Cal’s men’s basketball team takes its share of the Pac-12 Conference lead to the Pacific Northwest this weekend as it comes off a dominating win against Utah on Saturday.
The Golden Bears (15-4, 5-1 Pac-12) face off with Washington today, which is only a half-game behind Cal and Stanford for first place.
“They’re very, very physical, especially at home,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “They get a lot of emotion from their crowd ... and it has been very difficult to beat them.”
Washington is 10-1 on its home floor with its last loss coming Dec. 18, and Montgomery said they are even more dangerous because of Terrence Ross.
Ross has averaged 15 points per game and dropped 30 on in-state rival Washington State on Sunday.
“Ross is as good as there is in the league in terms of when he gets going,” Montgomery said. “They have some explosive athletes.”
Cal senior Harper Kamp, who is averaging 9.4 points per game, bounced back after a subpar Oregon trip to average 14 points and seven rebounds in the two games last week.
“Harper’s really an intelligent player that understands what you’re trying to do, what needs to be done and fills so many roles,” Montgomery said.
Kamp has scored in double figures in five of the past seven games.
Cal’s Brandon Smith sustained a concussion against Oregon State and his availability for today is questionable.
Backcourt bolstered: Freshman Chasson Randle put together his second three-game stretch of 10 or more points in the season and that can only mean good things for Stanford (15-4, 5-1).
Randle, along with the improvement of sophomore Aaron Bright, has steadied the Cardinal backcourt.
“Both of the kids are capable scorers and they are capable of handling the basketball as lead guard. They give us great balance out there,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “When one of them gets it going, the other is the first to call their number. They realize the value of one of them getting it going at any given time to help our team.”
The Cardinal also head to Washington to play the Cougars and the Huskies this week.
Cal, Stanford women heating up: The Cal women’s team (13-5, 4-2) has won four straight and hosts Washington and Washington State this week. Cal has not lost at home since losing to No. 14 Ohio State on Dec. 17.
No. 4 Stanford (15-1, 6-0) crushed Colorado and Utah over the weekend and will also take on the Washington schools. Stanford has won four of its six Pac-12 games by double digits.