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Basketball: Bears say they won’t look past WSU

By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, January 17th, 2014 at 9:49 pm in Basketball, Gameday.

* 1 p.m. Saturday at Haas Pavilion (Pac-12 Networks)

There will be no hiccup Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion, senior forward Richard Solomon promised.

The Bears (13-4, 4-0 Pac-12), riding a five-game overall win streak, take on a Washington State squad (8-9, 1-4) struggling to put points on the board without injured leading scorer DaVonte Lacy.

“We’re not overlooking anybody,” Solomon said. “We’re going to come out with the same intensity. If we’re supposed to beat them, that’s how we’re going to play.

“Anybody can beat anybody in this league. We understand that.”

The Cougars beat Utah at home last weekend, then were pounded 80-48 at Stanford on Wednesday night while Cal was running away from Washington, 82-56.

“We’re just playing hard,” Solomon said after the UW game. “It started on the defensive end. We’re trying to move the ball on offense, just trying to come together and be the best we can be. We have a high ceiling.”

So the Bears can be better still?

“There’s always room for improvement,” forward David Kravish said.

Coach Mike Montgomery was pleased with his team’s execution against the Huskies.

“I thought the kids really understood the game plan defensively. They did a really good job,” he said, alluding to the fact that Washington shot just 30 percent. “Our big guys are causing people some problems inside. They beat us at point of attack a time or two, and with David and Richard in there, it’s a little discouraging.”

Meaning for the Huskies, who had seven shots blocked, four of them by Kravish.

The Cougars had similar difficulties inside against Stanford’s size. Six WSU frontcourt players combined to score two points on 1-for-15 shooting in 77 minutes against the Cardinal.

WSU clearly is at a loss without Lacy (17.7 ppg), who is out with a rib injury on the heels of having an emergency appendectomy late last month.

The Cougars have reached 50 points just once in five Pac-12 games, averaging 41.5 in the other four. They scored just 25 in a 35-point loss to No. 1 Arizona.

In those four games, WSU is converting 32.2 percent of its shots, including just 26.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the absence of Lacy, Que Johnson is trying to pick up the slack for the Cougars. The 6-foot-5 freshman guard scored 21 at Stanford and averages 13.2 in the Pac-12. But in those five games he has 15 turnovers and just one assist.

*****

Having tied former Oregon State coach Slats Gill on Wednesday for third on the all-time list for conference victories with 276, Montgomery stands one victory shy of moving even with Lou Campanelli for third on Cal’s list for overall coaching victories at 123.

Montgomery, midway through his sixth season at Berkeley, is 122-63. Campanelli coached the Bears through the middle of his eighth season, ending in 1993, and compiled a record of 123-108.

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  • Calfan1

    I know it’s the wrong thread but where’s the DC for Cal? Hired yet?

  • Gobears49

    Maybe we should hire Clancy Pendergast as head coach and move Sonny to offensive coordinator (half kidding).

  • Gobears49

    This could easily be the best Cal team Monty has had. In a matter of weeks, we have gone from not being deep at all to being very deep. If this team continues to concentrate, and not live off of their past wins, we have a chance to do something meaningful in the NCAA’s. We have to keep winning to get a 5 or 6 seed.

    But i think the continued improvement of Behrens is key. Powers is 6’7″, but he is primarily just an outside player (and our best shooter there, too). We need even better depth inside to some damage in the NCAA’s, and Behrens (6’9″ and mobile) is our only hope for the frontline coming off the bench. He is our third big man. He is not yet up to Thurman’s standard, but is getting there.

  • Juancho

    Where’s that top 3 in conference recruiting class?

  • Juancho

    Juancho with breaking news. As per usual. Just like our brothers were provided with the info that mixon would go to oklahoma about a year ago.

    Rumour has it jahvid best has been added to staff as assistant running back coach.

    Now thats a move i like.

  • http://mammothsnowman.com/mammoth-mountain-weather/ Weatherguy

    I agree, I have been saying we are one front court player (big man) away from making a deep NCAA run, this team is really balanced

  • Will

    Talk about a good role model for young players. Great move.

  • 707 Bear

    Perfect day for Cal hoops.

    Beautiful winter day for a drive down to Berkeley from the 707. Stoll through the most beautiful campus on the planet. Comfort food from Blondie’s. Beer outside of Haas. Take seats. Band. Hoops.

    Life is good. So is this team.

  • Juancho

    Blondies? Over fat slice? No way.

  • covinared

    Pac 12 network means no tv for me.

  • 707 Bear

    Juancho

    You are our leader, but here I must disagree.

    I’m old enough to remember Berkeley before Fat Slice. Old enough to remember a Blondies’s slice for a buck. However, my first wife and better half commented that the slices today were a bit too healthy; the oil barely soaked through the paper plate.

    Back from the game and must nap and digest.

  • Juancho

    Brother 707 I must concede this one to you. I was unaware Blondies predates Fat Slice. Fat Slice was my go to as a student, so I can relate to how it feels to go back and get a slice from the very same place we did as students; both in high intensity sobriety (finals season) and in states of intoxication.

    I actually was able to take the baseball kids I took to this afternoon’s basketball game over to Oscars for burgers. So now they can add that to their Berkeley palette. In addition to the favorite of every kid I’ve taken to B-town, Top Dog, and the other popular spots: gypsys, fat slice, blondies, CREAM.