Basketball: Utah game thread

FINAL SCORE: Utah 79, Cal 69.  The Utes score the first five points of the OT period and never trail. They made 13 of 16 FTs to ice the win. “In overtime their confidence went sky high and we kind of put our chin to our chest,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery conceded. The Bears (20-11) dropped their second straight — they haven’t won a game since beating Colorado on March 2 — and head into Selection Sunday just the littlest bit unsure. Said Montgomery, when asked if the Bears deserve a spot in the field: “I’ll give my stock answer … as if my opinion means anything to anybody: The answer to your question is yes.” Cobbs scored 26 points and Crabbe had 21. DuBois led the Utes (15-17) with 21 points and freshman Jordan Loveridge had 20. 

OVERTIME: DuBois hits a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4 seconds left to tie the score at 59-all and we have overtime.

0:17.7 2nd H: That’s why you call timeout — Loveridge misses the third and Crabbe rebounds. He’s fouled and shoots 1 and 1 — hits first, and second for a 59-56 lead.

0:17.7 2nd H: Loveridge makes first two FTs. Cal calls timeout leading 57-56. At 28.2 seconds, Crabbe had two FTs — missed the second. Kind of big right now.

0:17.7: Utah’s Jordan Loveridge shooting 3 FTs with Utah trailing 57-54.

3:39 2nd H: Two free throws by Crabbe and a layup by Wallace and Cal leads 52-50.

6:30 2nd H: Freshman Jordan Loveridge hits consecutive 3-pointers and Utah leads 50-48. Utes have outscored Cal 14-4 over the past 5 minutes to overcome Bears’ eight-point lead.

11:30 2nd H: Cal ran off eight straight points and led 44-36 after a jumper by Kreklow with 13:58. Utah failed to score on nine consecutive possessions. But it’s now 44-38 after a layup by Brandon Taylor, who will shoot one FT after the timeout.

16:07 2nd H: Cal leads 40-36. Crabbe hit a 3-pointer earlier in the half, then missed one that was wide open in transition. Pat Riley watching from courtside. He’s not the only NBA scout here — just the most famous one.

HALFTIME SCORE: Cal 33, Utah 32. After being outscored 18-11 over the first 6 minutes, the Bears held a 22-14 edge the half.  Cobbs has 13 points for Cal, Crabbe and Kreklow each with six. DuBois has 15 for the Utes. 

3:54 1st H: Another 3-pointer by Kreklow, who was 3 for 11 from deep in just 6 games this season. Then a spinning pullup jumper by Solomon and a dash to the basket by Cobbs and Cal leads 27-23. Cobbs has 13 — looking like the All-Pac-12 player the coaches didn’t think he was on Monday. Cal playing a zone defense with a tall lineup — the regulars, plus Kreklow for Wallace — and Utah has made just 1 of its past 6 shots after starting 11 for 15.

7:54 1st H: Utah leads 23-20 after a 3-pointer by DuBois, who already has 13 points on 5 for 5 shooting, three of them from deep. Big news for Cal: Kreklow hit a 3-pointer that tied the score at 18-18 — it was his 1st 3-point since UCSB on Dec. 18. Monty still going with four reserves and now Crabbe in place of Cobbs, who has 11 points. Starters getting a good long break.

11:31 1st H: Utah made 9 of its first 10 shots and led 18-11. Bears have closed margin to 18-15. Cobbs with nine points. Montgomery already made wholesale lineup changes, no doubt looking for someone who will play better defensively. Brandon Smith, Robert Thurman, Ricky Kreklow and Bak Bak have already come in.

16:29 1st H: Utes, feeling comfortable on the court where they won less than 24 hrs ago, off to good start with 10-6 lead. Jarred DuBois, senior guard who played well vs. USC on Wednesday, already has two 3-pointers and a layup. Cal shooting 3 for 6, but not yet tuned in on defense.

LINEUPS: Utah will start Jason Washburn, Jordan Loveridge, Cedric Martin, Jarred DuBois and Brandon Taylor. Cal goes with Richard Solomon, David Kravish, Allen Crabbe, Tyrone Wallace and Justin Cobbs.

WELCOME: I’m here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for this evening’s Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal between Cal (20-10) and Utah (14-17). The Utes got here by beating USC 69-66 in a first-round game Wednesday night. The winner will play Friday at 8:38 p.m. against either Oregon or Washington.

Jeff Faraudo

  • wehofx

    Get back your ferocious D!

    Feed the post.

    Go Bears!

  • 1brsfan

    Great! Another hot shooting team! Just our luck.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    This is an awesome start. If Utah can keep this up, congrats to them. Cal is playing well, and will continue to play this well. When Utah lets up for a heartbeat, things are going to turn.

  • Rollonubears

    We need to figure out a way for wallace to make a layup. I don’t think he’s made a jumper since December.

  • unbearable

    I hate Directv!!!

  • rollonubears

    Did I just hear a cheerleader say “let’s go cal?” Come on.

  • rollonubears

    Does walton know weed’s a felony in Nevada?

  • rollonubears

    time to start shoving guys again, monty. and what the hell are all these utah fans doing there? isn’t it a sin to visit sin city?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Someday, Monty may actually foul instead of let the opposition have a prayer. [Curse Words!]

  • rollonubears

    PATHETIC. Typical. We don’t deserve the tournament. Rolled in expecting to win. Go home Bears.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt


    Monty does what most coaches do, not foul.

    Stop acting like you know something he doesn’t.


  • The Wisdom Cow

    UnbeF-INGlievable! The team comes so far only to get bounced in their first Pac Tourney because Monty keeps with the no-foul decision that caused so many early season loses.

    I don’t mind that that they played straight initially, but when the clock got down below 8, you foul there, especially when Utah has been living by the 3.

  • CalBearister

    Congratulations Cal – if any team ever earned a trip to the NIT, it’s you. I’m hoping we get spared the embarrassment of having to get destroyed in the real tournament. Or at least that our game isn’t televised broadly.


  • The Wisdom Cow

    The study shows NOTHING!

    Does the opposition shoot 3s? Have you been defending 3s? Exactly how much time when you choose to foul? (a huge difference between 5 and 12)

    Suck yourself off a little longer next time with the link, eh, TakeOff?

  • rollonubears

    Monty is openly opposed to conference tourneys, and it rubs off on the players. You go to vegas, you’re going to get distracted unless you have a coach that keeps you in line and focused. This is mostly on Monty. May cost us a trip to the dance. If not, we’ll get a 12 seed, which I’d rather have than a 7-10, anyway, but they played with no intensity, all game. What a waste of an evening, as usual. So pissed right now. Can’t wait for football season. Why do all of our Pac12 POY winners collapse immediately after winning the award? It’s not worth it. Maybe he’ll stick around another year.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    “because Monty keeps with the no-foul decision that caused so many early season losses”

    Please list those games for us.

  • rollonubears

    The fact that it came down to a foul/no foul decision is embarrassing enough. This was a Tedford special.

  • CalBearister

    +1 Rollonubears. Monty’s decision was a total Tedford.

  • rollonubears

    I don’t think you need a study to know you foul there, anyway. It’s like a study showing that having sex with prostitutes increases your chance of catching a disease. If you can’t get a rebound on a missed free throw, or inbound the ball to your teammate after two made free throws, you don’t deserve to win the game anyway. Simple decision. Poor on by Monty.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    LOL. Oh, you got me there. I was thinking of all the conversations on this same topic earlier, and presumed it was this season, which it turns out were more from last year, with occasional conversations on how he chose to end halfs. Yet, it is not like this has not been discussed on these boards before about Monty.

    And no, I don’t pretend to know more than Monty, but when you choose to go with the “no-foul” approach and have results statistically worse than national average, the devil is in the details. Some aspect is not being addressed.


    Unlike many here, I thought the team played pretty well tonight against a hot and confident squad. The bummer is that Cal probably gets in the NCAAs still, but as a play-in team, unless too many Bracket Busters come through.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    The case study should help you understand the vast majority of coaches don’t foul in that situation (81%)

    It’s a strategy that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

    Does that make all those coaches ‘Tedfords’ also?

    I guess that message board posters are better than 81% of college coaches then.

  • ConcordBear

    Bears had opportunity after opportunity to separate mid way through second half. Good teams put teams away, we pissed away possessions and missed shots.
    We still had a chance to be in control late and missed two critical free throws by our two best players and played bad D and terrible perimeter D.
    Good teams win games in crunch time, really hurt ourselves losing these last two.
    Wow, nothing really left to say. After such a great run, what happened to our team? Where has Crabbe gone? We needed a big shot or two from him…
    I’m sick

  • Rollonubears

    I hope the team is as angry as some of the posters here. It will serve them well on the CBI.

  • 1brsfan

    Only difference I see from 7-0 run and last 2 losses is Kreklow. Rotation is out of whack.

  • Rollonubears

    Agree! Not his fault but chemistry has degraded to nothing. You just can’t plop a guy in cold at year end. And for what? A tournament run? Unwise. Maybe Monty is just playing for next year.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Takeoff, I actually believe not fouling is the correct decision most of the time. However, I do not believe in an absolute on the issue. There are many factors to keep in mind, like knowing your opponent AND exactly how much time is on the clock when they take possession.

    When they have guys that are hot from deep, you have to think about it. When they have enough clock for those guys to be able to take a deep shot in rhythm, you really have to think about it.

    I’d rather have an opponent rushing a shot than shooting in rhythm. I’d take a 2 point lead with 3-4 seconds left as the opponent crosses half court and believe my D has a good chance to influence a rushed shot that misses. When a guy that has been hot can hit from deep (note you can’t really defend against a DEEP 3 when they have time), I like the strategy of fouling to interrupt rhythm.

    Sure, things can go wrong that way too. But I believe, under certain circumstances, it’s almost a must to not allow a hot player the chance to throw up a 3 in rhythm. Foul, hope the players take care of business, and see how much clock is left on their next possession, targeting 5 seconds or less so they have to execute under more pressure.

    I mean, think how much more likely a miss is when rushed, even slightly, no matter how hot the player has been, compared to giving him time to do some move, in rhythm, he’s been rehearsing since he was 7.

    And heck, they still have to make FTs, too.

    Again, I just think it’s beyond question that SOMETIMES to foul is the better percentage play. I don’t think an absolute strategy one way or the other does the best job.

  • rob bear

    The loss to Stanford ending our chances to win a share of just our second conference title in 50+ years and now a first-round loss to a sorry team playing on adrenaline will go down as one of the greatest collapses in all of Cal sports history. Embarrassing way to end the season. Poor defense, poor coaching and poor execution when it counted the most. Does not get more frustrating than that. Get on the next plane out of that city and regroup for whatever we get invited to, which should be the NIT.

  • Woj

    A putrid effort by Cal. No reason to sugarcoat it – Utah stinks and Cal is worse than that. A terrible swoon to close last season culminated in the ridiculously bad blowout to South Florida is repeating itself this season. Wake up Monty – your team packs it in every season about 3 games too soon.

  • 1brsfan

    Play-in game here we come! Lunardi dropped us 6 spots. We’re a couple of spots away from the play in game with lots of basketball to be played.

  • Dan

    This team is soft, no passion, no heart, no brains, no toughness. Full on pu$$7 mode once again. It’s embarrassing really. In what were essentially the 2 biggest games of the season, this team came unhinged. Even Crabbe didn’t get it done when it mattered- conference player of the year.. What a joke. My criticism applies to ALL of them. Except Cobbs.. He’s all heart, all toughness, all ice water.. Flat out stud. What a warrior. What a shame none of his teammates have his back like he has all theirs.

    Also, Wallace, who I really like, deserves special mention for his atrocious play tonight.

    This team deserves the who cares NIT, will make the big dance, maybe as a play in again, and will lose again- cuz thats what they do in important games.

    Monty was Tedford-esque withnthe game on the line. I was screaming, rightbalong with Bill Walton … FOUL HIM! FOUL HIM!! But nope. Bye bear Bears, you deserve whatever lousy fate you get.

  • Gobears49

    I’m in Hawaii and the game was not on regular TV. Didn’t get in early enough to arrange to go to a sports bar and convince them to change one of their TV’s to show the Cal game.

    My two cents about the loss, which I’m bummed about, since I like the team talent and went to the last six home games.

    First — TypicalCal. That one word. It describes the situation when Cal teams set you up to expect great things from them and then they essentially choke and break your heart. This is just one of a long list of examples of this.

    Second, I think if you analzse the probabilities of getting a win if you foul in the last ten seconds with a three point lead, you would see that fouling is the least risky way of proceeding. There are many scenarios that can occur, but the most likely are the following —

    1. The opposition makes the first free throw and purposely misses the second — what are the probabilities that Cal’s opponents will get the rebound?. I’m not sure, but I think it is less than 20%. If so, that is probably less than the probability of a player hitting a three point shot.

    2. If the opposition makes both shots, what are the probabilities that Cal can’t inbound the ball. Very low probability that that can’t be done.

    I don’t give a s*** what the percentage is coach’s would choose to not foul in that situation. I doubt very much they have studied the probabilities associated with each course of action. Reminds me of Moneyball — coaches and general management not understanding how to analyze player, which they do more on gut feel than any analytical studies. I think a mathematical Moneyball analysis would lead to a risk/reward decision, based upon past results, to foul.

  • Gobears49

    I’m sure the only planned offense we have — the awesome weave offense around the 3-point line — led to Cal’s high scoring tonight. Actually, my tongue is deep in my cheek.

  • Eric

    I don’t understand why Monty does not take the Pac-10/12 tournament seriously.

    Yes, we made the finals in 2011 (with a conference championship team) but lost in the semis in 2012 and, obviously, this year is worse. Not taking it serioulsy greatly endangers whether we play in the NCAAs or what seeding we get, and, as a result, we have done very poorly in the postseason in the last four years.

    I am happy Monty is the coach because he has done far more with less talent than Braun ever did.

    But this is becoming problematic and someone needs to tell him to freakin take the conference tournament seriously.

  • ConcordBear

    Some of you guys have lost it and are soft yourselves.
    Monty not taking every single game seriously is an absolute joke.
    When it comes to passion he is at the top.
    He should have called a timeout to set up our D after Crabbe hit 2nd free throw to put us up 3. If we should have taken a foul somewhere is debatable.
    We had our top gun pressing and not hitting good looks when we needed them. Smith and Kravish throw up air balls in a critical point of the game, Thurman and Wallace drop easy passes out of bounds. Any of those guys make a play in those 10 or do critical situations down the stretch we win.
    What’s so frustrating is only Cobbs, Solomon and Kreklow played consistent confident basketball.
    Not sure what’s happened to most our team the past two games.
    Hope we sneak in the Ncaa’s and the guys that are struggling stop pressing and getting rattled.
    We play like we are capable of we can beat anyone. Just need to be consistent to be a great team.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Monty was vocally against the Pac Tourney back when he ran a program capable of challenging for the national title. That makes sense.

    I don’t think he’s against it since being here. He may still say it, but he knows the players realistically only had a chance at a Pac Title, while a second weekend in the NCAAs is about the best Cal could hope for.

    Remember, he had been stressing the importance of a top 4 seed in the Pac Tourney. That is not the attitude of a coach that doesn’t care about it.

  • Gobears49

    Would really be impressed, and actually it would blow my mind, if someone can up with stats showing the likelihood of a game being tied or lost in regulation if, within the last ten seconds, with a team leading by three, 1) the team leading by three fouls the other team, and 2) the team leading by three does not foul the other team.

    Coaches’ opinions as to what to do in this situation mean diddlysquat — only the stats of past performance matter, a la Moneyball. I still think, if you break all of the possibilities down, and analyze them on a probabilities basis, preferably using actual stats, that fouling will most likely avoid a tie or a loss in regulation.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    GB49, the stats don’t take enough into account (see TakeOff’s link). Much depends on the opponent (any or many hot deep shooters), as well as your own team (anyone fouled out you’d want rebounding or shooting FTs).

    So, while I agree with the idea that most coaches have not thought it through, a la Moneyball, I’d argue it is more like deciding to steal bags against Lincecum. A Moneyball Sabermetric man doesn’t like to steal, but with the odds of success going up so much with the Freak on the mound, he lets his better base runners go, because the situation is outside the normal statistics.

  • Gobears49

    Wisdom Cow,

    Obviously, no stats are going to take into account the particular talents of the other team. But they can give you a baseline to make your decision, which you can then decide to depart from depending upon the circumstances. All Moneyball type decisions do the same — provide a baseline which you can then decide to depart from based upon individual circumstances.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It is not so obvious to many, more like most.

  • Gobears49

    Wisdom Cow,

    Don’t know what you are referring to. My suggestion is that you generally make a decision based upon statistics as to what the most likely best answer is, which can be departed from if you believe you have facts that make it more likely than not that the general rule will apply. Still, you should follow the general rule, based upon stats, in almost all cases.