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Golden Nuggets: A New Look on Offense

Monty is considering adding a new look to Cal's offense when Theo returns from injury.

Don't expect to see this tonight at New Mexico, but Cal coach Mike Montgomery is tinkering with the idea of moving All-Pac-10 point guard Jerome Randle off the ball at times to give the Golden Bears another offensive look.

With power forward Harper Kamp unlikely to play this season after offseason knee surgery, the Bears may periodically use a lineup that essentially features four perimeter players and one post.

In that scenario, Montgomery could use Randle at shooting guard opposite Patrick Christopher, moving the 6-foot-5 Theo Robertson from the wing to power forward, and going with freshman Brandon Smith at the point.
Randle practiced some at shooting guard Monday, and Montgomery sounded intrigued by the possibility, given Cal's personnel issues.

"We're going to mess a little bit with moving him off the ball ... Brandon is a good facilitator," Montgomery said. "Jerome (is) better in the open court with the ball. He's also a very, very good shooter."

The Bears did some of the same thing a year ago, but with Randle still at the point and either Jamal Boykin or since-departed Jordan Wilkes at the post.

Randle, who still figures to be the Bears' primary point guard, said he's open to doing what is necessary.

"I'm a basketball player. I can do whatever," he said. "I'm trying to learn Patrick's position, Theo's position. I like it, coming off screens.''

After the jump we have football practice/injury updates, a look at the threats Washington has on offense, the prospect of ten wins as a motivator for the team, and more.

Cal Football

  • The Holiday Bowl plans on inviting the winner of the USC-Arizona game if (and it's not a small "if") Oregon beats OSU this weekend.  If Arizona manages to upset USC, I find it surprising that the Holiday Bowl wouldn't be willing to take Cal, as Cal would have a better record if they beat Washington, own the tiebreaker over Arizona, and have a history of bringing plenty of fans to the Holiday Bowl.  With a win Saturday, Cal fans can look forward to booking tickets to El Paso, Texas for New Year's Eve.
  • JO gives a report on last night's practice and the media luncheon.  Vereen was wearing a red jersey and was minimally involved at practice.  This should be of no concern, however, as Forsett did this throughout much of 2007 as he carried an equally heavy load each week.  MSG also appears to be taking it easy and sitting out practice.  Resting his sprained ankle, Syd also sat out practice.  JO updates us on Best who is visiting Dr. Michael Collins, a leading expert in sports concussions.  Best hasn't said much about his visit so far, but he did say it's pretty cold out there and he seems to be enjoying the food.
  • Predicting which bowl they'll end up in is too complicated at this point, so the players instead are focused on trying to earn their ninth and tenth wins.  Holley says Tedford brought up the 10-win possibility and the team has focused on achieving that goal.
  • Daily Cal has a brief scouting report of Washington.  Not surprisingly, the focus is on Jake Locker, who is second in the conference in passing yards per game.  Like Luck, who was shut down by the Bears' defense, Locker can make plays with his feet and has the longest rushing play of the season for Washington with a 56 yard TD run.  His play helps Washington convert 47.8% of third downs, good for 12th in the nation.
  • Chris Polk is the first UW freshman ever to rush for over 1000 yards.  He broke the old record of 986 set by Jake Locker in 2007.  Polk can usually gain several yards even without much of a hole opened up by the O-line and that is how he has amassed most of his 1019 yards this season.
Cal Basketball
  • Daily Cal elaborates a bit on the potential change on offense.  Monty expects to implement it after Theo returns.  It is designed to help keep the pressure off Randle, whose high scoring will likely draw more defensive attention.  By coming off screens, Randle should be able to get more uncontested shots.