The schedule is highlighted by three neutral-site games, starting on Nov. 21 against San Diego State at the brand-new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, future home of the Sacramento Kings. The Bears and Aztecs will be part of a doubleheader on Nov. 21, with the other game slated to be between Sacramento State and UC Davis.
The date with San Diego State -- the first of a three-game series -- replaces a home-and-home with Gonzaga, which was the beneficiary of the transfer of senior shooting guard Jordan Mathews. Cal has dropped each of its last three games against the Aztecs, with the latest coming this past season. San Diego State went on a 23-5 run in the second half as part of the Las Vegas Invitational to sink the Bears, and returns three starters from that team. The Aztecs participated in the NIT last season, as did Princeton, who Cal will face in Hawaii.
Featured in the middle of the non-conference schedule is a trip to Honolulu for the Bears, their first since 2013, when Cal will participate in the Pearl Harbor Invitational against Princeton and the Pirates, who went 25-9 last season (12-6 in the Big East) and winning the Big East Tournament.
Cal will also get the return ends of two home-and-home series, seeing Wyoming visit Berkeley on Nov. 25 after last year's overtime nail-biter, and seeing the Cavaliers in Berkeley to round out the non-conference portion of the schedule. Virginia finished the season ranked No. 4 in the AP poll, after a 29-8 season and an Elite Eight appearance. On Dec. 22, 2015, the Bears squandered an 11-point lead with 13 minutes to go to the Cavaliers, and lost 63-62 to a Virginia team that led for just 32 seconds.
Other postseason participants on the schedule are CIT runner-up UC Irvine, headed by Mike Montgomery disciple Russell Turner, and Louisiana Tech, which participated in the Vegas 16.
|Fri., Nov. 11||South Dakota State||TBD||Berkeley|
|Wed., Nov. 16||UC Irvine||TBD||Berkeley|
|Mon., Nov. 21||San Diego State||TBD||Sacramento|
|Fri., Nov. 25||Wyoming||TBD||Berkeley|
|Sun., Nov. 27||Southeast Louisiana||TBD||Berkeley|
|Wed., Nov. 30||Louisiana Tech||TBD||Berkeley|
|Sat., Dec. 3||Alcorn State||TBD||Berkeley|
|Tue., Dec. 6||Princeton||TBD||Honolulu, HI|
|Wed., Dec. 7||Seton Hall||TBD||Honolulu, HI|
|Sat., Dec. 10||UC Davis||TBD||Berkeley|
|Sat., Dec. 17||Cal Poly||TBD||Berkeley|
|Wed., Dec. 21||Virginia||TBD||Berkeley|
Nine of the Bears' first 12 games will come at home, at Haas Pavilion, where Cal was 18-0 last year for the first time since the 1959-60 season. The Bears own a 19-game home winning streak, dating back to March of 2015.
After the Virginia game, the Bears get a break, before taking on Arizona and Arizona State in Berkeley, before Cal returns to Los Angeles for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Bears did not visit their So Cal neighbors in 2015-16 for the first time since the 1924-25 season. Ike Anigbogu and Thomas Welsh are going to be a formidable frontcourt duo for the Bruins, while USC unexpectedly lost junior guard Julian Jacobs, who was the Trojans' third-leading scorer behind Jordan McLaughlin and the departed Nikola Jovanovic.
Cal plays six of their first eight Pac-12 games on the road, but then play six of eight games in the Bay Area, including two against new-look Stanford, headed by first-year head coach Jerod Haase.
|Dec. 28-Jan. 1||Arizona/ASU||Berkeley|
|Jan. 4-8||USC/UCLA||Los Angeles|
|Jan. 18-22||Oregon/Oregon State||Eugene/Corvallis|
|Feb. 22-26||Oregon/Oregon State||Berkeley|
|March 8-11||Pac-12 Tournament||T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas|
The Bears return second-team All-Pac-12 forward Ivan Rabb, who eschewed the NBA Draft to return to Berkeley for his sophomore season. Last year, with No. 3-overall NBA Draft pick Jaylen Brown and No. 60-overall pick Tyrone Wallace drawing the lion's share of the offense, Rabb averaged just 7.7 shots per game, but still averaged 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds pr game, shooting 61.5% from the field.
Cal also returns senior Jabari Bird, who had his best season yet, averaging 10.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game with a career-high 883 minutes on the floor in 33 games, a career-best 46.1% shooting mark from the field and a career-best 40.9% shooting percentage from three-point land.
The Bears added four-star point guard Charlie Moore as a late signee out of Morgan Park (Ill.), JuCo shooter Dontae Coleman and graduate transfer Grant Mullins, whose Columbia team beat Irvine in the CIT final. Redshirt freshman forward Roman Davis is also expected to see time, as are guard Sam Singer and big men Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks.