BERKELEY – The No. 12 California men’s basketball team hit the court for the first time in the 2009-10 season, defeating Chico State, 84-42, in an exhibition game Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. Senior guard Patrick Christopher paved the way for the Golden Bears, notching a game-high 16 points on the night.
Christopher shot 6-for-8 from the floor, was a clean 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and snagged three rebounds.
Sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez also hit double figures in scoring, tallying 11 points. On the boards, senior forward Jamal Boykin led all players with 12 rebounds. Boykin was Cal’s leading rebounder last season.
The Bears connected of four of eight three-point attempts, with Christopher making two out of three. Senior guard Jerome Randle was 1-for-1 from behind the arc, while senior forward Theo Robertson made one of his two attempts.
Cal’s defense clamped down on the Wildcats. Chico State only shot 28.6 percent (16-56) from the field for the game, and made only three of its 18 three-pointers.
The season opener is set for Monday, Nov. 9, when the Bears welcome Murray State at 8 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Postgame quotes from head coach Mike Montgomery:
Overall thoughts on the game:
“We know what we’re doing. It’s good to play a lot of people. Chico State did a nice job; they played hard. They forced us out of some things, so we know we’ve got some things we have to work on, but we knew that coming in. But just able to get people on the floor one time helps. That’s why you do this. We played less people in the first half – give the key people more minutes, and I told the coaches I didn’t want the minutes to get out of whack, so we played more people in the second half. That breaks down your continuity, but I think it’s important that everybody has a chance to feel what it’s like – those kinds of things out there.”
How about individual work such as Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Max Zhang?
“They’re okay. We’ve got some work to do there. We gotta finish inside. We gotta establish an inside game – it’s a concern. Gotta get everybody rebounding the ball. We’re gonna have to help with that position a little bit until Harper (Kamp) gets back. We go slow with Theo (Robertson) in there some – that can help if we do that. We ended up doing that a lot last year so I’m sure we’ll end up doing some this year, as well.”
You played three guards a few times tonight. Do you think you’ll do more?
“Until we move Theo into the 4, we’re playing three guards. But Theo is our 3 man so you can really say you’re playing three guards when Theo plays a 3. We’re just trying to get people in different positions, get them all experienced with different situations and see how they react to it. Some things went pretty well. Brandon (Smith) handled himself pretty well in his first game out as a freshman. Again, it’s early. We’ve seen some interesting results from exhibitions so far because it’s early and people sometimes take a little longer, but with a veteran team, we should be ready.”
Cal Still in Search of Post Play