BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 02, 2022

Cal men's basketball needs to get off to faster start against Montana on Wed.

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PATRICK CHONG | FILE

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DECEMBER 02, 2014

Six games into the season, the Cuonzo Martin era of Cal basketball looks to be off to a great start. The Bears (5-1) have looked pretty good against this year’s opponents, stunning a Syracuse team that was ranked No. 23 at the time. While not everything has been perfect, it’s been a strong start to the year. And with the Bears on quite the roll, their next opponent, Montana, doesn’t look like it should pose too much of an obstacle for Cal on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.

The Grizzlies (2-3) have suffered losses to Colorado State, Boise State and USF but walked away with wins against Seattle and Carroll. The team is averaging only a .417 field goal percentage and 66.2 points per game.

The most recent game, the loss to USF, marked the third consecutive year the Grizzlies have lost to the Dons, going 0-7 all time. USF had an 18-point lead at halftime and shot an incredible 67 percent from the floor, while Montana shot 23 percent. The Grizzlies improved their shooting in the second half to go 33.3 percent for the game. Montana also outperformed the Dons in terms of rebounds, getting 36 to the Dons’ 25.

Forward Martin Breunig, a redshirt junior transfer from Washington, is the team’s leading scorer and a solid performer in the paint, averaging 13.8 points a game. Breunig is also the team’s leading rebounder (7.2), has the highest field-goal percentage (.667) and is the best shot blocker on the team’s roster (6).

Rounding out the starting lineup is senior guard Jordan Gregory, redshirt senior forward Michael Weisner, sophomore point guard Mario Dunn and freshman forward Fabijan Krslovic. Gregory is the only other player on the Grizzlies to have a point average in the double digits with 10.6, even though he only makes 27.8 percent of his field-goal attempts. Weisner can be lethal from deep, and Dunn leads the team with 17 assists.

The Bears’ lineup has been able to rack up the points so far this season, mostly on the back of junior guard Tyrone Wallace, who leads the team in points with an average of 17.2 a game, though he has only been shooting 48.1 percent from the field. Cal has three more players in the double digits in points average: sophomore guard Jordan Mathews (15.5), senior forward David Kravish (12.2) and sophomore guard Jabari Bird (11.7). With 48 rebounds, Wallace is also the team’s leading rebounder, with Kravish trailing him at 35.

In the Bears’ most recent game against Fresno State, Cal struggled early and went to its bench before the first TV timeout after the starters couldn’t find the net. The Bears’ bench, however, is a potential weak spot, lacking depth. Cal looked a bit all-over-the-place and unfocused — not like the team that had shocked Syracuse but more like zombies on the court.

Martin came to Cal preaching the importance of strong defense, but the Bears can’t give up the ball to the Grizzlies on sloppy turnovers. The Bears also need to come out with a stronger start and need to be more careful with their fouling if they want to walk away with the win.

Contact Shannon Carroll at  or on Twitter

LAST UPDATED

DECEMBER 02, 2014


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