Golden Bears Host Seattle Pacific in Exhibition Game Thursday

Nov. 5, 2008

BERKELEY - Seattle Pacific Falcons at California Golden Bears
Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: CalBears.com

Exhibition Versus Seattle Pacific ThursdayCal meets Seattle Pacific at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Bears' lone exhibition game in preparation for the 2008-09 season. Cal officially starts the campaign on Saturday, Nov. 15 when Pacific visits Haas Pavilion. Seattle Pacific Falcons compete at the NCAA Division II level and last season finished 21-8 overall. The Bears have a 3-0 all-time record against Seattle Pacific, last playing the Falcons during the 1984-85 season. This year, Cal returns six lettermen - including two starters (Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle) - and welcome in two scholarship newcomers (D.J. Seeley, Modesto Christian HS; Jorge Gutierrez, Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.) to the roster. In a competitive Pac-10 Conference that has three teams in the preseason Top 25 Associated Press poll and four more team receiving votes, Cal has been picked to finish eighth in a media vote.

Welcoming Coach MontgomeryOne of the most successful collegiate coaches in the game, new Cal head coach Mike Montgomery, 61, looks to add to his legacy as director of the Golden Bear program. In a combined 26 seasons leading Montana and Stanford, Montgomery produced a 547-244 record (.691), tying for 12th-most victories among active Division I coaches. In his college coaching career, Montgomery has garnered one NIT title (1991), four Pac-10 regular season crowns (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) and one Pac-10 Tournament title (2004). He was also named the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2000 and is a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year recipient (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004). Montgomery was introduced as Cal's 15th head coach on April 5, 2009.

100th Season of Cal Men's BasketballOver the course of its first century of play, Cal men's basketball has had its fair share of highlights - an NCAA championship in 1959, three Final Four appearances (1946, 1959, 1960) and an NIT title in 1999. The Bears have advanced to postseason 48 times, with the majority of those appearances in the last 25 years. Among the top names to pass through the Cal program include Hall of Fame coach Pete Newell; Olympic champions Darrall Imhoff, Jason Kidd and Shareef Abdur-Rahim; perennial NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson; and four Pac-10 Players of the Year (Kidd '94, Abdur-Rahim '96, Ed Gray '97, Sean Lampley '01). The Bears will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of their NCAA title run. Led by all-conference guards Al Buch and Denny Fitzpatrick and All-American center Imhoff, Cal defeated Oscar Robinson's Cincinnati squad, 64-58, in the national semifinals, and then edged Jerry West's West Virginia team, 71-70, for the national crown.

Talented Guards Christopher and RandleMontgomery inherits returning starters in junior guards Christopher (15.2 ppg) and Randle (11.8) from a 2007-08 squad that finished 17-16 overall, 6-12 in the Pac-10 (9th) and advanced to the second round of the NIT. Christopher, a 2008 honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick, raised his scoring average 10.0 ppg from his freshman year in 2006-07 - the largest increase of any player in the Pac-10 - and he enters his junior campaign as the fourth-leading returning scorer in the conference. Christopher was 10th in the league with 15.2 ppg, reaching double figures 25 times. Randle also has shown the ability to score with 11.8 ppg last season, earning MVP honors at the 2007 Golden Bear Classic. He is Cal's leading returning three-point shooter (52 three-pointers, 39.7 %) and assist man (3.74 pg, and is the Bears' all-time best free throw shooter, having made 84.6 percent (115-136) of his career attempts from the line.

The Return of RobertsonMontgomey has singled out the return of 6-6 junior forward Theo Robertson as a key to the Bears' success this season. Robertson sat out all of last season following April 2007 hip surgery, but is now 100 percent healthy and has emerged as a team leader. One of the team's top defenders, he also owns a career 38.8 percentage from three-point range. Robertson averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game two seasons ago while starting all 33 games.

Bolstered by Boykin and KampWith the departure of the Bears' top two inside players, 6-10 Ryan Anderson and 6-11 DeVon Hardin to the NBA, Cal will be counting heavily on the inside presence on 6-8 junior Jamal Boykin and 6-8 sophomore Harper Kamp. Boykin, who begin his career at Duke, became eligible on Dec. 22 of last season and went on to start 11 games, averaging 7.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, including a career-high 18 points at UCLA. Kamp earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman accolades after contributing 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, playing in all 33 contests as a newcomer. He shot 49.1 percent from the floor and 72.9 percent from the free throw line, both percentages placing him 10th on the Cal all-time list for freshmen. Kamp led his Mountain View High School to three Arizona state titles.

Golden Bear NotesMike Montgomery is one of four new Pac-10 coaches this season, joining Stanford's Johnny Dawkins, Oregon State's Craig Robinson and Arizona's Russ Pennell...Montgomery's son, John, is Cal's Director of Basketball Operations...Cal has no seniors on the 2008-09 squad, but features seven juniors...redshirt freshman Max Zhang is the tallest player in Cal history at 7-3...with the addition of 7-0 junior center Jordan Wilkes on the squad, it gives the Bears the first set of seven-foot teammates in school history...Wilkes is the younger brother of former Cal guard Omar Wilkes and the son of former UCLA and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes...Zhang is also one of three players on this year's team born outside the United States...Zhang was born in Yantai City, China; freshman guard Jorge Gutierrez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and junior guard Nikola Knezevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia...Gutierrez was the first recruit signed by head coach Montgomery...sophomore guard Eddie Miller is the son of Ed Miller, who is in his 25th year as Cal's associate head track and field coach and is a member of the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame...

Cal on the RadioAll California games are broadcast on KYOU Radio (1550 AM) in San Francisco with Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Todd McKim (analyst) calling the action. Other stations on the Cal/ISP Sports Network are KESP Radio (970 AM, Modesto), KTKZ Radio (1380 AM, Sacramento), KRXA Radio (540 AM, Monterey) and KNTV Radio (102.3 FM, Weed). Each broadcast begins 20 minutes prior to tip-off with the Cal Basketball Pregame Show and concludes with a 30-minute postgame wrap-up. A half-hour postgame show hosted by Eddy Kleinhans and Matt Foley follows each game.

Haas PavilionCal, now in its 10th season in the 11,877-seat Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion, has posted an 105-43 record in the facility, good for a .709 winning percentage. The arena, which opened in November 1999, is a renovated and expanded version of old Harmon Gym - host of Cal basketball from 1933-97. The floor is deemed Pete Newell Court, honoring Cal's Hall of Fame coach who guided the Bears to the 1959 NCAA title.

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