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Basketball: Thank goodness league play is here

By Jeff Faraudo
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at 10:31 am in Basketball.

You may have seen this, but I couldn’t resist:

In a “college basketball game” on Monday, Southern University of the SWAC beat Champion Baptist College by the ridiculous score of 112-16.

I’m not making this up. The college basketball landscape is littered with gargantuan nonconference mismatches, but this one tops them all.

Southern led 44-0 before Champion finally scored nearly 15 minutes into the game. The visitors finished the game shooting 6.9 percent (3 for 44) with 27 turnovers and one assist. They were 5 for 17 from the FT line and outrebounded 69-22.

Champion’s starting five combined to shoot 2 for 29.

Give Southern (4-9) credit for having played a nonconference schedule that featured the likes of No. 1 Arizona, Baylor, Florida and Marquette.

But this game was a waste of time and an insult to basketball fans.

The most amazing statistic to come from game: 210. That’s the number of fans in attendance who will never get those two hours of their lives back again.

 

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  • Juancho

    We’re at the point in the season that we reach every year. To ask my usual question.

    Is Monty following the Tedford trajectory? What are our expectations for conference play? Where do we need to end up after conference play to say Monty is still the right guy to lead us into the future.

    The guy is a hell of an X’s and O’s coach. There’s little doubt on that. But is his age and closet of accomplishments catching up to him? I.e., the annual games where we get blown out by decent teams. The games where our team looks underprepared. The annual lack of depth. And more importantly the annual satisfaction with being a decent program within the conference – but with little relevance nationally or in the top 25.

    Again, are we watching Tedford 2.0 – or over the next 2 years are we going to become a top 25 program again?

    Please don’t attack me. Just putting this out there like I do every year to keep us honest. And to start a little brotherly conversation and dialogue here.

  • Juancho

    JEFF KING CAT OF THIS BLOG FEEL FREE TO PARTICIPATE.

  • Gobears49

    I have picked on Monty a few times myself, including him putting in and relying on the “weave” offense last year, which was not hard to defend.

    But I think, overall, Monty has been recruiting well and has coached well except (and here’s the broken record again), getting a good new big man the past two recruiting classes (though I am hoping Behrens will disprove that based upon good play the rest of the year; Rooks, too, if he can show it).

    We may not have that good a record this year, but I think the blame for that can be largely placed on injuries. Monty has done well for five years at Cal. You can’t legitimately call him a “Tedford” until he has finished at least one bad year. Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t think this year will be bad. We have very good talent on this team, when healthy.

    I think we need to win at least ten games in conference, counting the Pac -12 tourney, with a good win over at least one ranked opponent, to get into the NCAA’s.

  • Juancho

    Good post GB49.

  • Juancho

    GB49 so do you think Monty gets us in the top 25 in the next 2 years?

  • Juancho

    I came across the NCAA mens basketball attendance statistics. Thought it was interesting. The numbers below are for the years ending. I.e., when it says 2013 it’s for last year, the season that ended in 2013.

    Jumps out that our attendance has never reached the levels it was at when we had the local recruiting class of Powe, Ubaka, Kately. Interesting.

    2003 – 10,473 Avg Game Attendance (39th nationally)
    2004 – 10,839 (38th nationally)
    2005 – 8,669 (57th nationally)
    2006 – 9,324 (51st nationally)
    2007 – 8,443 (65th nationally)
    2008 – 7,915 (71st nationally)
    2009 – 8,624 (62nd nationally)
    2010 – 9,423 (50th nationally)
    2011 – 7,893 (63rd nationally)
    2012 – 8,532 (52nd nationally)
    2013 – 8,297 (53rd nationally)

    I believe the capacity of Haas is around 11,877.

  • Dan

    Juancho my brother – a reminder… Tedford was actually Braun 2.0 … IMO.

    Not sure Monty will complete the Braun-Tedford trajectory, but I dont think he’s going to make the Bears a legit national power, a regular resident of the top 20.

    Ironically, Steve Fisher has accomplished that at San Diego State with way less money, resources and facilities. So why can’t Monty, or anyone else, at Cal?

    Monty really had his chance if he could have pulled local guys like, Dominic Artis, Brandon Ashley, Marcus Lee and Aaron Gordon… whiff, whiff, whiff, whiff. You may not see a list of local talent like that for another decade. All of them right here, sitting in Monty’s backyard.

    If he could have landed 2-3 of those guys, especially of the 3 bigs, whole different story… IMO.

    Happy New Year!

  • Juancho

    You are right my hermano Dan. Why can SDSU do it, but Cal seemingly continues to settle for being decent and have decent attendance. What I wouldn’t give to take a look at the athletic department’s books to see what the finances look like.

  • Dan

    Juancho – great find on the attendance. I’ve said this before- Braun sucked the life out of Haas. It has never returned.

    Same thing with Tedford at CMS Kaboom! – Sandy is so clueless she not only didn’t learn from the Braun experience, she not only repeated the same mistake, but exacerbated it by giving Tedford that last needless extension – AND – she blew it at the most inopportune tine in the history of Cal athletics – when the new facilities are needing to be paid off.

    If you’ve been to Haas the past several seasons … Booooring. Lots and lots of empty seats, no atmosphere, student section is weak and unimaginative- there’s just no buzz. Very unlike the first few seasons in the remodeled Haas, or Harmon pre-reno.

  • Juancho

    Top 25 = National Relevance.

    National Relevance = Top (Local) Recruits.

    Top Recruits = Attendance.

    Attendance = $.

    $ = Baseball Not Getting Cut Again.

  • Juancho

    Same with futebol. Just look at what UCLA is doing.

  • Dan

    One add with regards to SDSU compared to Cal. The Aztecs have done more than Cal with less talent. Now, they have a top 10 recruiting class coming in next year, including 3 guys that Cal wanted and offered. These guys chose SDSU over Cal. Why?

    As much as we talk about Monty being older and that maybe affecting his connecting with HS recruits – yeah, Montgomery is 66, not young, but Steve Fisher is 2 years older at 68, and just pulled his best recruiting class since the Fab Five when he was at Michigan.

    I’m not behind the scenes at Cal, so I don’t know the answer, but I don’t see Monty repeating his Stanford success at Cal. He’s a HUGE upgrade over Braun, but making Cal a perennial power? I dont think so.

  • Dan

    One more add 2.0 – Aztec basketball is the hottest ticket in SD. Of any sport. Sold out season for 3rd straight year, and the home court atmosphere is electric. 12,414 for every game, and a student section, The Show, that is second to none.

    The Aztecs started the season unranked and received no votes in the first poll. Now 10-1 and ranked #20 have beaten ranked Marquette, Creighton, also Washington -only loss to #1 Arizona, and that was a 4 point game with a minute to go. If they win their MWC opener at always tough Colo St. at altitude tomorrow, they go to Kansas this weekend with a chance to move into or near the top 10 with a win.

    When was the last time Cal was in that position? How exciting would it be if they were? It seems like Cal with Monty would be able to put themselves in that position, especially in an area that has been LOADED with talent lately.

  • Dan

    Juancho at #10 & #11 … Bingo. Spot on.

  • Gobears49

    Not sure it makes a difference, or is even true, but aren’t there some guys that Cal wants to play football or basketball (or any sport) but don’t qualify to get into Cal. I know Cal has rules that makes exceptions on grade point averages and SAT scores, but there are limits on that. Maybe SDSU has looser standards than Cal as to who it will admit for athletes. Maybe people in the know can comment on it.

    As for the attendance, while the stats do show a decline, it would be helpful to analyze that in light of Cal’s record each year. But I just looked, and it does not explain it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Golden_Bears_men's_basketball

    However, just eyeballing the numbers, there is certainly no meaningful drop off in attendance in Monty’s five years compared to attendance the previous four years.

    Can’t compare recent attendance to when Kidd and Murray were at Cal. Those guys would be listed in the all-time Cal starting lineup.

    In response to Juancho’s question, while I would need to research it a bit, my gut says that for Cal to be ranked in the top 25, Cal needs to bring in three players a year, instead of his usual two (certainly that is true for next year so far, but to be sure I would have to check our recruits for the prior years, and I really doubt I’m going to make that effort), that are in the top 150 nationally, with one of them being a big guy who can contribute immediately, unlike this year so far.

    If I ever get motivated, I would like to write a post that would show Cal would have done even better under Monty if we had not had suspensions of players at the end of the year for various reasons (Amoke and Soloman) and the injury to Patrick Christopher’s eye at the start of the Duke game, in which, I believe, he took only only four shots the whole game. I think we could have beaten Duke if Christopher had not been injured. That was probably Monty’s best team.

  • Gobears49

    Maybe three guys a year ranking in the top 150 is too much to ask. I’d say at least one guy in the top 50 and two other guys in the top 200. Maybe somebody could look up where I yearly recruits were ranked nationally during Monty’s years at Cal.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    For a minute there I thought JF was writing about your football team and the pathetic blowouts. LOL. What a bunch of losers.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    GB49 and all,

    I have a problem with “players that want to come but don’t have the grades.” Right off, I don’t mean they shouldn’t come or that the University shouldn’t lower standards for them.

    I think it shouldn’t be THAT hard for any such student athlete to demonstrate they can apply themselves toward their academics. If they can give the school some proof they can apply themselves, then the school can take a chance that they will. It is not like a student becomes insterested in Cal in the last weeks of their high school career.

    I mean, if they are Juniors, the student has a summer and semester to demonstrate some effort. Perhaps the school can even do some research and provide a list of summer classes one could take (private or otherwise) which would also help to show a turn around.

    Granted, if the school system has already failed someone, as in passed a person onto a higher level math class when they do not really understand the prerequisites, there is a bigger problem. Apart from that, however, I really believe ANYONE can improve their grades and learning abilities by effort alone.

    Moreover, a student that does decide to actually work for a while in the class room will have a better idea of whether or not they really do want to go to a school where such effort will be needed in even the simpler classes.

    Personally, I think EVERY recruit, good student or bad, would benefit from a post Junior year summerschool class in which they really have to push themselves, and I’d say this applies to non-athletes as well.

    My high school academics were simply too easy for me, for the most part. Cal classes kicked my rear in semester one cause I had no idea HOW to apply myself even though I had the grades in high school.

    I find it funny, too, when I think on the current Tosh-crap, how the “aid” was towards academics. I’m basically saying such support should be available for any student athlete the school is interested in, almost like part of the application process. Struggling students could be pushed, analyzed, and maybe actually helped, while all athletes could get a taste of a relatively difficult course (one requiring time and effort) to help them decide if an academically challenging school is really for them.

    Anywho . . .

    Happy New Year!

    May 2014 be better than that last clusterhump for all.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Just to add,

    These players can come attend Nike sponsored sports camp during the summer. Why not an academic class as well?

  • SteveNTexas

    So exactly which players wanted to come to Cal but couldn’t get in?

    Why is Stanford better than us? How are their academics?

    I’m not a big fan of Montgomery – the Pac 10-2 has had some of the worst years in its history so finishing near the top hasn’t been that impressive. Our teams have choked a couple of years and we did have one decent run.

    Our recruiting for 2014 has not been anything special.

  • Juancho

    I’m not sure academics is that big a deal. Especially as compared to football.

    UCLA is essentially the same school as us. Except they have an even lower admittance rate because they get the most undergraduate applications in the world. They do better than us. As does Stanford, Duke, etc.

    We can try to make excuses all day long, but the reality is Monty’s recruiting has been lacklustre. Bird is the best recruit he’s gotten. And that’s because Bird’s dad played at Cal.

    As Dan mentioned, Monty has been at the helm while the Bay Area has produced some of the best national talent. And for whatever reason we miss on all of them. Next year Ivan Rabb is the #1 recruit in the country, and he’s in Oakland.

    We’ll see what happens there. As Esteban in Texas mentions, Monty has made us competitive in a very weak league. That’s not what recruits aim for. Recruits want a top 25 program that offers excitement, environment, and a chance to make their name.

    Cal basketball like football is more or less a place to go and be under the radar until you can declare for the draft. As evidenced by the fact that most of our players that project into the pros for both sports always leave early.

  • Gobears49

    A few random points.

    I still don’t think Monty has done that bad in recruiting, he just needs to recruit one more good player a year and bring in a very good JC player to fill in our specific needs for the next season, like (broken record time) a big guy for this year. After all, wasn’t Crabbe voted the best high school player in California? I also thought Soloman was a good recruit, especially because he was big and agile. That’s tough to find these days.

    Second, all of you who think the Pac-12 conference is weak should check out the conference rankings. We’re now the fourth best conference in the country, after being 6th best last year and 10th best two seasons ago.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/bracketology/conference/rpi/2013-14

    Third, I think Cal is at a disadvantage, in some ways, competing against Stanford. If I were a smart guy and a top athlete, I’d go to the best academic school where I could play big time sports, to get the best degree possible but also fulfill my athletic ambitions. Cal isn’t it. Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt (good football team this year and, I think, the past few years), and Northwestern are. I’m sure those schools provide some accommodation for students with poor grades, etc., but I don’t know how to compare them to Cal.

    Finally, I’d love to have someone compare how hard it is to get into Cal as an athlete compared to a school out of our conference, such as San Diego St. Maybe our poster who always mentioned SDSU knows and can tell us.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    AUGH! The Rose Bowl National Anthem may well be the slowest sung version EVER!

    To all singers, it’s not about you. Just sing the damn song.

  • Juancho

    Haha well said bovine.

    Gb49 good points. But if recruiting has been good why havent we become a top 25 program? Coaching? Or are our standards just really low.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I can live with the quality of recruits Monty has brought in. The bigger issue has been the consistent lack of depth. When just one player has been in early foul trouble, games were pretty much over.

    You look at rosters for different clubs were they at least have defensive depth up front and you see what Cal has been missing throughout Monty’s tenure. So many games were lost because he just didn’t have enough horses.

  • Dan

    Another glorious New Years Day in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. However, Another Golden Bear-less Rose Bowl. I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this anyway.

  • Juancho

    One day we will make the rose bowl.

    Gb49 will rent a place for us to party. Well barbecue abd share stories. And joke about these tough seasons. Well drink a hell of a lot. Thats one thing Cal folk always excel in.

    Lets just pray its soon.

    Dan my brother you rootin for msu or furd ?

  • Gobears49

    Definitely there will be a 3-day bash before the Rose Bowl. Count on it.

    But I’m a bit concerned about going forward with the basketball bash I promised. Anybody have any ideas as how we could exclude the MoreNCsarecoming guy. I personally don’t have a problem about him and, in my view, he even enlivens the blog. He does know something about Cal sportsHe might be dangerous. Who knows what people will do these days? Any ideas about how we can somehow exclude him so we can all have a good time?

    Juancho, I did not say recruiting was quite up to snuff. We need one more good (or decent) recruit a year, but especially a JC transfer to fill in our particular needs that year. This year that need t is a good big man to productively spell Soloman and Kravish, like Thurman did last year. Our recruits at guard have consistently been good enough to be a top 25 team.

  • Juancho

    Gb my position is we need great recruits. Not good recruits. The attendance numbers show much better for that great class of powe ubaka kately and mcguire.

    Braun couldnt coach. But he filled haas and recruited better than monty.

    Maybe braun was better for business.

  • Juancho

    We need an aaron gordon. Not a markuri sanders frison. Not sure how sandy has set expectations so low for our big sports.

  • Juancho

    If you folks were chancellor. And interviewing ADs. Would you tell the candidates, what were looking for is a football and basketball program outside if the top 25. With decent recruits and emphasis on jc transfers so we can compete in conference. With attendance numbers reaching as high as 75%?

    Of course we wouldnt. We would all say this is a high paying position. High standards. Both programs top 15 and competing for bcs every so iften and making the final four once a few years.

    We are not a mid major with low budget.

    Yet our expectations are that of utah state. None of us would hire Sandy based on her resume at Cal.

    What has she do e with football and baseball that has made good sense for business and fan engagement ?

  • Juancho

    Meant basketball but my fingers are too fat for this iphone.

  • Gobears49

    Juancho,

    For basketball, at a minimum each year we need one great recruit, one very good one, and one good one who can develop into a productive reserve. I know you want better, but we have to be realistic. There are are about 60 to 80 teams (and that is probably being conservative, that play big time basketball. That leaves between 2 to 2.5 players within the top 200 ranked players each year, per those teams, that we can expect to get.

    We are not Kentucky, Duke, or Louisville and will never be. Plus, kids want to play for UCLA because of their old history and Arizona because of their recent history. We have to be realistic and hope that Monty can attract a few big time recruits and spot someone who is a gem in the rough who can help us down the line.

    Yes, Braun was probably a little better recruiting, overall, than Monty is. But Monty has done OK in recruiting and has a better average yearly record than Braun did. Monty drives me crazy at times, but not as much as Braun did, with his offense, which totally consisted of passing the ball around the outside. I want a coach who can teach players how to pass, pass, pass, to get an open shot. Monty could be better at that, especially when I want to throw up when I see the team gymratting and trying to play one on one, but he is a much better coach at teaching how to execute an offense than Braun was. I’ll take Monty over Braun, overall, any day, and I’m sure most people on this blog would agree with me.

  • Gobears49

    Juancho,

    Watching the Stanford game, so didn’t go the math. But I think from the stats shown in the link below, Braun may have averaged about 17 or 18 wins a year whereas it looks like Monty has averaged about 22 wins a year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Golden_Bears_men's_basketball

  • Juancho

    Good points brother. But. Were still irrelevant nationally. And as your stats show montys results have not been that much better than braun.

    Monty is a good coach. Is he maximizing Cals potential as a program. No.

  • Gobears49

    Juancho,

    It would be interesting to see how many coaches out there are averaging 22 wins a year. Probably less than 30.

  • Juancho

    Gb. I can tell you there are at least 25 coaches ahead of us in the poll.

    Were ranked 70 in the country. Looking at pure wins isnt the right measure. The top 2( polls is the right measure.

  • Rocko at the beach

    37 responses to the article and not one about the article itself, brilliant!

    Champion aren’t they in the TV college league? DeVry U, IT Tech, U of Phoenix, WyoTech, California Culinary Academy among others?

  • Dan

    Juancho- was pulling for the Cardinal, but MSU deserved the win- they outplayed, outsmarted, and especially out coached Stanford.

    It blows me away how bad Shaw is in many big games, or maybe better said in close games. Such conservative and predictable play calling, it was like Tedford was in the box calling plays. Clueless.

    I saw all I needed 2 years ago when Shaw tanked the Fiesta Bowl, calling ultra conservative and predictable running plays, playing for FG attempts when they had a shaky FG kicker- who missed multiple FGs. Oh, they had ANDREW EFFIN LUCK at QB.

    Shaw completely castrated Luck. I’m screaming at the TV to let Luck, the best college QB, maybe the most talented college player, in 10 years, go win you the game. Nope, Shaw kept running the ball, kept getting stuffed, and ultimately lost a game they should have won. Like today. Like Utah this season. Like USC this season.

    He has a great program. He IS NOT a great big game coach.

    On another topic, really enjoying this UCF team and Blake Bortles. Very impressive.

  • Dan

    Lovie Smith, new Tampa Bay HC, hires Jeff Tedford as his OC. His he nuts? Lovie is doomed.