How are you guys handling expectations that haven’t been placed on Cal teams in recent years?
HK: We welcome it. Of course, we don’t like to buy into all that. We just know that from our standpoint we have a lot of work to do. We know what we’re capable of doing and we’re excited. Of course, we want people to respect us. That’ll come during the course of the season with how we show up to play. There’s maybe a bigger target on our backs. We may see guys play better that way, with a little pressure.
What does this team believe it can accomplish this season?
HK: Our expectations are a Pac-10 championship and I don’t see any reason why we’re not capable of that. We have the tools and we have the chemistry. Things are going our way, but this is our chance to capitalize on that. We obviously we want to make it to the (NCAA) tournament again and I don’t see any reason why our goal shouldn’t be to win a national championship. The key is as a team . . . I hate to say this, but to ignore what people say about us.
This is a big chance for your five seniors. How are Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher and those guys approaching the season?
HK: Definitely, all of them are leading by example right now. You can see it by the way they’re working. They know this is their last shot at it. I think they’re taking advantage of the moment and they’re working as hard as they can.
How is coach Mike Montgomery different in his second season?
HK: He’s the same. I think that’s why he has been so successful, because he’s very consistent in what he does. The things that have changed are his expectations for us. Of course, his expectations were great last year, but as far as producing every day in practice and learning, there’s much greater pressure on people who were here last year to pick up where we left off and hit the ground running rather than to have to learn everything from the start. Guys are able to gauge what is expected of them individually, what their role is on the team. I think all that has set in a little more.
After the jump I have some practice notes before the Bears drove down to Pasadena, articles on Riley, Anger, Aaron Tipoti, and Kevin Prince, more Cal-UCLA articles, some basketball info, and more.
- It's still going to be a miserably hot day in Pasadena on Saturday, but the forecast now has a high of 90 with humidity hovering around 40%.
- JO had some final practice notes before the Bears boarded their bus Thursday afternoon.
- Freshman nose tackle Aaron Tipoti looks forward to playing more as Kendrick Payne's foot injury has allowed Tipoti to see more playing time. Daily Cal also has an article on Tipoti.
- UCLA will continue to start freshman cornerback Sheldon Price.
- UCLA's kickoff coverage is 119th out of 120 FBS teams. Vereen's speed and elusiveness should take advantage of that.
- Gary Peterson goes over the relative disappointment at the quarterback position since Rodgers in 2004. From accuracy to coordination with his receivers, Kevin Riley was working hard during the bye week.
- Kevin Prince is looking to redeem himself.
- Bryan Anger is disappointed with his recent performances.
- Monty has the nation's 15th-best recruiting class for 2010, highest in the Pac-10.
Sporting News picks Cal to finish second in the conference (behind Washington). They also pick Randle and Christopher to make their Pac-10 all-conference first team.
- Three more women's basketball games will be broadcast, bringing the total to six so far. More will likely be added later.