The old Cal basketball coach has met the new Cal coach and he likes what he sees.
Both Mike Montgomery and Cuonzo Martin were at Pac-12 basketball media day on Thursday, and Cal senior forward Kravish was a bit amused by the new assignment his former coach has taken on as a TV analyst for the Pac-12 Networks.
“It’s interesting to see him with a little media tag on,” Kravish said. “He would always answer your guys’ questions a little sarcastically and now he’s on the questions end.”
Montgomery, who worked in TV before his six-year stint as coach at Cal, said he always knew he’d try to land back in that role.
“I was on the beach in Mexico last week. I’ve never been on the beach in October before,” he said. “It’s a nice change, but a little bit of that goes a long ways.”
Montgomery met Martin for the first time on campus during the offseason and is impressed.
”He seems like a first-class guy. He’s quiet, doesn’t say very much. He watches before he speaks, which is a good thing,” Montgomery said. “But he has the players’ respect. He’s no-nonsense. That’s good – that’s what that group needs.”
Martin’s first Cal team features veterans in Kravish and junior guard Tyrone Wallace, along with a promising sophomore class.
“He inherited a very good group. He’s got a very good locker room, great leadership,” Montgomery said. “They’ve been getting up at 6 to practice and I was, `Yup, they’ll do it.’ In years past we’d have had a little trouble getting everybody up at 6.”
The Bears have minimal frontline depth, but Montgomery believes that can be overcome. “If they stay healthy,” he said, “I think they can compete.”