Cal Continues with Road Trip in Oregon
Feb. 3, 2003
California Golden Bears (14-4, 7-2) at Oregon State Beavers (11-7, 4-5)
Thursday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m., Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
California at Oregon Ducks (15-5, 5-4, vs. Stanford 2/6)
Saturday, Feb. 8, 6 p.m., McArthur Court, Eugene, OR
TV: KRON (Channel 4)
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California continues with its four-game Pac-10 road trip this week when the Golden Bears visit Oregon State and Oregon.
Although Cal has lost its last two games - at Arizona State and at Arizona - the Bears still find themselves just one game out of first place in the league standings at the midway point of the conference schedule. A win over OSU Thursday, where Cal has not lost in its last seven tries, would make the Bears 8-2 in the Pac-10 first the first time since 1994.
Despite last week's results, Cal is 4-2 on opponent homecourts this year, including 2-2 in conference action.
Senior F Joe Shipp - the conference's leading scorer - paces Cal with 21.3 ppg, a rate that rises to 23.4 ppg in league contests. The two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week is also more efficient than ever, as he is tallying his points at career-high rates of 53.2 percent from the floor, 43.7 percent from three-point range and 81.9 percent from the free throw line.
Now eighth in Cal history in scoring with 1,417 points, Shipp can move up another spot this week with 21 more points.
Fellow senior Brian Wethers joined Shipp in the 1,000-point club last weekend and he enters play this week with 1,027 points - good for the 30th position. One of only four players in the Pac-10 to reach double figures in every game this season (Shipp is another), Wethers averages 15.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg away from home - nearly two points and 1.5 rebounds better than he does in Haas Pavilion.
Sophomore F Amit Tamir completes Cal's high scoring trio. The 6-11 Israeli ranks among the league leaders in both points (16.7 ppg) and rebounds (6.7 rpg). In addition, he paces the Bears in three-pointers made with 38 (45.2%), including four at Arizona last Saturday.
At the point position, freshman Richard Midgley gives Cal a 53.5 percent shooting who averages 9.4 ppg, while junior C Gabriel Hughes has played much better of late, grabbing a career-high nine rebounds at Arizona State and averaging 6.3 ppg over his past three games.
No. 1 Arizona Runs Past Cal, 95-80
Led by Jason Gardner's 18 points, seven assists and four steals, six Arizona players scored in double figures to pace the top-ranked Wildcats to a 95-80 victory over No. 20 Cal last Saturday in Tucson. After UA jumped out to a 19-8 lead, the Bears battled back to trail by only four points on two occasions. However, Arizona scored the final five points of the first half to lead, 40-30, at the break. In the second half, the Wildcats increased their advantage to 58-40 in the opening minutes. Joe Shipp led the Bears with 21 points, while Amit Tamir sank four three-pointers on his way to 14 points and Brian Wethers added 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Wethers Reaches 1,000 Career Points
With his 18-point effort at Arizona State last Thursday, senior G Brian Wethers became the 32nd player in school history to amass 1,000 points during a career. Now with 1,027 points entering Thursday's match-up at Oregon State, Wethers ranks 30th on the all-time Cal list. With senior F Joe Shipp holding down the eighth spot with 1,417 points, the Bears have two players with at least 1,000 points for the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season - Ed Gray (1,082) and Randy Duck (1,003).
Bears on Rare 4-Game Pac-10 Road Trip
With games at Arizona State and Arizona last week and at Oregon and Oregon State this weekend, Cal is in the midst of its first four-game Pac-10 road trip since Jan. 23-31, 1987 when the Bears visited the same four schools. That season, Cal opened with an 82-81 double overtime victory at Arizona, then lost to ASU (61-53), Oregon (86-73) and OSU (59-57). The Bears also traveled to the Arizona and Oregon schools in succession in 1982, finishing the road venture with a 2-2 mark. Prior to the formation of the Pac-10 in 1979, four-game road swings were much more common.
Shipp Jumps to 10th on Scoring Chart
Senior F Joe Shipp, who leads the Pac-10 with 21.3 ppg, has jumped 21 spots on Cal's career scoring list this season. After entering the year in the 29th spot, he now holds the eighth position with 1,417 points, passing such notable alumni as Mark McNamara, Larry Friend, Ed Gray and Andy Wolfe. Shipp has reached double figures in every game, and he has topped 25 points five times. With 21 more points, he will claim seventh place at Cal, topping Russ Critchfield's 1,437 points scored from 1966-68.
Cal Career Scoring Leaders5. Leonard Taylor (1985-89) 1,6086. Brian Hendrick (1990-93) 1,5567. Russ Critchfield (1966-68) 1,4378. Joe Shipp (2000- ) 1,396
Rebounding Margin Key Stat in Cal Results
If there is one statistic that stands out as a key indicator of Cal's results, it is rebounding margin. Through 18 games, the Bears are a perfect 11-0 when they out-rebound their opponent. Perhaps more significant, Cal's rebound margin is +4.6 in the Bears' 14 wins and -6.7 in their four losses. Cal's highest margin was +22 vs. Grambling (53-31) - the team's largest since posting a +25 advantage vs. Texas Southern (47-22) on Nov. 30, 1996. Overall, Cal averages 2.1 more rebounds than its opponents, a figure that, if it holds up, would be the Bears' highest since 1996-97 when the difference was +2.5.
Big Three Contribute 68.9 Percent of Scoring
How much does Cal rely on the scoring ability of Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers? Try 68.9 percent of the team's total - a figure that, if it holds up the rest of the year, would be the school's highest as far back as complete statistics are available (1949-50 season). The only trio to come close was the combination of Lamond Murray, Jason Kidd and Monty Buckley, who provided 67.8 percent of the Bears' output in 1993-94. Murray led the conference in scoring with 24.3 ppg, while Pac-10 Player of the Year Kidd averaged 16.7 ppg and Buckley added 12.8 ppg. Prior to this season, no Ben Braun-coached team had a threesome average more than 56.1 percent of a squad's total (1998-99 - Geno Carlisle, Thomas Kilgore and Sean Lampley). Last year, Shipp, Tamir and Wethers, who were Cal's top three scorers in 2001-02, contributed 45.1 percent of the Bears' points. In Pac-10 games this season, the threesome is contributing 70.9 percent of Cal's total.
Shipp Could Be 5th Bear in 10 Years to Lead Pac-10
Senior F Joe Shipp, who has averaged 23.4 ppg on 59.0 percent shooting from the floor and 45.2 percent shooting from three-point range since the start of conference play, has taken over the Pac-10 scoring lead with an overall rate of 21.3 ppg. If he can maintain that position for the rest of the season, he would become the fifth Bear in the last 10 years to pace the conference. Lamond Murray averaged 24.3 ppg in 1994, while Shareef Abdur-Rahim (21.1 ppg in 1996), Ed Gray (24.8 ppg in '97) and Sean Lampley (19.5 ppg in '01) also topped the league. Abdur-Rahim, Gray and Lampley earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in the seasons they led the Pac-10.
Shipp in Rare Company with Five 30-Point Games
With four 30-point outings so far this season and another against Fresno State last year, senior forward Joe Shipp has joined just seven other Cal players with five career 30-point games. The next time he reaches 30, Shipp will tie the school record of six held by Ed Gray (1996-97) and Mark McNamara (1981-82). In addition, Shipp's four 30-point outbursts this year are only two off the Cal season record - Gray reached 30 six times in 1997. Shipp's career high is 35 points established against Oregon State Jan. 11 - a feat that helped him earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
Haas Pavilion Winning Streak at 15 Games
Now 10-0 at Haas Pavilion this season, Cal has run off a 15-game winning streak on its home floor dating back to last year. The streak ties for the fourth-longest on-campus string in school history and tops the old Haas record of 14 in a row set from March 4, 2000 to Feb. 1, 2001. Over the past two seasons, Cal is 27-1 in Berkeley - the only loss was a 68-58 setback to Arizona - while the Bears' record since the start of the 2000-01 season is aPac-10 best 41-4. Cal's longest home win streak ever was 26 games from 1958-60.
Tamir, Shipp Post Double Double-Double
In Cal's 80-69 win over UCLA Jan. 25, both senior F Joe Shipp (23 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore F Amit Tamir (20 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles, marking the first time two Cal players accomplished the feat since Sean Lampley (25 points, 10 assists) and Nick Vander Laan (14 points, 12 rebounds) teamed to help the Bears defeat Georgia, 85-64, on Dec. 21, 2000 in Oakland. The Oakland Arena was also the site of the last double points-rebounds double-double - Lampley (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Carl Boyd (14 points, 15 rebounds) in an 85-67 victory over UCLA on Feb. 13, 1999.
In addition to Shipp and Tamir, junior F Conor Famulener pulled down a career-high 10 boards last week vs. UCLA, giving the Bears three players with at least 10 rebounds for the first time since Jason Kidd (11), Lamond Murray (11) and Michael Stewart (10) did it vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament (lost, 61-57).
Cal's League Start Best in 46 Years
Beginning Pac-10 action with a 7-0 record, Cal jumped out to its best conference start since the 1957 season when the Bears began 10-0 in the old Pacific Coast Conference under Pete Newell. Cal had been 3-0 in league action several times in the past 46 years, but never as good as 4-0. Even during Cal's NCAA Final Four runs of 1959 and '60, the Bears lost early in league play both years.
Eight-Game Winning Streak Best since 1993
Cal won eight consecutive games from Dec. 30 through Jan. 25, giving the Bears their longest victory run since also winning eight in a row in 1993 - a string that ended with a 93-76 loss to Kansas in the NCAA Sweet 16. This year's run started with a 77-70 overtime victory over San Francisco and included wins in their first seven Pac-10 games.
6-11 Tamir Poses Triple Threat
At 6-11, 260 pounds, sophomore F Amit Tamir looks like he should be Cal's dominant player near the basket. And in fact, he leads the Bears with 6.7 rpg, including four double-doubles and a career-high 14 boards vs. Howard. But Tamir's game is not limited to the area just around the hoop. Cal's second-leading scorer at 16.7 ppg, he tops Cal in three-pointers made (38, 45.2%). His most important triple came against USF Dec. 30 when his three-pointer with 3.7 seconds left in regulation sent the contest into overtime, a game the Bears won, 77-70. Tamir has scored at least 25 points four times this season, including a 26-point outing at Washington. His other big nights came against Georgia (27 points), San Francisco (26) and Oregon (25). In addition, he is tied for the team lead in assists (3.1 apg) and is first on the squad in free throw shooting (84.3%). Before missing against Stanford Jan. 4, Tamir had made 23 straight from the free throw line, and he has sunk 56 of his last 63 attempts (88.9%).
Wethers Report: Senior Reigns on Both Ends
According to coach Ben Braun, senior guard Brian Wethers, Cal's most athletic player, has the ability to dictate play on both ends of the court. And Wethers displayed his all-around skill to its fullest at the EA Sports Golden Bear Classic in late December. In earning tournament MVP honors, Wethers averaged 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg. In addition, he helped hold Louisiana-Lafayette's high-scoring guard Brad Boyd to just 6-for-17 shooting in the championship game. Later, he kept Oregon's Luke Jackson without a field goal for the first 36 minutes in Cal's Jan. 9 win. Wethers, who has tallied at least 10 points in every game this season, has scored 18 points three times - at Cleveland State, vs. UL-Lafayette and at Arizona State. He ranks third on the team in scoring (14.3 ppg), tied for first in assists (3.1 apg) and third in rebounding (4.7 rpg). He leads all current players on the roster with 205 career assists.
Midgley Cool Competitor as a Freshman
Guard Richard Midgley may be just a freshman in eligibility, but the collegiate rookie has displayed a level of maturity on the court usually reserved for more veteran players. Now averaging 9.4 ppg, he is shooting 53.5 percent from the floor, including a perfect 5-for-5 outing vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, and 45.8 percent (22-for-48) from three-point range. For his efforts, head coach Ben Braun rewarded him a spot in the starting lineup, beginning with the Pac-10 opener vs. Stanford. Midgley scored a career-best 23 points vs. USC - the only time this year neither Joe Shipp nor Amit Tamir led Cal in scoring.
Bears Sport International Flair
On a campus that prides itself on diversity, the Cal basketball team sports a roster that includes players from three foreign countries. Sophomore forward Amit Tamir hails from Jerusalem, Israel, while freshman guard Richard Midgley is a native of Burgess Hill, England, and freshman forward Jordi Geli Vilardell came to Berkeley by way of Girona, Spain. By no means does this trio represent all of the overseas players who have suited up for Cal under head coach Ben Braun. Others who have needed student visas before joining the squad include Sean Marks (New Zealand, 1995-98), Shahar Gordon (1999-00, Israel), Francisco Elson (1998-99, The Netherlands) and Saulius Kuzminskas (2001, Lithuania).
Fathers and Sons Share Athletic Backgrounds
Four members of the 2002-03 Cal team can point to their fathers as men who paved their way into the athletic arena. Junior guard A.J. Diggs, for example, is the son of Shelton Diggs, who was a wide receiver at USC from 1973-76 and played for the NFL's New York Jets in 1976. Redshirt-freshman forward Erik Bond hails from a family of basketball players - his father, Jay, starred at Washington, while both of this brothers (Jason at Gonzaga and Jesse at Saint Mary's) played at the collegiate level. In addition, freshman forward David Paris is the son of former San Francisco 49er lineman Bubba Paris, and freshman guard Martin Smith is the son of the late Phil Smith, who played college basketball at San Francisco and was a two-time NBA All-Star.
Bear Notes ...
Junior G A.J. Diggs tied Jason Kidd's school record with eight steals at Cleveland State; Kidd had eight steals vs. Washington on Jan. 28, 1993 ... head coach Ben Braun has moved into second place on Cal's all-time coaching list with 132 wins, passing both Pete Newell (119-44, 1955-60) and Lou Campanelli (123-108, 1986-93) this season ... seven former Bears were on NBA opening night rosters this year: Jason Kidd (Nets), Lamond Murray (Raptors), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Hawks), Michael Stewart (Cavaliers), Sean Marks (Heat), Sean Lampley (Heat) and Jamal Sampson (Bucks) ... Cal's three-point shooting rate of 38.9 percent is slightly ahead of school-record pace (38.7% in 1989-90).