Basketball: Harvard stuns Bears

A bad loss for Cal on Sunday. No other way to put it.

The Bears fell 67-62 to Harvard, just their fifth defeat ever to an Ivy League team.

I was at AT&T Park covering the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, so I did not see the Cal-Harvard game. But here are a few details and conclusions:

The Bears dropped to 8-4 headed into Thursday’s Pac-12 opener at UCLA, which has won five in a row, including a win over a tough Missouri team on Friday night.

Cal’s first three losses were to opponents (UNLV, Creighton) or at places (Wisconsin) that were understandable.

The Crimson is a team Cal should beat regardless of the circumstances.

And there were circumstances:

   — Senior sixth man Brandon Smith missed the game after suffering a concussion in practice  the week before against Prairie View. He would have been valuable defensively against a Harvard team that outscored the Bears 30-0 from the 3-point arc.

   — Sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow missed his eighth game in 12, bothered not only by his sore foot but also an ankle sprain he sustained in practice.

   — Sophomore forward Christian Behrens, two years removed from tearing his ACL as a senior in high school, tore it again last week and is out for the season.

So, yes, the Bears had manpower issues, and some difficult matchups in the backcourt against an opponent that starts four guards.

Even so. Cal entered the game rated No. 40 nationally, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Harvard was No. 107.

Cal tied a school record with 11 blocked shots — five of them by Richard Solomon — but couldn’t defend the perimeter and could not assert itself in the paint sufficiently to take advantage of its size edge.

Allen Crabbe played 40 minutes and scored 27 points to lead the Bears. Justin Cobbs had 15 points, but five turnovers, and David Kravish contributed 14 points. The rest of the team combined to shoot 2 for 13. 

The Bears were picked third in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. Wonder where folks believe they fit now?

I’ll make my picks in a few days, but I can tell you I cannot imagine this team, with its limitations and personnel issues, finishing in the top three or four.

Maybe they fix some things, and they have the right coach to perhaps get that done.

But Mike Montgomery may have trouble getting his thin big men to be more physical or able to finish at the rim. And if Smith or Kreklow cannot play, the Bears will struggle again vs. teams that go small and attack from the perimeter.

Going from Harvard to UCLA is apples to oranges. Different personnel, different challenges, for sure a different venue.

But it makes you wonder: If the Bears couldn’t deal with the Crimson, how are they going to slow down Shabazz Muhammad?



Jeff Faraudo

  • CalBearister

    I’ll sum it up. The Bears are Crabbe, Cobbs, and a bunch of guys with no business playing Pac-12 basketball. This team is not good.

  • Joey

    Crappy effort, terrible game plan, bad officiating, bad coaching…all in all a waste of money on tickets tonight.

  • gobears49

    The bad win against UC Santa Barbara was a harbinger for what happened tonight. We need to get our third good shooter, Kravish, looking more for his shots and maybe Crabbe and Cobbs trying to force theirs a bit less. Pretty sad that we could not dominate inside when we were so much taller than them.

    I think Crabbe needs another year at Cal to develop his game. Sure, he’s stronger than he was and is probably good enough to play pro now, but he is not going to get much playing time there with his game the way it now is. The starting lineup next year could be Crabbe, Cobbs, Bird (an incoming freshman), Soloman, and Kravish. If the three guards could learn to share and pass the ball more than they do now, on paper, at least, it could be an excellent team. Crabbe might get a bit less playing time, which could help his game, as he is playing too many minutes now, but he could also develop his game even more and thus get really ready for the pro’s.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Glad I wasn’t able to see it. Can’t say I’m surprised though, we haven’t looked like a tourney team. Monty has said we are middle of PAC, which is better and tougher all around, but still not much to brag about. Disappointing to hear people saying there is no heart. Hope they can get it together – I guess it’s a rebuilding year with only 1 senior and a great class coming next year.

    If anyone else has game analysis I’d love to hear. Keep in mind ‘analysis’ does not mean angry posting that Monty hates recruiting big men.

    In my opinion Monty is having trouble getting the guys to play good team ball and there are some potential egos affecting the team. And yes, depth.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Go Bears 49,

    Nice post. I submitted mine before I saw yours. I agree w your views, especially on next year. Crabbe still might play his way into the first round though. Mock drafts usually lack respect for West Coast players and come draft time they tend to go higher than expected.

    Will be interesting to see how the conference season goes. This team could easily fade to a .500 season or get their sh*t together and play some ball. As always I will enjoy the ride. Although Hahvahd is decent, it’s not an OK result for the program.

  • SteveNTexas

    Hrvard is far from decent -there are unfortunately only two ratings that go past the top 100 that I know. CBS has them at 112 and Sagarin at 133. They suck and they took a long road trip and beat us.

    I further see no evidence that the Pac12 is much improved. Lunardi started the season saying 6 Pac 12 teams would go now its 3. Finishing .500 in the Pac12 is not satisfactory.
    The Pac 12 is 6-18 v the Top 25 and 10-21 vs the Top 50 and if we take out Arizona…
    Towson State 5-8 beat Oregon State tonight.

    If three teams go to the NCAA -Arizona will be one of them -the rest is up for grabs and MOnty should get us there with no excuses.

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    I have watched every game this year. To me there is one before/after moment that has defined the season: the last second UNLV loss. BEFORE they played as a team. AFTER they have played as individuals that happen to be on the court at the same time. BEFORE the team was full of confidence (doesn’t the tournament in SoCal seem like it was about two years ago now?). AFTER the team has struggled in the face of adversity and seems to be lacking confidence.

    I have to say that this has not looked like a Monty team of late. Creighton, Harvard…these games were very winnable (the latter a must win). We beat UCSB and PVAM, but looked horrible and unprepared. Right now this is team is headed for the NIT. Fun.

    Except for short spurts, this team has not been fighting and clawing and trying everything possible to win. It makes me wonder whether Monty is losing the connection with the kids. It’s really hard to watch certain players with their heads down or yelling at each other or whatever real *teams* don’t do. I long for two years ago when we had no talent but lots of HEART.

  • Uh huh!

    Man, fans are up in arms at this point. Recruiting was bad years ago and now we see the fruits of that effort. It was strongly considered uncouth to question Monty’s recruiting back then because he:
    1) was new and had a stellar record at Stanford
    2) won the conference (with Braun players, plus Jorge as a sub).

    But now this loss, combined with some past season really ugly blowouts against top teams and the inability to win vs Creighton, unlv, and Wisconsin have people out and out complaining. First time for that, really. Monty appears to me to be targeted meat and I just fear things have taken a sad turn for the worse.

    Yes we have some interesting players lined up in Bird, Matthews, Singer, Rorie (2014), but they are all guards. Despite the size advantage, Solomon and Kravish did not win it for us last night. Thurman is gone next year, Solo the next. We have no additional big men alternatives! This is panic time! Is Rooks, if he comes, going to be a savior? Doubtful.

    Unless Monty goes to a guard oriented strategy, he appears to be in a spot of trouble for a few seasons. Last night would have been a great time to make that adjustment, but no.

    I wonder when the press are going to start asking him some really uncouth questions about his recruiting problems. Should have been asked years ago when those failures created last night’s loss. And, no, this is not directed at you, JF.

    Last night’s loss should not be placed on the shoulders of any players, that’s for sure.

  • rob bear

    I concur with a lot of what is stated above, but what really bothered me about last night’s game, unlike most losses, is how we lost this game coming out of the locker room. When Monty hangs it up, many are already anointing him as a hall of fame coach. No argument here, albeit, I can assure you that there will be zero mention of last night’s game at this hall of fame event. What a disaster! Not to second guess the guy, but when you have a undersized team that everyone including the home team knows that they will be using a 5 and 4 out offense to get ONE guy open and use that as their entire game play, YOU MATCH UP DEFENSIVELY WITH 5 GUYS THAT CAN DEFEND THE BALL FROM THE PERIMETER AND STOP IT, EVEN IF IT MEANS GIVING UP A FEW POINTS ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF YOUR GAME PLAN! We had no business playing Solomon and Kravish at the same time last night, much less Thurman. Monty should have gone small with one of the walk-ons and played Harvard straight up. Their entire offense was predicated on getting one guy open to shoot a 3 or a perimeter shot and it worked perfectly! What would have been interesting is if Monty had put a walk on as a starter, one of the smaller walk ons that sit the bench and never take warmups off, and just have them serve as a conduct for Cobbs, Kravish and Crabbe to light it up on offense. Long story short, we looked out of place a lot of times on the perimeter last night and you really can’t blame Solomon, Thurman or Kravish for having to defend a guy 8 or more inches shorter after a pick from one of their teammates, 20 feet from the bucket.

    What else did we learn last night?

    1. We are not a contender for the PAC 12 this year. If we are, the PAC 12 is down again. The entire league, all of them, will be awfully tough to beat on their home courts. We took a few steps backward these past few weeks.

    2. Solomon had zero points at half last night. Embarrassing. A player of that size, ability and experience to be running up and down the court with that statistic against that level of opponent. Again, embarrassing.

    3. Crabbe is not ready for the NBA. He should have taken that entire team off of the dribble or posted them up with that muscle of a body for at least 50 last night. Especially if his coach has surmised that he has 4 offensive options and one walk on(s) who will only defend and pass.

    On to UCLA. Beat the Bruins with EXTREME PREJUDICE! Trust me, they will be on a Missouri high that will allow the Bears to sneak up on them and take one on the road; unless Ben Braun (UCLA Coach) sees the tape of last night’s Cal game and goes with a four guard lineup. Adjust Monty. You are too good of a coach to not see what us laymen coaches and Cal faithful can see.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    This team ain’t Scottish.

  • gobears49

    A few comments.

    I think Monty’s recruiting has improved a bit, though not with big men. He is doing a great job getting very good transfers to come in. If and when Kreklow ever gets truly healthy, he is going to be a good contributor to this team.

    I’d advise all of you to listen to the Cal radio post-game show on 910AM to listen what Monty says. The last one, last night, was a bit disheartening. All about specific plays — if we had done this and one that. Blah, blah, blah. All really meaningless. Any coach can say that. What was lacking was any overall plan he wants to implement to try to get the team to play better.

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m not sure Monty’s heart is really in it as much as in past years. The recent losses have a Tedfordesque feel about them and worse than in prior seasons (though I probably should check our past records to do that).

    When Kreklow plays, I think we have pretty good overall talent. Overall, we have three good, but not great, guys in the post, though Kravish should be shooting more (we really miss a guy like Kamp). Three big guys is enough, though barely.

    Our starting guards are very talented (though they dribble way too much) and Wallace is a comer, though he has not been shooting well. Smith, who will leave next year, is more than adequate as a substitute. When Kreklow plays, we are deep at guard with five players there, more than enough. Eight players rotating into the lineup is more than enough, and is probably slightly above average.

    I agree that we are not playing with heart. I put that on Monty. I also put all of the forced shots by Crabbe and Cobbs, which are not high percentage, on Monty. Doesn’t he ever talk to them about how it is much easier to make shots without a hand in their face? It seems like all of teams we play play much smarter basketball than us, in part because they know how to get their players in position to take a much higher percentage of high percentage shots than we do. I put that on Monty.

  • gobears49

    A final point. We really miss Jorge. There was a guy who really played with heart, leading by example to encourage his teammates to play the same. Much the same could be said for Kamp. I don’t see anyone on this team like that and it has really hurt us.

    I’d also say that, with Jorge and Kamp, our talent level was significantly better last year. I’d say the only aspects of our team that is better this year is better play from Kravish and the addition (sporadically) with Kreklow, who has good talent. Crabbe, Cobbs, and Soloman are slightly better, but not much, Thurman has improved, but not consistently. Wallace is a comer, but hasn’t consistently produced and his shooting is really tailing off. Smith is the same. I’d prefer last year’s lineup and talent level, and definitely its heart, to this year’s by far.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    One stat sums it all up: 9 assists on 25 fgs. Last year there were some games where the Bears would have like 19 assists on 25 fgs!

    Cobbs and Crabbe can get their shots WHENEVER they want, which is good and bad. Last night we saw how it can be very bad. Share the rock and good things will happen. This team sure isn’t playing like one…

  • wehofx

    #9 agree crabbe is nuts if he tries/goes to nba. kinda agree about going small to match up on D. (again, on D, no help for the helper.)

    What irritated me was that monty went w kravish and solo which means – to state the obvious – we had a size advantage on O. again, the guards didn’t feed the post. kravish passes it out too much. solo forces some shots but yesterday he only had 7 fga.

    FEED THE POST! (bad stat for bigs: H rebounds 33/Cal 34)

    GoBears 49 & BlakeSt, totally agree the ball has gotta move a whole lot more if we’re going to start winning again.

    another damning assist stat. negative assist to turnover ratio: yesterday 9 assists/13 to’s.

    #7 GTDave, agree, the most troubling part of this losing streak is the lack of heart. Last year’s team was fun to watch because of Gut and Kamp – until they ran out of gas.

    the 09/10 champion team had theo, boykins and MarhkuriSF(sp) to make sure we played no whining-no petulance-team ball. They weren’t as talented as p christopher and j randle but they had heart.

    In Monty I trust – but I sure as hell hope he gets some bigs w game. Fast.

  • gobears49


    Nice stats. I think the higher level of assists generally leads to better, less distracted, looks at the basket. When you’re dribbling the ball a lot to create your own shots, I think it leads to worse (i.e. more distracted) looks at the basket.

    I wish someone would come up with a stat showing percentage of shots where you were not being guarded closely. Sort of like forced versus unforced error stats in tennis. I maintain the overall shooting percentage goes down to the extent there is a higher percentage of shots where you are closely guarded, especially when there is a hand in your face. Maybe someone will test compile some stats on this and test it and it will be part of the basketball lexicon, like what sort of happened in baseball after Moneyball was published. If that happens, then Gobears49 will become famous (just kidding)!

  • gobears49


    Like your last post, and your posts in general.

    I have mentioned this a few times in the last year, but Cal’s best recent team, talent-wise, was a few years ago, the year they played Duke in the NCAA’s. We lost Amoke right before the playoffs (much like Soloman late last year, but Amoke was much, much better than Soloman, as he could score, and was just starting to come into his own). If we had had Amoke and Christopher had not damaged his eye at the start of the game, I think we would have had a great chance to win that game. If we had had Kamp that year, who sat out the whole year with an injury, plus Amoke, we would have beaten Duke easily. But with Cal it’s always coulda, woulda, shoulda. Or as I like to say when things go bad for Cal, TypicalCal (a single word).

  • SteveNTexas

    UhHuh I criticized Monty’s recruiting years ago back in 2010 when we were ranked last that year. Everyone still worshipped him. Some pointed to Indiana and predicted Cal would be better – but they will never admit it now.

    Objective standards need to be set -for me if we can’t get to NCAAs in another year when there really is only one outstanding Pac 12 team – Monty should retire.

  • wehofx

    Anyone with a Rivals account?

    Sounds like something is happening on recruiting front.

    Twitter from:

    Avery Sebastian ‏@Cali_Showtime4

    Rivals accnt anyone? I dm me plz

  • Woj

    Cal basketball is playing down to its football team’s level. And that retread Buh Dykes brought in for D coordinator – VERY underwhelming.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Really? No evidence the PAC is improved this year? Do I need to point out the obvious that there were no ranked teams in the conference at this point last year? Guess i do. Nobody as good as AZ last year, yes, but also the bottom of PAC is much improved as well. UO, CO, and UCLA are possible tourney teams. Many more solid victories in non conference schedule this year too.

    I suppose people here demand that Cal is a perrenial NCAA team. I want that too – but that’s never been the case – ever. Monty has 3 seasons with 20 wins out of 4. Our first conference title in school history. 3 NCAA appearances and a win over Rick Pittino. Cal has had only 12 NCAA appearances since 1990 and several were the result of massive illegal recruiting. My point is the program is in fine shape, considering minimal student support, challenges of Berkeley etc.

    UCLA and UW have out-recruited Cal for years and have had worse records recently. College bball is a competitive business and being able to finish above national powers UCLA and AZ in recent years is a big accomplishment.

    These are not excuses but reality of going head to head with our conference rivals who dominated us until Monty arrived – and had their own trouble by recruiting the wrong guys.

    I’m willing to concede a possible rebuilding year with two great years of recruiting coming in 2013 and 2014.

    I’m troubled by the teams performance this year too. But many just revisit the same conversation here over and over and it’s boring. With the talented guards coming in, Cal will lock a big.

    I realize each loss gives the recruit-obsessed folks a chance to say the same thing about Monty. But try focusing on basketball and not the slimy recruiting world, it’s much more fun.

    I’m excited (and nervous) to see how the team responds to this loss. Hope they find that fire, and posters here can gain some perspective of how hard it is to be successful in NCAA tourney even after a good year.

    Rant finished.

  • SteveNTexas

    Takeoff that was a reasonable response without rancor and I appreciate it.
    It is possible the Pac12 is slightly improved but its still not very good as the record I posted indicates. Ariz may be improved USC may be worse.
    The recruiting story Wehofx may been been alluding to is a top recruit picking San Diego State and making comments that he thought that was better than playing in the Pac12.

    I know we have a good class next year but you said two years – I hadn’t heard much about the year after. Junacho sems to say we would have gotten Bird anyway but Monty still deserves some credit.

    Should we contend for an NCAA berth every year? We are a major conference school and if the Pac 12 averages 4-5 teams I don’t see why not. We have some advantages over many f the other Pac12 schools -disadvantages copared to a couple of them.

    As I see lots of national recruiting conversations I rarely see Monty in the mix- that and the fact that we pretty much choked last year when we should have been peaking led me to be negative . We didnt lose such high caliber players compared to many top 25 teams so that we have to totally rebuild. We have been declining slowly for years.

  • Eric

    I will confess that I am not very good at judging coaching in b-ball; unlike football, I couldn’t tell you whether an offense should be adjusted, how defensive schemes work, etc. Thus, I tend not to comment as much on b-ball, and when I do it usually is not on tactics or game management.

    I have given a huge amount of credit to Monty for turning around the floundering program and delivering a real conference title. For that, he gets several years of comfort, even if the teams are not very good.

    I don’t ever expect to win the NC in b-ball, or even get to the Final Four. I’d like to make the tournament 3 out of 5 every years, with one Sweet Sixteen in there. To me, any coach who delivers that gets to stay (I have a very different threshold for football, but, as George Carlin once said in his “what is a sport” routine, “it’s my rule, I make it up.”).

    So I’m solid on Monty for a good 3-4 more years.

    That being said, there is no excuse for losing at home to Harvard. Ever. Hopefully it is the only bad loss we suffer this year, but we now need to steal a few road wins from good Pac-12 teams to make it up in the RPI/committee if we hope to make the tournament without winning the Pac-12 tournament.

  • gobears49

    Can’t complain about Monty’s recruiting except for his lack of getting any really good power forward 6’9″ or taller, or a center. Tell me how I’m wrong on this.

    I don’t think Kamp, who I thought was an excellent player and was, most likely, the smartest basketball player I have seen at Cal in some time, was recruited by Monty. If Monty has been at Cal four years, he couldn’t have recruiting Kamp, who spent five years at Cal (one being a redshirt year because of injury). Besides, he was only 6’8″.

    I don’t think Boykin counts (assuming Monty recruited him, as I forget when he transferred to Cal), as I also think he was also 6’8″.

  • gobears49

    Not that it matters, but Boykin probably was smaller than 6;8″, probably 6’7″. I’m too lazy to go to Google for this.

  • SteveNTexas

    Aren’t we setting our standards a little low?

    OK Monty has been here 4 yrs? Has there been one solid NBA player he recruited? Even Braun had a few stars. JOrge was a good fit for Cal except in some of his last games, but we have had legitimate NBA stars.

  • Eric


    Perhaps. My b-ball standard is not the same as my football standard, as expressed above. To be blunt, I simply don’t expect more than what I laid out. In Monty’s case, he delivered a Pac-10 title. That counts for a lot in my book.

    Of course, as you have rightly said for several years, Monty has been a poor recruiter. It may now be catching up, though Monty did nab a highly regarded recruit.

  • rob bear

    Anyone thinking that we should can Monty is insane. He was out coached in this game and he in all likelihood would acknowledge that (#9 Above). With that said, he is the best coach we have had in decades. On to UCLA. Beat the Fake Bears with EXTREME PREJUDICE! Happy New Year to ALL BEAR FANS and the one ‘SC guy who went to Juarez, Mexico to see the Trojans in the Border Bowl in sister city, El Paso.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I’m torn. I wanted to believe in Monty so much that I disregarded the argument that the conference title was done with Braun’s players. I’m giving it some more thought now.

    Aside from a number of excellent inbound plays after TOs, I cannot say I have been terribly impressed with what coaching I can identify. He has always relied on his star to deliver down the stretch of games, but I did not expect such a lack of clock and shot management. A few times is nothing. We’ve seen it with regularity.

    I’d be much happier wit good decisions and execution, but missed shots, than poor choices. I just don’t think it is a matter of the other teams’ defenses anymore.

    Personally, not getting a dominant big is NOT a reason for displeasure. Not having any depth on the front line after 4 years IS. It’s well beyond me that Monty doesn’t have a stable of Thurman-like guys to send in for defense and rebounding whenever needed.

    Per the norm, I like defense. It made me put up with Braun for longer than I should have (though HE did have many bad breaks and defections those last years). That said, his teams played smarter than what I’ve been viewing of late.

  • wehofx

    #22 #27 TakeOFf and Rob B, completely and totally agree.

    It took Monty 9 years, 1994 to get to 2nd round of ncaa.

    ’96 first Sweet 16. Then, he went on the Big Time run.

    First 11 years his teams went to NIT 4 times and had 1 losing season.

    Monty has said more than once it’s going to take time to change the way HS kids look at Cal. Recruiting is looking up and tell me T Wallace Wasn’t a great get? He’s going to become All Conference by next season. If he keeps improving imo he has a better shot at the nba than Crabbe.

    In Monty I trust.

  • wehofx

    …and how about $c? I wanted to see Udub and lame lose even if it’s not good for the Conference.

    Here’s to PKU and Furd victories!

    On T Gonzalez Thread, BigD posted Pro Bowl list by school. We’re tied for second w Tx.

    Happy New Year!!!

  • Juancho

    Happy New Year to everyone. I hope everyone has a very carnally pleasurable 2013.

    Here is some research I owe the board. Sorry for being late. I’ve been fighting a cold/flu type thing for a few days that I thought I was past, but the son of a goose came back. Then I became addicted to the television show Breaking Bad.

    Colleges & NFL Pro Bowlers –

    Let’s start with the quarterbacks. Tom Brady (Michigan), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Matt Schaub (Virginia), Aaron Rodgers (Chico State/ Butte CC), RG3 (Baylor), Matt Ryan (Boston College).

    The top QBs in the NFL all plied their trade with the exception of Rodgers down south or out east. Could this be correlated to the fact that a lot of teams on the west run spread style, or pistol offenses ?

    Here’s the other thing. Of those guys above, Peyton was an absolute star in college, as was RG3, then Rodgers after them. Ryan, Brady and Schaub were not what I would consider stars. Which I guess gives credence to why so many QBs in the draft get taken high when their college careers weren’t spectacular. I.e., apparently Gino Smith from WVU is going to be the first pick this year. Which makes me grateful the beloved Raiders don’t have the first pick this year.

  • Juancho

    Looking at my comment above I should add – Manning, Brady, Schaub, Rodgers, and Ryan all ran pro style offenses in college. RG3 ran a spread.

    RBs & WRs

    Arian Foster (Tennessee), Ray Rice (Rutgers), Jamaal Charles (Texas), Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma), Marshawn Lynch (Cal), Frank Gore (Miami).

    Vonta Leach (East Carolina), Jerome Felton (Furham).

    Rob Gronkowski (Arizona), Heath Miller (Virginia), Tony Gonzalez (Cal), Jason Witten (Tennessee).

    AJ Green (Georgia), Andre Johnson (Miami), Reggie Wayne (Miami), Wes Welker (Texas Tech), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Brandon Marshall (Central Florida), Julio Jones (Alabama), Victor Cruz (UMass).

    Similar to the QBs, but not as much – the great majority of these guys are not guys who played their college ball on the west. Some of the schools that jump out are Tennessee and Miami.

  • Juancho


    Joe Thomas (Wisconsin), Duane Brown (Virginia Tech), Ryan Clady (Boise State), Logan Mankins (Fresno State), Marshal Yanda (Iowa), Wade Smith (Memphis), Maurkice Pouncey (Florida), Chris Myers (Miami), Joe Staley (Central Michigan), Russell Okung (Oklahoma State), Trent Williams (Oklahoma), Mike Iupati (Idaho), Jahri Evans (Bloomsburg), Chris Snee (Boston College), Max Unger (Oregon), Jeff Saturday (North Carolina).

    D –

    JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Wake (Penn State), Elvis Dumerville (Louisville), Jason Pierre Paul (Southern Florida), Julius Peppers (North Carolina), Jared Allen (Idaho State), Geno Atkins (Georgia), Vince Wilfork (Miami), Haloti Ngata (Oregon), Justin Smith (Missouri), Henry Melton (Texas), Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma).

  • Juancho


    Von Miller (Texas A&M), Tamba Hali (Penn State), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M), Jerod Mayo (Tennessee), Derrick Johnson (Texas), Aldon Smith (Missouri), DeMarcus Ware (Troy), Clay Matthews (USC), Patrick Willis (Ole Miss), Navarro Bowman (Penn State).

    Is it just me or are Penn State, Tennessee, and Texas showing up more often than one would expect?

  • Juancho


    Champ Bailey (Georgia), Jonathan Joseph (South Carolina), Antonio Cromartie (Florida State), Ed Reed (Miami), Eric Berry (Tennessee), LaRon Landry (LSU), Charles Tillman (Louisiana Lafayette), Tim Jennings (Georgia), Patrick Peterson (LSU), Dashon Goldson (Washington), Earl Thomas (Texas), Donte Whitner (Ohio State).

    Boy oh boy is that LSU heavy. With a touch of Big 10/12.

  • Juancho

    Special teams

    Dustin Colquitt (Tennessee), Phil Dawson (Texas), Jacoby Jones (Lane), Matthew Slater (UCLA), Thomas Morstead (Southern Methodist), Blair Walsh (Georgia), Leon Washington (Florida State), Lorenzo Alexander (Cal)<<< I was a classmate with this guy. Sharp as a tack.

  • Juancho

    Initial reaction – I think Cal has the most of any Pac 12 school. I think the most of any school on the west coast. The only issue is that there aren’t any younger guys there from Cal. Lynch, Alexander, A-Rodg, Tony G are all fellas who played at Cal quite a while ago.

    No Stanford guys either. Thankfully.

  • Juancho

    Austin hooper named us and stanford his final two. Cal is recruiting him for tight end.

  • Juancho

    Let’s take an objective and Carnal look at one Mike Montgomery. And let’s use the same Tedford metrics we used to continually point out it was time for him to go.

    Here is the first one I remember. “Tedford is overpaid.”

    Well, here are how the coaches in the Pac 12 rank in terms of salary.

    1. Sean Miller, AZ, $2.3 M
    2. Ben Howland, UCLA, $2.04 M
    3. Mike Montgomery, Cal, $1.61 M
    4. Lorenzo Romar, UW, $1.32 M
    5. Herb Sendek, ASU, $1.26 M


    1. Lane “Ruined the Raiders” Kiffin, USC, $4 M
    2. Jeff Tedford, Cal, $2.81 M
    3. Chip Kelly, Or, $2.4 M
    4. Steve Sarkisian, UW, $1.85
    5. Mike Riley, OSU, $ 17

    I can understand and to a certain extent agree with the thoughts that we have lower expectations for basketball than football. But if that’s the case pay the coach less. Don’t be at the front of the line in terms of paying a coach if we are okay being middle of the pack.

  • Juancho

    Mike Riley is supposed to be $ 1.7 M. My laptop is not complying.

  • Juancho

    Remember when a lot of folks pointed out that the football team was on a downward trajectory for a long time. Eric, this is your domain.

    2008 – 11-7 in conference record.
    2009 – 13-5 in conference
    2010 – 10-8 in conference
    2011 – 14-16 in conference


    2008 – 6-3 in conference
    2009 – 5-4 in conference
    2010 – 3-6 in conference
    2011 – 4-5 in conference
    2012 – 2-7 in conference

    Montgomery definitely doesn’t show the downward arc that the football program did. So Montgomery definitely shouldn’t be gotten rid of based on the “the program has stunk” recently argument.

    HOWEVER – here’s an important difference. Best end of season finish:

    In 2004 the football program finished the year ranked # 9 in the country. This is the year where Texas screwed us out of the Rose Bowl. The best finish Montgomery has had is winning one game in the NCAA tourney in 2009. So one could postulate that while Montgomery hasn’t shown the decline of Tedford, a counterpoint could be made that he also never really elevated the program to the heights the football program go to.

    Also let’s not forget Cal was almost # 1 in the nation before the Oregon State debacle. One could point out that we won the conference in basketball in 2009. But I’m of the belief that basketball is judged by Tourney play. Unlike football winning the conference doesn’t lead to the glorious Rose Bowl.

  • Juancho

    How about recruiting ?

    Basketball –

    2008 – Not in the top 30
    2009 – Not in the top 25
    2010 – # 21. BUT, our # 2 ranked player was Gary Franklin who didn’t survive. So this is a deceptive rating. Also includes Solomon who missed a year for disciplinary issues.
    2011 – Not in the top 30
    2012 – Not in the top 30
    2013 – # 23.

    Football –

    2008 – # 34
    2009 – # 42
    2010 – # 11
    2011 – # 17
    2012 – # 23
    2013 – # 26

    Pretty clear cut to me which program has recruited better. Both the times the basketball program has done well have been asterisks. One was when our second best buy butted heads with the coach and left. The other is due to Jabari Bird who would have committed to Cal had any of us been the coach too. His dad played basketball at Cal, and he was always going to play there.

    Thoughts ?

  • Juancho

    DISCLAIMER – I’m not saying one way or another Montgomery should get fired. I’m just providing some food for thought because I think it might be interesting.

    Most of you probably know I don’t like Montgomery. I think he’s a great coach. But I never got over his Stanford past. And I just think he isn’t cut out for the next generation of bball because it’s even more important to recruit at an elite level (because now guys can’t go pro out of high school) – and he like Tedford is known to be a non-recruiter that delegates it to younger guys.

  • SteveNTexas

    Well its about time you awoken.

    I guess the Big Picture topic is Why can’t we have high standards for basketball ?

    We are a big enough media market-different area teams have done well here.

    Is Haas a decent facility?

    What natural advantage would OSU. WSU, or even the U of O and U of W have over us?

    The of Arizona doesn’t have the best high school players but they built a reputation over years. Colorado and Utah – we should be better than them as well.

    Can we say that perhaps the large percentage of foreign students at Cal lower our interest in bball? BBall is played worldwide -it seems it would affect football more.

    Why should our standards be lower?

  • rollonubears

    Tedford 3.0, as some have said before. He’s got more important issues right now, like health and family, to consider. He can’t give Cal basketball his all, especially on the recruiting front. This team has regressed, recruiting is poor, and there’s no depth.

  • Eric

    @all Can Fans – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

    Why can’t we have high standards? In one sense, you are right – why shouldn’t we? But then, why is Indiana generally pretty good to terrific in b-ball, and terrible in football? Why is Kentucky the whipping boy of the SEC in football, and yet so dominant in b-ball? Why are UNC and Duke never able to be any good in football and yet almost always are top-10 programs in b-ball? Minnesota often fields decent b-ball teams, and yet the football program rarely makes it .500. Oregon, with the Lukes, almost broke through but since then has been terrible at b-ball at the same time its football programs has risen. Syracuse pretty much dominates NY State, but its football team’s glory days were in the 1950s and 1960s, with a brief interlude of Donovan McNabb.

    Very few schools are excellent in both. Florida comes to mind since Billy Donovan took over. Ohio State could be another candidate. Michigan, MSU, Texas, and UCLA hint at it. Every once in a while, Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, and FSU will be good at both. But it exceedingly rare.

    I think it is because the fan bases of virtually every college with big-time programs in both (so I am excluding the Georgetowns and Gonzagas of the world) happen to favor one over the other. Arizona is going to be a b-ball school. Its football program may every once in a whole be very good, and they do try to hire big name coaches, but it is always going to be a b-ball school. By contrast, ASU is generally thought of a “sleeping giant” in football, and b-ball there is a just an afterthought.

    Cal is in a somewhat unique position, because its fan base almost never has the option of having good teams in both at the same time. During the best years of the Tedford days, even when Braun had excellent players the teams never felt great. When Cal b-ball has been really good – like Monty’s title year, football has been mediocre to bad.

    I can think of one example where both were really good at the same time – 1993. Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray were on the 1993-1994 team – the 1992-1994 team was exciting, and the 1993-1994 team was great (only to blow a first round game against Wisconsin-Green Bay). Even the 1994-1995 team was still exciting with a highly regarded (and sanctionale) recruiting class (watch the 1995 home game against Stanford on ESPN, and you’ll see me get thrown out of the game). Harmon was always sold out and rocking. Our 1993 football team was, in my opinion, one of the best Cal teams in the last 30 years. And yet games were half full, and that is only two years removed from the 1991 season. Why?

    We have one of the few fan bases where there hasn’t been a commitment to football first, or b-ball first. I happen to be a football-first guy, and I suspect more Cal fans are, but perhaps you are right there is not any reason why Cal should want to see both programs living in the top 20.

  • SteveNTexas

    Great post Eric that looks behind the obvious.

    As to Indiana you hit the nail on the head. When I was there I never even heard of someone going to football game to watch even though I had a roommate who was their running back. Its not part of the IU culture. Basketball is everything with a nod to soccer (IU won the NCAA Championship this year. IU is close enough to Purdue and Notre Dame that football affectionados can go there -if they want to take a hit in academics.

    Maybe Cal’s fan base lacks from having so many foreign students.

    By the way Duke and Cincy seem to be having good football programs now but basketball came first.

    What can really make a 180 degree change in Cal Basketball? Monty can’t do it he might be able to keep us status quo. I suspect many young recruits don’t relate to him -similar to what happened to Bobby Knight towards the end of his career.

    Another up and coming coach? Perhaps but the competition and cost of one of these could make it unlikely..

    Now here’s the part where everyone will disagree with me. I’ll type quickly and run rapidly.

    Jason Kidd! He will give us instant attention and recruits will fight their way to get in. He’s getting the reputation of whereever he goes – that team wins no matter how bad they were the year before. The best kind of rep to have! Inner-city kids will relate to him and all basketball players want that floor vision and leadership.

    In 6 years he will be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame – more great publicity for our coach. Kidd has played all over the country and has fans in NYC, Dallas, New Jersey -all fertile grounds for recruiting as well as Northern Cal. We could certainly start winning our own area recruits. Jason has enough connections to attract a top flight staff as well.

    Ok the downside-yes he has had some issues with domestic violence and drinking. Some say he not very smart at academic stuff. Would that stop a young recruit from attending- NO.
    I also know that Isiah Thomas was a great NBA player but a mediocre coach but Thomas had retired many years before he coached.

    What have we to lose? Many of you concede we will never be very good. RFK once said “Some people complain about how things are, and shake their heads and say “Why” Others take chances look to the future with Jason Kidd as Cal’s Coach and say WHY NOT” ( Ok I added just a tad to RFK’s quote)

  • The Wisdom Cow

    uh, no.

    Kidd is a gifted player with excellent court vision. There is no reason whatsoever to believe he can coach. He’s not known for his communication skills, but for leading by physical exploits.

    He’s kinda the anti Mark Jackson.

    Plus, he never learned any basketball here, not from Bozeman, and they don’t play basketball in the NBA, so there is no reason to believe he has ever really grasped the Xs and Os of the game in the first place, in truth.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    For clarification purposes: the Globetrotters and Generals play something closer to basketball than what is played in the NBA.

  • gobears49

    Great posts.

    I have never said we should fire Monty. Best coach we could get, though I am very concerned over how we are playing this year. Way too much dribbling and one on one to get high level of high percentage shots. Not smart basketball. I truly feel we are being out coached (not during the game but how the players are trained to play before the games) this year. Monty is not imposing his will on his star guards to play good team ball.

    Braun was a “better recruiter” than Monty, but most of his best recruiting was done by his assistant, Bozeman. I think this was also true for Montgomery, whose assistant Trent Johnson, now at TCU after leaving LSU (see link below), was largely credited with bringing in Monty’s best talent, probably including both sets of frontcourt twins, both sets of which played or have now played for a long time in the NCAA.

    I need to read up on next year’s recruiting class. All I really know about it is that Bird is the highest level recruit Monty will have brought in, higher ranked than Crabbe. Monty’s specialty is bringing in really good transfers (Boykin, I think that was Monty’s, Cobbs, and Kreklow — Monty may be the best in the country at that, though maybe UCLA could make a claim with the Weir brothers, if there are others UCLA brought in).

    Trent Johnson link —