Basketball: Syracuse game thread

Click here for my game story, plus a photo slide show.

And here for Jon Wilner’s story on Allen Crabbe’s frustrating night.

FINAL SCORE: Syracuse 66, Cal 60. Bears got within six late, no closer. There will be no Sweet 16 for the Bears (21-12) — a drought that dates back to 1997. Solomon career-highs of 22 points, 14 rebounds. Crabbe scored eight points — nearly 11 under his average — on 3 for 9 shooting. Cobbs scored five on 2 for 9. Crabbe declined to address his future afterward.

Cal finished at 39 percent from the field, 4 for 21 from the 3-point arc. The Bears had 17 turnovers.

Syracuse (28-9) is headed to Washington D.C. for its fourth Sweet 16 appearance in five years, despite shooting 39 percent from the field and missing 15 free throws.

5:28 2nd H: Cal making a move — down 49-41. Is the comeback too late?

11:48 2nd H: Syracuse marched to the foul line on seven straight possessions, but made just 8 of 14. Still, the Orange inched into a 41-29 lead, which is now 41-30. Cal has no answers on offense.

15:30 2nd H: Syracuse going to the FT line for the fifth straight possession. They are able to get the ball to the rim whenever they want this half. So far 5 for 8 at the FT line in the half with two more coming. Cuse up 39-29 — game is in danger of slipping out of reach for Bears.

HALFTIME: Syracuse 32, Cal 24. Crabbe and Cobbs a combined 1 for 6 for 3 points.

3:40 1st H: Syracuse exerting itself and now leads 27-15. Orange has outscored Cal 13-5 over past 5 minutes. Cal with nine turnovers. Syracuse dominating inside — three putbacks in a row during surge. Crabbe and Cobbs a combined 1 for 5. That won’t work.

8:33 1st: Bears seemingly have weathered the storm. Now trail 14-11 after spin move and layup by Robt Thurman. He dunked on previous possession. He’s 8 for 8 FGs in NCAAs with seven dunks. Cal shooting 5 for 9, Syracuse 4 for 11. Both teams playing zone defense, and giving each other trouble.

10:52 1st H: Cal went 5:20 without a field-goal attempt. Not a FG, but a FGA. Seven straight turnovers and an 11-2 Orange lead. Then Solomon made a baseline shot to break the ice. Now 11-7 Cuse after 27-foot 3-pointer by Crabbe and a Syracuse turnover. 

15:52 1st H: Syracuse leads 6-2. The Cuse zone definitely an issue — Cal is shooting 1 for 3 with 3 turnovers. Fact is, all were basically unforced. Bears need to settle down, Cal just beat zone with Kravish high-post pass down to Solomon . . . but Solomon hesitated when he should have shot.

Oski in the spirit of things

STARTING LINEUPS: No surprises. Syracuse will go with PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Brandon Triche, F C.J. Fair, F James Southerland and F Rakeem Christmas. Cal will start PG Justin Cobbs, SG Tyrone Wallace, SG Allen Crabbe, F Richard Solomon and F David Kravish.

PRE-GAME: Cal and Syracuse warming up — tipoff should be sometime around 6:45 p.m. Oregon whipped St. Louis 74-57 behind 23 points from freshman Daymean Dotson and 16 rebounds from Arsalan Kazemi, who had 33 in two games here. Ducks to play No.1 Louisville in Midwest Regional semifinals Friday in Indianapolis.

The Cal band is ready for hoops

WELCOME: Back here at HP Pavilion for Cal’s second (er, third) round NCAA tournament game against 16th-ranked, fourth-seeded Syracuse (27-9). Bears (21-11) have won 8 of 10 and 10 of their past 13. This one will be tough.

Mike Montgomery needs one win to reach 110 in his first five seasons at Cal, matching the total by Pete Newell over his final five seasons (1956-60). Winner to Washington D.C. next week. Would be Cal’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1997.

Jeff Faraudo

  • joey

    Oregon is playing great. St Louis not so much.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Carpe Diem

  • Wehofx

    vard loss doesn’t look so bad now.

    Kline looked awfully good.

    Lady Bears are ballin’

    Go Bears! Sweet 16!

  • Rollonubears

    40 in hand. Go Bears!

  • joey

    Did we get the same crap refs as last game?

  • Eric

    4 turnovers in 5 minutes. I said we could not have turnovers.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    This is going to be the ugliest Cal game ever.

  • SteveNTexas

    Hey hey – Syracuse isn’t playing so hot- let’s not give up yet.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    May have to let Crabbe shoot that shot all night, each time down the floor. If he hit on 25% of them, Cal could win.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Steve, that is exactly what I’m seeing. Cues is not playing that well and we were down big until Crabbe hit one from Lake Vasona.

  • Rollonubears

    Thurman has been fouled 4 times. None called.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Thurman may well be the answer, but he’ll keep things ugly, a bull in a china shop. He has been fouled, Rollon, but he could be called for them on his bull rush, too. If he could send it back out, then there would really be open shots.

  • Eric

    Monty did not adequately prep the team (at least in this half). Everyone knows Syracuse runs that zone and that they are long. So one HAS TO MINIMIZE THE TURNOVERS yet how many (dumb) turnovers have there been?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It’s passing desperation time already. Monty needs to commit a man to crash the offensive boards on each shot to increase the odds, even if it hurts on the defensive end. The team needs to score to win. Release Cobbs to drive at will. Force Crabbe to try to regain his AZ mojo and shoot over guys with contact. This is just hard to watch as they are so timid against a D you cannot play scared against.

  • Rollonubears

    The kreklow Monty thing is bordering on longshore tedford.

  • joey

    Boeheim is a smug douche.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I like what I’ve seen since the last time out. Solomon has never played so strong under the basket! Guys are crashing the boards. People are moving the ball with a purpose. Keep it up and it, Bears.

    To only be down eight is incredible. And now they understand how they have to play. There is a slight chance, but guys have to keep playing with the intensity and focus of the last four minutes. Power inside is the way to beat this team. Solomon could evolve into something special next half.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It took 16 minutes, but I’m hoping they learned the difference between looking to stack the zone and attacking the zone. The 1/3 second difference between each pass or decision means everything against this Syracuse defense.

    Attack. Attack. Attack, Bears. Don’t think. See an opening, and go through it with a purpose.

  • joey

    These refs are getting pretty one sided in the second half.

  • joey

    Solomon is clearly fouled when his shot is blocked no call. Kravish meanwhile gets called for the foul when he blocks.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I disagree. Cal has not done anything to draw contact. Solomon needs to get down low, not trying to shoot over a guy to get to the hoop. He has to muscle through them like in the first half. This is precisely the contrast in play that justifies a disparity in foul calls.

    Too many threes. Go back to the strategy of the last four minutes of the first half. Many fouls straight, but only one was questionable. Cal is just a step behind on everything. Attack, dammit!

  • joey

    Look at the replay of both. The hands are slapped after the shot. Identical fouls.

  • Juancho

    Our team just isnt good enough to be a sweet 16 team. You see how easily a team like syracuse has put us away.

    Next year if crabbe is back this can change. But this year i think losing this game is okay with me. Its about where id expect this talent to be.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I’d like to see Crabbe get the ball at the free throw line to be a facilitator. If he passed from there and the receiving player sent it right back like a tip drill, he’d have the opening to get up a shot.

  • CalBearister

    I must not know much about basketball – is it a “block” when one guy gets all ball when three others hack you?

    Bo Boroski Part 2.

  • Eric

    I said in response to JF’s question ALL players needed to step up. We only had a chance if we played lock down d and we didn’t turn over the ball.

    We’ve played pretty solid D but the turnovers have been bad and everyone has not stepped up. Syracuse has zeroed in on stopping Crabbe. Cobbs isn’t driving. Solomon is playing hard (as is Thurman, but he cannot go one on three).

  • Rollonubears

    Powe dominated every night, was a clear team leader, and played a backup role in the nba. I really hope crabbe comes back. He’s not ready for the big time.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Every good set that does not result in points seems to set them on their heels for a few minutes instead of being the template to get a good look.

    Crabbe looks like he is about to throw a tantrum if the refs make a bad call on him.

  • Rollonubears

    Literally every time kreklow touches the ball, the opponent comes away with it. Either a missed shot, or a turnover, or a foul, or a muffed rebound. What has he done to earn so much pt? Now is not the time to build for next season. Let powers play. Dude hits threes.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Well, on the bright side, this showing may keep Crabbe at Cal for another year.

  • Rollonubears

    Is it coaching? Why do we always wait until late in the second half to start playing with intensity?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Yes, it’s coaching. It’s also a depth issue, same old song. You can’t play tough inside with the tenacity needed when you olny have 3 bigs. It’s systemic issues, IMO. Until Monty has a genuine roster, this type of game is inevitable against top competition.

  • Rollonubears

    This spares us further embarrassment at the hands of Indiana. We have never beaten a good defensive team. Only way to do it is to play even better d, which we lack the talent and heart to do.

    Next year, though, if crabbe goes, and kreklow heals and gets his head on straight, and Wallace figures out how to shoot, and Byrd is as advertised, and the 7’3″ guy can give Solomon a breather, we will be an elite 8 team. We will win the pac12 next year, score a 2 seed, and dominate. Cobbes and Solomon will lead them.

  • Juancho

    Until monty recruits and develops a genuine roster.

    Look at this past years class. We only got one contributor from it, ty wallace.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The turnovers also come back to coaching inevitably. It’s a lack of focus, a lack of fundamentals.

    Yet, coaching is also why Thurman has produced beyond anyone’s expectations.


    I’m shutting down. I’ll congradulate the boys on their season, a very good one, overall, later. Yet, I do have a Q I’d like to read about, because I have not understood the Kreklow love on this board ALL YEAR LONG. “If only Kreklow had played . . .” was written over and over. What am I not seeing? He’s another wing. He’s decent, but I’d take Wallace over him every time. The team needed bigs all year, not another wing. Anyways, . . .

    I’ll sit and watch this last 2 minutes. Pray for a miracle.

    Another unforced turnover . . . sigh.

  • Juancho

    My opinion on why we’re always coming up short of a great team is the lack of depth. And my thought on what is causing that is how many guys we are missing on in recruiting. Here are guys we signed over the past few years. Look at how many of these guys have been non factors.

    Last Year:

    Ty Wallace – Good
    Kalieb Rodriguez – Non factor
    Kahlil Johnson – Non factor

    Two Years:

    Christian Behrens – Non factor
    David Kravish – Good

    Three Years:

    Emerson Murray – Non factor
    Gary Franklin – Non factor
    Richard Solomon – Good
    Alex Rossi – Non factor
    Allen Crabbe – Good

    Four Years:

    Markuri Sanders-Frison – Good
    Bak Bak – Non factor
    Brandon Smith – Good

    You cannot miss on that high a percentage of scholarship players and DEVELOP into a good program. Forget about being a good team for a stretch or a year, this path is non sustainable for developing into a top program that threatens for the Sweet 16 every year.

    Let’s hope that this new class with Bird, et al pans out a lot better than the previous.

  • CalBearister

    Really? The officials called a charge on Cobbs there? These guys are more indefensible than Bernie Fine.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    One last thing because it’s really got me peeved at Monty. [And I’ve had those same recruiting thoughts, Juancho]

    We faced Syracuse at MSG 3 years ago. Bak and Smith both logged minutes. It was an ugly blowout, similar for us in offensive ineptitude, yet they scored at will.

    Monty did not learn a thing from that game.

    The guys scrapped and somehow only lost by 6, but I feel like Monty completely dropped the ball on this one. Syracuse had to be in mind when the bracket was announced. The crap offense, the timidity, and the turnovers all screamed that the preparation was terrible.

    Great year for this roster. Can’t really even hope for more. The Pac 12 is back on an upswing, but I don’t see Cal keeping up with the progress. They’ll be better next year, slightly, should Crabbe remain, but the front court will be thin, again.

  • Eric

    The team deserves credit for playing tough defensively throughout, and not giving up. Solomon played big.

    Roster issues abound, but this game was a significant coaching downer. We should have been better prepared.

    Crabbe definitely should come back. He is a terrific shooter and when he wants to exert effort battles for rebounds, but he played soft 90% of this game.

  • joey

    I’m not sure why all the griping. Cal didn’t play great but they played with effort. Monty has coached far worse. The guys didn’t execute as well as hoped but give Syracuse credit. They are a tough team. I wish Crabbe was more aggressive but clearly they got in his head.

    Still have to give this team a lot of credit for getting better through the season and making it as far as they did. And Crabbe is damn good and will be in the NBA next year. I’ve seen Klay Thompson struggle in games at Wash St and he turned out pretty good in the NBA.

    Very happy to see all the players progress this year especially the seniors. Looking forward to next year’s team!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Joey, that was perfect, thank you.

    Go Bears!

  • SteveNTexas

    This turned out to be a decent season after at times it looking much worse. Today’s reports had Syracuse griping about how poorly they played but their defense was good. UCLA looked horrible against Minn.

    Indiana is the last school I have in the Tourney so hope they beat TEMPLE today.

  • gobears49

    Juancho, my brother, I have to disagree with your comments about Cal’s recruiting under Monty

    First of all, you need more ratings to describe how each player has performed, as well as their potential, than just “good” and “non-factor,” at least adding “very good.” To do a proper job in ratings, there should be a separate set of ratings for performance to date and potential for future years. Also, you need to include guys that Monty got as transfers, though you somehow included Sanders-Frison, who effectively was a transfer (though I believe he did not have to sit out a year since he came from a JC). Cobbs and Kreklow were excellent finds and Monty deserves credit for getting them.

    I will make just a few comments on your list (which leaves out Gutierrez, only the Pac-12 player of the year last year).

    1. Gary Franklin — can’t see how you can say he is anything, since he left mid-year. But he was starting as a freshman before he left. What more could you want?
    Granted, he has been a non-factor at another school, but who knows what he would have done had he stayed at Cal.

    2. Crabbe — should be in the “very good” category.

    3. Wallace — he played “good” as a freshman, but ended up starting! He has enormous potential, so he should be “very good” for potential.

    4. Kravish — I think his performance has been “very good” though obviously not at Crabbe’s level. His potential is “very good.” If he continues to improve and get more aggressive, I think he could be first team all Pac-12 as a senior.

    5. Behrens — he was just starting to get minutes when he got hurt. He might qualify in the “good” category for potential.

    6. Soloman — would put him in the “very good” category for potential. He could be in the “very good” category right now for his performance, but not up to Crabbe (who probably deserves his own category as “excellent,” though yesterday’s game shows he needs another year at Cal to learn to create his own shot — except when he drives he is mainly a catch and shoot player). Soloman, if he continues to improve, he could make the Pac-12 first team next year (hint — work on learning good back to the basket moves)

    7. Sanders-Frison — between “good” and “very good” as a player.

    8. Cobbs — “very good” as a player with the potential to be “excellent” next year, though he needs to really improve on his ball handling and passing skills if he wants to play pro ball (probably could only play as a point guard). Should be first team all Pac-12 next year, perhaps even if Crabbe returns

    10. Kreklow — because he didn’t play that much this year, due to injuries, I would put him in the “good” category for his performance this year and a “very good” for his potential.

    11. Frid — Nobody else talks about him, but I have watched 7’1″ Frid warm up before the games and think he has the potential to be, at the minimum, “good” in the future.

    12. Cal’s freshman class next year looks to be “very good” in terms of potential, even if Bird leaves after one year. Forget his name, but the guard from Southern California looks to be a star along with Bird.

  • gobears49

    I think the other freshman coming in next year who has “very good” potential is Jordan Mathews. Note that I created two additional categories to Juancho’s “good” category, which includes “very good” and “excellent, separately for past performance and potential.

  • Juancho

    I was just trying to show how many guys have had basically zero impact at cal. I only did the last four years, which is why guti isnt on there.

    Shabazz muhammad and dominic artis are very good. Solomon to me has not been very good. He missed a season for discoplinary reasons.

  • milo

    Overall over a great season. Picked to finish in the middle of the Pac but turned the season around and played and competed. Nicely done and lots to look forward to next season.

    For one, Solo should be a monster next season. Cobbs should grow as PG but also get help from Jordan Matthews. Also will have Kravish, Kreklow, Wallace and Bird.

    Go Bears!

  • wehofx

    #40, 41, 46 AGREE! (Asusual, I disagee w Juancho. But I don’t think we’re at Arch Nemesis level.)

    GB49, as usual, completely agree #43 although I have yet to see Frid and it sounded like on the previous thread JF doesn’t think a whole lot of him. But. I hope you’re right about him.

    I think we played awfully good D against cuse. We shot %39.3 and they shot %39.1.

    Assists to Turn Overs: Cal 14 to 17. Cuse 7 to 15. Felt like we had more turn overs. forcing cuse to 15 TO’s is pretty damn good.

    Obviously, put backs on D glass killed us.

    As far as O. Only way to attack that zone is to attack. If you attack there are going to be TO’s. The risk of doing business.

    Loved that we fought back and never gave up.

    I posted this on a previous thread. As great as crabbe has been for us this season, I hope he goes to nba.

    He is an upper classman and the team’s best player so the team takes on his personality – despite crabbe and solo’s best efforts. His sulking and petulance are a huge detriment to team chemistry.

    I think Cobbs and solo are ready to take leadership roles next year. imo, at some point near the beg of the winning streak, solo decided he was going to stop whining and sulking. I think it helped a lot.

    The studs we have coming in should not be exposed to crabbe’s whining.