Bears Open Season vs. Utah Valley State
Nov. 13, 2006
Utah Valley State Wolverines (1-0, vs. Montana 11/13) at California Golden Bears (0-0)
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
California at San Diego State Aztecs (3-0, vs. UC San Diego 11/15)
Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:30 p.m., Cox Arena, San Diego, CA
Radio KYOU (1550 AM)
Santa Clara Broncos (0-0, vs. Holy Names 11/14; vs. Utah 11/18) at California
Monday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California gets the 2006-07 season underway with a busy slate of games this week, playing three times over six days from Nov. 15-20. The Golden Bears open at home vs. Utah Valley State Wednesday, travel to defending Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State Saturday and return to Haas Pavilion to host Santa Clara on Monday, Nov. 20.
Cal has won eight of 10 home openers under head coach Ben Braun, including an 88-69 victory over Long Beach State last Nov. 21 when Braun picked up his 500th career win.
Leading the Bears onto the court this season is senior G Ayinde Ubaka, an All-Pac-10 performer last year when he averaged 14.5 ppg and 3.8 apg. Ubaka is the leading returning free throw shooter in the conference (83.3%) and is on preseason lists for both the Wooden All-America team and the Cousy Award.
Ubaka will be joined in the backcourt by junior G Omar Wilkes, who paced Cal in three-point shooting in 2005-06 when he drained 45.3 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. After playing mostly at a small forward position as a sophomore, Wilkes will return to his more natural shooting guard spot this season.
The Bears' third returning starter is junior C DeVon Hardin. The 6-11, 235-pounder ranked among the Top 5 in the Pac-10 in both rebounding (5th, 6.6 rpg) and blocks (4th. 1.55 bpg) in '05-06.
However, Cal's frontline took a severe blow in practice last week when sophomore C Jordan Wilkes partially tore the patella tendon in his left knee. He is scheduled to undergo surgery within the next week and is likely out for the season. The loss leaves the Bears with only one returning post player on the roster in Hardin.
Probable Starters*POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 235 Fr - -Team-high 17 points vs. Sonoma State (8-10 FG, 1-1 FT) F 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 So 6.0 2.5Shot 40.7% from three-point range last year; HM Pac-10 All-FreshmanC 35 DeVon Hardin 6-11 235 Jr 7.3 6.6Leads all returning Pac-10 players with 74 career blocksG 1 Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 Sr 14.5 3.8 apgAll-Pac-10 in 2006; preseason candidate for Wooden, Cousy awardsG 2 Omar Wilkes 6-4 185 Jr 7.6 1.5Led Cal from three-point range in 2006 (45.3%, 24-53) *2005-06 Averages
Cal Head Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), the second-winningest coach in Cal history, is in his 11th year in Berkeley and 30th season as a collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 186-121, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 519-356. The 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and one of 25 finalists for the 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year award, Braun has led the Bears to the postseason seven times in his first 10 years. After taking Cal to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1997, he guided the Bears to the NIT championship in 1999 and to the NIT quarterfinals in 2000. He also directed Cal to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 2001, '02 and '03, plus another NCAA berth in 2006. At EMU from 1985-96, the three-time MAC Coach of the Year guided the Eagles to three NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance with an overall record of 185-132. He was also 148-103 from 1977-85 at Siena Heights. A native of Chicago, Braun earned a teaching degree in English with a minor in African-American studies at Wisconsin in 1975. He received his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Siena Heights.
Utah Valley State Scouting Report
A Look at Utah Valley State
Utah Valley State, which hosts Montana Monday night before traveling to Berkeley, defeated Montana State, 69-37, in its opener last Friday. Jordan Brady made 6-of-8 shots from the floor to lead all scorers with 14 points. The Wolverines held Montana State to just 25.5 percent shooting from the floor (12-47). Last year, UVSC finished 16-13, including a 75-71 win at Arizona State.
Cal-UVSC Series History
Cal and Utah Valley State will meet for the first time Wednesday night
UVSC Head Coach Dick Hunsaker
Dick Hunsaker is in his fifth season as head coach at Utah Valley State, having compiled an 83-36 record with the Wolverines. He has also served as head coach at Ball State, Utah and Manchester College.
For more information: www.woverinegreen.com
San Diego State Scouting Report
A Look at San Diego State
San Diego State opened the season 3-0 with a sweep of games at the Shamrock Invitational in Moraga over the weekend. The Aztecs edged Murray State, 87-84, Friday, then topped host Saint Mary's, 74-73, Saturday and beat Seattle Pacific, 76-73, Sunday. San Diego State was 24-9 last season and has been picked to repeat as Mountain West Conference champions.
Cal-SDSU Series History
Cal and San Diego State are meeting for the third consecutive season, with the Bears taking the previous two match-ups. DeVon Hardin had 11 points and five rebounds to pace Cal to a 60-57 victory at the San Diego SLAM on Dec. 11, 2004. Then last Dec. 6 in Berkeley, Leon Powe scored 22 points, as the Bears prevailed, 82-64. Overall, Cal owns a 3-2 series lead.
SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher
Steve Fisher is 108-106 in his eighth season at San Diego State, and he owns a 292-188 career mark, which includes just over eight years at Michigan. Fisher guided San Diego State to the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and 2006 and to the National Invitation Tournament in 2003, while he took Michigan to three Final Fours, winning the title in 1989.
For more information: www.goaztecs.com
Santa Clara Scouting Report
A Look at Santa Clara
Santa Clara opens its season vs. Holy Names Tuesday and hosts Utah Saturday before making the short trip to Berkeley. The Broncos were 13-16 last year, including a 5-9 mark in the West Coast Conference. They return nine letterman, five of whom were starters, and have been picked to finish sixth in the WCC this season.
Cal-Santa Clara Series History
Cal holds a 43-28 series lead, with the last meeting being a 67-60 win over Santa Clara on Nov. 20, 2001 in Haas Pavilion. However, this will be just the second match-up since the 1993-94 season when the teams split a pair of contests when Cal featured Jason Kidd and Santa Clara was led by Steve Nash. The Bears took an 81-74 decision at Preseason NIT game in San Jose, before the Broncos prevailed, 80-67, at the Oakland Arena.
Santa Clara Head Coach Dick Davey
Dick Davey is in his 15th season as head coach at Santa Clara and enters the year with a 230-180 record. A Cal assistant under Dick Edwards in the 1970s, Davey has directed the Broncos to three NCAA Tournaments over his career.
For more information: www.santaclarabroncos.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Cal Runs Past Sonoma State, 83-51, in Exhibition
In its lone exhibition game to prepare for the 2006-07 season, California defeated Sonoma State, 83-51, on Nov. 2 in Berkeley. The 15th-ranked team in Division II trailed just 21-18 midway through the first half, but the Bears closed the period on a 20-2 run to essentially put the game away. Freshman F Ryan Anderson, who received a start in the contest, led all scorers with 17 points, making 8-of-10 shots from the floor. Cal's other four starters also reached double figures: C DeVon Hardin (12 points), G Ayinde Ubaka (12), F Theo Robertson (11) and G Omar Wilkes (10). The Bears shot 60.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded Sonoma State, 37-26. Robertson paced Cal with six assists, and Hardin contributed eight rebounds.
Ayinde Ubaka on Two Preseason Award Lists
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka, who earned All-Pac-10 honors last season when he averaged 14.5 ppg and 3.8 apg, is on the preseason watch lists for both the Wooden All-America team and the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation's best point guard. Ubaka is the most experienced member of the Bears, having started 68 of his 77 career games. As a junior, he more than doubled his career scoring average entering the year, going from 6.3 ppg to 14.5 ppg. He also drained 61 three-pointers during the campaign, tying for third-most in school history and just seven shy of the Cal record. Ubaka is the top returning free throw shooter in the Pac-10 after making 83.3 percent of his attempts in 2005-06, and his career rate of 78.0 percent from the charity stripe rates No. 9 on the school chart.
DeVon Hardin Chasing Yogi on All-Time Block List
With 74 blocks in his first two seasons with the Bears, junior C DeVon Hardin already ranks sixth on Cal's career block list and needs just two more to pass Lamond Murray (75 blocks from 1992-94) for the fifth spot. Although he has quite a way to go to reach all-time leader Michael 'Yogi' Stewart, who had 207 blocks from 1994-97, Hardin would move into a tie for the second spot if he can duplicate last season's 48-block total.
Cal Career Blocked Shot Leaders1. Michael Stewart (1994-97) 2072. Solomon Hughes (1999-02) 1223. Tom Schneiderjohn (1976-79) 1054. Brian Hendrick (1990-93) 985. Lamond Murray (1992-94) 756. DeVon Hardin (2005- ) 74
Cal Picked Fifth in Pac-10 Media Poll Again
Just like last year, California has been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of media who cover the conference. UCLA is the favorite, followed by Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Cal. In 2005-06, the Bears played above expectations, placing third in the league with a 12-6 mark. Cal went on to reach the final of the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time ever and earned its fifth NCAA Tournament bid under head coach Ben Braun.
Pac-10 Preseason Poll1. UCLA (21) 3352. Arizona (13) 2803. Washington 2364. Oregon (1) 1935. California 1776. USC 1607. Stanford 1278. Oregon State 759. Arizona State 6910. Washington State 54First-place votes in parentheses
Early Opener for Cal vs. Utah Valley State
The Bears' Nov. 15 game vs. Utah Valley State ties for the third-earliest opener in school history. The only contests that came before Nov. 15 were in 2004-05 (Nov. 11 vs. Cal Poly) and in 2000-01 (Nov. 13 vs. Mississippi State). Other Nov. 15 games on the schedule were: 2001-02 (Princeton), 1998-99 (at Hawaii) and 1989-90 (Air Force).
Bears Return Triple Threat from Three-Point Range
With three returning three-point threats who combined to make 109-of-276 from behind the arc last season (39.5%), head coach Ben Braun has said this could be his best shooting team at Cal. Ayinde Ubaka nailed 61 treys in 2005-06, while Omar Wilkes (45.3%) and Theo Robertson (40.7%) were both above the 40 percent mark. As a team, the Bears shot 37.4 percent from three-point distance last year - second-best in school history and second in the Pac-10.
Pete Newell Statue Installed in Haas Pavilion Club Room
As a fitting tribute to Pete Newell's lifetime accomplishments in basketball as a coach, mentor and leader, a statue of the Hall of Famer and former Golden Bear head coach has been installed inside the Club Room at Haas Pavilion. Created by renowned sculptor Eino, the statue stands approximately seven feet high and weighs nearly 1,200 pounds. The work originated through the vision of the late Brian Maxwell and received additional financial assistance from players, coaches and managers who were part of Newell's teams in Berkeley. As a coach, Newell directed Cal to the 1959 NCAA championship and to a runner-up finish in 1960, when he was voted National Coach of the Year. He later guided the U.S. team to an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Games in Rome. Newell, who turned 91 in August, served as head coach of the Bears from 1954-60 and compiled a 119-44 record that included four conference titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. He then worked as Cal's athletic director from 1960-68. Newell has remained active in the basketball community through his annual 'Big Man Camps' and as a consultant to teams, players and coaches around the world.
Cal Could Play 8 Contests vs. '05-06 24-Game Winners
Cal has the potential to play eight games against teams that won at least 24 games last season. On the non-conference schedule are San Diego State (24-9) Saturday and Nevada (27-6) Dec. 3, with potential match-ups in the Great Alaska Shootout against Hofstra (26-7) and Pacific (24-8). The Golden Bears will also play Washington (26-7) and UCLA (32-7) twice in Pac-10 action. Cal defeated San Diego State, 82-64, and Washington, 71-69, at home, and beat UCLA, 68-61, on the road in 2005-06
Bears Add Four Walk-ons to Roster
Continuing a long-standing tradition under head coach Ben Braun, Cal has added four walk-ons to the roster for the 2006-07 campaign: sophomore G Nican Robinson (5-10, 180, Oakland, CA/Oakland Tech HS), freshman F Thomas Fang (6-5, 200, San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS), freshman G David Liss (6-0, 165, San Francisco, CA/Branson School) and senior G Patrick Armstrong (6-0, 175, San Jose, CA/Bellarmine Prep). Robinson, a walk-on at UCLA last year, will have sit out the season under NCAA transfer rules. During his tenure in Berkeley, Braun has offered deserving walk-ons a scholarship seven times, including senior Alex Pribble, who received the recognition prior to the 2005-06 season.
Jordan Wilkes Third Post Hurt in Past Three Years
For the third consecutive season, Cal will be missing one of its primary post players for most, if not all, of the year. The Bears played the 2004-05 campaign without 6-8 forward Leon Powe, who sat out the entire year due to preseason knee surgery. Last year, 6-11 center Rod Benson missed 11 games and was limited in several others due to a stress fracture in a foot, then a torn meniscus in his right knee. Now, 7-0 sophomore center Jordan Wilkes has been diagnosed with a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee and is likely sidelined for the season. He is scheduled to undergo surgery within the next week.
Where to Watch Cal Games on Comcast SportsNet
Comcast SportsNet is the home for Golden Bears sports this season. In addition televising a number of basketball games, the 'Cal Sports Report' highlight show can been seen weekly starting in December. The channel is broadcast in the SF Bay Area on Channel 400 (digital subscribers), Channel 656 (DirecTV premium subscribers) and Channel 409 (Dish Network). It is on standard cable in most other Northern California areas. For a complete Comcast SportsNet directory, call your local cable provider or visit west.comcastsportsnet.com.