back around the start of December, give or take. But he was out shooting before the scrimmage began.

— Place isn’t exactly filling up, but there are perhaps 100 or 150 here now. Timing probably not ideal. Halloween. Giants parade. A forecast of rain. Hey, this isn’t Lexington.

— Wallace forces a 3 over Brandon Smith. Misses. Still, the best player on the gold team.

— End of 12-minute first half. Blue leads 21-18. (Not that it matters)

— Bears beat the scrimmage trade deadline and alter the roster for the second half. Now in Blue: Smith, Solomon, Galvin, Crabbe,  Behrens, Wallace and Thurman. Wearing gold: Kravish, Rodriguez, Powers, Bak, Cobbs,  Johnson and Frid.

— Wallace transition drive swatted by Cobbs.

— BTW: Kravish appears bigger, so does Solomon.

— Bak with an authoratative drive to the hoop and finger-roll finish.

— In the house, a couple members of the 13th-ranked Cal women’s squad. Good for them.

— Funniest moment of the scrimmage so far: A media timeout.

— Bak drills the 15-footer from the elbow. Is this just an October thing?

— Halloween garb or a fashion statement? Crabbe wearing brown mustard-colored Nike socks.

— Solomon, wearing uniform No. 35 this season, with a two-handed slam putback.

— Powers bangs left knee in collision under the hoop. Seems fine.

— Second “half” ended. Figured the scrimmage was over. Turns out this is ice hockey. Three halves, er, periods.

— Wallace with a steal and breakaway jam.

— Galvin, the walk-on freshman, undercuts Crabbe, trying to catch long pass. Kid, it’s a scrimmage. Ten seconds later, Crabbe drops in 3-pointer.

— Solomon bangs his left knee while getting called for a charge. Comes out, but seems OK.

— Kravish may have gained 10-15 lbs, but still has that soft, tippy-toe mid-range jumper. Hit a couple of them.

— Brandon Smith just got the wind knocked out of him on a crazy drive to the hoop. These guys are playing for keeps.

— No winners, no losers, no one hurt. Bears play exhibition game on Tuesday (election day, are you kidding me?) against S.F. State at 7:30 p.m. Season opener is Sunday, Nov. 11 vs. Cal State Bakersfield at 7 p.m. That’s all for now.


Jeff Faraudo

  • Dan

    What fun for you tonight Jeff. Yaaaawwwwn.

    Seriously, what genius in the Cal Athletic Department came up with this idea?

    The good news if you get 50 more fans, it’ll be very much like Cal’s first few OOC games at home. Ghost Town then too.

  • DaveintheHills

    it’s too early (everyone at work); if you did it later, most are occupied with trick or treating. Odd timing. Aimed at students maybe?

  • Juancho

    They definitely didn’t consider alumni, fans, recruits, or community members when planning a 4 PM time. The only person this could benefit is the coaches. 4 PM isn’t even convenient for students with afternoon classes. Just weird timing, and weird that it’s during the week.

  • rob bear

    Do not think that Monty had this down as a media blitz guys. Relax. It’s an open gym inter-squad game with a few people with funny costumes on. It’s supposed to be weird. It’s the 31st of October. If anything, it was to get his players motivated to practice on this date and not eat 6 Lbs. of Snickers each.

  • Juancho

    Disagree with Rob Bear.

    These type of decisions shouldn’t be made by coaches. These are AD decisions to build the brand and grow our ability to recruit and gain relevancy.

    If anything this has the smell of something that was contractually obligated, and the staff found the least painful way to comply with that stipulation.

    They should have just had regular practice. Otherwise this is something where the school will not recoup the money they spend to host something like this.

  • Juancho

    Cal Baseball’s alumni game was on a sunday a few weeks ago. The football spring game was on a saturday. Why this open basketball scrimmage is on a wednesday is not clear to me.

    From a business perspective it’s a missed opportunity in a lot of ways. If we look at it from the perspective of what real effect does it have on anything important on the world, then yes, who cares.

    But my critique on this is that there are people who are paid very handsomely to not miss these opportunities. You host this on a saturday night. You plan years ahead to host a high school tournament the same day between the local bay area powers, and the main event is a Cal inter-squad.

    Or like my friend Rob Bear says, if this really is about getting your team to not gain weight on Halloween, then don’t host an open practice. Just have your regular practice and don’t incur all the added cost of an event.

    Either way the team should be pretty good this year. Hoping we can finally make that next step in the tourney.

  • CalBearister

    One should also note that this is also a function of the continued stench of Ben Braun that permeates our basketball program. By allowing Braun to drive the program deep into the trash-heap, Cal has driven fans away from basketball such that you get pathetic attendance for OOC games. Even Monty hasn’t been able to really respark that interest (see, e.g., Cal winning a regular season title, but nobody showing up to games).

    Sandy Barbour should take note of that fact when considering whether it’s too expensive to buy out our washed up football coach. Reality is, when you look at the long term effects it is too expensive not to.

  • Uh Huh!

    Compare: Lexington has packed house tens of thousands. Cal has 150.
    Kentucky has fireworks and best damn recruits around. Cal has Frid.
    Kentucky has media loving Calipari. Cal has Monty scheduling first two showcases on Halloween and Election Day.

    With questions being raised about Sandy and her role in Tedford’s guaranteed contract, I’m starting to think SHE needs to be fired. Look, you’ve got TWO revenue sports. Just TWO. could you at least oversee crap like this basic scheduling? It’s appalling. You are supposed to be building a brand and generating revenue like a for profit business. That is the role of an AD, to bring in moneys there to support the other sports, and bring prestige to the university. No?