With the loss of so many players following the 2009-2010 season, Monty's team faces no shortage of obstacles this season.
"We might not win a game," [Montgomery] said unconvincingly, "but we're looking forward to this team."
Junior Jorge Gutierrez, currently visiting his family in Mexico, will get the first shot at point guard, mostly because he wants the chance and has earned it. Kamp, who sat out last season to let his twice-repaired knee strengthen, is ready to go, according to Montgomery.
"I'd venture to say probably everyone feels a healthy Harper Kamp has been our best post guy the past two years," Montgomery said.
Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison is working to get his weight down and strengthen his core to guard against back problems and figures to start up front with Kamp, backed by Zhang. The Bears have no one to replace the sort of hybrid 3-4 forward Amoke played.
Forward Bak Bak, academically ineligible for the second semester, is expected to be cleared to play his sophomore season, and sophomore guard Brandon Smith has been sidelined much of the spring with an ankle injury.
That leaves the five freshmen, led by 6-foot-6 wing Allen Crabbe, the state high school player of the year. The Bears' incoming class was rated among the nation's top 25 and will get an opportunity to play early.
"Don't have any choice. There's going to be growing pains, and unfortunately we don't have a lot of veteran presence out there so we can protect them," Montgomery said. "We're going to try to put them in a position to succeed rather than put them in a position to fail."
After the jump Tedford's seat remains cool, there may be some lonely Cal fans at AT&T Park on Sept. 4th, tennis opens the postseason, and softball looks ahead to an important series against Georgia.
- CBS posted a list of hot seat ratings for all 120 FBS coaches. The ratings are from 0--no chance to being fired--to 5--you better start packing your belongings. Tedford was given a 2.0 indicating that he's in a safe, solid position. Washington State's Paul Wulff has the Pac-10's hottest seat (5.0) while Mike Riley remains frozen to his seat (0).
- Apparently a sizeable portion of fans thought Cal would be be playing at AT&T Park this season.
- Softball's Valerie Arioto has an unusual combination of talents on the mound and behind the plate. She is 12th in the nation with a 1.26 ERA (and a 21-8 record), yet she still has a .360 batting average with 19 homers and 60 RBIs. She has been named as one of ten finalists for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award.
- Second-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova and 35th-ranked junior Mari Andersson advanced to the round of 32 with their wins in the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championship.
- 18th-ranked junior Pedro Zerbini is down but not out. He was eliminated from the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship, but he gets a chance to advance with teammate Johnathan Dahan in the doubles tournament.