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Golden Nuggets: Growing Pains

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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.

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