Don't ask Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery to speculate on what might happen for his Golden Bears with three more games in a row at Haas Pavilion, beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday when Oregon pays a visit.

"We don't have the kind of team that can do anything but prepare for our next opponent," Montgomery said after the Bears (11-9, 4-4) moved into a three-way tie for fourth-place in the Pac-10 with an 85-57 drubbing of Oregon State on Thursday.

If Montgomery were to let his mind wander, it might occur to him that the Bears could find themselves alone in fourth place by Sunday night, provided they survive the Ducks (10-10, 3-5).

The two teams sharing fourth with the Bears face tougher assignments. USC plays a road game vs. second-place Arizona on Saturday, and Washington State takes on Pac-10 leader Washington on Sunday night.

The Bears stay home next week with games against last-place Arizona State, then Arizona, which beat Cal by just two points in Tucson early this month.

"Everybody has a little different schtick that they bring," Montgomery said.

Oregon, under first-year coach Dana Altman, will utilize a zone defense with a press that created 18 turnovers Thursday in a 67-59 win at Stanford. On the heels of winning at Oregon State last Saturday, the Ducks secured their first victory at Maples Pavilion since 1986.


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"I would guess Oregon's playing with a lot of confidence right now with a couple road wins," Montgomery said. "We're going to have to be prepared for that."

  • Oakland High senior and Oregon signee Jabari Brown, rated one of the top shooting guard prospects in the country, plans to be at Haas to watch his future team take on Cal.

    "It will be real cool," Brown said. "Hopefully, they can get the win."

    Brown said he's encouraged by the progress the Ducks have made in Altman's debut season.

    "I think they're doing a a nice job. They're starting to pick things up," he said. "If we win on Saturday, we'll be (potentially tied for) fifth place. That's better than a lot of people thought."

    Brown said he hasn't been to the new Matthew Knight Arena since its completion, but likes the "deep woods" motif -- even if the midcourt line is difficult to see on TV. "They say when you're actually on the court it's easier to see it," he said. "I like the court. It's different. Nobody else has that."

    Altman visited Brown in Oakland last week and talks with him on the phone regularly.

    "We're really excited about him," Altman said. "He's kind of the cornerstone of our recruiting class. We really think he's someone we can build around."

    Brown has high hopes for his freshman season at Oregon.

    "We have a chance to do great things with the kind of offense coach is running and the press. You get fastbreak points and easy buckets," he said. "I think we can compete for a championship."

  • Montgomery pocketed his 450th victory at Cal (57) or Stanford (393), moving him ahead of ex-Cal coach Nibs Price for the most Division I men's basketball victories in Bay Area history.