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Golden Nuggets: Basketball Practice Starts Today

Jeff Farudo has a Q+A with forward Harper Kamp.

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.