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Basketball: Harvard preview

TIPOFF: 5 p.m. Saturday at Haas Pavilion. TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/910 AM.

The Bears close out their nonconference schedule with a third straight home game before heading to Los Angeles next week for Pac-12 Conference openers at UCLA on Thursday and USC on Saturday.

Cal will be forced to match up defensively against a Harvard squad that starts four guards and no one taller than 6-foot-6. That will force one of the Bears’ big men to stray to the perimeter on defense.

This would be an ideal game for the Bears to utilize sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, but he is listed as day-to-day with lingering foot discomfort and it seems likely coach Mike Montgomery will hold him out for the second straight game.

At the offensive end, the Bears should be able to take advantage of their size edge and pound the ball in to Richard Solomon or David Kreklow. Solomon is coming off a career-high 18 points in Cal’s win last week over Prairie View A&M.

ABOUT THE CRIMSON: Coach Tommy Amaker’s squad employs a four-guard set and shoots a lot of 3-pointers. Harvard converts 40.4 percent as a team, hitting an average of 6.3 shots per game from beyond the arc. … Freshman Siyani Chamers of Golden Valley, Minn., starts at point guard. … Harvard is 1-3 on the road, with a win at Boston College. … The Crimson, which has won its past two games, stays in the Bay Area to take on Saint Mary’s in a New Year’s Eve matchup.

THE SERIES: Cal leads 2-0. The Bears won 69-54 in Berkeley in 2001 and 77-74 in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1970. 

ETC: Justin Cobbs shot 5 for 9 in the win over Prairie View A&M after converting just 17 of 45 attempts in his previous four games. … Freshman guard Tyrone Wallace, who will start his third straight game, has totaled 23 points, 23 rebounds and nine assists over the past three outings, but is 7 for 27 shooting. … Cal is 21-4 all-time vs. teams from the Ivy League. The Bears are 2-2 vs. Penn, 1-1 vs. Cornell and 3-1 vs. Princeton. They are unbeaten against Harvard, Take, Columbia and Dartmouth, and have never faced Brown.

WHAT’S NEXT: Cal plays UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, Thursday, Jan. 3. Tipoff is 8 p.m.

Cal (8-3)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
SG Allen Crabbe 6-6 Jr. 20.4 5.7
PF Richard Solomon 6-10 Jr. 8.9 6.3
PF David Kravish 6-9 So. 6.5 7.6
PG Justin Cobbs 6-2 Jr. 16.5 3.8*
SG Tyrone Wallace 6-3 Fr. 6.5 4.7
Key reserves
G Brandon Smith 5-11 Sr. 3.5 2.5*
C Robert Thurman 6-10 Sr. 5.6 3.6
G Ricky Kreklow 6-6 So. 5.5 3.3

*Assists

Harvard (6-4)

Starters Ht Yr Pts Rebs
F Jonah Travis 6-6 So. 8.7 4.9
SG Wesley Saunders 6-15 So. 15.8 3.4*
SG Laurent Rivard 6-5 Jr. 12.7 5.1
SG Christian Webster 6-5 Sr. 9.1 3.2
PG Siyani Chambers 6-0 Fr. 12.7 5.1*
Key reserves
C Kenyatta Smith 6-8 So. 5.0 3.8
F Steve Moundou-Missi 6-7 So. 4.6 4.2
F Agunwa Okolie 6-8 Fr. 3.3 1.4

*Assists

Jeff Faraudo

  • Crawford

    SG Wesley Saunders 6-15 So. 15.8 3.4*

    A 6′-15′ Guard, thats a pretty big size matchup for the bears haha

  • rob bear

    Beat the King-Crimson & Clover with EXTREME PREJUDICE! GO BEARS!!!

  • Juancho

    If i were that guard i would just post up all game.

  • wehofx

    #2 lol

    twitter rumor:

    deandre coleman is coming back. I know, lackluster so far but let’s hope he can do a Cameron Jordan and have a BIG senior year.

    Go Bears!

  • Dan

    Cal loses to Harvard anywhere. Pretty pathetic. Cal loses to Harvard at home… Real pathetic. No one cares… Beyond pathetic. Cal has virtually no home court advantage anymore, mostly apathy surrounds the program. Will anybody care enough to question Monty?

    Pretty clear that SDSU is the class of state of California- again. That’s why Aztec students loved to say ” Aztec basketball… We run Cali”. The Aztecs would pretty much co-own the P12 along with UofA. Sad state of affairs with Cal and the PAC 12.

    Let’s the excuses begin.

  • SteveNTexas

    Well unlike most everyone on here I am not a Monty fan – we have declined every season even though the Pac12 has also declined.

    Harvard is not a Top 100 team.

    If Monty can’t get us in the tourney he should probably retire. If he can right the ship and get us there fine.

    The latest Lunardi Has 3 Pac 12 teams but not us. UNLV will fall out of the Top 20 after tonight’s loss.

  • gobears49

    Dan,

    In recent weeks, I have criticized Monty a few times. I have said there is too much dribbling, too much guard play, not enough effective passing, and too much reliance on difficult guard shots (though they sure are purdy to watch, until the ball doesn’t go in the hoop). Watch how often Crabbe and Cobbs dribble a lot and then shoot. A good offense does not rely upon a lot of dribbling by a player right before he shoots — a well-designed offense would have the shooter open to take a shot right after he gets a pass.

    We need to develop better a lot better forward play. I have said (agreeing with Monty), that Kravish needs to shoot more. He made 6 of 9 shots tonight. After the game, Monty was asked whether that was enough shots by Kravish. I agree with his answer — “No!” Kravish needs to shoot more and Soloman not very much, as I think he is primarily a rebounder and not a shooter.

    I missed the first half, but in the second, we did not once pass the ball inside and then kick it out to an open guard. A pretty basic offense, but I have seen it work for others countless times. At least we should try it occasionally.

  • gobears49

    Maybe we should vote on the following question — most embarrassing Pac 12 loss of the year.

    Cal’s loss tonight should be in the running. Also OSU to Towson, or UCLA’s loss to Cal Poly SLO.

    But maybe the loss tonight will wake us up. We have a lot of talent — it is just not being used efficiently.