No turkey will be on the menu for Cal's basketball team today in Orlando, Fla. Instead, the Golden Bears hope to dine on owl.
Cal (2-0) faces its first road test of the season at 6 p.m. when it takes on the Temple Owls (2-0) in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic at HP Field House.
The Bears' pregame meal will not include the traditional Thanksgiving Day fare. Too heavy for a young team about to face the 21st-ranked team in the country.
Coming off wins at Haas Pavilion over Cal State Northridge and New Mexico, Cal takes another step up the food chain this weekend. Looming on its side of the bracket in the eight-team event are Notre Dame and Georgia.
Temple was 29-5 a year ago and 16 of its wins were on the road or at neutral sites. Cal, with two freshmen starting and two more in its rotation, is in uncharted territory.
"It will be a new thing for these guys to figure out how to get themselves ready, stay fresh, not get too excited," coach Mike Montgomery said. "It's just part of the learning process."
Junior forward Harper Kamp said the freshmen will be fine if they can stay on course.
"They just have to learn to have fun, play loose, not worry about the nerves. Give the same kind of energy they gave tonight," he said after the rookies contributed 30 points and 10 rebounds to the 89-64 win over New Mexico.
Montgomery found little to pick at after that victory, although he did allow, "We'll run into a whole lot better post players than we faced in our first two games."
That may start tonight with Temple's duo of 6-foot-9 senior forward Lavoy Allen (10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds) and 6-11 junior center Michael Eric (11.0, 7.5). Allen, who averaged 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds a year ago, is on the Naismith Award preseason watch list.
Cal was on nobody's preseason list a year after losing four senior starters from its first Pac-10 championship team in 50 years.
Local highlights: Bobby Howard and Erik Rush combined for 47 points, and host Montana State (5-1) whipped USF 76-59. The Dons (2-2) received only four points from leading scorer Angelo Caloiaro (17.7 points per game), who was saddled with two early fouls. "... Stephon Carter had 18 points to lead host Cal State Bakersfield (82-77) to an 82-77 victory over San Jose State (3-1), which did not have one player score in double-digits.
National highlights: Corey Fisher's career-high 26 points led No. 7 Villanova (5-0) to an 82-70 win over UCLA (3-1) and into the final of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Wildcats will face No. 24 Tennessee (4-0), a 77-72 winner over Virginia Commonwealth. "... Kalin Lucas scored 29 points and keyed a second-half rally as No. 2 Michigan State (4-1) beat No. 13 Washington (3-2) 76-71 in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational.
Washington 49, San Jose State 27: The Spartans (0-6) made just 9 of 33 shots in the third-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout.
Arizona State d. No. 2 Cal: Tarah Murray's career-high 22 digs couldn't keep the host Bears (24-3, 14-3 Pac-10) from losing 25-23, 14-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-7 to the Sun Devils (13-17, 7-10), ending Cal's 16-match winning streak against ASU.
The Associated Press contributed to this digest.