Cal Hosts Furman Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Dec. 18, 2006
Furman Paladins (5-5) at California Golden Bears (7-3)
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
California at DePaul Blue Demons (6-5, vs. UC Irvine 12/20)
Saturday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT, Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Following a 10-day break for final exams, California returns to the court this week for a pair of games - its last two contests before the Pac-10 season begins in earnest. The Golden Bears first host Furman Tuesday at 8 p.m., then travel to face DePaul Saturday at 1 p.m. CT / 11 a.m. PT.
The visit to DePaul kicks off a four-game road trip that continues at Arizona and Arizona State Dec. 28-30 and concludes with a short jaunt to Stanford Jan. 3. In fact, the Furman contest represents Cal's lone home appearance in more than a month's time (Dec. 9 until Jan. 11).
Off to a 7-3 start, Cal needs one win this week to post its highest pre-conference victory total since the Bears were 9-1 heading into league play in 2001-02.
In its five games at home in Haas Pavilion this season, Cal is limiting opponents to 36.9 percent shooting from the floor and 53.2 ppg. Only one team - San Diego (72 points) - has managed more than 51 points against the Bears in Berkeley.
Overall, Cal's is holding foes to 41.0 percent field goal shooting and just 28.3 percent from three-point range. Four teams have been confined to 25 percent or less from behind the arc, including three of the Bears' last four opponents, who are a combined 19-for72 (26.4%).
Freshman F Ryan Anderson continues to pace Cal in both scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) on the year. He has snared double-digit boards in his last two games and in four of his last six contests.
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has scored at least 10 points in each of the Bears' past eight outings - the longest current streak on the team. He has also significantly increased his assist totals, of late, having dished out 6.8 apg his last four games, while averaging just 1.5 turnovers.
On the wing, sophomore F Theo Robertson has raised his scoring output in five straight contests, up to a season-high 13 points vs. San Diego Dec. 9, while junior G Omar Wilkes leads the squad in field goal shooting (55.8%).
Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 So 6.9 4.2Averaging 10.3 ppg last four games (14-22 FG) F 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 235 Fr 17.2 8.7MVP of Great Alaska Shootout; team-high 19 three-pointers (42.2%)C 35 DeVon Hardin 6-11 235 Jr 11.3 8.494 career blocks; 12 points, 12 rebounds vs. Kansas StateG 1 Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 Sr 14.0 4.9 apgLast 5 games: 31 assists, 7 turnoversG 2 Omar Wilkes 6-4 185 Jr 11.6 1.9Tied career high with 18 points vs. LMU (8-10 FG, 2-2 FT)
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 193-124, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 526-359. 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.
Furman Scouting Report
A Look at Furman
Furman is off to a 5-5 start, although the Paladins have lost their last two games - 91-86 in double overtime to UNC Greensboro and 81-70 at San Diego. Furman is 2-3 away from home this year, having picked up wins at Bowling Green (63-59) and Vanderbilt (70-62). Leading scorer Eric Webb is shooting 58.6 percent from three-point range (34-58), while Gerad Punch is 13-for-20 (65.0%) from behind the arc.
Cal-Furman Series History
This will be the first meeting between Cal and Furman.
Furman Head Coach Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson is in his first season at Furman after serving the previous seven years as an assistant at Vanderbilt. From 1997-99, he was head coach at New Hampshire and brought his Wildcat team to Oakland for the 1997 Golden Bear Classic, where it lost to Cal, 75-61, in the opening round. Jackson has also been an assistant coach at Stanford, Colorado State, St. Bonaventure, USC and Cornell, his alma mater.
For more information: www.furmanpaladins.com
DePaul Scouting Report
A Look at DePaul
DePaul, which hosts UC Irvine Wednesday before playing Cal, has won four of its last five games, including a 64-57 victory over Kansas Dec. 2 and last Saturday's 89-81 win at Rhode Island. Wilson Chandler leads the Blue Demons in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), blocks (17) and three-pointers made (17, 40.5%). DePaul is 4-0 at home so far this season.
Cal-DePaul Series History
The series is tied at 2-2 after DePaul's 68-65 win over Cal in the Pete Newell Challenge last Dec. 21 in Oakland. The Bears split the previous two match-ups in Rosemont, both during the 1998-99 season. On Nov. 28, 1998, the Blue Demons prevailed, 75-72, while Cal rebounded for a 58-57 win - overcoming a 28-11 deficit - on March 16, 1999 in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Bears went on to win the NIT championship.
DePaul Head Coach Jerry Wainwright
Jerry Wainwright is in his second season at DePaul after leading the Blue Demons to a 12-15 mark last year. He previously served as head coach at UNC Wilmington from 1995-2002 and at Richmond from 2003-05. Wainwright has guided teams to four conference championships and five postseason berths (2 NIT, 3 NCAA).
For more information: www.depaulbluedemons.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: San Diego Upends Cal, 72-67, for Tourney Title
Tournament MVP Brandon Johnson scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half, leading San Diego to a 72-67 victory over Cal in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic Dec. 9 in Berkeley. The Bears, who led, 37-34, at the half and were up, 47-41, with 15 minutes left, saw their 12-game non-conference home winning streak come to an end. USD built a 68-61 advantage with just over two minutes to go, before Cal scored six straight to make it 68-67 with 47 seconds left. However, a Johnson jumper with 21 seconds on the clock helped keep the Toreros in front. Cal committed 17 turnovers to USD's five, and was outscored in points-off-turnovers, 26-5. Ayinde Ubaka and Theo Robertson were voted to the all-tournament team for the Bears.
Anderson, Hardin Post Figure Eights in Rebounding Department
Through the first 10 games of the season, freshman F Ryan Anderson and junior C DeVon Hardin are both averaging more than eight rebounds per game and could become the first Cal pair to do so for a full year since the early 1970s. Anderson, now pulling down a team-high 8.9 rpg, has grabbed nearly 10 per game over his past six outings with 59 boards during the span. Hardin, tied with Anderson with three double-doubles, is snaring 8.6 rpg with a high of 12 vs. Kansas State. If the current Cal tandem can maintain its pace, Anderson and Hardin would become the first Bear duo to average at least 8.0 rpg since the 1971-72 campaign when Ansley Truitt (13.6 rpg) and John Coughran (8.1 rpg) combined for the feat.
Bears Still No. 2 in NCAA in Free Throw Shooting
Despite shooting less than 70 percent from the free throw line in their last two games, the Bears still rank second in the country in overall free-throw accuracy at 79.8 percent. Eight of Cal's 10 healthy scholarship players are making more than 78 percent of their tries, led by Ayinde Ubaka's 85.3 percent (29-34). As a team, the Bears were 42-for-44 (95.5%) in three games at the Great Alaska Shootout in November, including a perfect 11-for-11 performance in the title game vs. Loyola Marymount - tying the school record for most attempts without a miss (also at DePaul in 1999). Freshman Jerome Randle sank his first 12 shots of the year before missing (now 16-for-19), while junior DeVon Hardin, a career 53.1 percent shooter entering the season, is 30-for-38 this year (78.9%).
NCAA Free Throw Leaders1. Butler 202-250 80.8%2. California 138-173 79.8%3. Delaware State 102-128 79.7%4. Southeastern Louisiana 116-148 78.4%5. Towson 134-172 77.9%
Ayinde Ubaka Picking Up the Assists
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has led the Bears in assists in six of Cal's last seven games. Although the stat shouldn't be a surprise, Ubaka, however, has averaged 6.3 assists per game during the stretch, well above his career rate of 3.7 apg. For the year, Ubaka is averaging 5.1 apg, and he could become just the third Bear to dish out at least 5.0 apg since 1990, joining Jason Kidd (1993 & '94) and Prentice McGruder (1997). Ubaka had a high of eight (no turnovers) against Kansas State Nov. 29 and has had seven assists in his last two outings vs. Chicago State and San Diego. As a result, Ubaka has moved into eighth place on Cal's career list with 319 assists.
Cal Career Assist Leaders6. Gene Ransom (1976-78) 3567. Roy Fisher (1988-91) 3338. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 319
Cal Keeps Turnovers to a Minimum
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 12.3 topg this year. The Bears have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in seven of 10 games, and have committed more than 15 just once (17 vs. San Diego). In the Bears' win over Kansas State Nov. 29, Cal had just two turnovers at halftime and finished the game with only eight - the Bears' lowest figure since a four-turnover performance vs. Stanford last Feb. 9. Cal also committed 10 total turnovers vs. Utah Valley State and Chicago State.
Cal Improving in Rebounding Department
Through the first three games of the year, Cal had a cumulative -21 margin in rebounding. But over their last seven contests, the Bears are +26 and now boast a positive ratio (34.1 - 33.6). Cal has won the rebounding battle five times in its last seven games, including a +14 margin (39-25) vs. San Diego Dec. 9.
Bears' Defense Key in Victories
In its seven wins this season, Cal is limiting opponent to 36.6 percent shooting from the floor and 55.7 ppg. The Bears held the first three teams to come into Haas Pavilion to less than 50 points each - Utah Valley State (47), Santa Clara (48) and Kansas State (48) - and the 47 points scored by UVSC was the lowest for a Cal opponent in a season opener since the Bears defeated Saint Mary's, 62-44, on Dec. 5, 1964. Only Hawaii, at 40.7 percent, has managed to shoot higher than 40 percent from the floor among the seven victims.
Theo Robertson on a Tear Last Four Games
Over his last four games, sophomore F Theo Robertson has averaged 11.0 ppg, shooting 63.6 percent from the floor (14-22), 50.0 percent from three-point range (3-6) and 86.7 percent from the free throw line (13-15). He scored a season-high 13 points vs. San Diego Dec. 9 en route to earning Golden Bear Classic all-tournament honors. The spurt comes on the heels of a slow start to the season for Robertson. In the year's first six contests, he contributed 4.2 ppg on just 25.7 percent field goal shooting. Overall, Robertson is averaging 6.9 ppg and ranks third on the team with 4.2 rpg.
Last Four Games First Six GamesFG% 14-22 (63.6%) 9-35 (25.7%)3P% 3-6 (50.0%) 2-11 (11.1%)FT% 13-15 (86.7%) 5-8 (62.5%)PPG 44 points (11.0 ppg) 25 points (4.2 ppg)
Ayinde Ubaka Efficiently Handling Duties at the Point
In addition to averaging a career-best 5.1 apg this year, senior G Ayinde Ubaka leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.68. Over his past six games, Ubaka has 38 assists and just 10 turnovers. He had eight assists without at TO vs. Kansas State, six assists and one TO vs. Hawaii and seven assists and one TO against Chicago State during the stretch.
Cal Takes More FT than Opponents Attempt ... Again
Last season, Cal made more free throws (525) than its opponents attempted (505) for the first time in school history. And the Bears have kept up the trend this season, having made 138 free throws to their opponents' 121 attempts. The advantage was built in the opener vs. Utah Valley State when Cal was Cal was 25-of-32 from the line, while UVSC was just 4-of-5. The Bears also limited Santa Clara to just six free throw tries, Hawaii to five and Kansas State to eight.
Opponents Shooting Less Than 44 Percent for 11th Straight Year
Since his arrival at Cal in September 1996, head coach Ben Braun has placed heavy emphasis on defense, and the results have shown in field goal percentage defense allowed. By holding opponents to just 41.0 percent from the floor so far this year, Cal is on pace to limit foes to 44.0 percent shooting or less for the 11th consecutive season - each year of Braun's tenure in Berkeley. In the 25 seasons before Braun's arrival, opponents shot under 44.0 percent only twice - in 1994 and 1972.
DeVon Hardin Taking Charge on Defense
With his 6-11, 235-pound frame, junior C DeVon Hardin offers an intimidating presence on the court. He leads the Bears with 21 blocked shots this year (2.10 per game), including a career-best five against Santa Clara and four more vs. Loyola Marymount, and has had at least one block in each of his last nine contests. For his career, Hardin leads all active Pac-10 players and ranks fifth on Cal's career chart with 95 blocks.
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. DeVon Hardin (2005- ) 95
Ayinde Ubaka Moves into Top 10 in Three-Pointers, FT Shooting
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has moved into Cal's all-time top 10 in three-pointers and free throw shooting this season. He has 115 career treys, good for eighth place. In addition, his 29-for-34 free throw accuracy (85.3%) this year has moved him into sixth on the Cal career FT chart at 79.1 percent.
Cal Career Three-Pointers 6. Amit Tamir (2002-04) 1367. Bill Elleby (1989-92) 1358. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 115
Cal Career FT Shooting5. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 112-139 80.6%6. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 186-235 79.1%7. Ed Gray (1996-97) 264-334 79.0%
Anderson Could Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 16.5 ppg to date, F Ryan Anderson is aiming to become the third freshman to pace Cal in scoring since 1996. Leon Powe was the last Cal rookie to accomplish the feat when he averaged 15.1 ppg in 2004 and was voted Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Back in 1996, Shareef Abdur-Rahim not only led the Bears, but he paced the Pac-10 with 21.1 ppg and was named both Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Player of the Year. Earlier this season, Anderson matched Abdur-Rahim as the only two Cal freshmen to score at least 20 points in each of their first three games. Anderson fell just short of a fourth consecutive 20-point outing when he finished with 19 points against Marshall, totaling 17 second-half points after a two-point first half.
Cal Freshman Scoring Leaders1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) 21.1 ppg2. Ryan Anderson (2007) 16.5 ppg3. Leon Powe (2004) 15.1 ppg4. Brian Hendrick (1990) 14.9 ppg5. Rickie Hawthorne (1973) 14.2 ppg
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 sidelined for the season. He underwent surgery on Nov. 21.
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. He is a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
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.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Ayinde Ubaka is on the preseason watch lists for both the Wooden All-America team and the Bob Cousy Award ... for the second consecutive year, Cal has been picked fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of media who cover the conference; last year, the Bears finished third during the regular season with a 12-6 mark and reached the final of the Pac-10 Tournament ... Ayinde Ubaka is averaging 33.9 minutes per game, down from 37.3 mpg last year when he set a school record with 1,156 minutes played ... of its 12 pre-Pac-10 games this season, Cal plays six at home and six on the road ... junior G Omar Wilkes tied his career high with 18 points vs. Loyola Marymount and tops the Bears in field goal shooting at 55.8 percent ... Cal's championship in the Great Alaska Shootout was the first in-season tournament victory for the Bears, other than the Golden Bear Classic, since taking the Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., in December 1975 ... sophomore G Nikola Knezevic, who was expected to be a primary contributor in the backcourt this season, has yet to play as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery to clean up loose cartilage in his right knee.