Nonconference schedule released

EricBear
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Men's Basketball Announces Nonconference Slate
Bears Will Log More Than 18,000 Miles On The Road

BERKELEY California men's basketball will log more than 18,000 miles of travel this fall with a nonconference slate highlighted by a tilt with Yale in China and a pair of games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Golden Bears are set for 13 games and an exhibition contest this fall, including a number of Bay Area opponents in Santa Clara, Saint Mary's, San Francisco and San Jose State, as well as another matchup with 2018 NCAA Tournament squad San Diego State.

Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad on Oct. 30 in an exhibition against CSU East Bay before the Bears head to Shanghai, China to officially open the season against Yale in the annual Pac-12 China Game presented by Alibaba Group, set to air live on Nov. 9 in the United States. In addition to the Nov. 9 contest, the Bears will spend the week leading up to the event participating in educational and cultural experiences.

It's a quick turnaround from China as Cal returns to Berkeley for its home opener and back-to-back games against Hampton (Tuesday, Nov. 13) and Detroit Mercy (Thursday, Nov. 15) as part of the Berkeley Regional Round of the Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper.

The Legends Classic continues with a pair of contests in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the Bears join St. John's, Temple, VCU, Detroit Mercy, Bowling Green, Hampton and Loyola Maryland at the Barclays Center on Nov. 19 and 20. Cal opens in Brooklyn against St. John's for the Nov. 19 semifinal, and will go on to face either Temple or VCU on Nov. 20. Both games air live on the ESPN family of networks.

Cal returns home for a five-game Bay Area slate, starting with Santa Clara (Nov. 26). Next, the Bears head to McKeon Pavilion for their first road game at Saint Mary's since February 1988. The second game of the Caldecott Classic is set for Dec. 1.

The Bears meet the San Francisco Dons, runner-up of the 2018 CBI Tournament, on Dec. 5 before hosting San Diego State on Dec. 8. The thrilling Bears-Aztec series last saw Cal take a 63-62 win over SDSU from hostile Viejas Arena last December. Cal caps off the five-game Bay Area homestand against Cal Poly on Dec. 15.

The 2018 road slate wraps up against Fresno State on Dec. 19, with the Bears traveling to Fresno for the first time since November 2014.

A pair of games in Haas Pavilion a Dec. 21 tilt with San Jose State and Dec. 29 date with Seattle cap off the nonconference campaign.

Game times will be announced at a later date, once television agreements are finalized. Exact details regarding the Pac-12 schedule are expected to be announced in the coming months.
LOUMFSG2
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I actually like this schedule. Not a lot of power-conference opponents, but some good challenges with St. John's, either VCU or Temple, San Diego State, and the road-trip to Moraga to play St. Mary's. I know some don't like the risk-reward profile of playing St. Mary's in their gym, but it'll be a good test, and St. Mary's has earned enough of a reputation that it won't be considered a bad loss if we lose there - people know how tough it is to play in that building.

And I love playing Santa Clara, USF and San Jose State instead of schools like Wofford or Central Arkansas, just more interesting, and hopefully better crowds and a better game-day feel. I like the direction of this schedule.
EricBear
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LOUMFSG2 said:

I actually like this schedule. Not a lot of power-conference opponents, but some good challenges with St. John's, either VCU or Temple, San Diego State, and the road-trip to Moraga to play St. Mary's. I know some don't like the risk-reward profile of playing St. Mary's in their gym, but it'll be a good test, and St. Mary's has earned enough of a reputation that it won't be considered a bad loss if we lose there - people know how tough it is to play in that building.

And I love playing Santa Clara, USF and San Jose State instead of schools like Wofford or Central Arkansas, just more interesting, and hopefully better crowds and a better game-day feel. I like the direction of this schedule.
Totally agree, particularly about the local games.
socaliganbear
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Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.


Also LOL at them making sure to use "Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad" from the jump. Setting the narrative early I see.
LOUMFSG2
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socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.
Yeah, but I guess the schedule is usually pretty awful.

Last year we had games against Riverside, Cal Poly, Wofford, Chaminade, Northridge, Central Arkansas, Fullerton, Seattle and Portland State

The year before we had South Dakota State, Irvine, Wyoming, SE Louisiana, Alcorn State, Princeton, UC Davis and Cal Poly

Before that, we had Rice, UCSB, East Carolina, Sam Houston State, Seattle, Wyoming, Incarnate Word, Coppin State, and Davidson

I guess I would rather see Santa Clara, USF, San Jose State and Fresno State, as opposed to teams like Wofford, Alcorn State, Sam Houston State and Incarnate Word.
superbear99
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Totally agree Lou. At least i don't have to figure out where the kids from Fresno State are from. Unlike many of our recent visitors.
socaliganbear
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LOUMFSG2 said:

socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.
Yeah, but I guess the schedule is usually pretty awful.

Last year we had games against Riverside, Cal Poly, Wofford, Chaminade, Northridge, Central Arkansas, Fullerton, Seattle and Portland State

The year before we had South Dakota State, Irvine, Wyoming, SE Louisiana, Alcorn State, Princeton, UC Davis and Cal Poly

Before that, we had Rice, UCSB, East Carolina, Sam Houston State, Seattle, Wyoming, Incarnate Word, Coppin State, and Davidson

I guess I would rather see Santa Clara, USF, San Jose State and Fresno State, rather than teams like Wofford, Alcorn State, Sam Houston State and Incarnate Word.
I bet older Cal fans will agree. I think the general public won't care. Playing USF means absolutely nothing to me. Hell, USF won't even know they're playing us outside maybe 10 people, same with Santa Clara. I don't expect this to move the needle at all in attendance.
SFCityBear
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LOUMFSG2 said:

I actually like this schedule. Not a lot of power-conference opponents, but some good challenges with St. John's, either VCU or Temple, San Diego State, and the road-trip to Moraga to play St. Mary's. I know some don't like the risk-reward profile of playing St. Mary's in their gym, but it'll be a good test, and St. Mary's has earned enough of a reputation that it won't be considered a bad loss if we lose there - people know how tough it is to play in that building.

And I love playing Santa Clara, USF and San Jose State instead of schools like Wofford or Central Arkansas, just more interesting, and hopefully better crowds and a better game-day feel. I like the direction of this schedule.
I agree completely with you and Eric. It was good that Monty got us started looking at St Marys, and now we are finally planning to play more local teams, with whom Cal has great history. All were great rivals for Cal over the years with the possible exception of SJS.

In most years, I would decry the lack of some strong competition in the pre-conference season. But from what we saw last year, from both coaching and what the team looked like on the floor, I think some smaller steps are in order, both for the team's growth, and playing teams closer to our level to start with, may be just what the doctor ordered. If this team and this coach can gain some confidence before entering conference play, hopefully we can be a little more competitive this season.

helltopay1
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As usual, SFCB has a reasoned and fair analysis. SFCB gets an A for his post. Thge other posters get grades ranging from F to A-.
helltopay1
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I would be remiss if I didn't mention that eric also gets an A. ( both for his factual statements and subsequent analysis)
BeachedBear
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socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.


Also LOL at them making sure to use "Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad" from the jump. Setting the narrative early I see.
I know you're down on Jones and this team, but I think for this season - it's the opposite of awful. In fact, I think its a good schedule. Wyking trying to get wins? I sure as hell hope so. When the good ship Calipop rights itself, I agree that this would be a near awful non-conference schedule full of love-cookies and such.

As for the local teams, having 5 of them on the slate is TOO MUCH, even for this season. That is best suited to a revitalized Cable Car Classic. I love the idea of playing 2 or 3 of the local teams a season, but rotate it around a bit.
socaliganbear
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BeachedBear said:

socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.


Also LOL at them making sure to use "Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad" from the jump. Setting the narrative early I see.
I know you're down on Jones and this team, but I think for this season - it's the opposite of awful. In fact, I think its a good schedule. Wyking trying to get wins? I sure as hell hope so. When the good ship Calipop rights itself, I agree that this would be a near awful non-conference schedule full of love-cookies and such.

As for the local teams, having 5 of them on the slate is TOO MUCH, even for this season. That is best suited to a revitalized Cable Car Classic. I love the idea of playing 2 or 3 of the local teams a season, but rotate it around a bit.


I'm speaking from a fan interest perspective, as I noted, from a Wyking perspective, it makes sense.
BeachedBear
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socaliganbear said:

BeachedBear said:

socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.


Also LOL at them making sure to use "Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad" from the jump. Setting the narrative early I see.
I know you're down on Jones and this team, but I think for this season - it's the opposite of awful. In fact, I think its a good schedule. Wyking trying to get wins? I sure as hell hope so. When the good ship Calipop rights itself, I agree that this would be a near awful non-conference schedule full of love-cookies and such.

As for the local teams, having 5 of them on the slate is TOO MUCH, even for this season. That is best suited to a revitalized Cable Car Classic. I love the idea of playing 2 or 3 of the local teams a season, but rotate it around a bit.


I'm speaking from a fan interest perspective, as I noted, from a Wyking perspective, it makes sense.
Even from a fan interest perspective, most CAL fans would probably prefer wins to what we witnessed last season. I for one (as a season ticket holder and fan) am happy. As for general college bball interest, I'll grant you that this schedule is a disaster for any desire to improve attendance (other than maybe getting a few hundred local WCC fans). However, I also feel that scheduling is probably not the biggest issue for attendance, either.

On the flip side, I'd love to pepper in a Villanova or Michigan in with all these love cookies - even knowing full well that we may get embarrassed.
socaliganbear
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BeachedBear said:

socaliganbear said:

BeachedBear said:

socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.


Also LOL at them making sure to use "Fans get their first look at a youth-packed Cal squad" from the jump. Setting the narrative early I see.
I know you're down on Jones and this team, but I think for this season - it's the opposite of awful. In fact, I think its a good schedule. Wyking trying to get wins? I sure as hell hope so. When the good ship Calipop rights itself, I agree that this would be a near awful non-conference schedule full of love-cookies and such.

As for the local teams, having 5 of them on the slate is TOO MUCH, even for this season. That is best suited to a revitalized Cable Car Classic. I love the idea of playing 2 or 3 of the local teams a season, but rotate it around a bit.


I'm speaking from a fan interest perspective, as I noted, from a Wyking perspective, it makes sense.
Even from a fan interest perspective, most CAL fans would probably prefer wins to what we witnessed last season. I for one (as a season ticket holder and fan) am happy. As for general college bball interest, I'll grant you that this schedule is a disaster for any desire to improve attendance (other than maybe getting a few hundred local WCC fans). However, I also feel that scheduling is probably not the biggest issue for attendance, either.

On the flip side, I'd love to pepper in a Villanova or Michigan in with all these love cookies - even knowing full well that we may get embarrassed.

Could be. Personally I don't think fandom actually manifests itself that way.I think because they were so bad last year, and because we're not playing anyone of real interest, fans will prob just not tune in at all. Already the apathy is real. I don't think wins against this schedule (which are FAR from given btw) will change that.

Also, what we witnessed last year was just losses against a very similar schedule. So I can't imagine why anyone would look at this schedule, our roster, our staff, and assume this means wins.
GMP
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We're playing 2 games in 3 days just 4 days after a game in China?
Big C
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I'd like to see at least one "top" opponent (non-conference) come to Haas every year. I loved that Kansas game a few years back. (Same with football: the Ohio State game in 2013 rocked.)

Now that we know how many games we have (31 not counting exhibitions, conference tourney, post-season), we can start predicting our record. I'll go with 14-17.

LOUMFSG2
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Some interesting discussion here.

First of all, I do agree with those in general that would like to see higher quality opponents in the non-conference schedule. But I guess for this year in particular, coming off a 2-16 league record, and a non-conference schedule filled with embarrassing losses, I'm not sure how productive it would be to upgrade the SOS. Going into last year, I knew games like Riverside, Chaminade and Central Arkansas might not be competitive games, I just didn't realize that we would be on the receiving end of the beating. Looking at this year's schedule, I see the potential for a lot more (hopefully) competitive games. Maybe fewer blowout wins and losses, and closer, more compelling games to attend.

Which brings me to a couple of good points by BeachedBear. While I do hope for more competitive games in general, I also would like to see us try to put one premier team on the schedule, even if we get thumped, knowing we'll have to play them twice to get a home match with them. It is particularly important to get teams like Virginia and Wisconsin into Haas.

I also thought the point about there being too many local teams on the schedule was interesting, and something I thought of myself. After years of having no local teams or very few, this is a huge jump in local presence. But at the end of the day, I guess i would still rather see San Jose State than Incarnate Word.

I think improving the overall quality of the schedule will take time, and I guess we need to improve the quality of the program first. I think this was a good step in the right direction of putting together a schedule with hopefully more competitive and interesting games.
EricBear
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Agree with LOUMFSG2: this schedule is about the same as usual.

The obvious main difference is more local teams in place of the usual non-conference detritus no one has ever heard of/couldn't care about. As a fan of local college basketball I would much prefer USF/Santa Clara/(even) San Jose State to the teams we usually see. St. Mary's is both local and good.

In light of the heavy travel to China and then Brooklyn, it makes sense that the only other road game is Fresno St. And we are recruiting there, so a nice bonus. SDSU at home will be a good, interesting game.

Highest profile home games under Monty: UCSB in 2011; UNLV (or Harvard?) in 2012; and in 2013 a pre-Musselman Nevada. Would have to go back to 2010 (Kansas) for a decent home game in the Monty era. A mediocre Iowa St. team (2009) and irrelevant DePaul (2008) squad was peak those two years. Braun's nonconference schedules were also generally pretty boring, and lacking in local interest.

We usually play in a pre-season tournament of some note. Doing that again (Brooklyn Classic).

The game in Shanghai is unique, somewhat high-profile and winnable. Nice combination.




socaliganbear
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Who cares about Monty's weak non-con lineup. Let's get another game like Wisco or UVA at Haas. THOSE were brought out crowds and garnered interest. When comparing against ourselves, you don't have to compare against your weaknesses. Aim higher...
PtownBear1
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Contrarian point of view - I don't think it's a good strategy to be scheduling local mid-majors. If you're going to play a team like Santa Clara or USF where there's no upside and major downside, at least make them travel across the country so they're out of their comfort zone when you play them.
wifeisafurd
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LOUMFSG2 said:

I actually like this schedule. Not a lot of power-conference opponents, but some good challenges with St. John's, either VCU or Temple, San Diego State, and the road-trip to Moraga to play St. Mary's. I know some don't like the risk-reward profile of playing St. Mary's in their gym, but it'll be a good test, and St. Mary's has earned enough of a reputation that it won't be considered a bad loss if we lose there - people know how tough it is to play in that building.

And I love playing Santa Clara, USF and San Jose State instead of schools like Wofford or Central Arkansas, just more interesting, and hopefully better crowds and a better game-day feel. I like the direction of this schedule.
Agreed. Kinda surprised given all the negativity surrounding the program, but this is an exciting schedule. Players get to travel to some interesting places. Lot of confidence builders, some adversity with away games before conference. Like the local school aspect for improving interest, recruiting, and even maybe attendance. Not sure that playing wipe-out games versus elite teams is what this team needs currently.
EricBear
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socaliganbear said:

Who cares about Monty's weak non-con lineup. Let's get another game like Wisco or UVA at Haas. THOSE were brought out crowds and garnered interest. When comparing against ourselves, you don't have to compare against your weaknesses. Aim higher...
I care. When a poster writes "Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable" and "from a Wyking perspective, it makes sense," I try to determine if this schedule is in fact unique as to the current head coach or is it generally the type of non-conference schedule Cal plays. If the former, it would pique my interest as to why, and I might poke around about the scheduling. If the latter, I would be curious why the typical Cal schedule has been personalized as to the head coach.

So I looked up some past schedules and came to the conclusion this one is pretty standard, but with a more local flavor. Which I like, but understand that others might not. I don't recall Cal fans clamoring for better non-conference home games in the Monty-era. I do recall such a discussion in the latter stages of the Braun-era.

Yes, higher-profile home games of course bring out better crowds and interest. Wisconsin and Virginia were terrific. I believe the SDSU game was intended as such, but they appear to be dropping off a bit post-Steve Fisher. Happens when you schedule those games a couple years in advance. SDSU and at St. Mary's are the two "high profile" non-tournament games this season. Will look into what we are working on for future home/away games.



socaliganbear
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I used Wyking because that's who is head coach. If Monty were head coach, I'd drop his name instead. So yes, this is a good schedule for Wyking, not Monty. Or Braun, Or anybody else who is not employed as HC. No need to whatabout the schedule. It's a Wyking friendly schedule, regardless of how weak Monty's schedules were.

Also weird that you would compare this entire schedule to only home games of years past. Leaving out both high profile away games and cutting it off before the high profile homes games we did have.... Do you work in network news? Jk.
BeachedBear
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EricBear said:


So I looked up some past schedules and came to the conclusion this one is pretty standard, but with a more local flavor. Which I like, but understand that others might not. I don't recall Cal fans clamoring for better non-conference home games in the Monty-era. I do recall such a discussion in the latter stages of the Braun-era.

I do.

At least in my crowd, the two equally frustrating aspects of Monty at Cal, was this and recruiting. To be clear, we all assumed it was because top teams did NOT want to come to Cal and get upset by a good coach in Monty (not that Monty was avoiding scheduling those teams). I do seem to recall that during Monty's tenure, we may have had some pretty decent neutral court matchups - but I didn't look it up.

KoreAmBear
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BeachedBear said:

EricBear said:


So I looked up some past schedules and came to the conclusion this one is pretty standard, but with a more local flavor. Which I like, but understand that others might not. I don't recall Cal fans clamoring for better non-conference home games in the Monty-era. I do recall such a discussion in the latter stages of the Braun-era.

I do.

At least in my crowd, the two equally frustrating aspects of Monty at Cal, was this and recruiting. To be clear, we all assumed it was because top teams did NOT want to come to Cal and get upset by a good coach in Monty (not that Monty was avoiding scheduling those teams). I do seem to recall that during Monty's tenure, we may have had some pretty decent neutral court matchups - but I didn't look it up.


Seemed like we played Syracuse every year during Monty's tenure.

Yah, we played good teams in neutral site tournaments (Syracuse, Ohio State, Arkansas, Dayton, Notre Dame (didn't we score like 5 points in a half)). We did have a home and home with Kansas. That was the Jorge and MSF take on the whole Jayhawks team game at Haas. We also had a home and home with Wisky.
EricBear
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Agreed re: 'Cuse. Played them in '09 at MSG in a non-conference tournament, '13 NCAA Tournament and '13 Maui Invitational. Lost all three.

Ohio St. was a non-conference tournament (at MSG in '09).

ND (and Boston College) in 2010 non-conference tournament.

Under Monty we also had a home and home with Creighton when they were pretty good ('12/'13).
Yogi Bear
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PtownBear1 said:

Contrarian point of view - I don't think it's a good strategy to be scheduling local mid-majors. If you're going to play a team like Santa Clara or USF where there's no upside and major downside, at least make them travel across the country so they're out of their comfort zone when you play them.
Bah. Win your games and stop complaining about lack of upside. I'd rather play programs that are local and known.
ncbears
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The Pac12 needs to revive a series with another P5 conference.
tequila4kapp
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Please no repeat of the UCLA stupidity in China.
oskidunker
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Love the schedule. Playing lical teams is what most of my friends want.
Up with the Blue and Gold. Down with the Red!
SFCityBear
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EricBear said:

socaliganbear said:

Who cares about Monty's weak non-con lineup. Let's get another game like Wisco or UVA at Haas. THOSE were brought out crowds and garnered interest. When comparing against ourselves, you don't have to compare against your weaknesses. Aim higher...
I care. When a poster writes "Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable" and "from a Wyking perspective, it makes sense," I try to determine if this schedule is in fact unique as to the current head coach or is it generally the type of non-conference schedule Cal plays. If the former, it would pique my interest as to why, and I might poke around about the scheduling. If the latter, I would be curious why the typical Cal schedule has been personalized as to the head coach.

So I looked up some past schedules and came to the conclusion this one is pretty standard, but with a more local flavor. Which I like, but understand that others might not. I don't recall Cal fans clamoring for better non-conference home games in the Monty-era. I do recall such a discussion in the latter stages of the Braun-era.

Yes, higher-profile home games of course bring out better crowds and interest. Wisconsin and Virginia were terrific. I believe the SDSU game was intended as such, but they appear to be dropping off a bit post-Steve Fisher. Happens when you schedule those games a couple years in advance. SDSU and at St. Mary's are the two "high profile" non-tournament games this season. Will look into what we are working on for future home/away games.




Eric,

Most fans here seem to imply in their posts that the makeup of the non-conference schedule is the responsibility of the head coach, and imply that has been true for years. The head coach gets the praise or blame for the schedule. Is all that true? Is it entirely his decision or is it decided by committee or the AD or who?

How does the process work? Does the head coach have an idea of who he'd like to play, and then run it past the Athletic Department or the AD before contacting teams? Do a number of teams contact Cal asking for a game? Does the head coach make the final decision on who Cal gets to play? Or is it someone above him?

Just curious. Thanks.

SFCB
PtownBear1
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Yogi Bear said:

PtownBear1 said:

Contrarian point of view - I don't think it's a good strategy to be scheduling local mid-majors. If you're going to play a team like Santa Clara or USF where there's no upside and major downside, at least make them travel across the country so they're out of their comfort zone when you play them.
Bah. Win your games and stop complaining about lack of upside. I'd rather play programs that are local and known.


Winning is not easy and should never be taken for granted. I could see a scenario where next season's team gets it going later in the year but has no chance of a post season because of early losses to our local mid majors. Mid majors are always going to be more hyped to play a major conference school than the other way around. We should take any advantage possible.
joe amos yaks
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Didn't we have Wichita Stu on the schedule in 2017?

And why not uMontana?
SFCityBear
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socaliganbear said:

LOUMFSG2 said:

socaliganbear said:

Yeah, this is pretty awful. A lot of boring match ups with some meh games sprinkled in between. BUT this squad won't be in a position to play good teams non-non anyway. Guessing Wyking really wants to collect as many wins as possible to stave off the inevitable.
Yeah, but I guess the schedule is usually pretty awful.

Last year we had games against Riverside, Cal Poly, Wofford, Chaminade, Northridge, Central Arkansas, Fullerton, Seattle and Portland State

The year before we had South Dakota State, Irvine, Wyoming, SE Louisiana, Alcorn State, Princeton, UC Davis and Cal Poly

Before that, we had Rice, UCSB, East Carolina, Sam Houston State, Seattle, Wyoming, Incarnate Word, Coppin State, and Davidson

I guess I would rather see Santa Clara, USF, San Jose State and Fresno State, rather than teams like Wofford, Alcorn State, Sam Houston State and Incarnate Word.
I bet older Cal fans will agree. I think the general public won't care. Playing USF means absolutely nothing to me. Hell, USF won't even know they're playing us outside maybe 10 people, same with Santa Clara. I don't expect this to move the needle at all in attendance.
If it is attendance you are concerned about, playing the local schools who have a history of rivalry with Cal, then it is a no-brainer to play them, instead of playing teams like Wofford, who have little name recognition in the Bay Area, and no fan base here to speak of.

Last season, Cal played local school St. Mary's to a crowd of 7,831 fans. Are you aware of the fact that the Cal-St. Mary's game drew more fans than any other Cal pre-conference game last season? Cal played 7 other games at Haas in the pre-conference season, and the average attendance was 6,710. Throw out the home opener against UC Riverside and the average was 6,650 fans. That is over 1200 more fans for Cal vs. St. Marys than the average of the other games. The Cal-Wofford game drew only 6,102 fans, the lowest attendance for any game last season. The St. Mary's game drew 1,700 more fans than the Wofford game. At say, $25 a ticket, that is an extra $43,000 in the cash register at the end of the St Mary's game compared to the Wofford game.

Add the fact that Cal played 9 conference games at Haas, and the Cal-St Mary's game drew more fans than Cal's home games against Arizona, Oregon, USC, and WSU.

St. Mary's home attendance at McKeon is about 3,000 fans. So possibly half of them attended the game at Haas. The home game attendance for USF, Santa Clara, and San Jose State runs around 2,000 fans for each one, so you might get 500-1000 more fans with any of them than you would for a game with Wofford. And that is not considering that the rivalry aspect might begin to take hold again amongst both Cal fans and opponents like St. Mary's, USF, Santa Clara, and SJS, and draw some more fans. A rivalry with Wofford will likely never take hold. Of course there is a ceiling to the attendance on any of these games with locals. But anything that might improve attendance at Cal games over last season should be done. This is likely only an experiment, for a year or two so let's see how it works out.





KoreAmBear
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EricBear said:

Agreed re: 'Cuse. Played them in '09 at MSG in a non-conference tournament, '13 NCAA Tournament and '13 Maui Invitational. Lost all three.

Ohio St. was a non-conference tournament (at MSG in '09).

ND (and Boston College) in 2010 non-conference tournament.

Under Monty we also had a home and home with Creighton when they were pretty good ('12/'13).
Then we played Cuse in one of Cuonzo's first games, and we finally beat them. Mathews went off.

Re: Creighton -- right, when they had Doug McDermott.
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