Football: UC Irvine game thread

Click here to read my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 73, UC Irvine 56. The Bears (6-2) got 19 points and 10 rebounds from David Kravish, 14 points from freshman Jabari Bird and 13 points from Richard Solomon in his return after missing two games with a corneal abrasion. Tyrone Wallace contributed eight points and 11 rebounds and Justin Cobbs dished nine assists.

3:28 2nd H: Cal leads 68-49. Kravish has 19 points, Bird 14 and Solomon 13. Ndiaye fouled out with 7:29 left, having totaled four points, five rebounds and two blocks in just 10 minutes on the floor.

13:11 2nd H: Cal has extended its lead to 51-31, thanks to Kravish, who has made six straight shots and has 16 points for the game. Ndiaye asserted himself to start the half, blocking a shot by Bird and dunking the ball without leaving the floor. But he picked up his fourth foul with 14:36 left and took a seat. He has two points and four rebounds.

HALFTIME: Cal 35, UC Irvine 19. The Bears held a team averaging 85.5 ppg to their season-low for a first half, thanks to wretched shooting. UCI was 7 for 34 (20.6 percent) in the half and made just 2 of its final 21 attempts in the half over the final 11 1/2 minutes. Cal’s 26-11 lead with 9 minutes left gradually withered due to its own offensive slump in which the Bears scored just 2 points in 12 offensive possessions. Irvine crept within 28-19 when Monty put all his starters back in — including Solomon with two fouls.  The Bears closed the half with a 7-0 burst to rebuild their lead.

7:16 1st H: Cal’s lead is 26-13, thanks to 62.5-percent shooting by the Bears and 25-percent by the Anteaters. Jabari Bird’s six points lead a balanced Cal attack.

11:51 1st H: Cal leads 19-9. The Bears are shooting 73 percent — 8 for 11. Tyrone Wallace delivered a highlight worthy of SportsCenter when he took an outlet pass from Ricky Kreklow off a turnover, sprinted past a UCI defender as he took the ball around his back, then dunked.

15:34 1st H: Cal leads 7-2. Irvine shooting 1 for 7. Ndiaye picked up two fouls in a span of 10 seconds, taking a seat on the bench with 16:35 left. Earlier, Jabari Bird, giving up a foot, came from behind to block a shot by the 7-ft-6 Ndiaye. Solomon, who has scored five of Cal’s points, also on the bench with his second foul at 16:28.

STARTING LINEUPS: Cal will go with Justin Cobbs, Jabari Bird, Tyrone Wallace, David Kravish and Richard Solomon, back after missing the final two games in Maui with a corneal abrasion. Solomon is wearing goggles — very Abdul-Jabbar like. Starting for UCI are Alex Young, Luke Nelson, Chris McNealy, Will Davis II and Mamadou Ndiaye.

WELCOME: I’m back at Haas Pavilion after Cal’s return from the Maui Classic. The Bears (5-2) face the Anteaters (5-3), who already own a 14-point road win over Washington.

The big attraction — literally — is Irvine’s 7-foot-6, 290-pound freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye. I saw him in the hallway outside the court as I arrived tonight, and the guy is huge.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    What’s the attendance like today?

  • Juancho

    Jeff, can you help me figure out when the last time Cal mens basketball was ranked in the top 25? I can’t find it online.

    I think the last time our football team was top 25 was 2009?

  • Will

    Juancho, my brother and archnemesis – we were ranked at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. This was the year we got blown out of the water by Missouri. We were #20 heading into that game. Even after that loss, we were ranked #24, before losing a close one to SDSU a week later. We haven’t been ranked since.

  • Juancho

    Thank you rope man. So were two years removed from being ranked in bball. And four in football.

    I think we can get ranked in bball this year. And i will enjoy that win.

  • 1brsfan

    Sure would have liked to see what we could have done in Maui with Solomon in the lineup. Good win by a win at SB on Friday would be a much better win.

  • Woj

    Go Bears. I like UC Irvine’s nickname thoough, The Anteaters!

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Cal most recently was ranked in the AP Top-25 when it was No. 13 headed to MSG in New York for the Coaches vs. Cancer event early in 2009-10. The Bears lost 95-73 to Syracuse and 76-70 to Ohio State and dropped out of the rankings for good. They did, however, go on to win the Pac-10 title — not a bad consolation prize.

  • SteveNTexas

    I wrote Cal by 15 in the pregame thread a few days ago.

    Had we won in Maui we definitely would have been ranked maybe in the Top 15

  • Rollonubears

    Nice win. Sol makes a big difference, but we have no depth for a deep run unless some other guys develop. Once again, we’re one injury away from mediocrity.

  • Mitchie V

    Nice job, Kravish.

  • Will
  • Will

    *for once

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Fun game to watch, but really disappointed THE BIG GUY only played for 10 minutes or so. Monty seemed to make sure Solomon head-faked first on all of his shot attempts (except the long-jumpers), drawing 3 fouls on Mamadou in the process. But, I think everyone would have been fine with allowing him 10 fouls in that game. 😉 I loved the completely over the head backwards shot by Mamadou, yes he’s raw. Really rooting for this guy, I guarantee there was a scout or two at the game, no doubt watching Jabari do his thing too; the early block on THE BIG GUY was impressive, but Mamadou got his revenge later on.

    Lots of moving parts out there for the Bears at this point, these freshman are being freshman. Rooks looks like he needs a couple-three Red Bulls before the game. And it was inspiring to see Jabari crouching low and slapping the floor on defense at one point, looking like he was ready to start playing better on that side of the floor – dude’s got athleticism out the yingyang, needs to crank up the engine a bit though.

    Nice optimism rollonu, as always: “Once again, we’re one injury away from mediocrity.”
    Could that not be said for 75% of teams? Thanks for pointing it out though. I think we all know your sentiments towards the team by now – disaster is looming…

    I see vast potential in the youth and emerging excellence in the vets – especially our two starting bigs. Kravish and Solomon are awesome.

    Tough game on coming Friday. Anyone wanna carpool to SB? I think I’ll be feeling kind of, um, “sick” on Friday… 😉

    Go Bears!

  • wehofx

    Ya! I had a great time watching dvr. Did not FF once.

    BSB, as usual, agree w all your observations.

    Juancho, looked to be a little over half. I’ll be shocked if this team isn’t ranked.

    TW seems like he’s getting his game back. I was also heartened to see kravish take every open shot. He even had a coupla forces which – for him – is a good thing.

    Great to see JB driving to the cup. Dayton’s physicality clearly got in his head. I know it was uci but it already seems like he’s figuring out how to deal w contact at this level.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Will —

    You are correct. I relied on checking Cal’s year-by-year records in the media guide, which does not reflect being ranked No. 24 in the 2011-12 preseason AP poll. That was my mistake.

  • Gobears49

    I think Monty made a big mistake in not bringing in a proven big man from the JC ranks for this team and brought in one less freshman. To take the opposite tack from Rollonubears, we are now one good big man from being really, really good this year.

    The same strategy should be used next year as well (i.e. bringing in a polished big man from the JC ranks, and maybe even two, as it seems hard to recruit the best ones as freshmen), as we will have the same problem, and even worse, next year, when we will only have one proven big man (Kravish). I just hate to watch our big guys play and cringe when they come close to fouling, making it more likely they will have to go to the bench to avoid fouling out. we need our two bigs out there as much as possible.

    BTW, I have nothing against Rooks and I’m sure he’s going to get better over time, but to me it seems he does not show nearly the potential that Soloman and Kravish had as freshman. Soloman instantly showed terrific athleticism and Kravish immediately showed he could shoot and block shots (though Kravish refrained from really shooting enough until this year — best shooter on the team, along with Bird).

  • Gobears49

    Forgot to mention the name of the big man that Monty brought in as a JC transfer who was a vital cog of the Cal basketball team a few years ago. That was Sanders-Frison. Cal would not have been nearly as good in the two years he played at Cal without him in the lineup.

  • milo

    This team belongs to Cobbs and Solo, with Kravish right there. How these three guys go will determine the season. Solo and Kravish are the keys given the near zero depth behind them.

    Against Irvine, Cobbs looked like he was in pass-first mode and thus had 9 assists. This is going to be interesting because if he can do that over the season, could be a big payoff, efficient and quick offense. It also gives Cobbs a better chance at the next level. This is going to be fun to follow, hope he can do it.