Basketball: UCLA game thread

Click here to ready my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 76, UCLA 63. Bears improve to 15-9 overall, 7-5 in the Pac-12 and are part of a four-way tie for fourth place. They have beaten all of the league’s top three teams — and all in the past 13 days. David Kravish had a career-high 18 points to go with 13 rebounds. Richard Solomon scored 17, Crabbe had 16 (15 in the first half) and Cobbs had 12 points and nine assists. Cal had three different players with at least five assists, as Wallace contributed six and Crabbe five. Mike Montgomery said he expects senior G Brandon Smith (left knee) to be OK. Adams led UCLA (18-7, 8-4) with 15 points. Muhammad had 13 points and 11 rebounds, but shot 4 for 13 as the Bruins converted just 37.7 percent. 

4:52 2nd H: UCLA within 70-56 after 3-pointer by Adams, who has 15 points. Brandon Smith hit his left knee on the basket standard moments earlier and was helped from the floor. Crabbe has not scored in the second half.

7:35 2nd H: Bruins doing just enough to keep the Haas crowd a bit nervous. Cal lead now 67-50. Thurman has three PFs. Solomon, who already has three, just limped to the bench for the timeout.

11:01 2nd H: UCLA got within 51-36 before the Bears ran off nine straight points for a 60-36 lead after a putback and free throw by Kravish. UCLA came back again, riding a pair of 3-pointers by freshman Jordan Adams, but a jumper by Cobbs made it 64-45.

16:22 2nd H: You didn’t really think it was over, did you? UCLA has opened the second half with a 12-4 run and has pulled within 51-34. Monty calls a timeout. Cal has turnovers on its past two possessions.

HALFTIME SCORE (Honest): Cal 47, UCLA 22. The margin was 28 a moment ago before David Wear hit a 3-pointer. Bill Walton, that famous UCLA alum and outspoken Howland critic, must be exploding about now. Crabbe with 15 points and Cobbs, Solomon and Kravish with 10 apiece. Wallace is shooting 1 for 5 — the rest of the Bears are 19 for 29! Cal outrebounding the Bruins 24-14. Cal shooting 58.8 percent, UCLA 30.3 percent. Cal informs us this is its biggest halftime lead of the season — no kidding. (The football team probably figures every game is like this — they’ll probably be back). Cal honoring Andy Wolfe (Class of ’48) as winner of Pete Newell Career Achievement Award winner.

2:25 1st H: Monty calls timeout. Go figure. It’s 43-19. Cal shooting 59.4 percent, UCLA just 31 percent with six turnovers. Still not over, but . . .

3:45 1st H: Howland and the Bruins can’t get to halftime soon enough. It’s 41-19 after a ferocious breakaway dunk by Crabbe who has 15 points. That made it 41-17, and the Bruins got one back a moment later. This is a Cal team playing fast and with confidence. Better tonight than they were Sunday, when they beat No. 7 Arizona at McKale Center.

6:33  1st H: Oh my! How many timeouts does Howland have — he just used No. 3! Crabbe with a long 3-pointer and it’s 35-13. A 15-0 Cal run. Crabbe has 13 points and was pounding his chest afterward. Yes, that Allen Crabbe. Cal shooting 62.5 percent, UCLA at 27.3 percent.

9:01 st H: It’s very early, but Cal is running roughshod over the Bruins, ahead 28-13. Ben Howland just used his second timeout. Cal has scored eight straight and is shooting 65 percent. UCLA at 31 percent. Kravish has 10 points.

10:45 1st H: Bears lead 22-13. Kravish has eight points, Crabbe six and Solomon delivered perhaps the most spectacular play of his career with a crazy spike tip putback that is sure to make SportsCenter’s top plays — especially with Bill Walton frothing over it from the sideline. UCLA shooting 6 for 18 (33 percent), Cal 9 for 15 (60 percent). Brandon Smith came in at 12:29 and already has two PFs. Muhammad returned for UCLA, even with two PFs.

15:18 1st H: Most of the Cal football team is sitting under the basket to the right of the UCLA bench. Some beefy fans.

15:56 1st H: Cal leads 8-3 as UCLA calls timeout. Bears moving the ball well. Back to man-to-man on defense. UCLA shooting 1 for 6 and super-freshman Shabazz Muhammad already on the bench with two PFs. Kravish a pair of baskets for the Bears.

LINEUPS: UCLA will start Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Travis Wear, Jordan Adams and Larry Drew II. Cal goes with Richard Solomon, David Kravish, Tyrone Wallace, Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs. Here we go …

WELCOME: Here at Haas Pavilion (barely) for Cal’s game against UCLA. Traffic!!!!!

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Best first 4 minutes in a long, long time. Way to work the ball inside, Bears! Keep it up.

  • SteveNTexas

    ESPN2 Looking good early!

  • Joey

    Refs missing some calls. At least greencrap isn’t there.

  • Joey

    Holy crap! How did I not go to this game.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    35-13, Oh my! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Keep it up, Bears! UCLA looks like they didn’t expect this kind of play. I’m thinking the team began to believe in themselves after winning in AZ. Wow. They look NOTHING like the team that played all winter.

  • Joey

    Wow, wow, wow wow wow! So mad I didn’t go to the game. We look like all-stars. Wallace, Thurman, Kravish, Solomon looking great. Way to rebound.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    When people watch the highlights or a replay, regardless how it goes here on out, watch how patient Kravish and Solomon have been with their upper bodies. They’ve had quick feet, but are keeping their heads and not rushing the vast majority of their shots.

    Something must have clicked. This is really surprising, given the season up through last week.

  • Rollonubears

    Outside of the free throw shooting and some girl wearing pink behind the bench, that was pure perfection. We let them shoot threes and they made every single one, and we still destroyed em. Awesome game. Go bears!

  • milo

    Great win. Solo and Kravish came up big.

    Beating UCLA at hoops is second only to beating Furd.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    We had the boys from LA doing their best Paul Newman impressions.

    “I can’t do that. Can you do that? How can they do that?” Pause. “Who are those guys?”

  • Juancho

    Credit to monty. This team is on the uptick.

  • Joey

    Refs trying to hand furd the game. Bogus travel call against SC with 30 left in game. PAC 12 refs suck so bad yet no one will ever write about it.

  • ConcordBear

    Credit to the players and coaches for turning things around. They had a lot of adversity, injuries that really hurt and now have reinvented things and are really playing great.
    Solomon and Kravish were great, they play strong the rest of the way no reason we can’t keep winning. Those guys are key.
    Love Crabbe and the way he’s playing. Passion and confidence are high now, leadership even showing too!
    Cobbs had a great game as well, love when he attacks the basket and does not force things.
    Role guys did their thing.
    Best thing is that Tyrone is no longer playing like a freshman. He is playing great D and not turning the ball over. If he can shoot a little better look out, he’s a player!
    Tons still out there to play for.
    Sc game Sunday is huge, they just beat stanford and are playing well, keep getting better Bears.
    Proud of our hoops program for fighting through adversity, improving at the key time, table is set to really impress and do great things down home stretch.
    No reason the entire team can’t keep getting better, they look like they have figured things out, are confident and having fun.
    Can’t wait for Subday, Go Bears!!!

  • discdude

    It’s gotta be the shoes!

  • 1brsfan

    Lunardi has us as the last team in as of this morning. We have a lot of top 100 games upcoming so we have a shot at playing ourselves into the tourney. It starts with SC on Saturday and a road game in Oregon. If we hold serve at home and split in Oregon we should be in good shape. Even better if we get a win vs. Oregon on Thursday.

  • wehofx

    GoBears, pretty good run for a team that sucks, huh?

    Crabbe has probably played his way to lottery pick. After watching Noel’s horrific injury – as much as I’d like him to stay – it is clearly in Crabbe’s best interest to go out after this year.

    Shabazz was considered a sure thing one-and-done lottery pick. In the 2 games I’ve seen him, I think of the 2 frosh, T Wallace is playing much better, esp last night.

    After zona, oregon wins and last night, $c on Sunday has all the markings of a trap game. Sustain the intensity, Bears! Show the world you’ve found your heart and stones.

  • Mitchie V

    The Bears played hard last night. The cramping up at the end of the game says it all. Of course, you wonder what kind of diet they have.

    Loved the circle dance before the start of the game with Solomon doing those goofy moves in the middle.

    Crabbe was all that the first half. But Kravish and Solomon made it stick.

    That WAS a great Valentine gift.

  • Gobears49


    I have been a strong supporter of the team all year, though I have pointed out specific things I haven’t liked about the way the team has played in certain games and specific play of a few players. I was upbeat we could win against Arizona and I think I was congratulated by others on this board when that happened. I think you’re confusing me with someone else, perhaps the guy who said our only hope was to go to the NIT. I said about our win last week against Oregon that things were starting to get interesting to make the dance.

    I was at the game yesterday, and since it’s starting to be my hobby to watch the Bears closely, I may go to the rest of the home games. I discovered you can get some really good individual seats cheap from brokers outside of the arena which are much better than are available from buying them then at the ticket office.

    BTW, because of the 6 p.m. start, when many people are still coming home from work, Haas was only about one-third full at the start of the game. It was probably about two-thirds full by halftime, to my chagrin, as I had moved down to better seats two times and had to move back to my original seat by halftime. I think we have one more home game at 6 p.m. If Cal gets a disproportionate amount of that starting time on a weeknight compared to other teams in the league, it somewhat hurts their home court advantage by reducing crowd noise. If true, which I think the athletic department should check, it should be brought up to the Pac-12 league office to correct in future years.

    Random comments about the game.

    1. Included on any highlight reel of the season was Soloman’s slam off a rebound in the first half where he caught the ball with an outstretched right arm and windmilled it home. Totally spectacular. Kravish also had a nice putback off of a rebound, though not nearly as flashy as Soloman’s. As a whole, the inside play from Cal’s big men was probably the best all year. Hope it continues against USC’s seven footers.

    2. Soloman played great, probably his best game of the season, showing some nice turnaround jumpers. If he shoots within 10 feet, he can be very effective. He still needs a hook shot and a jump hook, something I think Kravish is pretty good a (though not with his left hand, yet)t. It seems that players have breakout games right after I criticize them on this blog, as I did recently to Soloman. Same thing happened with respect to Crabbe a few weeks ago, who played really well after I ragged on him (and he has really upped his game in recent weeks). So since they play so well after I criticize them on this blog, I should just say now that the whole team stinks, so we can win by 40 against USC on Sunday.

    3. I tend to watch Cobbs closely, as I thought for many games he was taking shots which were much too difficult, as they involved too much acrobatics and with a guy closely guarding him. He didn’t do that much last night except for two shots right before the half when we were blowing them out and a shot late in the second half, while driving to the basket with his left hand outstretch, with at least one player closely guarding him, which was blocked. That would have been a spectacular shot, if made, but we shouldn’t be taking shots that would result in a spectacular bucket, only those that are not difficult and are, at least, open looks (occasional three-pointers from way out are OK, but only from certain players). Cobbs plays so much better when he makes good choices in shots. He really is a shooting guard, and I noticed he is not really playing the point anymore (position being filled by Wallace and Smith).

    4. No follow-up article yet from Jeff about team injuries, but I am concerned about the injury to Smith near the end of the game and the injury to Soloman, though he did come in after limping out and going on he exercise bike. But he was still limping at the end of the game. Injuries like that often get worse when you stop playing and cool down. We need Soloman to play, and play well, to beat USC. Smith, too.

  • discdude

    Crabbe is not a lottery pick. He’s probably still a 2nd rounder, but he could creep up to late first. Amazing how when the team loses, it’s all gloom and doom, and when the team plays great…it’s still all gloom and doom. His body of work this year is solid and definitely great at times, but he still had a horrific night against Creighton, when the scouts were in the stands looking at McDermott. And as we well know, the NBA looks at upside more than anything. Or looked at differently, Klay Thompson (imho) was a much better player in college than Crabbe has been, and even *he* didn’t get selected as a lottery pick (he was 11th), and he had (and still has) even more upside.

    So, rather than worry about it, I’m just going to enjoy Crabbe’s play and if he stays one more year, fantastic.

  • wehofx

    GoBears, I was kidding – and poking you know who.

    For awhile there it seemed like you and I – and coupla others – were the only one’s sticking up for this year’s team and Monty.

    Agree about solo and kravish – something clicked for both of them. The beauty of college ball is watching young players figure “It” out, improve and mature.

    Smitty, too. His 12 to 15 minutes of controlled pg play is critical. If he can’t keep giving crabbe, cobbs and wallace 5 minute rests, this team could/will burnout like last year’s team did in the home stretch.

  • wehofx

    Disc, upon reflection, you’re right. crabbe is prolly not a lottery pick but definitely in lower half of first round.

    and yeah, it’s great to see him ballin’ out and finally acting like a team leader.

    where do you think shabazz goes?

  • BlakeStreetBear

    The triple weave handoff play at the top of the key with Wallace, Cobbs and Crabbe is a thing of beauty! All three of those guys can slash, draw a defender and pass for a dunk to a big guy left open. Thank you Monty for installing that set.

    The big men were incredibly active. Solomon and Kravish are both very skilled and athletic and when they play to their potential this team is special.

    So many unselfish plays – 21 assists on 32 fgs in pretty good…

    Looking fwd to the battle with $c on Sunday night…GO BEARS!!!

  • discdude

    I have no clue on Shabazz, but he is impressive for a frosh. Some have dogged him for inconsistent play, but he started 13 games in and had to get in shape, and he’s still only 18 or 19. He is a great shooter and if you want the definition of “upside,” he is it. So, given that…I’m guessing maybe lottery, but definitely top 20. My thought is that if he’s a fit for a team, they’d be crazy not to take him, even if he’s not an all star for a year or two.

    Re: that weave passing…is that going to continue? Other teams have to be seeing that on tape now, so are they going to mix it up? Also, I’m thinking we might see that zone against SC’s big men, they don’t have enough great outside shooters to overcome it. I’d vote for using at least part of the game.

    This team plays so much better with an early lead than coming from behind.

  • Gobears49


    I agree with you about Klay Thompson, who I thought was a pretty amazing player the time I saw him play Cal at Haas. I think he’s a better shooter, overall, than Crabbe.

    Crabbe has really improved his drive to the basket. When he gets open on that it is fairly automatic he will make the shot. Examples of that were shown last night on the new “weave” Cal has put in, which led to easy baskets for Crabbe when he drove to the basket.

    Crabbe is also much stronger than last year and is a good rebounder. But I think he is a streak shooter and needs to be more consistent. My biggest concern about Crabbe is that he doesn’t seem to be a very good one-on-one player right now, which is more important in the NBA than in college. Right now he needs to be in position to shoot, or make a very simple move to get open (except when he drives to the basket), to get his shot. BTW, I wouldn’t want him to play one-on-one at Cal, as I believe in playing more team basketball, which he is now doing.

    Hope he stays at Cal next year. He could easily shatter the school total scoring record, which probably would not be broken, if ever, for many years. Plus, he could play on a REALLY GOOD TEAM, especially if we get at least one new guy to play well up front. Playing on a really strong team in college means a lot to many players, though I don’t know if Crabbe is one of them. Haas could be really rockin’ next year if Crabbe comes back (except when they start the game at 6 p.m., which will postpone the rockin’ till the second half — see my comments about this above). If Cal starts off the year well, the place will likely sell out for all league games.

    I think Crabbe may be on the verge to be a lottery pick, but I must admit that I don’t know how he stacks up against players in the rest of the country, as I really only watch Cal games and am getting addicted to them. He is playing very well now, but there were many games in which he wasn’t.

    It’s too bad I’m committed to go to Hawaii to match my son play his college matches, as I might have flown to Las Vegas to watch the Bears there. Las Vegas is a great location because it will be very easy to get good seats to the games the day of the event (you never know when your team will be eliminated) and it is a fun location. I think the Pac-12 should have their tourney there every year for those reasons.

  • discdude

    Crabbe has gotten better, no doubt, but agree he still has trouble creating a shot with very tough defenders. What seems to have happened the last two games, a trend that hopefully will continue, is that defense has lead to offense, and others have contributed in significant ways. Like Wallace, he’s not scoring much, but his work on the defensive end has been spectacular and he’s much more secure with the ball too. Also, Cobbs has broken out of the funk and is shooting again. So, when all that happens, Crabbe doesn’t have to do it all. Note that even though he played 37 minutes last night, he didn’t work too hard in the 2nd half with the big lead.

    I’ve never seen Bird play, I don’t know the dynamics of how that will all work, but apparently his position is the same as Crabbe’s, sort SG/SF hybrid. That very well may play into Crabbe’s decision to stay/go.

    But hey, we are getting ahead of ourselves…I just want to enjoy that game from last night. I had to watch the first half twice!

  • Gobears49

    I must admit that I don’t watch defense that much. When the other team is on offense, I watch their players, not ours. UCLA has a lot of talent, but all at guard or small forward, with no decent big guys. Our bigs destroyed them, which is why we won.

    I didn’t listen to most of the post-game show, but at the tail end of it a caller said that he spoke to a pro scout who said Wallace’s defense was phenomenal. The scout apparently didn’t talk about anyone else except for UCLA’s Shabazz, who he thought wasn’t that good. I was not all all impressed by him. Kind of a quirky player and certainly not a team player. Not nearly as good as USC’s one and done guard from a few years ago, who I think is now doing well in the NBA.

    You are correct about Bird. He’s 6’6″, same as Crabbe. I need to check his play on YouTube. I read he’s a greyhound with a good outside shot. The weave Cal runs could be perfect for him.

    Next year Cal could be great if Crabbe comes back, but only if Monty convinces the team to share the ball and SITS GUYS DOWN WHO DON’T CONFORM TO THAT STYLE OF PLAY. We will have a lot of good guards next year, if Crabbe returns and Kreklow is healthy, so that Monty will have the luxury of benching guys who don’t play team ball.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Regarding Crabbe leaving/staying: if Bird and co. are gonna take some of Crabbe’s scoring potential away (minutes), let’s say he only scores 17 pts/gm next season, then he might as well go after this season, even if he will actually be a better player after next year, his numbers might not reflect that because his minutes will probably go down…just saying.

    But lets live in the now…

  • Gobears49


    You can only play with one basketball. That’s why it’s clear that “Bird and co.” will take some shots away from Crabbe and, as a result, his average will probably go down. But, as I pointed out in a prior comment, Crabbe will only need about 10 points a game next year to set the total points record.

    Two ways in which Crabbe could still be convinced to stay even if his scoring average is likely to go down next year:

    1. Crabbe needs to talk to people in the know about what pro scouts are looking for. One category is how they play defense, which was discussed by a pro scout about Wallace’s play last night, mentioned in my prior comment.

    2. It is critical for Monty to have a long discussion with Crabbe after this season is over, and maybe Crabbe’s advisers (if he has any) about how he will expect, and enforce, his team to play next year, and that he will not tolerate anyone playing much if they don’t play good team basketball. He should make it clear that this style of play will apply to Bird and that Bird will need to gradually increase his playing time as the season progresses, just like Wallace did this year.

    Monty also needs to talk to Crabbe about how he needs to improve his game and that, if he does, he may even a higher draft level after next season than this one, even with a lower scoring average, and promise to make sure he will help Crabbe achieve that goal. Perhaps he could offer to immediately start working with Crabbe on a plan to do that.

    Cal could be very, very special next year if Crabbe returns, though again we need at least one big forward to step up and fill Thurman’s shoes. I think a combination of Behrens (who showed some promise before he got hurt, but would have to improve a lot over the summer), and seven footer Rooks (especially later in the season) could fill that need.

  • milo

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Crabbe might stay, or at least not hire an agent. However yeah if he tests to be a first rounder, he’s probably gone. How can he not, he’s a smart guy and he can do the math. If he stayed however, Cal could win the Pac next season.