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Basketball: Creighton game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Creighton 74, Cal 64. Junior All-America forward Doug McDermott scored 34 points for the No. 16 Bluejays (10-1). Allen Crabbe missed his first 12 shots finished 6 for 26 with 14 points for Cal (6-3), which lost its third straight. Cobbs led Cal with 18 points and seven assists. He banged his head on a drive to the basket with 23 seconds left, but coach Mike Montgomery said afterward he believed he was OK. Freshman Tyrone Wallace had eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots before becoming one of three Cal players to foul out.

2:35 2nd H: Cal down 65-58 after putback by Cobbs, who has 13 points. McDermott has 28.

10:08 2nd H: Bears got within 46-43 when Crabbe hit a mid-range jumper with 11:45 left. But 3-pointers by McDermott (26 pts), Gibbs and Manigat on consecutive possessions and Creighton pushes the lead to 55-43 with 10:09 left. That’s a 9-0 run in 90 seconds.

14:32 2nd H: Replay of the start of the first half, as Cal misses its first 8 shots. Crabbe was 0 for 12 when he scored on a curl in the lane. But 3-pointers by Grant Gibbs and McDermott pushed Creighton in a 44-33 lead. Kravish just scored and will shoot 1 FT. It’s 44-35. McDermott has 23.

HALFTIME: Creighton 34, Cal 29. McDermott is shooting 6 for 8 and has 18 points. Very efficient. Smart, strong, sees the floor, always in the right place. Man, he’s very good. Cal still in the game despite shooting 32.4 percent (12 for 37). Crabbe is 0 for 9.

3:26 1st H: Creighton stretched lead back to 26-19, but putback by Tyrone Wallace gets Cal within 26-21. Both Cal frontcourt starters — Kravish and Solomon — have two fouls. Bears shooting 8 for 31. McDermott has 13 points on 5 for 6 from the field.

6:58 1st H: Cal down just 19-17, despite shooting 26.1 percent. Kreklow now defending McDermott — did a good job until Creighton star got loose for open 3-pointer. Solomon hit 3-pointer for Cal — the 4th of his career — bringing the Bears within 2 points.

11:47 1st H: Creighton leads 10-5. Cal shooting 2 for 15. Sheesh!  Ricky Kreklow entered the game with 12:48 left. A surprise, given that Mike Montgomery said Tuesday his injured foot was making little progress toward recovery.

15:53 1st H: Cal gets on the board when backup Robt Thurman scored on a layup with 16:14 left. Bears are shooting 1 for 11 and trail 8-2.

16:51 1st H: Creighton leads 8-0. McDermott has six points, Crabbe hasn’t taken a shot.

LINEUPS: Cal will start Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs, Brandon Smith, David Kravish and Richard Solomon. Creighton goes with Gregory Echenique, Doug McDermott, Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat and Austin Chatman.

IN THE HAAS: Cal’s career scoring leader Jerome Randle on hand tonight, along with former teammate Markhuri Sanders-Frison.

WELCOME: Cal (6-2) and No. 16 Creighton (9-1) are set to tip off at Haas Pavilion. Will be back with starting lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I’m loving Roxy on the Pac 12 Network feed.

  • Joey

    Once again 3 biased refs.

  • Will

    Could have been much worse. If Crabbe wakes up, we have a shot.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    McDermott hooks and pushes off, just enough to not get called, on EVERY drive play. If he got called for it, his game would be Harper Kamp with a 3 point shot. He’s a hell of a player, but he is getting away with hooks and pushoffs whenever he’s inside. Watch his off hand.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    And was is now officially my favorite player on the current roster. I love this kid. We have not had a slasher with his quickness in as long as I can remember.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    LOL. was = Wallace

    No idea how that happened. Probably shouldn’t try to type while game is on.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Was at the game. Refs were so horribly unfair it made it not fun to watch. Clearly they were out to show up Monty for riding them in the first half. What a joke to allow a mid major to come in and get every call in our gym.

    Also, Soloman doesn’t know how to defend and it’s hard to watch.

  • ConcordBear

    Our Bears were beat by a good team tonight, but a team that we have enough talent to beat. Espeically in our house.
    It’s very frustrating to watch what has gone down the past 3 games.
    We had teams that are solid and very good that challenged us. For whatever reason we have not had the poise to fight through the challenge and adjust if needed.
    Our guys are getting rattled and not playing as a unit the way you need to against good competition.
    The refs were very bad, really frustating to watch a game like tonight. But, good teams and good players don’t let the zebras get in their heads.
    Still a lot of season left but the guys will have to come together and figure a lot of issues out if we are going to make a run at the Pac and then hopefully the NCAA’s.
    I think they should start by being more poised and playing better as a team. Only way we will beat a good team like Arizona is if we play as a unit.
    Where do we go from here…

  • SteveNTexas

    Before this three game stretch many wrote about how many of the game we would have to win to be credible.

    The last two teams had players out with injury and Wisconsin has lost 4 games now.

    We lost all of them but the Pac 12 is not looking good cept for Arizona so if 3 teams go we have a reasonable chance.

  • CalBearister

    I love the Pac-12. Only conference in America where refs hometown their own teams.

  • gobears49

    I like Montgomery but I think he is fairly consistently being outcoached. Missed watching the UNLV game, but in both in Wisconsin and Creighton games the Cal opponents were getting a lot more easy shots than Cal. Tough to score when you are getting a hand in your face most of the time.

    I think Cal’s recent opponents are getting a lot more easy shots than Cal is because they actually run plays a lot more often than Cal does. Cal typically does not do that. FAR TOO OFTEN THE CAL PLAYER WHO FIRST GETS THE BALL PAST MIDCOURT IS THE LAST PLAYER TO TOUCH THE BALL, AS HE GOES ONE ON ONE TO TRY TO SCORE. HARD TO GET AN EASY SHOT UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.

    I think Montgomery is much better overall coach than Ben Braun (pass the ball around the outside and then take a three point shot), but Montogomery’s style of LET THEM PLAY GYM RAT AND NOT PASS THE BALL IN AN ORGANIZED, PLANNED, MANNER SO AS TO GET EASIER SHOTS is almost as bad as Braun’s.

  • daredevilfan

    I have to question Montgomery last night. Sure, when your star player starts off rough you try to keep him confident and let him “shoot through it”, but at some point when you are 1 for 11 or worse, you need to tell the guy, “tonight is not your night, be a decoy, distribute teh ball, or at least get some layups to get on track”. By letting Crabbe’s numbers get up to where they were, he put us in a situation where it was basically impossible to win. No team can win when one player has a stat line that significant. That is on the coach. Given the lack of poise and the whole “we didn’t practice well and weren’t ready” stuff, I really am questioning Montgomery. I don’t want to get all Tedford-esque and start calling for his head, but I hope he gets a firm foot in the arse and starts taking this a lot more seriously than he seems to right now. This team has potential.

  • wehofx

    finished watching dvr of the game and agree w a lot of what’s been said above. But officiating? Crabbe has got to man up. If contact like last night upset him, wait until tourny time. Not to mention, he had no shot in the nba. His petulance is affecting the team, ie Solomon.

    Cobb and Kreklow are aggressive defenders and I thought they got the same no calls as Creighton on aggressive but legal D. To repeat, last night’s banging is, at a minimum, standard come tourny time.

    Solomon has been a huge disappointment so far – second only to B Smaith. I don’t see any improvement in his game. At least the Thurminator has that shake to the baseline, turn back hook.

    Again, what the hell was Solomon doing out by the 3 pt arc? No wonder we we got 1 or 2 rebounds off the O glass. Kravish has to get more, way more, aggressive at both ends.

    That said, I liked the combination of kreklow, crabbe, cobb, wallace and thurman/kravish/solomon. the ball was really moving. they scored and it was fun to watch.

    This team really does have potential. they just gotta dump the whiny petulant bs and get TOUGH.

    Go Bears! In Monty I trust!

  • wehofx

    …oh, yeah and we saw 2 real deal First Team All Americans and First Round picks in McDermott and Bennett.

    I like A Crabbe a lot. He’s represented Cal well but I hope he learns something from watching McDermott. He can’t/shouldn’t post up like McD. But McD’s post moves totally set up his open 3′s. McD’s wicked fast low block spin move to the baseline reminds me of…???

    Like Ernie said, AC can get open looks by screen, roll/curl in the lane. If he can develop a mid range game – along w his occasional drives to the hoop – then he has a real shot at the nba.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Concord Bear,

    I totally agree w you. Poise is the right word. When refs are killing you just buckle down and play through it. This team is whiny – turning to Monty during the game ‘but coach he’s grabbing me!”

    Just too many start and stops in college hoops. Thirty some fouls + media timeouts + team timeouts = boring

  • gobears49

    Been thinking of suggestions to make Cal more disciplined and follow whatever offense Monty is teaching them in practice. Here are a couple of discipline moves I think Monty should consider (would love to hear more from others).

    1. Soloman — I also was devastated to watch him try and make a 3-pointer. Now, because he made that shot, do we have to suffer through the inevitable 15 straight 3-pointer misses from him?

    My discipline rule for Soloman — YOU WILL COME RIGHT OUT OF THE GAME IF YOU SHOOT ANY SHOT FROM OUTSIDE OF 5 FEET (Monty can substitute a different number, but I hope it is not more than 10). BTW, last year I said when Kamp graduated that we had nobody good with post moves I believe Soloman tried to learn some, but either you have that talent or you don’t. I don’t think he does. But I think he does other things well.

    2. The entire team — unless there is a fast break, if a player brings the ball up over the center court line and shoots without first passing the ball to a teammate, he will be taken out of the game as soon as possible. Watching Cal play is like watching a pro game, where guys go one on one all of the time and take hard, acrobatic, shots with guys hanging all over them.

    Cal’s talent is obviously nowhere near that of NBA players. They need to pass the ball, hopefully using good schemes taught to them by Monty in practice, so they can get good looks when they shoot, and this means not having an opponent have his hand in your face. There are no stats kept on this (though it would be interesting if there were), but I think the shooting percentage of most players goes way down when someone has a hand in their face compared to when there is not). Since this seems to happen to Cal much more than their opponents, Cal’s shooting percentage ends up much lower than it otherwise should be.

    I think Crabbe is, by far, the worst offender in taking hard, acrobatic, shots with guys hanging all over them, followed by Cobbs. You didn’t see that happening with Creighton’s best player, McDermott. That guy was disciplined and put himself into position where he wasn’t forcing the ball up to the basket.

    Getting the ball in the hands of a player who is in a position to take a high percentage shot is all about good coaching and I’m not seeing it from the way Cal is now playing. Maybe this is all a sign that Monty doesn’t really care anymore, as maybe he’s thinking of retirement.

  • SteveNTexas

    I was the first perhaps to sour on Monty but the season isn’t over. I pointed out last year we were going in the wrong direction .

    Let’s see if we can make the tourney this year and remember our recruiting class is finally decent for next year.

  • gobears49

    SteveNTexas,

    Of course the season isn’t over. My problem is that I think we have really good talent, with the strongest being the non-bigs, but we haven’t played up to potential. I am frustrated watching the other teams exhibit more discipline and smarts in getting good clean looks at the basket, unlike Cal, which doesn’t get them because we free lance and go one on one too much. I respect Monty a lot, but I think he should see this and correct it. Big forwards who only play inside taking 3-pointers exhibits that he is not imposing enough discipline on the team to play smart basketball.

    BTW, if Crabbe decides not to leave, Cal should be really strong with Bird coming in (and others). We only lose Thurman so will have to go small, but the guys we have in non-post positions will be really good and deep. I agree that Monty has done a much better job in recruiting recently, but we need to get more big forwards. Maybe they only really grow them a lot outside of the West. Seems like when we go to the NCAA’s we face a team much bigger than we are.

  • gobears49

    Correction, we also lose Smith next year.

  • wehofx

    GoBears49, can’t slow it down too much with today’s players. Howland’s had to scrap his set offense. (In myriad ways, Howland’s decline more and more resembles JT’s.)

    What I do agree with is one of the Bigs has to live in the low block. If the Big does, the guards have to feed the post – which, imo, they don’t do enough of – to encourage the Big to stay down there, take shots and bang for O rebounds. If the Big doesn’t stay in the low block or the guards don’t feed the post, “Hello, bench.”

    Like I said above, imo, the cobb, crabbe, kreklow, wallace and Big/Kravish combination esp during second half really had the ball moving/player movement. The combo had good spacing that resulted in some slick give and go’s and open looks.

  • wehofx

    …In Monty I trust.

  • gobears49

    Agree we don’t pass the ball into the post enough.

    I don’t think you need to run a set offense if you teach players enough variety to pass the ball around, particularly inside leading to easy shots, layups, or dunks. I think improvisation in effective passing can be learned with good practice drills, taught by a good coach.

    I think if someone closely analyzed the shots taken by Creighton and by Cal, Creighton had much easier and essentially uncontested shots than Cal, as a percentage of all shots each team took. In my mind, that essentially was difference in the score. Same thing occurred in the Wisconsin game, but the game was such a rout the percentage of good, uncontested shots, didn’t make a difference. Again, I didn’t see the UNLV game. But I am going to the UCSB game. Looking forward to seeing some good passing in that game, leading to easy shots being taken.