by Michael Duca and Morris Phillips
BERKELEY–The thing about Cal facing Creighton and losing last weekend in that non conference game is that loss won’t help them as we approach the NCAA Tournament on whose going to go and who isn’t. Cal head coach Mike Montgomery knows there’s not that many opportunities in the non-conference to make them last.
When the Golden Bears went to Maui and lost to Syracuse 91-82 November 26th Syracuse is ranked number two in the nation right now but they weren’t ranked number two when Cal played them after raking up a few more wins. The Bears didn’t beat Syracuse and they didn’t beat Creighton that will hurt them come selection time.
As far as the Bears next opponent Furman is concerned whom they play at Haas on Saturday they won’t give Cal much of a battle that will be the final non conference game for the Bears and they will see Stanford on January 2nd at Maples Pavilion to open their first conference game in the new year.
The Bears best game in non conference play was the game against Oakland which they won 64-61 the team from suburban Detroit that was in Berkeley on November 15th that game went down to the last two minutes. Oakland went onto do some almost wonderful things.
The Bears also took Michigan State down to the end of the wire that game was played at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan. Non conference basketball is where you don’t want any slip ups like losing to someone your not suppose to lose to because people will come and hurt you come selection tme.
The NCAA will select someone whose in the top 40 who will hurt you, especially since Cal comes off that loss to Creighton which is disappointing and you’ll see them bounce back pretty well. The Bears are in Stanford Jan 2 and you don’t want to open the conference season with a loss and Cal hasn’t had much success at Maples lately. The Bears have lost the last three or four in Maples.
The Bears have won at Stanford only once since Montgomery was the coach the win was in his first year it’s a tough place to play for Cal. Montgomery doesn’t get much a of reception down there any more even though he was a great coach at Stanford for many years and they’re going to have to deal with Stanford and their size. If anything we know that Stanford doesn’t shoot the ball well all the time and hopefully Cal can take advantage of it.
Morris Phillips covers the Cal Bears with Michael Duca for Sportstalk Radio