Pac-10 Media Day Report For Cal Men's Basketball
Oct. 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES -
California has been picked to finish eighth in the 2008-09 Pacfic-10 Conference race - according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league - it was announced Thursday (Oct. 30) at the annual Pac-10 Media Day held at the Hilton LAX in Los Angeles.
UCLA, chosen to repeat as champion, received 37 of a possible 34 first-place votes. The Bruins are followed by Arizona State, which picked up the remaining first-place vote. USC is slotted for third place, followed by Arizona, Washington and Washington State. Oregon is picked for seventh, followed closely by Cal. Rounding out the preseason poll is Stanford in ninth, and Oregon State in 10th.
Cal is celebrating its 100th season of men's basketball and is welcoming in new head coach Mike Montgomery. One of the most successful collegiate coaches in the game, Montgomery, 61, looks to add to his legacy as director of the Cal program. In a combined 26 seasons leading Montana and Stanford, he has produced a 547-244 record (.691), tying for 12th-most victories among active Division I coaches. In his college coaching career, Montgomery has garnered one NIT title (1991), four Pac-10 regular season crowns (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) and one Pac-10 Tournament title (2004). He was also named the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2000 and is a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year recipient (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004).
Montgomery, introduced as Cal's 15th head coach on April 5, 2008, inherits a team that returns two starters, junior guards Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle, from a team that posted a 17-16 overall record in 2007-08, reaching the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Bears play an exhibition game versus Seattle Pacific on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Haas Pavilion, and open the regular season against Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media PollTeam Pts1. UCLA (37) 3792. Arizona State (1) 3253. USC 2924. Arizona 2415. Washington 2176. Washington State 1887. Oregon 1478. California 1439. Stanford 11510. Oregon State 40First-place votes in parentheses
Mike Montgomery Pac-10 Media Day Quotes
'It's been exciting and fun. The kids have been great and obviously there are a lot of adjustments. Everyone wants to talk about that adjustment or change of public versus private. It would be very difficult to expect to duplicate the 18 years I had at Stanford, I'm very proud of that. People always want a comparison. This is a new opportunity and clearly a new challenge. We are vertically challenged. We lost two draft picks, both of which were inside guys (Ryan Anderson and DeVon Hardin). We do return a pretty good nucleus. Patrick Christopher, Jerome Randle, Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin. We have a couple injuries that are plaguing us right now in the area that we need. I've been really impressed with the kids. They want to win, they are hungry. This is going to take a little while to get where we want it, but we have a great staff'
How's the layout of the Conference changed since you last coached?
'Last year was phenomenal year for the conference. It would be hard to argue that there has ever been a better year, top to bottom, and the level of talent. I think the coaches in the league are excellent. It used to be you could count on a couple programs you could squeeze out some wins against. You can't do that anymore. You have to have good players, a good program. You have to be solid, top to bottom.'