Cal Wraps Up Regular Season at USC, UCLA
March 3, 2008
California Golden Bears (15-12, 6-10) at USC Trojans (18-10, 9-7)
Thursday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins (26-3, 14-2, vs. Stanford 3/6)
Saturday, March 8, 12:30 p.m., Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: ABC Regional
California concludes the 2007-08 regular season when the Golden Bears visit USC Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and UCLA (#3 AP/#2 ESNP/USA Today) Saturday at 3 p.m.
Cal will then make a return trip to Los Angeles for the Pac-10 Tournament March 12-15.
During the year, the Bears have been a more effective team on the road than at home, having posted a 4-3 Pac-10 record outside of Berkeley. Cal's most significant win of the campaign was a 69-64 decision at then-No. 9 Washington State, the Bears' first road victory over a Top 10 team since 1995. Cal also downed Oregon State, Arizona State and Washington away from home.
In addition, the Bears upended Nevada, 74-68, back on Nov. 28 behind a career-high 36 points from Ryan Anderson and a personal-best 16 rebounds from DeVon Hardin to break the Wolf Pack's 13-game winning streak in Reno.
Anderson continues to lead the Pac-10 in point production at 21.5 ppg and is on pace to be Cal's seventh league scoring champion in the last 15 years. He has been particularly productive in road games with contributions of 24.6 ppg and 12.3 rpg. In addition to the Nevada contest, he finished with 27 points at WSU and 33 points at Washington.
Although just a second-year player, Anderson already appears on Cal's career charts in scoring (24th, 1,119 points), three-pointers (9th, 113) and free throw shooting (1st, 84.3%).
Hardin, meanwhile, is coming off an 18-point, 13-rebound effort vs. Washington, perhaps his most productive game since going for 18 and 14 in the season opener vs. Southern Miss. After not reaching double figures in rebounding since the Jan. 3 USC contest, he has reached the level in his past two games with an additional 10 boards vs. WSU.
Cal's second all-time leading shot-blocker with 127 to his credit, Hardin has also moved into 15th place on the school list with 623 rebounds and needs seven more to overtake Bob Presley for the 14th position.
As a team, the Bears rank fourth in the country in free throw shooting at 77.8 percent. After having not led the Pac-10 previously, the Bears will likely top the conference for the second consecutive season. Last season, Cal rated third nationally at 76.9 percent.
Probable StartersPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 14 Eric Vierneisel 6-7 210 Sr 5.3 2.5Career-high 20 points & 7 rebounds vs. UW; 15 points vs. USC 1/3 F 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 240 So 21.5 9.92-time Pac-10 Player of the Week; No. 1 career FT% at Cal (84.3%)C 35 DeVon Hardin 6-11 250 Sr 9.8 7.818 points, 13 rebounds vs. UW; 32 blocks; 57.7 FG%G 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 165 So 11.6 4.0 apg17 points at Arizona; Golden Bear Classic MVPG 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 So 15.4 3.6DNS vs. Washington (bruised hip); 15 or more pts. in 19 games
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 217-150, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 550-385. 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.
USC Scouting Report
A Look at USC
USC enters Thursday's game having won three of its last four games and nine of 13 since an 0-3 start to the Pac-10 season. Freshman O.J. Mayo leads the Trojans with 20.7 ppg and he has connected on 76 three-pointers (40.9%), which ties for most in the conference. He scored a career-best 37 points in an 80-66 loss at Arizona State. In the first match-up with Cal, Mayo finished with 34 points.
Cal-USC Series History
Cal leads the all-time series with USC, 125-115, after registering a 92-82 victory Jan. 3 in Berkeley in the Pac-10 opener for both schools. Patrick Christopher paced the Bears with 24 points and a career-high seven assists. The Trojans swept the Bears in both meetings last year - 76-73 in Berkeley and 84-66 in Los Angeles - after Cal prevailed in three games in 2005-06, including an 82-67 victory in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
USC Head Coach Tim Floyd
Tim Floyd is 60-35 in his third season at USC and owns a 303-165 career mark that includes stops at Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State. He has guided teams to the NCAA Tournament six times and took the Trojans to the Sweet 16 last year.
Probable StartersPos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 5 Davon Jefferson 6-8 215 Fr 12.1 6.3F 22 Taj Gibson 6-9 220 So 10.3 7.7G 1 Angelo Johnson 5-11 180 Fr 5.0 1.9G 21 Dwight Lewis 6-5 210 So 10.8 2.1G 32 O.J. Mayo 6-5 200 Fr 20.7 4.4
For more information: www.usctrojans.com
UCLA Scouting Report
A Look at UCLA
UCLA has won five games in a row after a 68-66 victory at Arizona. The Bruins are out-rebounding opponents by a 36.4-26.8 margin and are led by freshman Kevin Love's 17.3 ppg and 11.1 rpg. UCLA has held teams to under 50 points in three of its last five games.
Cal-UCLA Series History
UCLA owns a 126-95 series advantage over Cal. The Bears have won at least one game against the Bruins each of the last nine years, although they lost, 70-58, in Berkeley back on Jan. 5. In '06-07, the streak was in jeopardy after the Bruins took both contests during the regular season. However, behind 29 points from Ayinde Ubaka, Cal upset the top-seeded and fourth-ranked Bruins in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament, 76-69, in OT.
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland
Ben Howland is 117-44 in his fifth season at UCLA. He has also coached at Northern Arizona and Pittsburgh and owns a career record of 285-143. Howland has led the Bruins to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Final Four.
Probable StartersPos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 3 Josh Shipp 6-5 220 Jr 13.5 3.0F 23 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 6-8 232 Jr 8.9 5.2C 42 Kevin Love 6-10 271 Fr 17.3 11.1G 0 Russell Westbrook 6-3 189 So 12.4 3.7G 2 Darren Collison 6-0 160 Jr 14.3 2.6
For more information: www.uclabruins.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Game: Washington Outscores Cal, 87-84
Seniors Eric Vierneisel and DeVon Hardin combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Washington handed Cal an 87-84 defeat last Saturday in Haas Pavilion. Vierneisel set a career high with his 20 points and tied the school record for most three-pointers without a miss, going 5-for-5 from behind the arc. Down 80-70 with 3:14 left, the Bears went on an 11-3 run, capped by two Ryan Anderson free throws, to get within two at 83-81 with 40 seconds left. But after a Venoy Overton free throw, Patrick Christopher missed a floater in the lane and Ryan Appleby's two free throws with 15 seconds to go iced the game for the Huskies.
Ryan Anderson First Bear to 500-250 Club Twice
With 580 points and 268 rebounds this season, sophomore F Ryan Anderson has become the first player in school history to register at least 500 points and 250 rebounds in a season twice. As a freshman last year, he had 539 points and 269 boards. In school history, only four others Bears managed to pull off the feat once: Leonard Taylor in 1987 (649 points, 270 rebounds), Mark McNamara in 1982 (593-341), Ansley Truitt in 1972 (544-382) and Leon Powe in 2006 (553-273). Anderson needs just five more boards to move into Cal's Top 10, and he has a chance to become the first Bear with at least 300 rebounds since Mark McNamara in 1982.
Cal Posting Highest Rebound Margin since 1993
With a +3.9 rebound margin this season, Cal has its highest differential since the 1992-93 squad owned a +4.6 per game advantage on the boards. The Bears have posted double-digit advantages seven times, most recently vs. Oregon State Feb. 7 when they held a 44-32 edge. The largest margin came against Missouri Dec. 1 when Cal won the board battle, 41-20. In the Feb. 24 game at Stanford, the Bears became the first Pac-10 team to outrebound the Cardinal, finishing with a 39-33 count. Individually, Ryan Anderson ranks third in the Pac-10 with 9.9 per game, while DeVon Hardin is sixth in the league with 7.8 rpg. Hardin opened the year with three straight games of 14, followed by a 16-rebound effort at Nevada, to become the first Bear to grab 14 or more in four consecutive contests since Darrall Imhoff in 1959-60.
Cal's Top Rebounding Margins Last 20 YearsYear Cal Reb Opp Reb Margin1992-93 37.9 33.3 +4.62007-08 36.3 32.4 +3.91988-89 33.2 30.6 +2.61996-97 38.0 35.5 +2.5
Hardin, Vierneisel Shine on Senior Day
In their final game in Haas Pavilion, senior DeVon Hardin and Eric Vierneisel came through with the best combined outing of their careers. Hardin matched his season best with 18 points (including 16 in the first half) and grabbed 13 rebounds - his highest total since snaring 16 at Nevada on Nov. 28. Vierneisel, meanwhile, established personal bests for both points (20) and rebounds (7). He shot 5-for-5 from behind the arc, tying the school record for most three-pointers made without a miss (also Amit Tamir vs. Arizona State, March 3, 2003). Since beginning the year 3-for-25 from the floor and 1-for-16 from three-point range, Vierneisel has gone 38-for-90 (42.2%), including 22-for-59 on treys (37.3%).
Ryan Anderson: Cal's First 1,000-Point Sophomore
With 22 points vs. Oregon State Feb. 7, F Ryan Anderson became the first sophomore in school history to score 1,000. He is the 36th Cal player ever to attain the 1,000-point level and enters Thursday's action 24th all-time with 1,119 points. Only two other Bears scored 1,000 points in their 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 total of 1,119 points is the third-highest two-season figure in Cal history when considering all years played.
Most Points Freshman-Sophomore Seasons at CalName Frosh Soph Total1. Ryan Anderson (2007-08) 539 580 11192. Brian Hendrick (1990-91) 478 492 9703. Leon Powe (2004, 06) 409 553 962
Cal Among NCAA Free Throw Leaders Again
From 1997 through 2005, Cal never once managed to make 70 percent of its attempts from the free throw line. But over the last three years, the Bears have proven to be one of the most accurate teams in the country. After connecting on 73.3 percent of its tries in 2006 - Cal's highest rate since 1989 - the Bears ranked third in the country in 2007 with a school-record 76.9 percent. Now, Cal is ahead of that pace, having drained 77.8 percent from the stripe, a figure that is fourth best in the NCAA entering this weekend. The Bears were perfect from the line at Washington State (6-6) and have been 80 percent or higher 13 times. Individually, Ryan Anderson is 13th in the country at 88.0 percent, while Jerome Randle is connecting on 83.9 percent of his attempts. Perhaps more importantly, Cal is getting to the line with significantly more frequency than last season, averaging 20.7 trips per game compared to 15.8 visits in 2006-07.
Top Free Throw Rates in School HistoryYear FT-FTA Pct1. 2007-08 435-559 .7782. 2006-07 400-520 .7693. 1986-87 513-698 .7354. 2005-06 525-716 .733
NCAA Free Throw Leaders (as of 3/3/08)1. Utah State 447-568 .7872. Florida State 449-576 .7803. IUPUI 454-583 .7794. California 435-559 .778
Bears Pouring in the Points
Now averaging 77.0 ppg, Cal has its highest scoring rate since the 1994-95 squad poured in 79.9 ppg. This year's output also represents a 7.5 ppg increase over last season, when the Bears averaged 69.5 ppg. Cal has scored at least 90 points four times, including a pair of games over 100, and 80 or more on eight occasions. 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.
Anderson Could Be Cal's 7th Pac-10 Scoring Champ since '94
Now contributing 21.5 ppg 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. Anderson enters Thursday's USC game having reached double figures in 30 straight contests, and he has scored 20 or more points 14 times this year, including nine games with at least 27 points. The school record for consecutive games scoring at least 10 points is 51 in a row by Lamond Murray (1993-94).
Recent Cal Pac-10 Scoring ChampionsLamond 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 21.5 ppg (leads Pac-10)
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 57.9 ppg, or 75.2 percent of Cal's total. The team's top three scorers are all sophomores, led by Ryan Anderson's 21.5 ppg. He is followed by Patrick Christopher with 15.4 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 384 (14.2) 260 (9.6) 73 (2.7)Junior 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)Sophomore 1562 (57.9) 577 (21.4) 320 (11.9)Freshman 132 (4.9) 76 (2.8) 28 (1.0)
DeVon Hardin Holds Down No. 2 Block Spot
With 127 blocks during his Cal career, senior C DeVon Hardin has cemented his place as the No. 2 shot-blocker in school history. Michael Stewart, who played from 1994-97, is the all-time leader with 207. Hardin has swatted 32 shots this year and is well on his way to leading the team for the third consecutive season. He had a high of 48 as a sophomore in 2006, and although he was limited to just 11 games due to a foot stress fracture last year, he still had a team-best 21. On the offensive end, Hardin is shooting a career-high 57.7 percent from the floor, which ranks sixth in the Pac-10, tossing in 9.8 ppg.
Anderson Reaps Pac-10, National Honors for WSU, UW Effort
Sophomore F Ryan Anderson, who averaged 30.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg in wins at Washington State and Washington Jan. 31-Feb.2, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, as well as the ESPN.com, The Sporting News and FoxSports.com National Player of the Week. Dick Vitale also selected him Co-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, including the go-ahead layup with 42 seconds left, and 33 points and a career-high-tying 17 boards at UW.
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 20 games, including 19 games of 15 or more. Now tossing in 15.4 ppg, he is scoring 10.2 ppg more than he did last year - the highest increase for any Pac-10 player this 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 3.6 rpg, has dished out 60 assists (2.2 apg) and is shooting 78.8 percent from the free throw line. Christopher has started 26 of 27 games, having come off the bench vs. Washington last week due to a bruised hip suffered against Washington State Feb. 28.
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 9.9 rpg, which rates third in the Pac-10. He already has 13 double-doubles and paced the Bears on the glass 13 straight games from Jan. 5 (UCLA) through Feb. 24 (at Stanford). 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 is second in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (88.0%, 13th in NCAA), sixth in three-point accuracy (43.0%) and eighth in three-pointers per game (2.03).
Winning Pac-10 Road Record Has Meant Postseason Invite
Now sporting a 5-4 record outside of Haas Pavilion, including a 4-3 mark in Pac-10 play, Cal is on the verge of posting its third winning road record under head coach Ben Braun. The Bears were also over .500 in 2005-06, when they went 6-4 overall, and in 2002-03, when they finished 7-4. In Pac-10 action, Cal has had a winning road record six times, resulting in an NCAA Tournament berth on each occasion - 2006, 2003, 2001, 1994, 1993 and 1990.
Cal's Winning Pac-10 Road Records (since 1978-79)Season Overall Pac-10 Postseason2007-08 5-4 4-3 ???2005-06 6-4 5-3 NCAA2002-03 7-4 5-4 NCAA2000-01 5-7 5-4 NCAA1993-94 6-5 5-4 NCAA1992-93 8-3 6-3 NCAA1989-90 7-4 7-2 NCAA
Bears Get Big Win in the Palouse
Cal's 69-64 win against then-No. 9 Washington State Jan. 31 represented 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.
Charles Johnson to Be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Charles Johnson, a 6-0 guard who served as team captain for three seasons from 1969-71, will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during ceremonies at the Pac-10 Tournament in March. Known as 'C.J.' he finished his Cal career with 1,025 points and pulled down more than 500 rebounds. He later played seven seasons in the NBA and won titles with the Washington Bullets and Golden State Warriors. Also inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996, Johnson passed away after a battle with cancer on June 1, 2007. Previous Cal inductees into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor are Pete Newell, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Darrall Imhoff, Andy Wolfe and Russ Critchfield.
Cal Ranked No. 1 in Directors' Cup
Cal is ranked as the No. 1 athletic program in the country in the final fall U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings, marking the second year in a row the Bears have stood atop the rankings at the end of the fall seasons. Cal accumulated a total of 370 points in six sports, led by a national championship in men's water polo and an NCAA semifinal appearance in volleyball. In addition, the Bears earned points in football, men's cross country, and men's and women's soccer. The Directors' Cup measures the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country and awards points based on final national standings in a maximum of 10 NCAA-sponsored sports for both men and women. Last year, Cal also led the nation after the fall and finished ninth in the final standings. The Bears have placed in the top 10 four of the last five years, including a program-best seventh in 2006.