Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery stated the obvious recently when he said, "The player taking the most shots on your team can't shoot the lowest percentage."

But nine games into the season that remains the case with the Golden Bears. Freshman guard Gary Franklin, regarded as an excellent perimeter shooter coming out of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, is struggling for all to see.

A starter in every game, Franklin has made just 17 of 62 shots from the 3-point arc -- 27 percent -- and over the past three games is just 3 for 23 from the field.

Early in the year his choice of shots was suspect and he shot often, nearly 12 attempts per game through the first five games. Since then, the quality and quantity of his shots have been somewhat better, they're just not going in yet.

"I think he's a scorer, probably a volume shooter in high school," Montgomery said. "We just said, 'Let the game come to you.' He'll be fine."

Franklin, of course, isn't the first talented freshman to stumble out of the starting gate of his college career.

He was one of three guards at Mater Dei last season to be rated among the nation's top 100 prospects by Rivals.com. All three are experiencing growing pains.

At UCLA, Tyler Lamb is averaging 3.7 points, shooting 37 percent from the field and just 19 percent from 3-point range. Arizona State's Keala King is faring no better, scoring 3.8 points per game on 39 percent shooting, including 0 for 6 from beyond the arc.


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The difference is neither of them shoulders the responsibility of starting as a freshman, as Franklin has done.

"The things he's dealing with are exacerbated because he's out there and he's got to play," Montgomery said. "It's just a matter of us finding out the best way to utilize his abilities and him finding out the best way to be successful within the confines of what we're trying to do."

  • Montgomery, in his first public comments after facing the NCAA Committee on Infractions last Friday at Indianapolis, said he did not take the hearing personally.

    "It wasn't about me," he said. "I've had more fun."

    In 2008, Cal self-reported violations regarding the number and timing of phone calls to prospective recruits. The violations occurred after Montgomery was hired at Cal, but the school's internal investigation determined the violations were not intentional, and an athletic department spokesman said the NCAA agreed with that finding.

    The NCAA will respond to Cal, which already self-imposed sanctions on those involved, and Montgomery said he doesn't expect further punishment "relative to basketball."

  • De La Salle High grad Jeff Powers, a redshirt freshman wing, may be eligible as soon as Saturday when the Bears (5-4) face Cal Poly (3-6) at Haas Pavilion. A transfer from Denver last December, Powers will be available to play as soon as his first-semester grades are posted.

    saturday's game
    Cal Poly at Cal, 2 p.m.