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Golden Nuggets: Riding the Pine

If you want to discuss all the March Madness First Round Action going on right now, go here.

Best of Berkeley 2010 has started off and that means we have to defend CGB's title as the best Berkeley blog.   Stuff those ballot boxes, people!

Apparently the bench is a fun place to be for members of both the men's and women's teams.

"Sometimes bench players think they know what players should be doing, so we like to talk," says Harper Kamp, who is redshirting this year due to injury. "We're not always right. But that doesn't stop us."

The women's team pokes plenty of fun at its starters.

"We make fun of some girls," Tierra Rogers says, her use of "some" meaning more like "every." "If it's a bad call, then we make fun of the refs. If the game is boring, we get off topic. We have a lot of inside jokes."

But it's not all about talking smack; freshman Eliza Pierre says that when Lauren Greif is on the bench, it's as if she's a sixth man on defense.

"When the ball goes into the corner, L.G. will stand behind the girl and say all kinds of stuff like, 'Don't you shoot. Don't you do it. That's right. Pass it. You better listen,'" Pierre says. "She's always cracking me up."

And it's not only the players who are cracking jokes during games. Men's coach Mike Montgomery isn't making those trips up and down the bench just to teach.

"(Montgomery will) come down and make a joke because he likes to think he's funny," Kamp says. "He'll come down and say all kinds of things. It's not rated G, so it's probably not for the Daily Cal. But it's a lot of sarcasm." 

When the handshakes are through and the game starts, the actual bench sitting begins. For the men, the physical act of sitting in a confined space might be the hardest part of the whole game.

"I struggle out there," Kamp says. "It gets pretty cramped. My knee gets tight, so I gotta stretch it. We try to share seats, but there's always an extra one, so we fight over that."

And what's the best part of the bench for Kamp? Getting off of it.

"I've been sick of it since the day I got there," Kamp says. "No offense to Nik (Knezevic, who he sits next to), but I'm tired of him. I gotta get back out there." 

After the jump Monty and the team talk about Amoke's suspension, Faraudo looks how Amoke's absence may affect the team, Cal has the chance to shine on the big stage, Wilner makes his bracket picks, and more.

Cal Basketball