No. 23 Cal Hosts Showdown with No. 1 Arizona
Feb. 24, 2003
Arizona Wildcats (21-2, 13-1) at California Golden Bears (19-5, 12-3)
Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net, KICU (Channel 36)
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
Arizona State Sun Devils (17-8, 9-5, at Stanford 2/27) at California
Sunday, March 2, 12:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KYCY (1550 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California returns to Haas Pavilion for its final homestand of the season, hosting top-ranked Arizona and Arizona State.
The Golden Bears, who are the only Pac-10 team with an unblemished home record this year, face their toughest challenge to their 17-game home winning streak - currently the eighth-longest run in Division I. In fact, Cal's last loss in Berkeley was a 68-58 decision to Arizona on Jan. 31, 2002, and the Bears have not defeated the Wildcats at home since Feb. 25, 1999 (89-76).
With its 12-3 Pac-10 record, Cal is also in position to record its most league victories in nine seasons, needing one more win to match the 1994 squad that posted a 13-5 conference mark. And at 19-5 overall, the Bears are virtually assured of a fifth consecutive trip to the postseason - a feat that would be the first of its kind in school history. Cal advanced to the NIT in both 1999 and 2000 and to the NCAA Tournament the last two years.
Individually, senior F Joe Shipp continues to lead the Pac-10 in scoring with 21.1 ppg after his 29-point effort at USC last Saturday. In addition, he is the only player in the league to rank among the Top 10 in field goal shooting (8th, 52.3%), three-point shooting (10th, 38.7%) and free throw shooting (10th, 78.1%).
Sophomore F Amit Tamir boasts his own Top 10 trifecta, rating seventh in scoring (16.5 ppg), sixth in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and 10th in assists (3.25 apg).
Finally, senior G Brian Wethers, who is coming off a season-high 24 points against the Trojans, has moved up to 10th in Pac-10 scoring (15.0 ppg) - making Cal the only team in the conference with three of the league's Top 10 scorers.
Shipp, Wethers Lead Cal Past USC, 84-82
Senior F Joe Shipp scored 29 points and senior G Brian Wethers added a season-high 24 to lead Cal to a season sweep of USC with an 84-82 victory last Saturday at the L.A. Sports Arena. Shipp totaled 19 of his points in the first half, including seven straight down the stretch, to give the Bears a 49-39 advantage at the break. USC grabbed an 81-76 lead with 2:07 to go. But two free throws by Amit Tamir and a three-pointer from Conor Famulener tied the score at 81-all with 54 seconds left. Wethers then sank two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to put Cal ahead for good. Tamir tied a career best with seven assists.
Haas Pavilion Winning Streak at 17 Games
Now 12-0 at Haas Pavilion this season, Cal has run off a 17-game winning streak on its home floor dating back to last year. The string is the third-longest on-campus string in school history. Over the past two seasons, Cal is 29-1 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 43-4.
Longest Home Winning Streaks1. 26 Dec. 27, 1958 to Dec. 16, 19602. 23 Nov. 25, 1995 to Dec. 28, 1999*3. 17 Feb. 2, 2002 to current*includes on-campus games only; Cal played the 1997-98 and '98-99 seasons at the Oakland Arena
Cal History vs. No. 1 Teams
Cal owns a 2-21 all-time record vs. No. 1-ranked teams, with 16 of the setbacks coming against UCLA between 1964-83. The Bears' two wins were against UCLA (85-70) on Jan. 30, 1994 at the Oakland Arena and Cincinnati (77-69) on March 17, 1960 in the NCAA Final Four semifinals held at the Cow Place in San Francisco.
Cal against No. 1-ranked teamsat Arizona 95, Cal 80, Feb. 1, 2003 UCLA 84, at Cal 77 (OT), March 1, 1969at Stanford 84, Cal 58, Jan. 17, 2001 at UCLA 109, Cal 74, Jan. 31, 1969at Cal 85, UCLA 70, Jan. 30, 1994 (Oakland) UCLA 94, at Cal 64, Jan. 12, 1968Arizona 74, at Cal 62, Feb. 7, 1988 UCLA 103, at Cal 66, March 4, 1967UCLA 68, at Cal 63, Jan. 20, 1983 at UCLA 96, Cal 78, Jan. 13, 1967at UCLA 92, Cal 56, Jan. 11, 1974 at UCLA 76, Cal 54, Jan. 15, 1965at USC 64, Cal 53, March 3, 1973 at UCLA 87, Cal 57, March 2, 1964UCLA 69, at Cal 50, Jan. 13, 1973 UCLA 58, at Cal 56, Feb. 8, 1964UCLA 85, at Cal 71, March 3 1972 UCLA 87, at Cal 67, Feb. 7, 1964at UCLA 82, Cal 43, Jan. 15, 1972 Cal 77, Cincinnati 69, March 17, 1960at UCLA 103, Cal 69, March 5, 1971 (San Francisco, Final Four semifinal)UCLA 94, at Cal 76, Jan. 16, 1971 San Francisco 33, at Cal 24, Jan. 28, 1956
Bears Seek Most Pac-10 Victories in 10 Years
At 12-3 in the Pac-10 this year, Cal needs just one more victory to record its highest league win total since the 1993-94 club finished in second place with a 13-5 conference record - a feat the Bears can accomplish this week. Under head coach Ben Braun, Cal has twice accumulated 12 conference wins - in 1997 and 2002 - tying for second both times.
Cal in Position for Three Straight 20-Win Seasons
Only once before in school history have the Bears achieved three consecutive 20-win seasons, but this year's Bears are in prime position to accomplish a feat last performed in 1946-48. Cal finished 20-11 in 2001 and 23-9 last season, and the Bears need one more win this year to reach the magic 20 level this year. Fifty-seven seasons ago when Nibs Price directed the program, Cal was 30-6, followed by a 20-11 record in 1947 and 25-9 in '48. Only three other times have the Bears even posted back-to-back 20 win campaigns - 1959 (25-4) and '60 (28-2) under Pete Newell, 1989 (20-13) and '90 (22-10) under Lou Campanelli and the past two years under Ben Braun.
Shipp Jumps to 7th on Scoring Chart
Senior F Joe Shipp, who leads the Pac-10 with 21.1 ppg, has jumped 22 spots on Cal's career scoring list this season. After entering the year in the 29th spot, he now holds the seventh position with 1,541 points, passing such notable alumni as Mark McNamara, Larry Friend, Ed Gray, Andy Wolfe and Russ Critchfield. Shipp has reached double figures in every game, and he has topped 25 points six times. With 16 more points, he will claim sixth place at Cal, topping Brian Hendrick's 1,556 points scored from 1990-93.
Cal Career Scoring Leaders5. Leonard Taylor (1985-89) 1,6086. Brian Hendrick (1990-93) 1,5567. Joe Shipp (2000- ) 1,541
Wethers Also Climbing Scoring List
With his 18-point effort at Arizona State Jan. 30, senior G Brian Wethers became the 32nd player in school history to amass 1,000 points during a career. Now with 1,131 points entering Thursday's match-up vs. Arizona, Wethers is 21st on the all-time Cal list. With senior F Joe Shipp holding down the seventh spot with 1,541 points, the Bears have two players teaming together with at least 1,000 points for the first time since Roy Fisher (1,382) and Ryan Drew (1,086) during the 1990-91 season. Ed Gray (1,082) and Randy Duck (1,003) both topped 1,000 points in 1997, but Duck reached his total after Gray was out of the lineup due to a broken foot.
Cal Career Scoring Leaders19. Michael Chavez (1980-83) 1,16220. Butch Hays (1981-84) 1,14521. Brian Wethers (2000- ) 1,107
Big Three Contribute 69.7 Percent of Scoring
How much does Cal rely on the scoring ability of Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers? Try 69.7 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.
Shipp Likely 5th Bear in 10 Years to Lead Pac-10
Senior F Joe Shipp, who has averaged 22.3 ppg on 55.2 percent shooting from the floor since the start of conference play, holds the Pac-10 scoring lead with an overall rate of 21.1 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.
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 6.6 rpg, including five 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 16.5 ppg, he tops Cal in three-pointers made (52, 43.0%). 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 five times this season, including a 27-point outing at Oregon State. His other big nights came against Georgia (27 points), San Francisco (26), Oregon (25) and at Washington (26). In addition, he leads the Bears in assists (3.3 apg) and free throw shooting (84.7%). Before missing against Stanford Jan. 4, Tamir had made 23 straight from the free throw line, and he has sunk 65 of his last 74 attempts (87.8%).
Cal Season 3-Pointers Made5. Billy Dreher (1991) 566. Monty Buckley (1995) 537. Amit Tamir (2003) 52
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.
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. Then in Cal's victory at Oregon Feb. 8, he had 21 points (9-11 FG) to go with two blocks and five steals to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Wethers, who tallied at least 10 points in Cal's first 21 games this season, also scored 21 points at UCLA and totaled a season-high 24 points at USC (8-12 FG, 2-3 3P, 6-6 FT). He ranks third on the team in scoring (15.0 ppg), second in assists (3.2 apg) and third in rebounding (4.5 rpg). He leads all current players on the roster with 226 career assists and had a personal high of seven assists vs. Washington Feb. 15.
Midgley Cool Competitor as a Freshman
'Midgley's not 19, he's 24. They need to check his birth certificate.' Those words from Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar came after Midgley, Cal's freshman point guard, calmly sank a pair of three-pointers and two free throws over the final 4:27 to lead the Bears to a 58-53 win over the Huskies Feb. 15. Now averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.0 apg, he is shooting 50.7 percent from the floor and Pac-10-high 48.5 percent (32-for-66) from three-point range. Midgley, who has started every Pac-10 game, scored a career-best 23 points vs. USC Jan. 23 - one of only two times neither Joe Shipp nor Amit Tamir has led Cal in scoring - and he sank 9-of-10 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the final minute, to help the Bears top Oregon Feb. 8. In the Feb. 13 win over Washington State, Midgley had one of his best all-around performances with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Cal Season 3-Point Percentage1. Billy Dreher (1991) 56-112 .5002. Richard Midgley (2003) 32-66 .4853. Bill Elleby (1992) 64-138 .4644. Keith Smith (1990) 42-91 .462
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 24 games, the Bears are a perfect 14-0 when they out-rebound their opponent. Perhaps more significant, Cal's rebound margin is +3.8 in the Bears' 19 wins and -7.0 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 1.6 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.
Cal Guaranteed First Winning Road Mark since '95
Sporting a 7-3 road record, Cal is guaranteed its first winning road mark since the Bears were 7-5 during the 1994-95 season. With one road contest remaining - at Stanford March 8 - Cal can fare no worse than 7-4 this season. During last year's 23-9 overall finish, the Bears were 4-6 on opponent home floors, while they were 5-7 in 2000-01 and just 4-7 in 1999-00 when seniors Joe Shipp, Brian Wethers and Donte Smith were freshmen. In addition, at 5-3 outside of Berkeley during Pac-10 play, Cal has the opportunity to match the 1992-93 squad for most league road wins in the past 11 seasons. That squad, with future All-Americans Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray, posted a 6-3 conference road mark.
Bear Notes ...
Cal's eight-game winning streak from Dec. 30 through Jan. 25 was the team's longest since also winning eight in a row in 1993 ... when Joe Shipp (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Amit Tamir (20 points, 10 rebounds) both had a double-double vs. UCLA Jan. 25, they became the first Cal pair to do so since Sean Lampley (25 points, 10 assists) and Nick Vander Laan (14 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Georgia on Dec. 21, 2000 ... 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 137 wins, passing both Pete Newell (119-44, 1955-60) and Lou Campanelli (123-108, 1986-93) this season ... with a 70-53 Pac-10 record, Braun is also second to Nibs Price (176-123 from 1925-54) in conference victories and he is the first Cal coach with a winning league mark since Pete Newell was 62-26 from 1955-60 ... 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.
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