Bears Host BYU, Visit UNLV
Nov. 24, 2003
BYU Cougars (1-0) at California Golden Bears (0-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
California at UNLV Rebels (1-0, vs. Nevada 11/24, vs. W. Illinois 11/26)
Saturday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California tries to rebound from its opening 63-62 loss to Cal Poly when the Golden Bears host BYU Wednesday night in Haas Pavilion. Cal then makes its first road trip of the year, traveling to UNLV for a Saturday night tilt.
The Bears, who lost their first game of the year for the first time since falling at North Carolina on Nov. 22, 1997, will have their hands full against a Cougar team that is predicted to win the Mountain West Conference this season. BYU cruised to an 88-54 win over Southern Utah in its initial contest last Friday.
Cal, meanwhile, still boasts a 30-2 record vs. non-conference foes since the fall of 1999 - the first year Haas Pavilion opened. The only other setback besides Friday's upset was a 74-71 loss to Penn in December of '99.
Senior F Amit Tamir, the Bears' leading returning scorer, rebounder and assist man, had another solid outing against the Mustangs last week. He finished with a team-high 13 points (6-for-11 FG), collected six rebounds and dished out three assists.
F Leon Powe, the only freshman to crack the starting lineup, opened his career with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds). He scored Cal's first bucket of the year and had eight points and seven boards by halftime.
Freshman G Ayinde Ubaka also played well in his first game for the Bears. Coming off the bench, he scored seven points and had a team-best four assists in 23 minutes.
Senior G A.J. Diggs, Cal's starter at the point, picked up two more steals in the Cal Poly game to push his career total to 121, moving him past Doug True (1977-80) and into 10th place on the Bears' career list. Diggs, who paced Cal in steals each of the last two years, needs eight more steals to tie Keith Smith (1987-90) for the ninth position.
Cal Poly Upends Cal, 63-62, on Late Tip-in
Nick Enzweiller tipped in a missed shot with 4.8 seconds left to lift Cal Poly to a 63-62 win over Cal in both teams' season-opener last Friday at Haas Pavilion. The loss broke Cal's 25-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents and was just the Bears' second home loss ever to a team outside the Pac-10 in Haas. Cal lost to Penn, 74-71, in the 1999 Golden Bear Classic final - the first year the facility opened. The Bears led Cal Poly by as many as 14 points in the second half (48-34), but couldn't put the game away, shooting just 40.6 percent from the floor after intermission. Senior F Amit Tamir paced Cal with 13 points, while freshman F Leon Powe added 12 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore G Richard Midgley had 11 points.
Back-to-Back Mountain West Games
With games against BYU and UNLV this week, Cal is playing back-to-back games against teams from the Mountain West Conference. However, the Bears will hardly be through with the MWC after Saturday. Fellow league member Wyoming visits Haas Pavilion Dec. 9, and Cal could face Air Force on the second day of the Office Depot Golden Bear Classic Dec. 28. The Bears last played consecutive games vs. teams from the same conference in 2001 when Cal split a pair of contests against two Conference USA schools - losing at South Florida, 79-59, on Dec. 1, and defeating Saint Louis, 88-63, on Dec. 6 in Berkeley.
Freshman Class Contributes 29 Points, 19 Rebounds in Opener
Cal's freshman class played a big role in the Bears' season-opener against Cal Poly. Although F Leon Powe was the only one of the group to start, the foursome combined for 29 points, 19 rebounds and six assists. Powe had 12 points and 10 rebounds to become the first Bear to record a double-double in his debut since Jason Kidd had 11 points and 10 assists vs. Sacramento State on Dec. 1, 1992. In addition, G Ayinde Ubaka added seven points and a team-high four assists. F Marquise Kately had all eight of his points during a 13-0 run in the first half, and F Dominic McGuire had two points, four boards and a game-best two blocked shots.
A.J. Diggs Moves into 10th on Career Steals List
With two steals against Cal Poly last Friday, senior G A.J. Diggs moved into 10th place on Cal's career steals list with 122. Diggs, a former walk-on who has since earned a scholarship, has led the Bears in steals each of the last two seasons. He had 47 steals in 2002 and 57 more last year - a total that ranks fifth on the school season chart. Diggs tied Jason Kidd's Cal single-season record with eight steals at Cleveland State last Nov. 30, and he set a school NCAA Tournament mark with six steals against North Carolina State in a first-round game last March.
Cal Career Steals Leaders5. Gene Ransom (1976-78) 1336. Chris Washington (1984-87) 1327. Shantay Legans (2000-02) 1318. Roy Fisher (1988-91) 1309. Keith Smith (1987-90) 12910. A.J. Diggs (2001- ) 121