Bears Travel to Oregon State, Oregon
Jan. 16, 2007
California Golden Bears (11-6, 3-2) at Oregon State Beavers (9-9, 1-4)
Thursday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: FSN Bay Area Plus
California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks (16-1, 4-1, vs. Stanford 1/18)
Saturday, Jan. 20, 5 p.m., McArthur Court, Eugene, OR
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
After a brief two-game homestand, California returns to the road this week to visit Oregon State Thursday and Oregon Saturday.
By the time they finish their trip, the Golden Bears will have played six of their last eight games away from home, where they are 5-4 so far this season.
Cal has prevailed in its last two road contests, edging Arizona State, 66-62, in overtime Dec. 30 and topping Stanford, 67-63, Jan. 3 for its first victory at Maples Pavilion since 1993.
The Bears are coming off another overtime triumph in their most recent contest, a 77-69 decision over Washington last Saturday in Haas Pavilion. Perhaps the key to the victory was Cal's 47-36 edge in rebounding to become the first team to out-board UW this year. In their previous five games - all without injured C DeVon Hardin (foot stress fracture) - the Bears had a combined minus-47 rebound margin.
Freshman Ryan Anderson, forced to play center without Hardin in the lineup, came through with one of his best games of the season, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds and two steals, and limiting Washington's Spencer Hawes to just 13 points and five boards.
Anderson, who is averaging 17.2 ppg and 8.9 rpg, is the only player in the Pac-10 to rank among the top five in the league in both scoring and rebounding. He is likely to join former Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) and Leon Powe (2004) as the only freshman since 1957-58 (as far back as complete records are available) to pace the Bears in both categories.
On the perimeter, senior G Ayinde Ubaka displayed his clutch abilities again in the Washington contest, scoring six of his 13 points in the extra period, including a pair of baskets to give Cal a quick four-point lead. Ubaka is dishing out a career-best 5.1 apg this year - leading the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio - and he needs just 18 points to become the 35th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point level.
Probable StartersPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 210 Fr 4.2 1.9Started last 6 games; 8 points, 4 rebounds at StanfordF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 So 7.6 4.414 points, 8 rebounds vs. Washington; 16 points vs. FurmanF 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 235 Fr 17.2 8.918 points, 14 rebounds vs. Washington; 33-81 (40.7%) on 3-pointersG 1 Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 Sr 14.3 5.1 apgSeason-high 26 points at Stanford; 6 of 13 points in OT vs. UWG 2 Omar Wilkes 6-4 185 Jr 10.1 2.1Leads Cal in FG shooting (50.7%)
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 197-127, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 530-362. 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.
Oregon State Scouting Report
A Look at Oregon State
Oregon State broke a four-game losing streak with a 67-59 win at Arizona State last Saturday. Sasa Cuic had 20 points for the Beavers, with Marcel Jones contributing 19 points and 12 rebounds. OSU is forcing 17.0 turnovers per game and has 146 total steals, with three players having picked off at least 21 - Jones (21), Josh Tarver (24) and Wesley Washington (24). The Beavers are 6-7 at home this year.
Cal-Oregon State Series History
Cal holds a 69-56 series record vs. Oregon State and has won 15 of the last 17 between the schools. The Bears are also 10-1 in their last 11 contests in Corvallis. Last year, each team won on the road. OSU took a 72-64 decision in Berkeley, while Cal jumped out to a 21-2 lead en route to a 69-52 victory at Gill Coliseum.
OSU Head Coach Jay John
Jay John is in fifth season as head coach at Oregon State, where he has a 64-73 record. His best year came in 2005 when he guided the Beavers to a 17-15 mark and a berth in the NIT. John was an assistant for 15 seasons, including stints at Oregon and Arizona.
For more information: www.osubeavers.com
Oregon Scouting Report
A Look at Oregon
Oregon is off to a 16-1 start after last weekend's sweep at Arizona State (60-55) and Arizona (79-77). The Ducks are 10-1 at home, where they have scored at least 76 points in all but one game - a 68-66 victory over then-No. 1 UCLA. Aaron Brooks leads five players averaging double figures with 18.2 ppg to go with 77 assists and 29 steals. In addition to scoring 80.4 ppg as a team, Oregon tops the Pac-10 in three-pointers per game (9.35 per game).
Cal-Oregon Series History
Cal own a 70-51 all-time mark vs. Oregon, including three wins over the Ducks last year. The Bears swept the regular-season series - 77-66 in Berkeley and 62-60 in Eugene - then edged Oregon, 91-87, in double overtime in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. Leon Powe scored a tournament-record 41 points in the Los Angeles game, while Theo Robertson came off the bench for a career-high 18 points.
Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent
Ernie Kent is in 180-113 in his 10th season at Oregon. He has led the Ducks to three NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2002, and a pair of NIT berths. Kent was also head coach at Saint Mary's from 1992-97, where he compiled a 90-80 mark.
For more information: www.goducks.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Cal Outlasts Washington, 77-69, in Overtime
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka scored six of his 13 points in overtime to lead Cal to a 77-69 win over Washington last Saturday in Haas Pavilion, improving the Bears to 6-1 in their last seven home games vs. the Huskies. After UW took a 66-64 lead, Eric Vierneisel sank a three-pointer from the corner to give Cal a 67-66 edge with 8 seconds left in regulation. UW's Justin Dentmon was fouled with 0.2 seconds remaining, but he made just 1-of-2 free throws to send the game into OT. Ubaka then scored two quick baskets to give the Bears a four-point lead they would not relinquish. Ryan Anderson finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and two steals in 42 minutes for his fifth double-double of the season, while Ubaka added a career-high seven rebounds, and Theo Robertson had 14 points and eight boards. Cal outrebounded UW, 47-36, for the game.
Bears Relish Overtime Success
With last Saturday's 77-69 win over Washington, Cal improved to 15-8 in overtime decisions under head coach Ben Braun, compared to a 29-39 mark in extra-period contests prior to his arrival. The Bears have now won their last three OT games, including a 66-62 victory at Arizona State Dec. 30 and a 91-87 double OT triumph over Oregon in the semifinals of last season's Pac-10 Tournament. The longest OT victory streak in school history lasted from Nov. 13, 2000 (vs. Mississippi State) to Nov. 30, 2002 (at Cleveland State) when Cal won six in a row. The Bears are 13-4 in their last 17 overtime contests, dating back to the Mississippi State game.
Ayinde Ubaka Keeps Coming Through in Clutch
In each of Cal's three Pac-10 victories entering Thursday's contest at Oregon State, senior G Ayinde Ubaka has come up big when the Bears have needed him most. Ubaka led Cal to a 66-62 overtime win at Arizona State, scoring back-to-back three-pointers to start the extra period and giving the Bears a quick six-point lead. Then at Stanford, he tallied a season-high 26 points, scoring seven of Cal's final nine points in the last 3:51 of the contest after the Cardinal cut the Bears' lead to 58-57. Last Saturday, Ubaka again nailed key baskets in overtime, this time starting with consecutive buckets for a quick four-point Cal lead and finishing with six of his 13 total points in OT.
Road Almost Like Home for Bears in 2006-07
By the time Cal completes its road trip to Oregon this weekend, the Bears will have played 11 of their 19 games away from Haas Pavilion. To date, the Bears are 5-4 outside Berkeley, including a 3-0 run to win the Great Alaska Shootout in November. Cal also opened Pac-10 play on the road and won two of three games - 66-62 at Arizona State and 67-63 at Stanford in a contest that snapped a 13-game losing streak at Maples Pavilion. Last year, the Bears were 6-6 in road/neutral games during the regular season, and Cal will equal that win total with its next victory.
Cal Turns Around Rebounding Margin vs. Huskies
When All-American forward Leon Powe - a two-time Pac-10 rebounding champ - took his game to the NBA after the 2005-06 season, the Bears knew they would have their work cut out to maintain an advantage on the boards. Through the first 11 games, Cal pretty much held its own with a +0.5 rebound margin. But when C DeVon Hardin suffered a stress fracture in his left foot vs. Furman Dec. 19 - an injury that is expected to keep him sidelined 8-12 weeks - the Bears quickly became an undersized unit with only two players - both freshmen - taller than 6-7 available to dress each night. As a result, Cal was out-board by a combined 47 rebounds in its first five games without Hardin. But in game number six, the Bears grabbed 11 more caroms (47-36) against Washington, which entered the contest leading the conference in rebounding margin at +10.7. The difference was Cal's second-largest of the year, topped only by a +14 margin (39-25) vs. San Diego Dec. 9.
Anderson Could Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 17.2 ppg to date (No. 3 in the Pac-10), 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. Overall, Anderson has led the Bears in the scoring column 11 times in 17 games.
Cal Freshman Scoring Leaders1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) 21.1 ppg2. Ryan Anderson (2007) 17.2 ppg3. Leon Powe (2004) 15.1 ppg4. Brian Hendrick (1990) 14.9 ppg
With Numbers Down, Minutes Are Up
With Cal now suiting up just nine healthy scholarship players, several of the Bears are logging some heavy minutes. Over the past six games - since C DeVon Hardin hurt his foot - two starters have seen their playing time rise significantly. Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has gone from 33.5 minutes per game to 36.8 mpg, while freshman F Ryan Anderson has gone from 31.0 mpg to 36.5 mpg. The greatest difference, though, has been for junior F Eric Vierneisel, whose playing time has risen from 6.7 mpg before Hardin's injury to 24.7 mpg.
Cal on Three-Point Record Pace
Cal on pace to break a pair of three-point records this year - most three-pointers in a season and most three-pointers per game. To date, the Bears have made 128 treys in 17 games, an average of 7.53 per contest. The current record is 7.00 per game set during the 1994-95 campaign. With at least 14 games remaining (13 in the regular season plus at least one in the Pac-10 Tournament), Cal is on track to sink 233 shots from behind the arc - well beyond the record of 198 established in 2002-03. The Bears have become much more reliant on the long-range shot since DeVon Hardin was hurt, averaging 27.2 attempts per game and shooting 33.7 percent (55-163) without their center.
Top Three-Pointers Per Game AveragesYear G 3P Per Game2006-07 17 128 7.531994-95 27 189 7.002002-03 31 198 6.391989-90 32 196 6.13
Ayinde Ubaka Nearing 1,000 Career Points
With 982 career points entering Thursday's game at Oregon State, senior G Ayinde Ubaka is on the verge of becoming the 35th player in school history to record 1,000 points. Once he reaches the milestone, he will become first Bear ever to have at least 1,000 points, 100 three-pointers and 300 assists. Ubaka already ranks sixth in the Cal record book with 362 assists and eighth with 131 treys. An All-Pac-10 selection last season, Ubaka is averaging 14.2 ppg and a career-best 5.1 apg in 2006-07. He scored a season-high 26 points at Stanford and posted his first career double-double vs. Furman when he finished with 10 points and personal-high 11 assists.
Bears' Defense Key in Victories
In its 11 wins this season, Cal is limiting opponents to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor and 57.6 ppg. The Bears have allowed 51 or fewer points five times, holding Utah Valley State (47), Santa Clara (48) and Kansas State (48) in the 40s. The 47 points scored by Utah Valley State Nov. 15 was the lowest for a Cal opponent in a season opener since the Bears defeated Saint Mary's, 62-44, on Dec. 5, 1964. On the flip side, the Bears are allowing 82.0 ppg and 54.5 percent shooting in their six losses. Cal is a perfect 11-0 when holding teams to 70 or fewer points, but 0-6 when opponents score 71 or more.
Hustle a Trademark for Alex Pribble
Senior G Alex Pribble may not get much attention from fans or media for his contributions to the Bears, but his teammates know that he is one of the most valuable members of the squad. Noted for his relentless style of play in games and practice, Pribble's effort helped Cal to a 77-69 win over Washington last Saturday. Although he played just six minutes vs. the Huskies, he came through with a three-pointer and two offensive rebounds, setting a tone for the rest of the Bears to follow. A former walk-on who was rewarded with a scholarship prior to his junior season, Pribble received Cal's Coaches Award as a freshman and the Hustle Award the last two years. He was also a first-time Pac-10 All-Academic choice in 2006.
Cal Keeps Turnovers to a Minimum
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 11.9 topg this year - second in the league. The Bears have committed more than 15 just once (17 vs. San Diego) and 11 or fewer seven times. In Cal's win over Kansas State Nov. 29, the Bears had just two turnovers at halftime and finished the game with eight. Cal also committed nine total turnovers vs. Washington State and 10 against Utah Valley State, Chicago State, Furman and Stanford.
Jamal Boykin Transfers to Cal from Duke
Jamal Boykin, a 6-7, 230-pound forward, has transferred to Cal from Duke and has enrolled for the spring semester. Boykin played in 26 games as a freshman in 2005-06, helping the Blue Devils to a 32-4 record. He averaged 1.0 ppg and 0.8 rpg, shooting 47.1 percent from the floor (8-17) and 90.0 percent from the free throw line (9-10). Boykin saw action in just three games this past November, scoring four points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 30 minutes of action, before being sidelined with a severe case of mononucleosis. As a high school star at Fairfax HS in Los Angeles, Boykin was named the 2005 Gatorade State Player of the Year when he averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and five assists per game. Also a third-team Parade All-American, he was the John Wooden Award winner as the Los Angeles Player of the Year.
Eric Vierneisel Makes Most of His Opportunity
When junior C DeVon Hardin suffered a stress fracture in his left foot Dec. 19, the Bears knew they would need to reach deep into the lineup to help replace his production. And the one player who has most significantly increased his output has been junior F Eric Vierneisel. Over the first 11 games of the year, Vierneisel averaged just 0.9 ppg and played only 6.7 minutes per game. But in the six games without a healthy Hardin, Vierneisel has contributed 9.5 ppg in 24.7 mpg, which included starts at Stanford and vs. Washington State. He has reached double figures four times with 11 points at DePaul - a contest played about a 30-minute drive from his hometown of Algonquin, Ill. - 10 points at Arizona, 12 points at Arizona State and 10 points vs. Washington State. Vierneisel also nailed a go-ahead three-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation vs. Washington.
DeVon Hardin's Loss Felt in the Paint
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 (1.91 per game), including a career-best five against Santa Clara and four more vs. Loyola Marymount. For his career, Hardin leads all active Pac-10 players and ranks fifth on Cal's career chart with 95 blocks. Now sidelined with a stress fracture in his left foot, Hardin's ability to alter shots will most certainly be missed - the Bears have a total of eight blocks in the six games he has missed so far.
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.
Golden Bear Notes ...
With an 8-4 non-league record, Cal had its highest pre-Pac-10 victory total since going 9-1 heading into conference play in 2001-02 ... freshman Ryan Anderson was voted MVP of the Great Alaska Shootout; he was joined on the all-tournament team by Ayinde Ubaka and DeVon Hardin ... Cal has added four walk-ons to the roster: 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) ... 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 ... of its 12 pre-Pac-10 games this season, Cal played six at home and six on the road ... 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.