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Golden Nuggets: Max Makes a Big Impact at The Pit...and Vice-Versa

Despite playing only five minutes, Max Zhang had a tremendous presence against Oregon yesterday.   He drew some fouls, grabbed rebounds, and most importantly he gave Cal an inside scoring option against the zone defense.

 Walking toward the locker room after Cal's 64-49 victory over Oregon on Saturday afternoon, Max Zhang conked his head on a large pipe running across a low ceiling in the bowels of McArthur Court. The collision sent him to the floor.

It was the only thing that slowed the 7-foot-2 1/4 center all day.

"I do that all the time," Zhang said.

"Max was great tonight," senior Patrick Christopher said. "I always think it's kind of funny when he runs to the scorer's table and you hear a roar from the crowd and everybody's trying to figure out, 'Who is this guy?'

"Then he came in and he performed ... he gave them a show. He came in, I threw him a quick pass, he caught it, got fouled, went to the line. He came in very calm and composed.

"We hadn't really anticipated the offensive boost we got with him," Montgomery said. "The way they were extending their zone, the post guys were hard to find. Max was easier to find.

"He did make a huge difference."

Zhang made his only two shots from the field, one of them a dunk, and was 4-for-5 at the foul line.

"I feel really happy I could help the team," Zhang said. "I'm glad I stayed ready. When I got the ball, I just tried to go up strong. It turned out pretty well."

So did Cal's final visit to 83-year-old McArthur Court, which is closing after this season. Montgomery admitted he will miss the place.

"Yeah, I got some rats who are buddies, we're on a first-name basis, we talk," he said. "I've been coming here a long time. It's a great venue to play basketball."

After the jump football gets a start date for spring practice, women's bball contains the explosive Oregon offense, and more.

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