Cal Basketball Begins Quest For Pac-12 Conference Title

The California Golden Bears men's basketball hope to make some noise on the hardwood this season. Can they get things rolling with a strong start through the non-conference slate?

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Cal Vs. USC: Golden Bears Stave Off Trojans Rally, Win 63-59

The California Golden Bears looked in control for most of their contest with the USC Trojans. USC's offense was unproductive and couldn't find any scoring room after scoring an early eight points in the opening minutes on easy baskets, finishing with only 19 first half points. Cal worked their way behind Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp, both of whom helped put the Bears up by double-digits for most of the game.

But then USC rallied, and their always impressive defense started locking down the Cal offense. The Bears played very disappointing basketball down the stretch, and the Trojans managed to bring it back down to a one-point game with a few seconds left. But with USC about to get the basketball back trailing by only one with seconds left, Allen Crabbe (who had a quiet night) was fouled on a three point shot as the shot clock was about to expire. Crabbe nailed all three shots to ice the victory.

Gutierrez led the Bears with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Kamp and Crabbe both finished with 12 points each. Cal will probably need a much better effort if they plan on beating UCLA on New Year's Eve.

To discuss Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs. To discuss USC basketball, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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Cal Vs. USC Basketball: Golden Bears Start Pac-12 Play Against Trojans

The California Golden Bears are one of the many favorites in the crowd to win the Pac-12. They'll try to show how good they are when they take on the USC Trojans. Cal and USC pits together two of the best defenses in the conference; however, USC has a far bigger problem putting points on the board, while the Bears remain one of the most efficient offensive teams in the conference.

Cal might or might not be without big man Richard Solomon, so the Bears will be stretched depth-wise with regards to their big men, as they'll have to rely on David Kravish and Harper Kamp in all likelihood to try and handle a physical beast like Dewayne Dedemon. Although the Bears have struggled in the past trying to deal with the speedy Maurice Jones, Cal should have a superior advantage on the perimeter with Jorge Gutierrez, Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe.

To talk about the game with Cal fans, head to the California Golden Blogs. To discuss the game with USC fans, go to Conquest Chronicles.

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Cal Basketball Falls To UNLV 85-68

The California Golden Bears had a great opportunity to notch a respectable non-conference win for the Pac-12. All hopes of victory were erased early. The UNLV Runnin' Rebels raced out to a 46 point first half (the most Cal has given up in the first half all year), and led by double digits for the entire second half, cruising to a 17 point victory.

UNLV's athleticism and veteran leadership overwhelmed the Bears as they got solid performances from Mike Moser (14 points, eight rebounds), Oscar Bellfield (11 points, 11 assists), Chace Stanback (15 points) and Anthony Marshall (22 points, nine rebounds). The Rebels look like a serious tournament contender; expect them to make some noise in March.

Cal saw their two top scorers struggle to find the range. Allen Crabbe (flu) and Jorge Gutierrez (recovering from food poisoning) shot a combined 7 of 27 from the field and finished with 25 points overall. Cal guard Justin Cobbs continued his hot scoring and provided the main scoring punch, finishing with 20 points and five assists. Cal bigs Harper Kamp (12 points, nine rebounds) and David Kravish (eight points, seven boards) had solid performances in support.

Cal now gets ready for Pac-12 play, finishing out-of-conference with a 10-3 record.

To discuss Cal basketball, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Beats Up UC Santa Barbara 70-50

The California Golden Bears are down Richard Solomon until he recovers from a stress fracture injury. Then on Monday night they were missing star guard Jorge Gutierrez because of food poisoning. With Robert Thurman out and Harper Kamp limited, the Bears had a lot of problems going into a crucial matchup with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.

It turned out to be no problem at all.

Justin Cobbs came in for Gutierrez and put up his best performance as a Golden Bear, scoring 25 points on 10 of 12 shooting from the field, and generally was unstoppable against the Gaucho defense. Cobbs's game was highlighted with a 35 foot three-pointer that pretty much wrapped things up late in the second half. Allen Crabbe added 19 points and six rebounds, and freshman David Kravish contributed nine rebounds and seven points when he had to step in and take up most of Solomon's minutes.

Cal gets ready for their final non-conference test of the season when they take on the UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas this Friday afternoon.

To discuss Cal basketball further, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Rocks Up Weber State

The California Golden Bears had what looked like an imposing matchup against the Weber St. Wildcats when they had to deal with a scoring machine in Damian Lilliard, top scorer in the country. Thankfully for Cal, Jorge Gutierrez was more than ready to lock him down.

Lilliard finished with a feeble 4 of 17 shooting performance with Gutierrez locking him down. Gutierrez then shot 8 of 12 from the field and had 24 points on the night as he dominated the game on both sides of the floor. Allen Crabbe added 16 points and and Harper Kamp and Richard Solomon each had 11.

The Bears also got great passing help from Justin Cobbs (six assists along with six points) and Brandon Smith (five assists) to ensure the ball kept moving and the Bears kept on scoring. Freshman David Kravish has another impressive outing, leading the Bears with eleven rebounds off the bench to go along with his six points.

To discuss Cal basketball, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.

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2012 NCAA Tournament Bracketology: Stanford Cardinal, Cal Bears Projected As Middle Seeds

Where are the Bears and Cardinal projected to end up?

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Cal Basketball Loses To San Diego State 64-63

The California Golden Bears lost what could be a critical non-conference matchup when they fell to the San Diego St. Aztecs. Cal lost Richard Solomon to suspension earlier last week, and the Bears didn't have the depth to win on the road on Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Bears actually didn't have a lot of trouble rebounding against the Aztecs, but it was their usually reliable shooting that let them down. Cal shot 40% from the field and missed seven crucial free throws. Allen Crabbe led the Bears with 23 points but took 21 shots to get there, and Justin Cobbs chipped in 17 points on 14 shots. Harper Kamp and Jorge Gutierrez had uncharacteristic games, combining to hit 4 of 17 shots. David Kravish had a nice game off the bench with eight points and six rebounds. But no one could stop Chase Tapley, who had 25 points on the night.

Cal still does not have a marquee win on the season, and with the Pac-12 struggling, they might be in short supply going forward.

To discuss Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Struggles, But Beats McNeese State 73-57

The California Golden Bears faced the underwhelming McNeese St. Cowboys on Monday night, and Cal looked underwhelmed. Playing their fourth basketball game in seven days, Cal was ragged for most of the first half and were caught in a back-and-forth matchup with the Cowboys, as Dontae Cannon shot 8 of 18 for 18 points while Patrick Richard went 6 of 14 for 15 points. McNeese State was leading in the final seconds of the first half before the Bears finally put up a buzzer beating three to take a 28-26 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Cal took over. Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe seemed to trade baskets for most of the first ten minutes to put the Bears up double digits; Gutierrez shot 11 of 15 from the field for 26 points, Crabbe went 8 of 15 for 20 points. Harper Kamp had 10 points and Justin Cobbs chipped in 8. It wasn't the strongest performance by the Bears, but they still cruised to winning in the second half.

Cal will now have most of the week off before preparing for their toughest road test against the San Diego St. Aztecs.

To discuss Cal basketball, go to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Beats Up Denver 80-59 Behind Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs

The California Golden Bears needed a recovery victory after getting routed in the finale of the CBE Classic to the Missouri Tigers. Thankfully the Denver Pioneers came to town on Saturday fresh off two strong wins against Southern Miss and St. Mary's, and Cal was in a vengeful mood. The Bears led wire-to-wire en route to an 80-59 home victory, taking a 38-22 lead and extending the lead to as many as 29 points in the second half.

Allen Crabbe broke out of his mini-slump by nailing six of nine shots, three of five triples, and finished with a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Cobbs came off the bench and powered the Cal offensive attack by hitting all four of his three pointers, going seven of nine from the field with 22 points. Jorge Gutierrez, Brandon Smith and Harper Kamp had 11 points each.

Cal moves onto take McNeese State at Haas Pavilion on Monday night before they move onto their next serious road test a week from Sunday against San Diego State.

To discuss Cal basketball, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: California Blown Out By Mizzou 92-53

Poor offensive execution, questionable calls by the officiating crew and an incredible shooting night for Mizzou doomed the California Golden Bears in the CBE Classic on Tuesday night. With a large pro-Mizzou crowd in attendance, the Bears were dominated for most of the game and fell by a final score of 92-53.

Turnovers doomed the team from the beginning and they ended with 19 on the night. The Bears were finding and taking good shots, but they just wouldn't fall. Cal shot 17-for-56 from the field, which is good for a mere 30.2%, and only converted two of nine shots from behind the arc. Jorge Gutierrez, who fouled out with 11 minutes remaining in the contest, led his team with 11 points. Justin Cobbs added 10 of his own off the bench, while Richard Solomon scored eight.

The Tigers set the nets on fire in Kansas City and shot nearly 58% from the field. Mizzou hit ten 3's, made 22 free throws, and had six players reach double digits. Kim English led the way with 19 points, with Marcus Denmon adding 18 of his own.

Coach Montgomery and his staff will take this loss and use it as a great motivating tool in the coming days. This is still a very promising team in Berkeley and they have the talent to make a deep run in conference play.

For more on the Bears, check out California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: Missouri Rolls Notre Dame To Face Cal In Finals

The Missouri Tigers took full advantage of the youth of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Sunday. Notre Dame is usually a pretty good defensive team, but they looked slow and inexperienced against the speed of Missouri on Monday night in the CBE Classic semifinals. Marcus Denmon piled in 26 points on 9 of 11 shooting and Phil Pressey chipped in 17 points. Ricardo Ratliffe added 12 points and eight rebounds. Missouri shot 58% from the field and held Notre Dame to 37% from the field, and were never seriously threatened, leading by 15 at halftime and opening it up through the second half.

Missouri will play Cal in a battle of two top 25 teams in the Sprint Center after the Golden Bears shut down Missouri, and it figures to be a battle of great guard play while the bigs try to perform well as well. Can Jorge Gutierrez, Justin Cobbs and Brandon Smith maintain their solid man-to-man defense against what figures to be one of the most talented backcourts they face?

To discuss Tigers basketball, go to Rock M Nation. To discuss Cal basketball, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: Cal Basketball Uses 31-4 Run To Dominate Georgia, Cruises 70-46

The California Golden Bears and the Georgia Bulldogs seemed like they were going to be in a fight early. Cal seemed to struggle to get their footing as the team struggled to convert their opportunities in the paint and turned the ball over on too many occasions. Cal was also struggling to get their talented sophomores Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon going, and it looked as if Cal would be dogfighting it all night long.

But Cal's defense remained constant. And they eventually wore down Georgia's attack and it powered them to victory. The Golden Bears turned a 25-22 deficit into a 36-25 lead before halftime, then opened it up to 53-29. Georgia shot 33% from the field and 21% from behind the arc; Cal shot 50% and hit six of eleven threes, and outrebounded Georgia 34-27 and enjoyed a huge advantage at the free throw line.

Seniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp were rock solid offensively. Kamp hit all six of his shots and put in 16 points to lead all scorers. Gutierrez utilized a lot of baseline and midrange jumpers to make his way to 14 points and seven rebounds. Justin Cobbs had ten points and five assists off the bench. Crabbe had three threes and six rebounds and Richard Solomon put in seven boards. Freshman David Kravish returned to the Midwest (he went to high school only miles away from the Sprint Center) and had an excellent performance with six points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

To discuss the game with Golden Bears fans, head to California Golden Blogs. To discuss the game with Bulldogs fans, check out Dawg Sports.

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CBE Classic: Cal Basketball Looks To Prove Themselves Against Georgia

The California Golden Bears are really going to see what they're made of tonight when they play the Georgia Bulldogs. It'll be their first big conference test with this team, and they'll learn how much stronger they are as a team compared to last year.

Cal has shown they can beat much weaker opponents pretty easily like Austin Peay and George Washington, but Georgia figures to be a much stiffer test. Cal will have to rely heavily on its solid starting unit before they turn things over to their uncertain bench.

Georgia is a young team, but there is some talent on their squad, particularly in their backcourt, just like Cal.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope figures to be a tough one-on-one matchup against Allen Crabbe, while Jorge Gutierrez and Brandon Smith will be charged with trying to hold down Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson. 

Georgia has weaknesses in their frontcourt which is full of young and inexperienced players, just like Cal. The Bulldogs will be putting out Marcus Thornton and Donte Williams, so Harper Kamp and Richard Solomon might need to see if he can get buckets down low. It should be a fun competitive matchup between two teams that are still trying to figure out who they are as a team and where they stack up compared to the rest of the country.

To discuss the game with Cal fans, head to California Golden Blogs. To discuss the game with Georgia fans, go to Dawg Sports.

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CBE Classic: Cal Basketball Routs Austin Peay 72-55

The California Golden Bears had no trouble dispatching the Austin Peay Governors 72-55 on Tuesday night in the second round of the CBE Classic. Cal rolled through the first half, taking advantage of horrid Austin Peay offense to take a 40-13 halftime lead. Cal forced Austin Peay to 5 of 29 shooting in the first half, and the Governors missed its first 13 three point shots. The Bears pretty much chilled from there, as they put it in cruise control in the second half.

Jorge Gutierrez led the Bears with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists, Harper Kamp had 12 points and nine rebounds, freshman David Kravish impressed off the bench with 12 points of his own, and Brandon Smith had a solid 11 point performance. 

The true tests start next week for Cal in Kansas City, when they face Georgia next Monday night in the CBE Classic semifinals, and (depending on the result of both semifinal matchups) Notre Dame or Missouri. It's time to find out how far the Golden Bears can go against quality competition.

For more discussion of Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: Cal Looks To Keep Solid Play Going Vs. Austin Peay

The California Golden Bears men's basketball team will complete a three game stretch in five nights when they take on the Austin Peay Governors. Cal has played two fairly strong basketball contests against both UC Irvine and George Washington, showcasing their offensive versatility and defensive improvement.

Both Allen Crabbe and Jorge Gutierrez remain the constants for this squad, as they continue to put up big numbers on both sides of the floor. Crabbe gets it done with his excellent outside shooting, while Gutierrez has become Cal's best all-around player with solid passing and mid-range production. Newcomers David Kravish and Justin Cobbs have also impressed--Kravish has shown strong upside with his great instincts, while Cobbs has proven he can get to the basket and get to the line while nailing open baskets.

What Cal would like to see in this one is more production from the bigs. Richard Solomon has struggled with his game the first two nights, as he hasn't been able to score consistently in the post. Harper Kamp has also not been banging down low quite as much as last season. Both have proven they can rebound, but the bigs will need to be on the same page with the guards if they want to start racking up victories against tougher opponents.

For more on Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: Cal Beats GWU 81-54 Behind Allen Crabbe, Jorge Gutierrez, Justin Cobbs

The California Golden Bears tipped off their portion of the CBE Classic in impressive fashion when they faced the George Washington Colonials, as they rode a late first half run to a smooth victory on Saturday.

GWU did give Cal early headaches as the Bears struggled with fouls and garnering rebounds, taking a 19-18 lead with around six minutes left in the first half. Cal then rolled on a 21-0 run, powered by eight points by Justin Cobbs and five points from Allen Crabbe. Crabbe then scored another eight points early in the second half, as the Bears led by as many as 28 points in this contest.

Crabbe finished with 21 points (15 of his points coming off five three point shots) and five rebounds. Cobbs put in 16 points, with eight coming at the free throw line. Jorge Gutierrez added 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals in support. Cal's defense was the big constant, as George Washington shot 29.6% from the field in the first half and 37.9% from the field throughout the game.

Cal moves on to face Austin Peay on Tuesday night in their next CBE Classic matchup.

For more on Cal men's basketball, head off and check the California Golden Blogs.

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CBE Classic: Cal Basketball Looks To Win First Matchup Against GWU

The California Golden Bears look to improve upon a season-opening victory against UC Irvine when they face a more intimidating foe in Haas Pavilion, the George Washington Colonials. GWU is one of the better teams Cal has on their non-conference schedule, and they play the 1-3-1 defense that Cal has faced before when they play Oregon State in-conference. Keeping the ball moving while moving with the basketball to break the zone will be crucial to opening the floodgates for Cal.

What the Bears will be looking for is better play from their bench in this one. The starting unit played solidly in its first game of the season, but the younger bench struggled in the minutes they were on the floor and generally deferred to the leading five. Mike Montgomery would like to see more aggressiveness from his players throughout the game and not become too passive when dealing with this defense. It'll be important to get Justin Cobbs (key to Cal's success this season) to start becoming more confident in taking his shots within the flow of the game, and try and get more out of backups like Emerson Murray, Jeff Powers, David Kravish and Robert Thurman. Depth production will be absolutely critical.

George Washington is a young group, so expect Cal to continue to play their man-to-man defense.

For more on Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball, Led By Allen Crabbe And Jorge Gutierrez, Beats UC Irvine

The California Golden Bears didn't need much time to build up a dominating lead over the UC Irvine Anteaters and ended up cruising to a 77-56 victory in their first action of the season. It was by no means a dominating nor impressive effort, but Cal rolled out to an early 13-2 lead and opened up the margin by as many as 26 points.

Allen Crabbe led the way for the Golden Bears with 24 points, nailing two early threes and putting up 9 of the first 11 second half points. Crabbe showed excellent touch on his jump shot, hitting 10 of 19 shots and four triples. Jorge Gutierrez chipped in with an all-around excellent performance (11 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), as he showed confidence in all facets of the game.  Harper Kamp and Richard Solomon banged the boards (8 rebounds apiece); Solomon did most of his scoring by getting to the foul line while Kamp had a restrained 10 point effort. Brandon Smith chipped in six assists.

Cal could've won by more, but Mike Montgomery gave his bench some time to gel and they spent much of the last part of the first half and middle part of the second on the floor. They played ok, although many seemed hesitant to shoot and instead tried to force their offense back to the starters, which caused offensive hiccups and turnover issues. There will probably be more of these growing moments throughout the season.

The Golden Bears start facing some real tests with the tip-off of the CBE Classic when they face George Washington on Sunday night.

To discuss Cal basketball further, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Vs. UC Irvine Preview: Golden Bears Seek Opening Victory

The California Golden Bears look to get on the right path this season when they take on the UC Irvine Anteaters in Haas Pavilion Friday night. Cal should be able to win easily tonight, so this game serves as a tune-up for the more meaningful matchups to follow.

Cal will have a lot of new players they need to work into the lineup. Sophomore Justin Cobbs is expected to make a huge impact off the bench and be Cal's effective sixth man. Can he work effectively within the guard combination/permutations that Mike Montgomery might want to throw out with Jorge Gutierrez and Brandon Smith? His ability to thrive off the bench will be one of the critical points of tonight's game.

Additionally, Cal needs to know how good their bigs are. Richard Solomon has come back stronger, but has he developed the strength to flash effective post moves against strong tall post players? Harper Kamp's knees also remain a subject of great concern for this squad.

The Bears know what they have at small forward, as Allen Crabbe is expected to have a solid season at starting small forward after winning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors. Cal basketball begins its march on the 2011-12 season tonight.

For more on Cal basketball, check out the California Golden Blogs.

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Cal Basketball Beats Up UC San Diego In Exhibition

The California Golden Bears men's basketball hope to make some noise on the hardwood this season. They started off the year with a beatdown of the UC San Diego Tritons.

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