Basketball: Denver game preview

Game time: 8 p.m. Tuesday at Haas Pavilion

The Bears (1-0) take on the Pioneers (0-0) of the Summit League. Cal coach Mike Montgomery frets that freshmen are easily screened, and the Bears aren’t likely to face a team all season that screens more effectively than Denver.

The visitors are coached by Princeton grad Joe Scott, whose team utilizes the “Princeton style” offense and won 22 games each of the past two seasons.

The Pioneers allowed just 55.9 points per game a year ago and forced an average of nearly 16 turnovers. They won 17 of their final 20 games, including an opening-round contest in the NIT.

Denver is led by 6-5 senior forward Chris Udofia, who had 16 points a year ago when Cal won 72-61 in Denver. Udofia is a 1,000-point career scorer and has 186 career blocked shots. He averaged 13.3 ppg last season.

Brett Olson, a 6-5 junior guard, averaged 11.4 points and shot 45 percent from the 3-point arc last season.

Cal comes off an 83-64 opening-night win over Coppin State in which the guard threesome of Justin Cobbs, Tyrone Wallace and freshman Jabari Bird combined for 50 points, 16 rebounds, 18 assists and just one turnover.


Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTexas

    THe home team advantage, and the fact that Denver hasn’t had a real game yet should be enough for a win. Summit League?

  • rollonubears

    gotta win these ones. when you’re looking for 20 wins come selection day, these are the ones that come back to haunt. this was the case with braun. i think monty will have them prepared.

  • HeteroscedasticBear

    Monty is a good coach.

  • Juancho

    I had agroup of 8 people opening night, bit the arena was half empty.

    It will be interesting to see how full it is tonight. If these poor attendance numbers continue we need to revisit pricing at some point.

  • wehofx

    Can’t wait to see the Young Guns, esp J Bird.

  • rollonubears

    hoops is something they really need to do a better job attracting students to. the games are really short. only about 2 hours, and usually late. it’s hard to get people to drive great distances, especially at rush hour, then battle traffic and parking issues, only to get to such a short event. they need to figure out how to attract people that can walk there or take bart.

  • Juancho

    Rollon I think you’re right.

    But, the tickets where we make the money is not the student section. When I was there on Friday the student section looked plenty full.

    It was the rest of the stadium that had a lot of blank spots.

    I agree with you on it being hard to get there. I live by a BART so I can get there. But, tonight for instance, in theory I could have gone, but I have work tomorrow, and I don’t want to be BARTing home at 11 at night.

  • rollonubears

    yeah, the big money guys aren’t the students, although if they sold beer at the games, they might end up giving more to the program than some of the donors. it’s also kind of creepy going to the games at night if you’re coming from the west or south. at least it used to be. super dark. it would be nice if they lit the area up and had some fun stuff going on out front. it’s like it’s hidden back there. people file in, and file out in a rush to get to bed. i know the student section is “full,” but if we’re not filling it with donors, we should be thinking of ways to expand that student section. No reason why we can’t draw 5,000 students to every game. I really think it’s just the expense of hoops tickets. People pick football over basketball, and decide maybe they’ll catch a game of hoops, instead of it being a social priority. When kidd was here, they would do secret announcements as to where the season tickets would be on sale, and fans would be sprinting across campus to get in line. Not so anymore (i don’t think). Perhaps the performance of this year’s team will change all that.

  • rollonubears

    by the way. 8pm is ridiculous. i’m on the east coast, so once again, i won’t be tuning in unless i want to be a zombie tomorrow.

  • CalBearister

    The crowds seemed much better before Ben Braun’s career arc went on the downward slide, and Sandy Barbour let him linger. Sadly, it seems it’s easier to drive them away than it is to get them back, as Monty’s had success yet attendance still stinks.

    Here’s attendance averages:

    1999-00: 10,707
    2000-01: 10,273
    2001-02: 10,300+
    2002-03: 10,300+
    2003-04: 10,839
    2004-05: 8,660 (this was the 13-16, 6-12 year)
    2006-07: Not on website
    2007-08: 8,443 – Braun fired, attendance down 21% since Haas opened

    2008-09: 8,624
    2009-10: 9,423
    2010-11: 7,893
    2011-12: 8,532
    2012-13: 8,297

    So other than one year, Monty hasn’t been able to get us above 9k a year. I think it’s going to take 2-3 years of sustained success as a relevant, ranked team that can make it to the Sweet 16 before that happens. Or maybe Sandy needs to be more creative in marketing, the way she was for the women’s game versus Duke (she did a great job putting butts in the seats for that). Either way, 8,300 a year is pathetic – 2/3rds full.

  • Eric

    They never should have changed the configuration of Harmon to take the students away from being right on the court and the arena having a bandbox feel to it. That is what made it intimidating to opponents, even if there were only 7,000 people in the stands.

  • Juancho

    I think they need to aggressively lower prices. Id love to see what the average season ticket costs were each year.

  • Juancho

    Rollon youre right. It gets so dark around the arena.

  • 707 Bear

    This is The Lord of the setback speaking.

    Here I go again, but as I close in on 50, I would like to have a seat with a back and maybe a cup holder.

    With most games on TV, why fight traffic from the 707 to sit on a rock hard bench in the nosebleeds.

    Like the new Memorial, the folks who rebuilt the old Harmon overestimated the level of support.

  • 707 Bear

    65 dollars for a chirback for Friday’s game.

    75 dollars for chairback for Washington on January 15, a weeknight game.