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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.