Basketball: Wisconsin game preview

TIPOFF: 1 p.m.  Sunday at Kohl Center, Madison, Wisc. TV/Radio: Big Ten Network/910 AM.

The Bears (6-0) begin the toughest stretch of their non-conference schedule when they take on the Badgers (4-3) at the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin has lost just 16 times since the start of the 2001-02 season.

Unbeaten but barely tested, Cal faces UNLV (5-1) and Creighton (7-1) in subsequent games at Haas Pavilion.

How good are the Bears?

“I think we’ve got talent.  It’s a matter of us taking advantage of our talent and guys being able to be as good as they’re capable of,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said after the Bears beat Pacific to win the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim last Sunday. “We’ve got to know how to get Allen Crabbe shots, that’s a team thing. 

“Turn that around, Allen knows he’s going to draw a lot of attention, so he’s going to be able to help get guys shots. If the guys understand that they aren’t going to make every shot, then we’re going to be a decent team.”

No one has exceeded expectations more than junior guard Justin Cobbs, who is averaging 20 points per game and shooting 63.5 percent from the field.

“He has gotten better, there’s not a question about that,” Montgomery said. “He’s figuring out how to be effective.  The mid-range game, he’s reluctant with, but in the last couple games he’s jumped up over a couple people and made the most of them. 

“Sometimes he’s got to recognize how to immediately get the ball to the shooter.  Justin’s been good.  We’re kind of playing 7 guys right now, we need to expand that.  I need to get some of these guys more rest.  It’s hard on them, but we’re trying to win games, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

THE SERIES: Cal leads 5-2. Wisconsin beat Cal 66-63 in their most recent matchup, at the 1986 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. The teams are meeting in Wisconsin for the first time in 54 years. The Badgers are 22-31 all-time vs. Pac-12 foes.

ON THE BADGERS: Wisconsin (4-3) has sustained losses to Florida, Creighton and Virginia. … The Badgers are 169-16 at the Kohl Center since Bo Ryan became coach in 2001-02. Their home winning percentage of .914 over that span is fifth-best in the nation. … The Badgers are tougher still against non-conference foes at home under Ryan: 85-7. … Junior G Ben Brust, at just 6-foot-1, leads the Big Ten in rebounding at 7.9 per game and already has three double-doubles. He is the only player shorter than 6-6 among the Big Ten’s top-10 rebounders. … The Badgers, averaging nearly 25 3-point field-goal attempts per game, are converting 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.

ETC: The Bears are hoping to open their season 7-0 for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Those wins, under coach Todd Bozeman, later were vacated because of NCAA violations. Before then, Cal had not started 7-0 since 1959. … Cal has outrebounded each of its first six opponents and has recorded at least 40 rebounds in four straight games for the first time since the 1997-98 season. … Allen Crabbe (22.0 ppg) and Justin Cobbs (20.0) rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 in scoring. … Sophomore G Ricky Kreklow (foot) is doubtful to play today.

WHAT’S NEXT: Cal plays UNLV at Haas Pavilion, Sunday, Dec. 9 at Haas Pavilion. Tipoff is 3 p.m. PST.

Cal (6-0)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SF Allen Crabbe 6-6 Jr. 22.0 5.5
PF Richard Solomon 6-10 Jr. 8.3 6.5
PF David Kravish 6-9 So. 5.8 8.7
SG Justin Cobbs 6-2 Jr. 20.0 3.7*
PG Brandon Smith 5-11 Sr. 4.7 3.0*
Key reserves
G Tyrone Wallace 6-3 Fr. 5.3 2.2*
C Robert Thurman 6-10 Sr. 5.3 3.7
G Ricky Kreklow 6-6 So. 6.5 5.0


Wisconsin (4-3)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
C Jared Berggren 6-10 Sr. 14.7 6.4
PR Mike Brusewitz 6-6 Sr. 6.6 3.7
SF Ryan Evans 6-6 Sr. 10.1 6.9
SG Ben Brust 6-1 Jr. 12.3 7.9
PG Traevon Jackson 6-2 So. 5.3 2.6*
Key reserves
F Sam Dekker 6-7 Fr. 10.6 2.1
G George Marshall 5-11 Fr. 6.7 1.7
F Frank Kaminsky 6-11 So. 3.1 1.4


Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTexas

    The worst Wisconsin team I can remember ranked #164 in CBS Sports- blown out v Florida and not especially close in its other losses ( 6pts va perhaps).

    Still it looks good to beat a Big Ten Team- and Wisconsin should improve as the season goes on.

  • Calbearister

    8-5 basketball. Pretty standard fare in the Big-10. Corrupt as ever.

  • SteveNTexas

    We are getting the crap beat out of us -but Wisconsin is a legitimate top 200 team. Presbytarian gave the Bad-gers as much as a fight as we have so far.

  • CalBearister

    My only regret is that Solomon didn’t connect with that elbow. F the Big-10.

  • Dan

    Nice egg laid in Madison by the Bears. They were absolutely out-“everythinged” by UW. And the Badgers aren’t even that good this season. The Badgers already have 3 losses this season, yet the Bears have a 28 point deficit as I type this. This is worse than Mizzou last season. Far worse.

    Good thing the P12 is mediocre, at best, again this season. Cal might have a chance to finish 2nd or 3rd. But that won’t make them very good. They’d easily finish in the lower half of the MWC.

  • SteveNTexas

    yes Dan read the other posts Wisc was ranked #164 going into the game -for beating Cal they might go to 160.

  • ConcordBear

    Cal played as soft as a baby behind today.
    Cobbs and Soloman were particulary thrown off by the tough Badgers and refs.
    Can’t be taken out of your game to win on road and in march.
    Team needs to learn a lesson from this one fast or this is going to be a repeat of last year.

  • SteveNTexas

    It wasn’t as close as the score Wisconsin allowed every player on its roster to play as well as some local high school kids who happened to be watching and wearing the Wisc uniforms.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    And StevInTexAss is already quoting CBS rankings like it’s the F-ing bible. Could be a long season. I mean, if Steve and CBS say Wisonsin is #164 then it must be a fact.

    YSo, you actually believe there are 163 better teams than the Badgers?

    Also, Monty should be fired for this loss, right?

  • wehofx

    Game wasn’t available on tw. Based on rosters, wisc sounds like a small team, too?

    Also sounds like another example of Pac 12 officiating not only sucking but also not allowing any contact, esp compared to other leagues. Calling so many touch fouls in league play always seems to hurt pac 12 in the tourny when some banging is allowed.

    Did we look soft?

  • wehofx

    (meant) esp compared to other leagues LIKE BIG 10.

  • SteveNTexas

    Take- Get some anger management.

    NO rankings early in the season are bible but guess what – and this is way above your level of comprehension– its based on their record.

    If a team loses and/or gets blown out ( this means Take off that they lose by alot) it is factored into the rankings.

    Wisconsin is a young team ( yes I already wrote that before ) so their rankings will probably increase as the year goes on.

    Takeoff why not read the other comments? Only you seem to think this loss was ok.

  • dan

    TakeOff – I hope a family member, friend, or the family pet didn’t cross you today. Fire Monty, as in someone here posting thinks Monty should be fired? I’m not seeing that, or anything resembling that negative towards Monty on this or any other thread. Am I missing something? I do get that you aren’t being literal, but still …

    I will say it wasn’t exactly Monty’s or his team’s finest hour, as Mizzou last season or the NCAA embarrassment to South Florida also not. But I Wouldn’t trade Monty for Ben Braun back, thats for sure. In fact, the only coach in the P12 I would trade Monty for is Sean Miller. I also think Dana Altman could be a keeper. I do wish we had better bigs and more bigs, and that we didn’t have as many non contributors as we do.