Cal Hosts Humboldt State in Exhibition Game Nov. 14
Nov. 11, 2005
BERKELEY - In preparation for the 2005-06 basketball campaign, California hosts Humboldt State in an exhibition game at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Haas Pavilion.
Video of the Cal-Humboldt State game will be streamed live on CalBears.com (click on the Golden Bear Sports Network link) with Roxy Bernstein and Todd McKim adding play-by-play commentary.
The Golden Bears begin the regular season Friday, Nov. 18 at Eastern Michigan before playing their home opener Nov. 21 vs. Long Beach State.
Picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of West Coast media, Cal returns three starters and eight letterman from last year's 13-16 squad. The Bears also welcome back 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Leon Powe from a year away from the court due to knee surgery and sophomore guard Omar Wilkes, who sat out last season following his transfer from Kansas.
Humboldt State, an NCAA Division II school in Arcata, Calif., enters Monday's match-up with a bit of game experience already this fall. The Lumberjacks defeated the Northwest All-Stars, 123-90, Nov. 5, and are scheduled to visit Nevada in a Saturday exhibition game before traveling to Berkeley.
Led by head coach Tom Wood, who begins his 25th season at the helm this year, Humboldt State was 16-11 overall and 8-10 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference last season.
Golden Bear Notes
Cal Signs Top 20 Recruiting Class
Cal signed four high school players - guards Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle and centers Taylor Harrison and Ryan Anderson - to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. The new recruits include three Top 100 players, as well as three members of the Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best in the West poll, and the group has been rated the 20th-best class in the country by both Scout.com and Hoop Scoop. Christopher, a 6-4, 190-pound guard who plays at Dominguez HS in Compton, Calif., is ranked as the No. 38 recruit in the country by Rivals.com and has been voted to the first-team Best in the West squad. As a junior, he played at Mayfair HS and averaged 19.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 5.0 apg. Harrison, a 6-9, 225-pound center from San Clemente HS, averaged 16.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg and 2.1 bpg last season. Rated the nation's No. 15 prospect by Rivals.com, he is member of the Best in the West second team for 2005-06. The 6-9, 210-pound Anderson helped Oak Ridge HS of El Dorado Hills, Calif., to the California state championship last year when he averaged 17.4 ppg and 9.1 rpg. Like Harrison, he was voted the to the second-team Best in the West squad. Randle stands just 5-9, 150 pounds, but led teams to a pair of championships in 2005. In averaging 12.3 ppg and 5.3 apg as a junior at Chicago's Hales Franciscan HS, Randle - the No. 15-ranked point guard and No. 85 overall recruit according to Scout.com - guided the squad to the Illinois state championship. Later, Randle helped his Chicago Ferrari team to the 17-and-Under AAU national title, earning tournament MVP honors.
Bears Hope to Stay Injury-Free This Season
After suffering through an injury-filled campaign last year, the Bears hope to spend as much time away from the training room as possible in '05-06. Last season, forward Leon Powe sat out the entire year following a pair of surgeries to his left knee, guard Ayinde Ubaka missed 11 games with a broken foot, and guard Richard Midgley played nearly the entire Pac-10 schedule with a sprained right shoulder suffered at Washington State Jan. 2. All three have received a clean bill of health for this season and enter the year in the best shape they have been in since joining the Bears. In fact, Powe has received medical approval to play without wearing a brace on his knee, and he has experienced no pain or swelling since being cleared to play last May.
Cal to See Familiar Foes on Opposing Benches This Season
Cal will face a trio of teams that sport former Ben Braun assistants as head coaches this season. The first to battle Cal will be Charles Ramsey in the season opener Nov. 18 in Ypsilanti, Mich. Now in his first year as head coach at Eastern Michigan, Ramsey served as assistant to Braun at Cal from 1996-97 through 2000-01. Ramsey was also on Braun's staff from 1990-93 when Braun oversaw the EMU program. On Nov. 30, Cal will host San Jose State, which features first-year head man George Nessman. A 1981 Cal graduate, Nessman spent last year as an assistant on Braun's staff before accepting the position with the Spartans in the spring. Finally, when Akron visits Haas Pavilion Dec. 3, the Zips will be led by Keith Dambrot, a second-year head coach who was an assistant coach on Braun's Eastern Michigan teams from 1986-89.
Powe-tent Force Back on the Block for Bears in 2005-06
Despite not playing in a college basketball game in more than a year and a half, sophomore forward Leon Powe has been listed as one of 50 preseason candidates for the Wooden All-America team and is rated the No. 1 power forward in the country by CBS Sportsline. The 6-8, 240-pound Powe, who was voted the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after averaging 15.1 ppg and becoming the first freshman in the history of the league to lead the conference in rebounding (9.5 rpg), underwent a pair of surgeries on his left knee following his rookie campaign with the Bears. In May, he received full medical clearance to play and went on to earn MVP honors in the San Francisco Pro-Am league over the summer when he poured in 33 ppg and 11 rpg. Then, during Cal's 12-day trip to Italy in August, Powe tossed in 23.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg to lead the Bears to a 5-0 record against international competition.
Cal Posts 5-0 Record during Italy Tour
This past summer, the California basketball team took the trip of a lifetime when the Golden Bears traveled to Northern Italy for a 12-day tour that included five games against international competition. After departing from San Francisco International Airport Aug. 12, Cal started its adventure in Florence, then stayed overnight in Venice and Como, with many stops in between - including Pisa, Lucca, Verona, Milan and the Alps - before returning to the Bay Area Aug. 23. In the competitive portion of their trip, the Bears posted a 5-0 record with four of the wins coming by double-digit margins. Leon Powe led the offense by averaging 23.6 ppg, with four others at more than 10 points per game - Ayinde Ubaka (18.8 ppg), Omar Wilkes (17.8 ppg), Richard Midgley (14.0 ppg) and DeVon Hardin (11.6 ppg).
Date Score Site Leading ScorerAug. 16 Cal 111, Ge-Mart 66 Reggio Emila Wilkes 17Aug. 17 Cal 116, KK Jance (Slovenia) 53 Treviso Powe 26Aug. 18 Cal 99, Trieste 66 Trieste Midgley 26Aug. 20 Cal 102, Liege (Belgium) 95 Chiesa Val Mallenco Powe 37Aug. 22 Cal 88, Assigeco 75 Casapusterlengo Ubaka 29
Golden Bear Notes ...Leon Powe has been listed a preseason first-team All-Pac-10 performer by Lindy's, CBS Sportsline College Basketball and The Sporting News ... two walk-ons have been awarded scholarships for the 2005-06 season - junior G Alex Pribble and senior G Martin Smith ... Ivan Kovacevic, a 6-6 freshman guard from Laguna Beach HS (Laguna Beach, Calif.), has joined the team as a walk-on this year ... senior G Richard Midgley has shed 15 pounds since the end of last season and is now listed at 195 pounds ... junior G/F Marquise Kately withdrew from school in October for personal reasons; he is eligible to re-enroll for the spring semester in January ... when Cal meets Kansas Dec. 10 at Kemper Arena, the Bears will be making their first visit to Kansas City since playing in the Big Seven Tournament in December 1954 ... at least 21 Cal games will be televised this season, with appearances on ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports Net, Comcast SportsNet and CSTV.