Tag:Mike Montgomery
Posted on: August 30, 2011 7:35 am

Trippin': Don't count Cal out in Pac-12 race

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Goodman 

It was simple for Cal's Mike Montgomery.

"It wasn't any more complex as I'd never been there before," Montgomery said.

And that's why the Bears played five games in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Montgomery said that if his team stays healthy, he doesn't see any reason why Cal can't contend for the Pac-12 crown this season.

"I expect us to have an opportunity to compete for it," Montgomery said shortly after returning from the trip.

What Montgomery learned: "We've got a long way to go fundamentally. We've got some talented kids, but sometimes you take it for granted. They just aren't there yet."

What/who impressed him the most: "It was a mixed bag. Allen (Crabbe) shot the ball well the first game, then disappeared. Richard Solomon played well the second game, then got hurt. Freshman David Kravish really knows how to play and seemed to be at the right place at the right time. It looks like he'll be able to help. Also, Robert Thurman was much more consistent and has really really improved - especially his knowledge of the game."

What his concerns are: "We've got to stay healthy. Jorge missed three games and we're a different team - night and day - when he's on the court. We need both him and Harper to be healthy."

- Bak Bak didn't make the trip because he had visa issues getting back to the country and arrived just days before the team left. Bak hails from the Sudan, but was arriving from Kenya. "I didn't want to risk it," Montgomery said. Montgomery said that Bak needs to make a step forward in his third year with the program and be more physical.

- Jorge Gutierrez sprained his ankle on the final day of practice and missed the first three games before playing the final two.

- Richard Solomon missed the final two games after suffering a minor eye injury.

- Harper Kamp, who has battled knee injuries for the past couple years, played two games because his knee was "acting up."

- Montgomery said Crabbe needs to be more aggressive and not just settle for the perimeter shot.

- Montgomery needs to be able to utilize his bench so that guys like Gutierrez and Kamp don't wear down late in games - and late in the season.

- Montgomery is hopeful that guards Emerson Murray, a sophomore, and freshman guard Alex Rossi can give the Bears quality minutes to give the team some depth in the backcourt behind the four core guards: Gutierrez, Crabbe, Brandon Smith and Justin Cobbs. Rossi, a skilled freshman, is still getting back to 100 percent after dealing with a sports hernia. "It's a tough injury. His body is still behind," Montgomery said. Murray, known for his athleticism, had a plate removed from his foot over the summer.

- It sounds as though Solomon, who was cut from the U-19 U.S Team earlier this summer, received a dose of humility. "He does a lot of flashy things," Montgomery said. "He needs to do more of the day-to-day things."

- Smith and Cobbs will likely share the role of running the team. Smith brings toughness and a stabilizing influence to the table while Cobbs may have more talent, but isn't quite as disciplined as Smith right now. "We can play them together, also," Montgomery said. "Cobbs can play some two."

- Montgomery will be smart with Kamp. "We can't run him into the ground in practice," he said. "We just can't do it. He's going to need some time off because we're going to need him on the court."
Posted on: December 23, 2010 10:20 am

Cal coach Mike Montgomery forced to get physical

Posted by Matt Norlander

Kansas went into Berkeley last night and defeated Cal, 78-63.

But it wasn't that easy. And it wasn't that breezy. The two teams got progressively angrier at each other as the second half wore on, until tempers flared to the point where Jayhawk Marcus Morris threw an elbow into the beak of Harper Kamp and was promptly ejected. Then, shortly after that, Cal's Jorge Gutierrez had to be subdued by coach Mike Montgomery after wrestling vigorously on the ground for the basketball with Kansas' Thomas Robinson.

No, this did not escalate rather quickly . It was a slow boil, for sure, and it ticked off Kansas coach Bill Self, who spoke afterward about the sequence of events.

"It was ridiculous, and we obviously contributed a great amount to it," Self said. "I think Cal was chippy also, but we didn't handle it very well. We let it bother us too much and had to get the last word in. Really disappointed in Marcus, really disappointed in him, and he got exactly what he deserved."

Check the highlights to see the measures Montgomery was forced to take on Gutierrez. At least he avoided the Van Gundy Method.

Things didn't stop from there, as Kansas' Brady Morningstar later got petty and tried to swipe the ball away from Gary Franklin after the play had been blown dead. In all four technicals were called: Morris, Morningstar, Robinson and Gutierrez were hit.

Fortunately for Kansas, clearly the superior team, the antics didn't cost it the game — though Cal did draw within five points midway through the second half.

"The thing that bothers me in basketball, and Mike would say the same thing, when guy puts their own agenda ahead of the team is very, very selfish," Self said. "That (Morris' ejection and ensuing action) was almost a nine-point play. ... That was about as bad a basketball play as I've ever seen."
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