Basketball: Oregon game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 58, Oregon 54. The Bears enter the second half of the Pac-12 schedule still in the mix after handing the No. 10 Ducks their second defeat on the Bay Area trip. Cal (13-8, 5-4) will be no worse than tied for fifth place entering the second half of the conference calendar. Cal hadn’t beaten a team in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll since a 69-64 win over No. 9 Washington State on Jan. 31, 2008. Montgomery is now 10-0 vs. Oregon as coach at Cal, 23-0 against Ducks in game played in the Bay Area: 18-0 while at Stanford, now 5-0 with the Bears. Richard Solomon completed best weekend of his career with 13 points and 12 rebounds — giving him 25 and 19 for two games. Freshman Tyrone Wallace had 12 points, Allen Crabbe scored 13 — but 10 on transition layups and dunks — and David Kravish had eight points and eight rebounds. Monty thrilled with team’s defense. Bears helped force Oregon into 22 turnovers and held Ducks scoreless over the final 3:58.

4:25 2nd H: Cal answered with a 6-0 run, including a breakaway layup by Crabbe to make it 50-48 with 5:25 left. A dunk by Kazemi pushed Oregon’s lead back to 52-48.

7:27 2nd H: Cal coming apart. Bears haven’t scored on six straight possessions, turning it over the past four. Oregon leads 48-42 and has the ball.

8:16 2nd H: BSmith picks up PF No. 4. Oregon on 7-0 run and leads 46-42.

11:20 2nd H: A 3-pointer by Wallace off another Ore turnover and Cal leads 42-39. Crowd alive. Moments earlier, Wallace drove the lane and dished to Robert Thurman for a dunk. Oregon has 17 TOs. Solomon has 11 points, nine rebounds for Cal, Wallace has 10 points. 

15:39 2nd H: Solomon already has six points in the half and the score is even at 33-all. Turnovers continue to plague the Ducks, who hae three in 4 1/2 minutes and 14 for the game.

HALFTIME SCORE: Oregon 27, Cal 24. The Ducks score the final six points of the half — all from the FT line — to regain the lead. Brandon Smith picked up his third foul with 16.4 seconds left. Songler has seven points for Oregon, Crabbe and Kravish each with six for Cal.

2:49 1st H: Cal still leads 22-21. Game has 17 baskets, 16 turnovers. Bears playing with lots of energy — sometimes too much. Their transition game has been rushed and at times out of control.

4:01 1st H: Another Oregon turnover — No. 8 — and Crabbe goes coast to coast for a ferocious dunk. Cal leads 22-21. First lead since 6-4. Good crowd. Bears ahead despite shooting 33.3 percent.

7:22 1st H: A 3-point bank shot by Wallace tied it at 13-all, but Loyd answered with a 3 of his own and Oregon leads 16-13. Six Oregon turnovers keeping the Bears in it, but they are not converting. Brandon Smith playing well with a couple steals off the bench.

11:39 1st H: Cal’s strong start a memory. Oregon uses 7-0 run to lead 9-6. Cal hasn’t scored on past six possessions and shooting 20 percent (3 for 15) for the game. Cobbs and Solomon already with two PFs.

THIS SCORE JUST IN: Utah blew most of a 22-point, second-half lead, but held on to beat Colorado 58-55 in SLC. Buffaloes slip to 4-5 in Pac-12.

11:39 1st H: Cal’s strong start has disappeared. Oregon has scored past seven points and leads 9-6. Cal without a point on its past six possessions and shooting 20 percent (3 for 15). Cobbs and Solomon each have two PFs. Could be worse: Oregon has four turnovers and has missed a pair of FTs.

15:53 1st H: Cal leads 4-2 after a put-back by David Kravish. Intense defensive play, but Cal shooting 2 for 7, Oregon 1 for 5. Bigger issue: Justin Cobbs appears to have injured his right hand. Medical staff checking him out during timeout. Cobbs staying in the game.

LINEUPS: Oregon will start Johnathan Loyd, Damyean Dotson, Tony Woods, E.J. Singler and Arsalan Kazemi. Cal goes with Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs, Tyrone Wallace, David Kravish and Richard Solomon.

WELCOME: Cal (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) takes its best shot at No. 10 Oregon (18-3, 7-1) on what the Bears have promoted as a “Gold Out,” handing gold T-shirts to the first 8,000 fans. Back with lineups.

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It really blows that so many of the games have been carried by the defunct (for me) FSN channel. Before the new “every game televised” Pac 12 contracts, we’d only miss out on a couple of away games a year, with CSN or CSN+ carrying most every game. 🙁

  • Calfan1

    And The bears have won the game!!!

  • Juancho

    Lucky for me game was on kicu tv 36. Channel 706 on my menu.

    What a game. Monty prove me wrong. Ill gladly eat crow. Just add some star recruiters.

    Anyone else notice arik armstead on the oregon bench ?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Would have liked to have seen this one.

  • wehofx

    Now that was a Monty coached team. By far the best D the team has played this year. Only a few times did the switches get dropped.

    B Smith’s best game, by far, of the last 2 years. That was the smitty from 3 years ago.

    pku w starting pg out and the other playing hurt is not the same team that got top 10 ranking but I’ll still take it.

    A poster here said this year’s team was terrible at running the break and I agreed. Today, however, it was a thing of beauty.

    Maybe they finally found some team chemistry in the osu game.

    Go Bears!

  • Mitchie V

    One more gripe about the lack of TV coverage. Boooo!

    Great win! Wish I could’ve watched it happen.

    Go Bears!

  • SteveNTexas

    Great win and CBS predicted it but Juancho you can eat the crow yourself. Are we 1-8 v top 50?

    Lets just enjoy the win its about )&*&% time we beat a decent opponent.

  • Gobears49

    Who is the guy who said the Bears s**k.” I said wait till half the season is over and we’ll see then. Well, we have played half of the league schedule and we have a winning record. Not great, but not that bad, either.

    We had a good inside game today, though I doubt we’ll ever be great there this year, as overall we don’t have much touch around the basket. The shot by Cobbs to simultaneously rebound and shoot the ball, several feet from basket, while he was practically falling down, was a classic. He was really clutch down the stretch. Got to hand it him as I’ve been his biggest critic.

    Hope the team learns from the fight they showed today — I think Cal scored the last 10 points. They can win if they don’t quit. Monty’s post-game interview was predictably upbeat.

    BTW, for all of those who have been trying to hang Monty (I’ve been critical of him but think it is a bit asinine to ask him to be fired), I am going to try to get Cal’s overall record since Monty has been our coach and compare it to the other teams in the league. I predict we’ll be anywhere from first to fourth best. If so, it justifies keeping Monty as a coach, especially given his great track record. We still have a chance for the NCAA’s, especially if the guys continue to show the heart they did today and we continue to get good inside play. Anybody out there still claim Monty should be fired?

  • Gobears49

    Forgot to show Oregon’s record. Here it is. Don’t forget to click on Ernie Kent to get his record.


  • The Wisdom Cow

    Has even one post on these boards said Monty should be fired?

    That said, it’s been an uninspiring year even with this LONE quality win. Don’t sugar coat the season from one game. Again, I wish I could have watched. When the team is lacking, the entertainment comes from seeing players grow, and I would have liked to see how the role players did today.

    Though I didn’t see it, I’m betting the team managed to keep the intensity they ended with on Thursday.

  • Gobears49

    A couple of posts over the past few months definitely indicated Monty should no longer be our coach, though I am not going to spend any time finding them.

    That being said, the team played inspired ball, with lots of heart, most of the game, particularly at the end. Oregon may have better overall talent, especially if you take into account their star point guard (I believe) they were missing from an injury. But we had more fight at the end. Hope it continues. Today the team preserved its chances of going to the Dance even if they don’t win the league tourney. Hope their intensity continues. The rest of the season could be really interesting.

  • Disappointed Bear

    For the most part a great game – except for a stretch of 4 or 5 turnovers in a row in mid-2nd half – I was sure we were going to give this one away, but we regained our intensity. Just can’t seem to keep our focus for 40 minutes. Soloman had probably the best game I’ve seen him play – keep waiting for him to turn the corner, and maybe this is it. He rebounded, had a couple of good shots, and made his freethrows. He still has a tremendous up-side, but, boy, we sure could use a Soloman like that the rest of the season…

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Gobears, indicated (as in explicitly stated)? or implied?

    Because here, anything at all critical tends to be subjectively read to imply far more then the prose usually meant.

  • SteveNTexas

    Sorry one game – one win although exciting – does not bring back Monty from the dead. Getting to the NCAAs might. We won one game vs the top 50 most top 75 teams get a home upset over the season.

    Great game though as was the Game of the YEar so far Indiana Michigan.

  • Gobears49

    Wisdom Cow,

    Probably most implied, a few explicit. Seems like a new implied comment is the SteveNTexas comment right after yours (one game “does not bring Monty back from the dead”). As I recall his comments, SteveNTexas is not a big fan of Monty. I think he wants him gone. I clearly don’t, as I think he is a very good to excellent coach when he applies all of his experience and skills and does not let his players just do their thing. He certainly his inspired his team today and at the end of the OSU game.

  • ken1w

    This game and the OSU game shows that Monty IS (and will continue to be) a great coach for Cal. His team this year has just now figured out how to play together (as a “team”) to carry out Monty’s game plan with any degree of consistency. As evident in the results, even when the offense (and usual key scorers) are not playing at their best, if they play as a cohesive team and do what Monty directs (especially on the “D” end), the tight games can be won. In both games, the Bears stayed mentally tough (no panic) and fought back late in the game to win.

    The injuries have hurt the Bears during the first half of the Pac-12 schedule, but it may turn out to be a GOOD thing. The lack of depth forced Cal to create some depth, by giving key reserve players like Thurman-ator and Bak Bak more playing time; they will contribute better for the rest of the season when they are needed. And the physical rest may done Brandon some good, because he is back and better than ever; he’s Cal’s best point guard for executing Monty’s game plan. Now, if we can get Ricky Kreklow back too…

    It’s MUCH better to finish strong than to have a better W/L record mid-season with a faltering finish. Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    I dont think anyone has said montgomery should be fired. Me and steventexas are probably the most anti montgomery. But i dont recall either saying he should be fired.

    My position. Monty doesnt recruit well enough. And hes not the guy to make us a perrenial sweet 16 team. But that seems fine for Cal. Hes a good value for the standard set as a minimum by fans.

  • Juancho

    Better Super Bowl food.

    1. Kentucky Fried Chicken Party Bucket

    2. McDonalds Big Macs & Chicken Nuggets

    3. Round Table Pizza & Chicken Wings

  • SteveNTexas

    Juancho – and many are missing something.

    Many fans when the teams is so disappointing just leave. It not that they are fairweather fans but it just feels bad viscerally.
    I love Sam Houston State but admit I don’t follow them as closely as they seem to lose most of their games.

    IF Cal was looking like a tourney team – there would be many many more posters.

  • discdude

    The real implication is that somehow, some are not satisfied with the improvement Monty has brought, just so that they can have the “correct” opinion if he fails. Or that he’s “Monty” and he took a theoretically much more difficult situation at Stanfurd (almost no historical success) and made them a near perennial NCAA lock, top 2 team in P-10, and generally top 20 (with some top 5 years), and that he could *then* take a program that actually has a better situation (Pete Newell, KJ, Kidd, etc) and make it perennial top 5 with the Kentuckys and Kansases of the world. Unfortunately, it’s just not true. Each situation and timing is totally different and independent. Monty was a young pup in 1986, today’s he’s clearly a more different and cerebral coach. And I think it’s true, he’s not a big fan of recruiting or a lot of what’s going on in college hoops.

    That being said, he is a great coach. What I don’t like from the comments is the implication that he’s failing. Faaaar from it, he’s succeeding with what he’s building. And the comments suddenly are about Cal needing now 3 years of good recruiting vs. 1 are crazy talk. All folks could say is “Man, I wish we could get one decent year.” Well, that is coming fall 2013. And it’s building each year, just slower than some people might prefer. 3 years of 5-star recruiting? Gotta have 1 good year first before getting there…

    And yet…

    2011-12 24-10/13-5 NCAAs
    2010-11 18-15/10-8 NIT
    2009-10 24-11/13-5 NCAAs
    2008-9 22-11/11-7 NCAAs

    — Cue up the Braun era, avert eyes —
    2007-8 17-16/6-12
    2006-7 16-17/6-12
    2005-6 20-11/12-6 NCAAs
    2004-5 13-16/6-12
    2003-4 13-15/9-9

    If we can broad brush and says he’s not recruiting well enough to satisfy some, we can broad brush and say “That’s a hell of an improvement over Braun.” Bottom line is that some people like to complain. I’m sure Michigan fans are complaining all day long today about their “struggles” when in reality, they just got beat by a better team. It’s all about perspective.

  • wehofx

    SteveTex has definitely and unequivocally said Monty should be fired on numerous occasions.

    >>>Many fans when the teams is so disappointing just leave.

    As usual he didn’t read JF’s article. Attendance: nearly 10K.

    As far as posts, the pku game thread on the other site I frequent is at 194. I prefer BTB because I like most of the posters and it doesn’t get huge threads like BI – which I’m sure is over 200.

    In Monty I trust. Go Bears!

  • rollonubears

    10k isn’t a lot of fans for a weekend home game when school’s in session, against the #10 team in the nation. plus, there were a fair number of oregon fans as well. We should be selling out Haas, but we just haven’t played up to our potential. Things may have turned around yesterday, but Oregon really didn’t play well at all. It was a pretty sloppy game on both ends, but we shot free throws really well, and rebounded for a change. We need a split in arizona.

  • Gobears49


    Thanks for backing me up and stating someone on this blog has unequivocally stated that Monty should be fired. However, most of the negative comments about Monty didn’t quite go that far. Many times, I have critical of him but never suggested he was not a very good coach, overall, or should be replaced.


    Very good post, especially the stats showing post-season tourney participation. But you have to give Braun partial credit for Monty’s early success, as he left very good talent on the plate for Monty to use in his first two or three years.

    BTW, I think an interesting thread could be what was the best basketball recruiting class in Cal’s history, based only upon performance at Cal only and after leaving Cal. For instance, my guess is the the freshman class with Patrick Christopher would be right up there.

  • SteveNTexas

    We do have a nice recruiting class -its about time but as Juancho reported one guy would have attended anyway.


    Our class is not that fantastic its currently at #28 3rd in the PAC. Its good though.

  • SteveNTexas

    ANd yes I do not think Monty should be our coach next season and I do not care if I’m the only one. I assure you many fans have given up on Cal .

    Today’s Sagarin still has us out of the top 50 and we are 1-6 vs TOP 50 teams -they rate Oregon 44 as it has lost two games in a row.

    Cheer all you want but I expect more out of Cal.

  • SteveNTexas

    Scout has us at #19 in recruiting- and that’s quite a bit better. Still 3rd in conf but its very close.

  • SteveNTexas

    and here is a positive spin on Cal by Katz

    Cal: The Bears were left for dead in the Pac-12, but a sweep of the Oregon schools this weekend should at least signal that they have a pulse for the stretch run of the season. Even if Cal can’t manufacture March Madness dreams of its own, it can at least be a pest the rest of the season and spoil it for other teams.

  • Juancho

    My gripe with monty is simple. His recruiting has been bad. I posted previosly his classes that are full of misses. And thats why our team has no depth.

    Jabari bird is the exception. His parents are alumni. He met monty the day he officially committed.

    Great facilities, great location, great arena. Our recruiting should be better. I think monty is similar to tedford in terms of veing a bit out of touch in social media/ recruiting.

    Ideally id like a program that is in the sweet 16 each year. But my gripe is recruiting. Because with mediocre recruiting were always going to have that fall back excuse that monty is doing the best he can with mediocre talent.

    We shouldnt have mediocre talent.

    Best recruiting class hands down for me was leon powes.

    Leon powe
    Marquis kately
    Dominic mcguire
    Ayinde ubaka

  • Gobears49


    Nice post. I’ll make some other comments after the Super Bowl, but I’m going to take up your challenge of best recruiting class. Not sure if it is true, but if Lamond Murray was in the same class as Kidd, they win against your class. I will check that out and report back.

    I loved the potential of Kately (who transferred out of Cal to play for Bozeman back east), but he did not fulfill it at Cal. As you know, Ubaka was a high-ranked recruit, but I don’t think he came close to fulfilling his potential (BTW, my son is 21 and a big Cal fan, and that is his favorite Cal player). McGuire was not very good when he was at Cal, but played much better after he transferred to Fresno State. He may still be in the NBA, though if he is he is not playing much.

  • discdude

    I thought Braun was a really good recruiter, just an average coach. I had high hopes for his teams, they just never seemed to develop. I agree, Monty’s cupboard wasn’t completely bare, but there were strong rumors that Randle was transferring. He certainly blossomed under Monty far more than anyone ever thought he would, so I give credit to Braun for getting him there, but I give more credit to Monty for molding him into POY talent.

    That Powe, Kately, McGuire, Ubaka probably was the best recruiting class in terms of talent. Unfortunately, two head cases, a bum knee, and a guy who never quite became what he should be (Ubaka). I can’t recall who came in the same year as Kidd, but he alone would make that class #2. Same with Shareef’s year.

    I think Monty is *trying* to recruit better talent, I don’t have an answer as to why he isn’t landing it. If Gordon flips to Cal, can we all agree the griping is over?

    You want to know Monty’s most important recruiting effort? Getting Crabbe to stay one more year. Crabbe will do what he wants, and that’s fine, but Monty will definitely make his pitch to stay and if he pulls that off, it beats landing any other top 100 player, outside of maybe Gordon. This team plus Bird and a healthy Kreklow is top 2 or 3 in P12 next year. Book it.

  • discdude

    GB49 – Murray and Kidd were one year apart.

  • Juancho

    Disc my brother. I thought Gordon named his final 3 as kentucky, arizona and washington. Anything new you seen linking him to Cal ?

    If monty fixes my main complaint then yes i would quit griping about recruiting.

    For me marquis kately was the most exciting player i saw at cal in person. Guy could jump out of the arena. Too bad that class never reached its potential. Was rod benson in that class too ?

  • Juancho

    I just read that gordon added one team to his finalists friday.

    Unfortunately its oregon.

  • discdude

    I don’t know…I thought I read something recently that Gordon was re-considering Cal? I could be wrong on that one. I know Kentucky basically “took” his slot when they over-recruited and gave him pause to re-consider. Given where Zona is at, they might have the lead. I think UW is looking less likely, I say that because how much more talent can Romar get that under-performs? Let’s be honest, they’ve had more talent than Cal and you’d think they’d win more. But once again, we see the inconsistency of Romar’s coaching. And Zona is definitely more of an NBA pipeline. Honestly, I’d be shocked if Gordon did end up at Cal, but I’d gladly take his one-and-done. (one thing we certainly don’t know is academics…)

    I too loved Kately, truly exciting. We are on the same page there, I think his transfer was a low point for me personally. I still have a fondness for Kidd’s behind-the-back pass in his debut with Dick Vitale spazzing out over it.

    Enjoy the Super Bowl folks.

  • discdude

    Ah, Oregon…that may have been it. Yeah, they are a sleeping giant imho, one that has recently awoken. New court, rabid sports fans, Nike $$$, and Altman is a great coach. Even so, it’s been hard to overcome Artis being out. Losing to Cal wasn’t as much of a shocker as getting pasted by Furd.

    In any case, if Gordon goes there, yeah, that would not be good.

  • Juancho

    As a raiders fan who lives in san francisco this is an interesting super bowl to watch. No real rooting interest.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    IF I am a parent, I don’t let my kid play basketball for Oregon, unless I live in the area. No way do I want to suffer the seizure and brain damage of watching too many of their games on TV. I presume that floor looks cool in person, but on TV it feels like I am staring at one of those 3rd Eye books, with my eye not knowing what to focus on.

    On Monty, I think almost the same as Juancho. Poor recruiting until this new class [knocks on head]. That’s in his Cal tenure, anyways. Otherwise, his only real flaw has ALWAYS been end of game management, where only when he had the top players and let them do their heroics did he find consistent late game success. Again, that’s pretty much the only flaw I’ve ever seen in his coaching with any consistency, which still puts him WAY high on the curve.

    Braun gets a bad rap because he was never and would never be an offensive mind. He needed go-to guys for entire games (compared to Monty’s final minutes of games). However, Braun was a superior teacher for defensive fundamentals, did a quality job of recruiting, and (IMO) did great at getting players to put in effort, both during games and during the year, such that nearly all of his players really improved with each season.

    He had a lot of flaws, mostly with offense (which lead to a few horrid seasons when rosters lulled), but I’ll never think unfondly of Braun. Some of his best years coincided with the opening of Haas – good Cal memories.

  • The Wisdom Cow


    Spent the last 5+ hours making a huge pot of Chili. Unfortunately, I made it kid friendly hoping my entry in Evolution: The Home Game will eat it, no big chunks.

  • SteveNTexas

    Discude I like your stats but year by year what has our record been since Monty? By the time he has been able to recruit all four years the team theoretically should be much improved. Next factor in that the Pac12 has had some really weak years. Arizona and UCLA hit bottom but have now surpassed us. We underperformed last year choking in the clutch and this year may even be worse. Where is the improvement?

    As for Michigan I really didn’t see more than a handful of Michigan Fans complaining – Michigan is probably the second best team in the country.

    As for some people complaining -YesI am. I don’t complain about Sam Houston because they can’t be expected to be a tourney team often. UTEP does seem like it may be on the rebound but I’m not sure. Indiana turned around its program rapidly but I don’t hold Cal to IU’s standards.

  • bigdruid

    Of course, the background is that Steve has been complaining about Monty since he was hired. The year we won the Pac-10, he still found something to complain about (our recruiting).

    Of course, it’s a completely valid complaint – our recruiting *has* been poor, and our lack of depth is the biggest reason why we are struggling this year, as everyone has already pointed out. But it’s just ironic that Steve is finally now openly calling for Monty’s dismissal, just when Monty has put together his best recruiting class.

    WisdomCow – I’m with you in my appreciation for Ben Braun. I was very pleased to see him land on his feet and get another job right away. I still think Monty is a better coach (Braun was a better recruiter, but note how many players left the program under his tenure), but I respect both coaches as class acts. I’d be proud to have my sons play for either coach.

  • Esquire Joe

    I’m sure the horse is long dead, but I’m just recovering from my Super Bowl hangover, and this is therapy for me.

    Aren’t we putting way too much credit/blame on Monty for the actual recruiting that has (or hasn’t) been done? I know it’s not to the degree in basketball that it is in football, but isn’t it really assistants who do the bulk of the recruiting work?

    What Monty needs to do is HIRE a good recruiter. He’s a great coach, and I’ve been very impressed by the progress that many of his players make over their Cal careers (Mr. Solomon not withstanding). If we have to pick great Xs and Os guy or great recruiter, I’ll take the former. It was good times when Bozeman was here, but the penalties were too high a price to pay.

  • SteveNTexas

    I was good with Monty in the beginning, but its not just recruiting– and remember as Juancho points out our top recruit would have come here anyway.

    What also bothered me is the way when choked down the stretch last year losing to mediocre teams and being played out of the NCAAs.

    Now we beat a decent team who is 1-2 without its guard and everyone ignores that we were 0-6 v the Top 50. Even USC the worst team in the conf has a nice upset. What is the EXCUSE for this year?