Cal Hosts ASU in Regular-Season Finale
March 2, 2007
Arizona State Sun Devils (7-21, 1-16) at California Golden Bears (14-15, 6-11)
Saturday, March 3, 3 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
- California hosts Arizona State at 3 p.m. Saturday in Haas Pavilion in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The Golden Bears have clinched the eighth seed in next week's Pac-10 Tournament and will face Oregon State in the opening round.
- The last two games between Cal and ASU have gone into overtime. Back on Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ayinde Ubaka scored eight of his 14 points in the extra period to lift the Bears to a 66-62 victory. In the Sun Devils' last visit to Haas Pavilion, they emerged with a 65-64 double OT win.
- In the series history between the schools, Cal and ASU have played five overtime games, four of which have gone to two extra periods. In 2000, they squared off in the highest scoring Cal game ever, a 111-108 Sun Devil win in double OT in Berkeley.
- With six three-pointers against Arizona Thursday, Cal extended its school record to 218 threes this season. The old mark was 198 three-pointers set in 2002-03.
- Cal made just eight trips to the free throw line vs. Arizona, but the Bears made seven of their attempts to raise their NCAA-leading rate to 77.7 percent. With the school record at 73.5 percent (1986-87), Cal can actually afford to miss its next 24 shots from the line and still set a Golden Bear mark.
- Saturday's contest will be the final regular-season home appearance for seniors Ayinde Ubaka and Alex Pribble, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
- Cal has committed 11 or fewer turnovers in four of its last five games to lower its season turnover rate to 11.6 per game - a figure that ranks 13th in the country for fewest per game.
- Freshman F Ryan Anderson has scored 473 points this season and needs just six more to pass Brian Hendrick (478, 1989-90) for the second-highest Cal freshman total ever. Shareef Abdur-Rahim holds the Cal rookie record with 590 points in 1995-96. Anderson already ranks second among Bear freshmen with 50 three-pointers, trailing only Ryan Drew (60, 1987-88).
Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPG F 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 So 9.0 4.4Career-high 21 points vs. Oregon State (6-8 FG, 1-1 3P, 8-10 FT) F 31 Alex Pribble 6-4 215 Sr 0.8 1.2Will start 5th game this year on Senior Day; 4 steals vs. USC at homeF 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 235 Fr 16.3 7.921 points at UCLA; 50 three-pointers (#2 on Cal frosh list) G 1 Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 Sr 13.9 4.4Tied for 22nd in Cal history with 1,145 pts; career-best 127 assistsG 2 Omar Wilkes 6-4 185 Jr 9.9 2.0Scored 14 points vs. USC Jan 27; at least 9 points in 21 games
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Arizona Edges Cal, 70-65
Arizona sank four free throws in the final 23 seconds to clinch a 70-65 win over Cal Thursday night in Haas Pavilion. Down 65-59 with five minutes left, the Bears got a three-point play from Ryan Anderson and a three-pointer from Ayinde Ubaka around one UA free throw to make it 66-65 with 31 seconds remaining. After the Wildcats upped their lead to 68-65, Ubaka's attempt at a tying three-pointer bounced off the back of the rim with 10 seconds to go. Cal held Arizona to just 42.6 percent shooting from the floor and to 70 points, well below UA's Pac-10-leading 79.6 ppg average entering the game. Ubaka paced the Bears with 15 points.
Final Home Weekend for Cal Duo
Two Golden Bears - seniors Ayinde Ubaka and Alex Pribble - will be suiting up for their final regular-season contests this weekend. Ubaka, an All-Pac-10 selection last year, is the only player in school history to score 1,000 points, make 100 three-pointers and dish out 300 assists. He has started 96 of his 106 games played entering Saturday's game. Pribble arrived at Cal as a walk-on and earned a scholarship prior to the 2005-06 campaign. He is a two-time winner of Cal's Hustle Award and was a first-team Pac-10 All-Academic choice in 2006.
Anderson, Ubaka Named NABC All-District
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka and freshman F Ryan Anderson have both been named to the second-team All-District 14 squad by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Ubaka, who was also a second-team choice last year, is averaging 13.9 ppg and a career-best 4.4 rpg. Anderson ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in both scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg).
Pac-10 Tourney Games Set for Cal
Cal will open the 2007 Pac-10 Tournament as the eighth seed and will face No. 9 seed Oregon State Wednesday at 6:12 p.m. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. If the Bears win, they will play top-seeded UCLA Thursday at 2:50 p.m. Both games will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
Bears Break Three-Point Record vs. UCLA
When Patrick Christopher nailed a three-pointer with 6:18 left at UCLA Feb. 22, it gave the Bears their 199th three-pointer of the year, breaking the Cal mark of 198 set during the 2002-03 campaign. The Bears enter Saturday's Arizona State game with 218 treys this season. Ayinde Ubaka leads the team with 51 three-pointers, followed closely by Ryan Anderson's 50. Four other Cal players have also sunk at least 20 on the season - junior Omar Wilkes (33), freshman Jerome Randle (23), sophomore Theo Robertson (23) and junior Eric Vierneisel (21). Ubaka and Anderson are the first duo in school history to each make 50 three-pointers in the same year.
Cal Team Three-Pointer List1. 2006-07 218-602 36.2%2. 2003-03 198-530 37.4%3. 1989-90 196-507 38.7%4. 1994-95 189-530 35.7%
Bears Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules in 2006-07
According to almost any measure, Cal is playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country this year. The highest ranking comes from the Sagarin Ratings, which put the Bears' strength of schedule at No. 3. Other high rankings are: collegerpi.com - #8, Ken Pomeroy's kenpom.com - #9, CBS Sportsline RPI - #9 and ESPN's InsideRPI - #9. Among the highly rated opponents for Cal (using the collegerpi.com list) are No. 1 UCLA, No. 15 Arizona, No. 19 Nevada, No. 25 Oregon, No. 27 Washington State, No. 40 Stanford, No. 46 San Diego State, No. 49 USC, No. 55 Kansas State and No. 61 DePaul.
Ayinde Ubaka First to 1,000 Points, 100 3-Pointers, 300 Assists
With 22 points at Oregon State Jan. 18, senior G Ayinde Ubaka became the 35th player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career, and entering Saturday's game vs. Arizona State, he is tied for 22nd with 1,145 points. Ubaka is the first Bear ever to have at least 1,000 points, 100 three-pointers and 300 assists. He already ranks fourth in the Cal record book in assists (402) and fifth in treys (152).
Cal Scoring Leaders 20. Richard Midgley (2003-06) 1,17621. Michael Chavez (1980-83) 1,16222. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 1,14522. Butch Hays (1981-84) 1,145
Cal 13th in Country in Fewest Turnovers per Game
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 11.6 topg this year - second in the league to Washington State (10.3 topg) and 13th among all Division I schools. The Bears have committed more than 15 just three times and 12 or fewer on 14 occasions. Cal had a season-low seven turnovers vs. Stanford Feb. 3 and just eight TOs in a 78-48 victory over Kansas State Nov. 29. The Bears also committed nine total turnovers vs. Washington State Jan. 11 and at USC Feb. 24, and 10 seven other times.
Bears on Record Free Throw Pace, Rank No. 1 in NCAA
Perhaps the greatest area of improvement for the Bears over the past couple of years has been at the free throw line. After ranking last in the Pac-10 in both 2004 (62.8%) and 2005 (62.7%), Cal not only leads the league this year, but is No. 1 in the country at 77.7 percent. The Bears have been perfect from the line three times this season - 11-for-11 vs. Loyola Marymount Nov. 25, 12-for-12 at Oregon Jan. 20 and 8-for-8 vs. USC Jan. 27. The Oregon performance set a school record for most attempts without a miss. In addition, Cal was 42-for-44 at the charity stripe in the Great Alaska Shootout. Freshman Jerome Randle made the first 12 tries of his career and paces the squad at 82.7 percent, while junior Omar Wilkes is at 80.8 percent. The school team record is 73.5 percent set in 1986-87.
NCAA Free Throw Leaders (through games of March 1)1. California 349-449 77.7%2. Utah State 434-560 77.5%3. Villanova 503-651 77.3%4. Air Force 406-528 76.9%5. Florida State 422-550 76.7%
Anderson Will Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 16.3 ppg to date, F Ryan Anderson should 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.
Cal Freshman Scoring Leaders 1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) 21.1 ppg2. Ryan Anderson (2007) 16.3 ppg3. Leon Powe (2004) 15.1 ppg4. Brian Hendrick (1990) 14.9 ppg
Patrick Christopher Making Strong Push at End of Season
Starting with a 16-point effort in a win over Oregon Feb. 15, freshman wing Patrick Christopher has been playing the best basketball of his rookie year the past few weeks. In the five games since the Oregon contest, he has averaged 13.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg, while shooting 56.0 percent from the field (26-50). Christopher's most impressive outing came in an overtime win over Oregon State Feb. 17 when he set career highs with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Prior to his recent surge, Christopher was averaging 4.2 ppg and 1.9 rpg.
Cal Keeping It Close in Pac-10 Wins
All six of Cal's Pac-10 wins this season have been by five points or less or decided in overtime. The Bears' largest margin was a 77-69 overtime decision against Washington on Jan. 11. Cal also won by two points over Oregon Feb. 15 (63-61), by three at Oregon St. Jan. 18 (77-74) and by four over Stanford Jan. 3 (67-63), Arizona St. Dec. 30 (66-62 OT) and Oregon St. (84-80 OT) Feb. 17. Overall, the Bears are 7-3 in games determined by five points or less or OT.
Anderson Logging Heavy Minutes as a Freshman
Having been on the court for 949 minutes this season, forward Ryan Anderson is just the second freshman during the Ben Braun era to log more than 900 minutes. The other was PG Shantay Legans, who played 952 minutes in 1999-2000. The only other Cal freshmen to play at least 900 minutes since 1990 are: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (972, 1995-96), Jason Kidd (922, 1992-93) and Brian Hendrick (996, 1989-90).