Cal Basketball Hosts San Francisco and Texas-Pan American
Nov. 17, 2008
San Francisco Dons (2-0) at California Golden Bears (1-0)Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CARadio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: none
Texas-Pan American Broncs at California Golden BearsThursday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CARadio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: none
The Golden Bears (1-0) host Bay Area rival San Francisco Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion and will then compete in the opening round of Global Sports Classic versus Texas-Pan American on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Haas. Cal started the 2008-09 season on a positive note last Saturday when junior guard Jerome Randle poured in 24 points with four 3-pointers and shot 8-for-9 from the free throw line as the Bears ushered in the Mike Montgomery coaching era with a hard-fought 68-56 victory over Pacific. Patrick Christopher added 18 points with a team-high three assists for Cal, a squad that has been picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 in Montgomery's first season.
A crowd of 7,850 witnessed Cal's first game under Montgomery, who returned to the college coaching ranks after two years doing television work on the heels of two seasons coaching the NBA's Golden State Warriors. Montgomery comes to Berkeley after 18 successful seasons at Cal's biggest rival, Stanford. Montgomery's troops were able to defeat a Pacific squad that was picked to finish third in the Big West Conference this season. Another highlight for the Bears versus Pacific was the play of Theo Robertson, who returned to the court after a year on the sidelines recovering from hip surgery and added 10 points and four rebounds for a Cal team that reached the second round of the NIT last season after a ninth-place conference finish.
The Bears also got solid efforts from post players Jordan Wilkes, Harper Kamp and Max Zhang. Wilkes made the first start of his career and the seven-footer who is the son of former UCLA and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes responded with six points and six rebounds. Kamp, who has been battling a tender knee, came off the bench to join Wilkes with a team-high six rebounds. The 7-3 Zhang, making his inaugural appearance as a Bear after redshirting last season, scored his first points in the second half on a dunk and finished the game with five points and three rebounds. He is the tallest basketball player in Cal history. For the game, the Bears shot 22-for-27 from the free throw line (81.5%) and 8-for-15 (53.3%) from three-point range.
Probable StartersPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 5.0 3.0F 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 10.0 4.0C 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Jr 6.0 6.0G 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 24.0 3.0G 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 18.0 3.0
Cal Head Coach Mike MontgomeryMike Montgomery, one of the most successful coaches in the collegiate game, is in his first season overseeing the California program. He has a 1-0 record with the Golden Bears as a result of last Saturday's 68-56 victory over Pacific. Montgomery has a 548-244 (.692) overall record that includes eight years at Montana and 18 seasons at Stanford. He is now one of six men's basketball coaches to open their Cal career with a victory. Montgomery has coached teams to one NIT title (1991), four Pac-10 regular-season crowns (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) and one Pac-10 Tournament title (2004), as well as the 1998 NCAA Final Four. He was 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, 2008.
San Francisco Scouting ReportA Look at San FranciscoSan Francisco opened up the 2008-09 season with a 75-70 victory at Hawaii in the opening round of the 2008 Verizon Wireless Tip-Off Classic in Honolulu last Saturday and then an 88-74 win over Texas State on Sunday. Last season, USF finished 10-21 overall and was fifth in the West Coast Conference with a 5-9 mark. The Dons top returner is 6-7 forward Dior Lowhorn, who averaged 20.5 points and 7.4 rebounds last season.
Cal-San Francisco Series HistoryCal holds a 45-30 series lead, with the last meeting being a 77-70 overtime victory by Cal on Dec. 30, 2002, played in Haas Pavilion. USF had dropped men's basketball in the mid-80s, so the Bears didn't play the Dons from 1982-86. The first meeting between the two schools was during the 1914-15 season (Cal won 31-13).
San Francisco Head Coach Rex WaltersRex Walters is his first season at San Francisco after producing a 31-33 record in two seasons coaching at Florida Atlantic. Walters was a former standout at Kansas and went on to compete for seven seasons in the NBA.
Probable Starters 2007-08Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 2 Blake Wallace 6-6 220 Jr 12.3 7.9 at Irvine ValleyF 33 Dior Lowhorn 6-7 230 Jr 20.5 7.4G 5 Chris O'Brien 6-4 205 Fr - -G 10 Manny Quezada 6-2 185 Sr 13.9 3.5G 11 Dontae Bryant 6-2 175 Jr 8.8 5.7 at Eastern Arizona
For more information: www.usfdons.com
Texas-Pan American Scouting ReportA Look at Texas-Pan AmericanThe Texas-Pan American Broncs are from Edinburg, Texas and are a member of the Great Western Conference. The Broncs won their 2008-09 season-opener last Saturday with an 84-59 home victory over Sul Ross State. Last season, Texas-Pan American finished 18-13 overall and were led by 6-6, 250-pound forward Nathan Hawkins, who averaged 10.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Cal-Texas-Pan American Series HistoryCal will be playing Texas-Pan American for the first time in school history. The Bears are playing the Broncs as part of the 2008 Global Sports Classic. Texas-Pan American plays UNLV in Las Vegas on Tuesday before traveling to Cal.
Texas-Pan American Head Coach Tom SchuberthTom Schuberth is his third season at Texas-Pan American, where he has compiled a 38-28 record. Prior to coming to Texas-Pan American, Schuberth was an associate head coach at the University of Central Florida for four seasons.
Probable Starters 2007-08Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 2 Nathan Hawkins 6-6 250 Jr 10.6 3.9F 10 Emmanuel Jones 6-7 215 Sr 9.3 4.2F 31 Luis Valera 6-7 225 Jr 8.0 7.0 Marshalltown CCG 12 Nick Weiermiller 6-1 185 So 2.4 1.1G 33 Ben Smith 6-3 175 Jr 1.0 0.6
For more information: www.utpabroncs.com
Golden Bear NotesMontgomery Quotes:
On his return to coaching last Saturday:It felt pretty natural. I was pleased with some things. The kids we expected to step up, did. We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of guys we need to get in a position to make contributions. And we'll continue to work on our depth, but for an opener at home against a well-coached team, I'm pleased.
On his assessment of specific players' performances:Harper [Kamp] went in and did an awful good job for us considering he hadn't practiced sine he played nine minutes in the exhibition game [Nov. 6]. Jamal [Boykin] had a tough time defensively - five fouls, 10 minutes - so that being a concern, Harper could just continue to improve and give us minutes, because he's such a smart player. I thought Omondi [Amoke] did a good job and I thought Max [Zhang] did a pretty good job. Jordan [Wilkes] ran some good stuff and we could run stuff through him.
On the keys to Saturday's win:I thought the key was, first half, Patrick [Christopher] and Theo [Robertson] banged in some shots early, and of course Jerome [Randle] was consistent all the way through. Whenever you need a bucket, Jerome's not going to miss many open shots and he's just terrific from the foul line.
On how Cal handled its first challenge of the 2008-09 season:I thought it was pretty good just because Pacific was a veteran team that would give us problems with knowing how to play, knowing what they were trying to run, feeling like we would break down occasionally - and we did. They threw a little pressure at us, a little zone, and we didn't handle that very well. But we made enough shots.
Cal's Non-Conference Success at Haas PavilionWith the Bears' 68-56 win over Pacific last Saturday, Cal has now defeated 23 of its last 25 non-conference opponents at home. The Bears have also won four of their last five season openers. Last year, Cal won its first six non-conference opponents at home before falling to Utah, 67-65. The Bears then defeated their next two non-conference opponents and started the Pac-10 slate by upsetting No. 22 USC, 92-82. During the 2007-08 season, Cal was 8-1 at home versus non-conference opponents, in 2006-07 the Bears 6-1 against non-conference opponents and in 2005-06 Cal was 6-0 against non-conference opponents.
Overview of 2008 Global Sports ClassicWhen Cal competes against Texas-Pan American on Thursday, it will be participating in the opening round of the 2008 Global Sports Classic. After the Bears play the Broncs, they will host North Carolina A&T in Haas Pavilion on Monday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. From there, Cal will travel to UNLV to face the Runnin' Rebels in the third round of the Global Sports Classic on Friday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. If the Bears defeat UNLV, they would play the winner of the Florida State-Cincinnati game in the championship round on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center.
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 now made 84.8 percent (123-145) of his career attempts from the line. Randle and Christopher were key performers in Cal's victory over Pacific. Randle was two points shy of his career-high with 24 points, shooting 6-for-8 from the field, 4-for-6 from three-point range and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Christopher notched 18 points, had a team-high three assists and was 6-for-6 from the free throw 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. When he started last Saturday against Pacific, it had been one year, eight months and six days since he had last played for Cal. One of the team's top defenders, Robertson also owns a career 39.1 percentage from three-point range. Robertson averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game two seasons ago while starting all 33 games. He shined in the Bears' exhibition victory over Seattle Pacific with 29 points.
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 began 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.
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...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.
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-America 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. Cal will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1959 championship with a special ceremony during the Feb. 14, 2009, game versus Stanford, which will include recognition of all Golden Bear basketball alumni who have contributed to Cal's history.
Bears Sign Bak Bak and Sanders-FrisonCal men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery announced the signing of two players - Bak Bak and Markhuri Sanders-Frison - to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. Bak is a 6-10, 200-pound forward out of Village Christian High School in Sun Valley, Calif., while Sanders-Frison is a 6-8, 265-pound junior center from South Plains Community College in Levelland, Texas. Originally from Sudan and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Bak spent last summer playing with the Double Pump AAU team. After moving to the United States, he attended the American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. for 2006-07, but did not play basketball. Bak then relocated to California in the fall of 2007, sitting out last season as a transfer at Valley Christian HS.'Bak Bak is a very talented big kid who can shoot the ball well and has good ball handling skills,' said Montgomery. 'He needs to get stronger, but we fully expect him to flourish in our system. He has a world of experience and we are looking forward to having him in our program.'Sanders-Frison originally attended Jefferson HS in Portland, Ore, where he averaged 10 ppg and 8 rpg, helping the team to three city titles. Last year, he helped Eastern Arizona College to a 30-6 record and contributed 10 ppg and 10 rpg. EAC, located in Thatcher, Ariz., defeated Arizona Western College in the Region I Tournament final, 69-58, to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament. EAC then captured the fifth-place game with a 70-63 victory over Indian Hills CC in Iowa.'We are also excited about signing Sanders-Frison, a more mature player who has really developed in the last couple of years,' Montgomery said. 'He gives us an inside presence, which is something that is really needed. He has a big body and should provide us with immediate help in the low post.'
Pac-10 Standings as of Nov. 17UCLA 2-0Arizona State 1-0USC 1-0Washington State 1-0Stanford 1-0California 1-0Oregon 1-0Washington 0-1Oregon State 0-1Arizona 0-0