Monty Takes Over

Creating the most buzz around the Cal basketball program since the 1993 NCAA tournament win against Duke, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour introduced Mike Montgomery as the 15th head men's basketball coach in the history of the school on Saturday morning. Barbour described her new hire as a "winner, leader, teacher, educator, husband, father, collaborator, mentor and colleague."

As she called Montgomery to the podium, Barbour stated, "Mike Montgomery is the right man at the right time for Cal." The former Stanford Head Coach opened his remarks by referring to his predecessor: "Ben Braun was a friend of mine. I think a lot of him as a person. Anytime it seems when there's good fortune for somebody there's always misfortune for somebody else." Montgomery went on to say, "This is a tremendous opportunity for me."

Looking to the future, Montgomery said, "I like the kids in the program. If everybody stays intact, that wasn't very subtle was it, we should be pretty good." Current players Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin and Jerome Randle attended the press conference. The new coach talked about wanting to have a team that plays sound basketball, is very good defensively, wins the rebounding war, takes good shots and has guys playing for one another. He clearly expects success. He said, "I want to win. I've never really done a lot of losing at least at the college level."

His goals are to get into the top half of the conference, compete for the league championship and be a consistent participant in the NCAA tournament. He noted that he does not have a lot of patience for "careless mistakes, lack of effort or selfishness."

When asked if he believed that he could instill more toughness in kids he had described as "good kids ", Montgomery said, "I have an old saying that if they don't bite as a pup, they're not going to bite as a dog. We'll work to get tougher. We talked about the defensive end of the floor yesterday (with the players). They have to demand it of themselves. It needs to be demanded."

On talking to star Ryan Anderson, Monty flashed his well-known wit: "Ryan's staying at my house. We've moved out of the master bedroom and he has it." Actually, Anderson missed the Friday night meeting between the new coach and the current players because he was ill. The coach made it clear that trying to keep the team's star player is a priority.

Montgomery will be returning to San Antonio, and will be focused on putting together his staff. He suggested that he might retain some of the current staff to help ease the transition. Asked if his son John will be joining the Cal program, he stated, "Absolutely."

Montgomery believes that the recruiting pool at Cal will be a bit larger than what he had at Stanford. Still, he will be looking for players interested in quality academics and winning basketball. He recognized that, "None of us (coaches) are any better than the players we have." He believes that he still has the energy and desire to close the deal with recruits.

His remarks made it clear that the rivalry between Cal and Stanford was not an issue for him. Basically, Montgomery is a basketball coach, and Stanford happens to be where he worked for 18 years. He emphasized that he hasn't coached in college for 4 years, and he wanted to get back into it. He cited missing the day-to-day interaction with kids, which he became aware of during his television work since leaving the Warriors.

Barbour confirmed that the contract is for 6 years. Montgomery will be moving across the bay: "We're going to be a part of this East Bay community."

Cal's new coach mentioned that he had never talked to anyone from Indiana, but had one "decent" offer on the table from another school. After stating that he did not believe that there was a "ceiling" for the Cal program, he concluded his remarks with a hearty, "Go Bears."

ANALYSIS

This is absolutely a great hire by Barbour. In addition to the national attention, the guy is a proven winner. He has an impeccable reputation as far as doing it the right way. Perhaps some Cal fans won't accept him, but it's clear that he had put his Stanford years behind him. This is a new and exciting challenge for Montgomery. He seems very energized.

The only question is the age factor. Joking that he didn't think 45 was too old (a joke that slipped by the crowd), the 61-year-old coach doesn't think his age will be a factor. He believes that values, hard work, fundamentals are the essential ingredients for winning basketball.

It was interesting that Jerome Randle was at the press conference. Turning the flashy sophomore into a Monty-type point guard may be the new coach's biggest challenge. It may also be one of the keys to Cal's success in Montgomery's first season. The head coach wants his point guard to take care of the ball, find the open man, and defend at the point of attack. Randle has done all of those things at times, but his inconsistency would try Montgomery's patience. This is a relationship to keep an eye on.

I don't believe that this hire will influence Ryan Anderson's ultimate decision. Ryan made it clear on Thursday that if he is "guaranteed" selection in the first round, he's going to go. The good news for him is that if he doesn't hear that from the NBA, he can return to a coach that he trusts and respects.

I still believe that there will be some roster turnover. If Anderson goes, that would leave only one scholarship for next year. Montgomery is going to want players that he recruited in his program, and will not want to lose an entire year of recruiting.

It's an exciting day for Cal basketball.


©Copyright 2008, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.


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","mobileBody":"

As she called Montgomery to the podium, Barbour stated, \"Mike Montgomery is the right man at the right time for Cal.\" The former Stanford Head Coach opened his remarks by referring to his predecessor: \"Ben Braun was a friend of mine. I think a lot of him as a person. Anytime it seems when there's good fortune for somebody there's always misfortune for somebody else.\" Montgomery went on to say, \"This is a tremendous opportunity for me.\"

Looking to the future, Montgomery said, \"I like the kids in the program. If everybody stays intact, that wasn't very subtle was it, we should be pretty good.\" Current players Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin and Jerome Randle attended the press conference. The new coach talked about wanting to have a team that plays sound basketball, is very good defensively, wins the rebounding war, takes good shots and has guys playing for one another. He clearly expects success. He said, \"I want to win. I've never really done a lot of losing at least at the college level.\"

His goals are to get into the top half of the conference, compete for the league championship and be a consistent participant in the NCAA tournament. He noted that he does not have a lot of patience for \"careless mistakes, lack of effort or selfishness.\"

When asked if he believed that he could instill more toughness in kids he had described as \"good kids \", Montgomery said, \"I have an old saying that if they don't bite as a pup, they're not going to bite as a dog. We'll work to get tougher. We talked about the defensive end of the floor yesterday (with the players). They have to demand it of themselves. It needs to be demanded.\"

On talking to star Ryan Anderson, Monty flashed his well-known wit: \"Ryan's staying at my house. We've moved out of the master bedroom and he has it.\" Actually, Anderson missed the Friday night meeting between the new coach and the current players because he was ill. The coach made it clear that trying to keep the team's star player is a priority.

Montgomery will be returning to San Antonio, and will be focused on putting together his staff. He suggested that he might retain some of the current staff to help ease the transition. Asked if his son John will be joining the Cal program, he stated, \"Absolutely.\"

Montgomery believes that the recruiting pool at Cal will be a bit larger than what he had at Stanford. Still, he will be looking for players interested in quality academics and winning basketball. He recognized that, \"None of us (coaches) are any better than the players we have.\" He believes that he still has the energy and desire to close the deal with recruits.

His remarks made it clear that the rivalry between Cal and Stanford was not an issue for him. Basically, Montgomery is a basketball coach, and Stanford happens to be where he worked for 18 years. He emphasized that he hasn't coached in college for 4 years, and he wanted to get back into it. He cited missing the day-to-day interaction with kids, which he became aware of during his television work since leaving the Warriors.

Barbour confirmed that the contract is for 6 years. Montgomery will be moving across the bay: \"We're going to be a part of this East Bay community.\"

Cal's new coach mentioned that he had never talked to anyone from Indiana, but had one \"decent\" offer on the table from another school. After stating that he did not believe that there was a \"ceiling\" for the Cal program, he concluded his remarks with a hearty, \"Go Bears.\"

ANALYSIS

This is absolutely a great hire by Barbour. In addition to the national attention, the guy is a proven winner. He has an impeccable reputation as far as doing it the right way. Perhaps some Cal fans won't accept him, but it's clear that he had put his Stanford years behind him. This is a new and exciting challenge for Montgomery. He seems very energized.

The only question is the age factor. Joking that he didn't think 45 was too old (a joke that slipped by the crowd), the 61-year-old coach doesn't think his age will be a factor. He believes that values, hard work, fundamentals are the essential ingredients for winning basketball.

It was interesting that Jerome Randle was at the press conference. Turning the flashy sophomore into a Monty-type point guard may be the new coach's biggest challenge. It may also be one of the keys to Cal's success in Montgomery's first season. The head coach wants his point guard to take care of the ball, find the open man, and defend at the point of attack. Randle has done all of those things at times, but his inconsistency would try Montgomery's patience. This is a relationship to keep an eye on.

I don't believe that this hire will influence Ryan Anderson's ultimate decision. Ryan made it clear on Thursday that if he is \"guaranteed\" selection in the first round, he's going to go. The good news for him is that if he doesn't hear that from the NBA, he can return to a coach that he trusts and respects.

I still believe that there will be some roster turnover. If Anderson goes, that would leave only one scholarship for next year. Montgomery is going to want players that he recruited in his program, and will not want to lose an entire year of recruiting.

It's an exciting day for Cal basketball.


©Copyright 2008, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.

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