Cal Returns Home to Host OSU, Oregon

Feb. 4, 2008

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Oregon State Beavers (6-15, 0-9) at California Golden Bears (13-7, 4-5)
Thursday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: none

Oregon Ducks (13-8, 4-5, at Stanford 2/7) at California Golden Bears
Saturday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet

Fresh off a road sweep of Washington State and Washington, California returns to Haas Pavilion to host Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Oregon at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Golden Bears stand at 13-7 overall and completed the first half of Pac-10 play with a 4-5 record. Cal is 3-1 in league road games and just 1-4 at home, although three of those setbacks were decided by five points or less or in overtime.

The Bears feature an offense that averages 78.8 ppg, which ranks second in the Pac-10, 31st in the country and fourth best in school history. One of the school's top shooting squads ever, Cal's field goal rate of 48.3 percent is the team's highest since 1989-90, while the Bears' three-point (38.6%) and free throw (76.7%) percentages are both just shy of school record pace (38.7% 3P, 76.9% FT).

Sophomore F Ryan Anderson paces Cal and the Pac-10 with 22.2 ppg, and he his third in the league in rebounding with 10.0 rpg. Anderson has reached double figures in 23 straight games dating back to last year and already has 12 20-point outings this season.

Sophomore G Patrick Christopher is coming off a 20-point effort at Washington, which included a tie-breaking three-pointer with 27 seconds left. Now contributing 16.7 ppg, he is tossing in 11.5 ppg more than he did as a freshman in 2006-07.

The Bears hope to get senior C DeVon Hardin, who averages 9.9 ppg and 8.2 rpg and paces the team with 28 blocks, back in the lineup this week after he missed the Washington trip with a viral infection. Sophomore F Jamal Boykin started in his place and was particularly effective in the WSU victory when he had 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and two charges taken.

Ryan Anderson Reaps Pac-10, National Honors
Sophomore F Ryan Anderson, who averaged 30.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg in wins at Washington State and Washington last week has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, and the, The Sporting News and National Player of the Week. Anderson made 20-of-32 shots from the floor (62.5%), 9-of-14 from three-point range (64.3%) and all 11 of his free throw tries. He had 27 points and nine rebounds at WSU and 33 points and a career-high-tying 17 boards at UW.

Probable StartersPOS  NO   NAME                  HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPGF    10   Jamal Boykin          6-8   235  So   7.7   4.3Earned first starts at WSU, UW; 12 pts., 7 rebs at WSU F    14   Eric Vierneisel       6-7   210  Sr   5.3   2.4Career-high 15 points vs. USC; 29-of-62 FG (46.7%) since 3-25 startF    34   Ryan Anderson         6-10  240  So   22.2  10.033 points, 17 rebounds at UW; 30 or more points in 3 of last 5 gamesG     3   Jerome Randle         5-10  165  So   11.6  4.1 apg12 points, 7 assists, 7 rebs vs. Stanford; Golden Bear Classic MVPF    23   Patrick Christopher   6-5   215  So   16.7  3.716 or more pts. in 15 games; 20 pts., including game-winner, at UW

Cal Head Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), the second-winningest coach in Cal history, is in his 12th year in Berkeley and 31st season as a collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 215-145, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 548-380. 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. 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 enters Thursday's game on an 11-game losing streak. The Beavers are led by Seth Tarver, who averages 11.9 ppg, while Marcel Jones is the only other player scoring in double figures (10.2 ppg). OSU ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing 66.0 ppg, but it is 10th in scoring offense at 60.7 ppg.

Cal-Oregon State Series History
Cal owns a 73-56 series lead over Oregon State and is 24-3 against the Beavers since the 1995-96 season. Earlier this year, Ryan Anderson scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Cal to a 69-59 victory Jan. 12 in Corvallis. Also getting 11 points from both Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher, the Bears were ahead by as many as 18 points in the second half.

OSU Interim Head Coach Kevin Mouton
Kevin Mouton, who is in his sixth year on the Oregon State staff and 16th season at the collegiate level, serves as interim head coach for the Beavers, replacing Jay John. He earned his bachelor's degree from USF in 1989, playing two seasons for the Dons.

Probable StartersPos  No   Name            Ht   Wt   Yr   Ppg   RpgF    15   Seth Tarver     6-5  205  So   11.9  5.2F    24   Omari Johnson   6-7  205  Fr   8.2   5.3C    32   Sean Carter     6-9  225  Fr   3.6   2.7G     5   Josh Tarver     6-3  185  So   7.5   2.5G    22   Calvin Haynes   6-2  185  Fr   4.1   1.1

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Oregon Scouting Report

A Look at Oregon
Oregon, which plays at Stanford Thursday, snapped a four-game losing streak with a 79-63 win over Oregon State last Saturday. The Ducks are the top scoring team in the Pac-10 at 80.3 ppg and feature five players averaging in double figures. Oregon also paces the con-ference in three-pointers made (176) and is making 38.3 percent of its tries behind the arc.

Cal-Oregon Series History
Cal has a 71-54 series advantage over Oregon and has won the past seven times the Ducks have visited Berkeley. Last year in Haas Pavilion, Ryan Anderson's three-point play with just over a minute left gave the Bears a one-point lead and they held on for a 63-61 victory. Back on Jan. 10 of this season, Cal battled back from a 14-point deficit to take a 56-54 lead with 7:19 to go, but eventually fell, 79-70.

Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent
Ernie Kent is 206-128 in his 11th season at Oregon. He has guided the Ducks to four NCAA Tournaments, including two berths in the Elite Eight, as well as three appearances in the NIT. Kent was also 90-80 in six years at Saint Mary's.

Probable StartersPos  No   Name             Ht   Wt   Yr   Ppg   RpgF     1   Malik Hairston   6-6  220  Sr   17.7  5.0F    13   Churchill Odia   6-6  210  Jr   1.6   1.7C    10   Maarty Leunen    6-9  220  Sr   15.6  9.6G     4   Bryce Taylor     6-4  210  Sr   13.9  4.2G    12   Tajuan Porter    5-6  150  So   13.7  2.6

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Game: Christopher's 3-Pointer Lifts Cal over UW, 79-75
Patrick Christopher hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds left to break a 72-all tie and Cal held on for a 79-75 victory over Washington to give the Bears their first road sweep of the Washington trip since 2003. Ryan Anderson finished with 33 points and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds. He scored 15 consecutive points midway through the second half when Cal went from a 51-46 deficit to a 61-56 lead. The Bears, who shot 59.4 percent from the floor after the break, also outrebounded UW, 24-11, in the second period.

Anderson on Track to Be Cal's First 1,000-Point Sophomore
With just 18 more points, Ryan Anderson will become the first sophomore in school history to reach the 1,000-point level. He already holds the school sophomore mark with 982 points, a record he set with his 33-point effort at Washington last Saturday. Anderson totaled 539 points last season - the second-highest amount by a Cal freshman - and he has 443 points this year. Only two other Bears scored 1,000 points in the first two years with the program, and both of them transferred in. Mark McNamara, who began his career at Santa Clara, had 1,041 points in 1981 and '82, while Ed Gray finished with 1,082 points in 1996 and '97 after entering Cal from the College of Southern Idaho. Anderson's career rate of 18.5 ppg stands as the fifth-best ever at the school, behind only Gray (20.0 ppg), McNamara (19.6 ppg), Russ Critchfield (19.4 ppg, 1966-68) and Lamond Murray (19.2 ppg, 1992-94).

Most Points Freshman-Sophomore Seasons at CalName                          Frosh   Soph   Total1. Ryan Anderson (2007-08)    539     443    9822. Brian Hendrick (1990-91)   478     492    9703. Leon Powe (2004, 06)       409     553    962

Bears Pouring in the Points
Now averaging 78.8 ppg, Cal ranks second in the Pac-10 in offensive production. The Bears have scored at least 90 points four times, including a pair of games over 100. In fact, Cal's 117-74 win over Jackson State Dec. 5 represented the third-highest single-game total in school history. The Bears also defeated Long Beach State, 102-65, on Dec. 28 in the first round of the Golden Bear Classic, and topped USC, 92-82, in their Pac-10 opener. Cal's current per-game rate is the third highest in school history, represents a +9.3 ppg increase over last year, and is the team's best since the 1994-95 squad averaged 79.9 ppg.

Cal's Highest-Scoring TeamsYear         G    Points   Avg1. 1970-71   25   2098     83.92. 1994-95   27   2158     79.93. 1992-93   30   2380     79.34. 2007-08   20   1576     78.85. 1993-94   30   2358     78.6

Anderson Could Be Cal's 7th Pac-10 Scoring Champ since '94
Now contributing 22.2 ppg - third-highest in Cal history - and owner of four 30-point games this year, sophomore F Ryan Anderson is on his way to becoming the Bears' seventh conference scoring champion in the past 15 years. Anderson set a career best with 36 points at Nevada and later tossed in 32 vs. Arizona State, 30 against Arizona and 33 at Washington. Only two players at Cal have had more 30-point games in one year - Ed Gray had six in 1996-97 and Lamond Murray had five in 1993-94.

Recent Cal Pac-10 Scoring Champions        Lamond Murray         1993-94   24.3 ppgShareef Abdur-Rahim   1995-96   21.1 ppgEd Gray               1996-97   24.8 ppgSean Lampley          2000-01   19.5 ppgJoe Shipp             2002-03   20.4 ppgLeon Powe             2005-06   20.5 ppgRyan Anderson         2007-08   22.2 ppg**leads Pac-10 entering this week's action

Cal Season Scoring Leaders1. Ed Gray 1996-97 24.8 ppg2. Lamond Murray 1993-94 24.3 ppg3. Ryan Anderson 2007-08 22.2 ppg4. Mark McNamara 1981-82 22.0 ppg5. Russ Critchfield 1967-68 22.0 ppg

Bears Learning to Win the Close Ones
Of Cal's seven losses this season, the Bears have been within two points, tied or ahead in the final three minutes six times. Cal may have turned the corner in close decisions during its trip to Washington last week when the Bears pulled out a couple of wins. At WSU Jan. 31, Ryan Anderson scored on a layup with 42 seconds left to give Cal the lead for good in a 69-64 victory. Then at Washington Feb. 2, Patrick Christopher's three-pointer with 27 seconds on the clock broke a 72-all tie in the Bears' 79-75 triumph.

Bears Dishing Out Coach-Pleasing, Pac-10-Leading 16.5 apg
One stat that head coach Ben Braun values highly is assists, which provide a good indication of how well the Bears are playing as a team on the offensive end. In 2007-08, Cal has averaged 16.5 apg, best in the Pac-10 and the Bears' highest rate since the Jason Kidd-led squad of 1993-94 dished out 17.6 apg. No one player is responsible for the rise, as four different Bears are averaging more than two per game - Jerome Randle (4.1 apg, 7th in Pac-10), Nikola Knezevic (2.8 apg), Patrick Christopher (2.5 apg) and Eric Vierneisel (2.1 apg).

Bears Find 3-Point Stroke in Outburst vs. Long Beach State
Through the first nine games of the season, Cal managed to make just 32.7 percent of its three-point tries (55-168) and averaged only 6.1 treys per game. But something must have clicked for the Bears in their 102-65 win over Long Beach State Dec. 28. Cal drained a school-record 16 shots from behind the arc vs. the 49ers and has enjoyed increased long-range accuracy ever since, going 94-for-218 (43.1%) and sinking 8.5 per game over the past 11 contests. Ten different players have connected from three-point land, with the primary contributors being Ryan Anderson (47-99, 47.5%), Patrick Christopher (33-86, 38.4%) and Jerome Randle (31-75, 41.3%). Cal's overall three-point rate of 38.6 percent is just behind the record 38.7 percent set in 1989-90.

Best 3-Point Percentages at Cal    Most 3-Pointers per Game at CalYear         3FG-A     Pct         Year         G    3FG   Per Game1. 1989-90   196-507   38.7%       1. 2006-07   33   249   7.552. 2007-08   149-386   38.6%       2. 2007-08   20   149   7.453. 1987-88   133-355   37.5%       3. 1994-95   27   189   7.004. 2005-06   169-452   37.4%       4. 2002-03   31   198   6.395. 2002-03   198-530   37.4%       5. 1989-90   32   196   6.13

Anderson's Game Not Just about Points
Although Ryan Anderson has been piling up the points all season, scoring is not the only area where he excels. The 6-10 forward is pulling down 10.0 rpg, which rates third in the Pac-10, and he already has nine double-doubles and has paced the Bears on the glass in eight straight games heading into Thursday's Oregon State contest. When he grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds at Oregon State Jan. 12 and followed it up with 15 more boards against Arizona State Jan. 17, Anderson became the first Cal player to have at least 15 rebounds in back-to-back contests since Brian Hendrick had 15 at Washington State and 17 vs. ASU on Feb. 1-6, 1992. Anderson later matched his personal best with 17 boards at Washington Feb. 2. In addition, Anderson leads the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (87.6%), is fourth in three-point accuracy (47.5%) and is fifth in three-pointers per game (2.35).

Players in NCAA Top 20 in Both Scoring and Rebounding (through games of Feb. 3)Michael Beasley, Kansas State - 24.9 ppg (4th); 12.3 rpg (1st)Arizona Reid, High Point - 23.6 ppg (7th); 11.4 rpg (4th)Ryan Anderson, California - 22.2 ppg (11th); 10.0 rpg (T20th)Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina - 21.8 ppg (12th); 10.4 rpg (15th)

Year of the Sophomore for Golden Bears
In many circles around the country, the 2007-08 season has been deemed the Year of the Freshman for the number of quality newcomers on college rosters. But at Cal, the campaign can easily be called the Year of the Sophomore. The Bears' second-year players are combining to average 59.6 ppg, or 75.6 percent of Cal's total. The team's top three scorers are all sophomores, led by Ryan Anderson's 22.2 ppg. He is followed by Patrick Christopher with 16.7 ppg and Jerome Randle with 11.6 ppg. Each player has already set a career high, as well. Anderson poured in 36 points at Nevada, Christopher had 26 vs. Jackson State, and Randle came through with 26 points against North Dakota State.

Cal Production by Class   Points (Avg.)   Rebounds (Avg.)   Assists (Avg.)Senior                    281 (14.1)      194 (9.7)         52 (26)Junior                    0 (0.0)         0 (0.0)           0 (0.0)Sophomore                 1192 (59.6)     433 (21.7)        255 (12.8)Freshman                  103 (5.2)       54 (2.7)          23 (1.2)

Cal Finding Success Away from Home
After incurring a three-game losing streak at home to Arizona State, Arizona and Stanford Jan. 17-26 - all of which were decided by five points or less or in overtime - Cal rebounded with victories at Washington State and Washington last weekend. The Bears are now 4-2 overall outside of Haas Pavilion and have put up some impressive numbers in their road contests. Cal has shot 47.1 percent from the field and held opponents to 40.3 percent, including 25.7 percent from three-point range. The Bears also own a +3.5 rebound margin. Individually, Ryan Anderson is contributing 26.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg, all while shooting 54.2 percent from the floor (58-107), 54.3 percent from three-point distance (19-35) and 96.0 percent at the line (24-25).

Patrick Christopher One of Most Improved In Pac-10
After averaging 5.2 ppg and reaching double figures just four times as a freshman last year, G Patrick Christopher has shown off a new-found scoring ability this season, reaching double digits in 17 games, including 15 games of 16 or more. Now tossing in 16.7 ppg, he is scoring 11.5 ppg more than he did last year. Christopher tied his high from his freshman campaign with 24 points against Nicholls State Nov. 19, then set a personal best with 26 points vs. Jackson State Dec. 5. Christopher also paced the Bears vs. Southern Miss (19 points) in the opener, had a team-high 18 points against Missouri Dec. 1 and poured in 24 points vs. USC Jan. 3. In Cal's 79-75 win at Washington, he had 20 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 27 seconds left that broke a 72-all tie. In addition, he is grabbing 3.7 rpg, averaging 49 assists (2.5 apg) and shooting 77.6 percent from the free throw line (9th in the Pac-10).

Boykin Gives Bears a Boost
A mid-year transfer from Duke last season, sophomore F Jamal Boykin has given the Bears a lift since becoming eligible Dec. 22. During his 12 games on the active roster, he has contributed 7.7 ppg and 4.3 rpg, shooting 49.4 percent from the floor and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. Boykin reached double figures during a three-game stretch vs. Arizona (10 points), Stanford (14) and Washington State (12). His most productive game, perhaps, came back on Dec. 28 when he finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach State. A former Gatorade Player of the Year for California, Boykin played high school basketball at Fairfax HS in Los Angeles.

Cal Shooting Well from Free Throw Line Again
After setting a school record by making 76.9 percent of its free throw attempts last year, Cal is challenging the mark this season by raising its rate to 76.7 percent, which ranks first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the country. Individually, Ryan Anderson leads the Pac-10 at 87.6 percent (92-105). He has connected on 69 of his last 74 tries (93.2%), which began with a streak of 22 in a row from Nov. 28 through Dec. 22, and he is 41-for-45 in league games (91.1%). Other Bears in the league's Top 10 are Jerome Randle (2nd, 86.0%) and Patrick Christopher (9th, 77.6%). Last year, Cal, which ranked third in the NCAA, averaged just 15.8 trips to the line per game. This season, the Bears have raised their number to 20.2 per game.

Top Free Throw Rates in School HistoryYear         FT-FTA    Pct1. 2006-07   400-520   .7692. 2007-08   309-403   .7673. 1986-87   513-698   .7354. 2005-06   525-716   .733

Bears Get Big Win in the Palouse
Cal's 69-64 win against then-No. 9 Washington State Jan. 31 represents the Bears' first over a Top 10 team in a true road game since topping then-No. 9 Arizona, 74-72, on Feb. 12, 1995 in Tucson. Cal did beat then-No. 4 UCLA, 76-69, in overtime in last year's Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals in Los Angeles, but the game was played in a neutral site at the Staples Center.

Golden Bear Notes ...
Head coach Ben Braun announced Jan. 14 that junior F Theo Robertson plans to take a medical redshirt this season (hip surgery last April); in addition, three other scholarship players have yet to see action this year: sophomore C Taylor Harrison (knee), freshman F Omondi Amoke (calf) and freshman C Max Zhang ... Cal swept both games on its Washington road trip for the first time since 2003 ... Cal is 59-8 (.881) vs. non-conference competition at home since Haas Pavilion opened in the fall of 1999, including 8-1 this season ... with 102 points vs. Long Beach State and 117 points vs. Jackson State, Cal has scored at least 100 points twice in a season for the first time since the first two games of the 1995-96 campaign ... sophomore C Jordan Wilkes has connected on the three three-pointers this season - vs. Southern Miss, Long Beach State and USC ... Wilkes also pulled down a career-high 7 rebounds vs. Jackson State ... senior F Eric Vierneisel set career highs in both rebounding (6) and assists (5) in the opener vs. Southern Miss, then matched both totals at Kansas State; he later broke the assist mark with 6 against Arizona ... Cal began the season 6-0, its best start since going 7-0 in 1994-95 ... Cal has added six non-scholarship players to the roster, four of whom return from last year (Nican Robinson, Thomas Fang, David Liss, Patrick Armstrong) and two who are new to the team (Jordan Fillmore, Eddie Miller) ... 2007-08 marks the 99th season of Cal basketball ... the Bears feature two 7-footers on the roster for the first time ever in 7-0 Jordon Wilkes and 7-2 Max Zhang - the tallest player in school history ... Cal had three players score at least 20 points vs. San Diego State (Ryan Anderson 23, Jerome Randle 21, Patrick Christopher 21) for the first time since an 84-80 OT win over Oregon State on Feb. 17, 2007 (Christopher 24, Ayinde Ubaka 21, Theo Robertson 21) ... Ben Braun ranks 10th among active coach with 548 victories.

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