Bears to Play in Great Alaska Shootout

May 16, 2006

BERKELEY - California will play in the 29th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 22-25, making its first appearance in the Anchorage event since the 1988-89 season.

In addition to the Bears, the remainder of the eight-team field includes Hawaii, Hofstra, Loyola Marymount, Marshall, Missouri-Kansas City and one team to be announced.

During Cal's only other trip to the tournament in 1988, the Bears upset then-No. 15 Florida, 73-58, in the first round before falling to Kansas (86-71) and Kentucky (89-71).

Cal last traveled to Alaska at the start of the 1999-2000 season when the Bears placed second in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks. Cal opened with 91-83 victory over TCU, then beat Houston, 95-70, before dropping a 75-58 decision to Oklahoma.

The remainder of Cal's 2006-07 men's basketball schedule will be announced once it is finalized.

Here is a brief team-by-team look at the 2006 Shootout field:

Hawaii registered a 17-11 campaign last season, finishing fourth in the Western Athletic Conference. The Rainbow Warriors will be making their third appearance in Anchorage, having previously come in 1989 and 1993.

Hofstra recently recorded its best season in 33 years as a Division I program, going 26-7 and advancing to the NIT quarterfinals. The Hempstead, N.Y., school, which twice defeated Final Four-bound George Mason, returns its top two scorers and team co-MVPs in guards Loren Stokes and Antoine Agudio.

Loyola Marymount went 12-18 in 2005-06, but finished strong to place as runner-up to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Lions, who appeared at the 2002 Shootout, are led by head coach Rodney Tention.

Marshall, from Huntington, W.Va., went 12-16 in its inaugural season in Conference USA last year. Led by head coach Ron Jirsa, the Thundering Herd will be making its first Shootout appearance in 2006.

Missouri-Kansas City will return the heart of its squad, including first-team all-league guard Quinton Day, from its team that went 14-14 and finished third in the Mid-Continent Conference last year. The Kangaroos, under coach Rich Zvosec, will be making their first Shootout appearance.

The only team to compete in every Shootout, host Alaska Anchorage tries for its annual upset again in 2006. The Seawolves, who went 19-12 in 2005-06 and advanced to the Division II NCAA Tournament, have won at least one game in 19 of the last 21 Shootouts. The only D-II team in the field, UAA plays in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.