15

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