HOOPS: Chauca On Shelf With NCAA Issue

BERKELEY -- Brandon Chauca was unavailable on Friday due to NCAA issues, but the Bears hope to have him back by Thursday's exhibition, which will be broadcast by former Cal head coach Mike Montgomery, who shares his thoughts on the prospect of calling his old team.

BERKELEY -- California freshman point guard Brandon Chauca did not play during last week’s exhibition against Cal State East Bay, despite the Bears still needing to sort out the point guard situation. On Tuesday – the first time Cuonzo Martin has been available to the media since the game – the Cal head coach gave an explanation.

“He’s dealing with a certification issue, with the NCAA, so we’re waiting on the NCAA,” Martin said.

The Alexandria, Va., native is perhaps the only pure point guard on the roster, though Sam Singer and Tyron Wallace each have more experience, more size and are more physical. It was expected that Chauca would at least get some time on the floor during the team’s first two exhibitions.

“He’s a part of our family, and we’re ready to get started with him,” Martin said. “When it’s an NCAA issue, you’re concerned, but it’ll get resolved.”

It’s still unknown if Chauca will be available for this Thursday’s open exhibition against Cal State San Marcos, but he is still able to practice with the team, as he did on Tuesday, playing point opposite Singer during scrimmage drills, and alongside Wallace at the two-guard spot.

A note on that Thursday game: The Bears will have the game broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks, with former coach Mike Montgomery doing the color commentary. He will do “seven or eight” Cal games this season, he told BearTerritory at Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day.

“Well, you’ll have knowledge about stuff,” Montgomery said about the prospect of broadcasting his former team. “Hopefully, you can be insightful, as to certain things, and be impartial at the same time. It’s not a problem. I’m looking forward to it. It’s easy to get there, and I’ll know everybody.”

Montgomery has, he said, talked with Martin about the program he’s taking over.

“We have talked. We had a nice conversation over coffee one morning, and like anybody coming from outside to an institution like Cal, there’s a learning curve,” Montgomery said. “He had no idea of the things that may not be in place or are in place and some of the things that you would assume. But, you can’t ever explain to anybody – like any institution, like when I went to Stanford and I went to Cal – it’s just a different deal. He’s working his way through it. He’s figuring it out. The kids enjoy him. They are responding to him. He inherited a great group of kids; that much, we knew for sure: [David] Kravish, as your senior leader, and that great group of freshmen-now-sophomores. It’s terrific.”

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