SAN FRANCISCO, CA/PAC 12 HEADQUARTERS -The Pac 12 mens hoops season officially kicked off today with this morning's Pac 12 Media Day at the new Pac 12 headquarters on 3rd Street in San Francisco.
Cal head coach Mike Montgomery and wing Allen Crabbe represented Cal in today's activities.
Montgomery started off the media portion with his usual dry wit, noting that their later slot in the proceedings was an indication of past success that they hope to duplicate or exceed this season.
"I learned last year that the later you go in the afternoon, the better you did last year so at least I'm glad to be here this time.
Montgomery noted that the quality of the league is improving and intimated that Cal will have it's challenges looking ot repeat the league championship results they had in 2010-11 this year.
"We were a little disappointed to be so close last year and to have it in our grasp but not be able to sustain it down at the end and win it because I really value conference championships," said Montgomery. "I know how hard they are and now we'll be starting again from scratch. You don't know how many chances you're going to get to get one.
"Hopefully we'll put ourselves in position to do it again.
"We've got a good nucleus of players back. If you look, the obvious guys would be Allen and Justin Cobbes but Brandon Smith has started for us and Richard Solomon has been a starter. David Kravish...so we've got five guys that have started for us. So we've got the pieces, I think, to be competitive. I think we've got the pieces to be successful. Now it's just our job to put them together and get everyone on the same page and become the team that it takes to win big. That's going to be our goal right now."
Crabbe was asked about his role on this year's squad and who might be able to effectively handle the leadership void left by departed senior guard Jorge Guitierrez.
"Honestly, we all know that nobody's going to be able to completely fill Jorge's shoes, the way he led here at Cal," said Crabble. "But I just feel like this leaves the opportunity for the upper classmen to step into that role and to be leaders on and off the court.
"I feel like it's an opportunity for me to step up. I felt like my first couple of years, there really wasn't much need for me to say much because we had upper classmen to fill that void. But I feel now it gives me the opportunity to step up in a lot of ways -not just to be a leader but to lead by example, as well."
To hear the rest of Montgomery and Crabbe's comments as well as view a short Cal basketball promo video, use the embedded viewer below: