Cal Travels to Las Vegas for Global Sports Classic

Nov. 26, 2008

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Global Sports Classic
California Golden Bears (4-0) at UNLV Rebels (5-0)

Friday, Nov. 28, 5 p.m., Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: none

California vs. Florida State (5-0) or Cincinnati (4-0)
Saturday, Nov. 29, 5 or 7:30 p.m., Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: none

California, off to a 4-0 start under new head coach Mike Montgomery, takes to the road for the first time this season when the Golden Bears travel to Las Vegas for the final rounds of the Global Sports Classic. Cal opens against host UNLV Friday at 5 p.m. and will play either Cincinnati or Florida State Saturday at 5 or 7:30 p.m.

Following a home game vs. DePaul Dec. 3, the Bears get back on a plane for visits to Missouri Dec. 7 and Utah Dec. 10.

Cal has jumped out to its undefeated record by shooting the ball well from all over the court. The Bears are fourth nationally in field goal percentage (54.4%), first in three-point accuracy (58.8%) and 20th from the free throw line (77.8%).

Despite losing its top two rebounders from last year - Ryan Anderson and DeVon Hardin, who combined to grab 17.3 rpg in 2007-08 - Cal is winning the battle of the boards by a 32.0 to 25.3 margin. Junior C Jordan Wilkes leads individually with 4.8 rpg, and five others are pulling down at least three per contest.

Junior G Jerome Randle is pouring in 19.8 ppg and has already reached the 20-point level three times - his career total entering the season. He has made 12-of-17 shots from behind the three-point arc and is 19-for-21 at the free throw line. In addition, he averages 4.5 apg and has a team-high four steals.

With three teammates also contributing in double figures - Patrick Christopher (12.5 ppg), Theo Robertson (12.5 ppg) and Jamal Boykin (10.5 ppg) - the Bears are scoring at an 80.5 ppg clip and own a +21.7 ppg scoring margin.

Cal is also keeping turnovers at a minimum, having committed no more than 12 in any outing, with a low of nine vs. San Francisco and North Carolina A&T.

The Bears, though, will have their work cut out in the Global Sports Classic as all four teams in the field are undefeated on the year with a collective 18-0 record. Cal is 0-3 all-time vs. UNLV, 4-3 against Cincinnati and has never faced Florida State previously.

Probable StartersPOS  NO   NAME                  HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPGF    10   Jamal Boykin          6-8   230  Jr   11.5  4.8Matched his career high with 18 points vs. Texas-Pan AmericanF    24   Theo Robertson        6-6   225  Jr   12.5  3.0Scored career-high 23 points vs. USF, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointersC    33   Jordan Wilkes         7-0   225  Jr   5.5   4.6Led Bears with six rebounds versus Pacific in first career startG     3   Jerome Randle         5-10  160  Jr   19.8  4.5 apg5th in NCAA in 3-point shooting (70.6%); 25 points vs. USFG    23   Patrick Christopher   6-5   215  Jr   12.5  2.5Reached double figures in scoring in all 4 games this year

UNLV Scouting Report

A Look at UNLV
UNLV is off to a 5-0 start this season after winning, 80-67, at Texas-El Paso Monday night. Wink Adams, who averages 16.2 ppg this year, tossed in 20 points along with six rebounds, six assists and five steals against the Miners. UNLV, which finished 27-8 last year, was picked by the media to win the Mountain West Conference title in 2008-09. The Runnin' Rebels reached the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Cal-UNLV Series History
UNLV holds a 3-0 series lead over Cal, most recently defeating the Bears, 73-72, on Andy Hannan's 12-footer with 0.4 seconds left on Dec. 2, 2004 in Berkeley. The Runnin' Rebels also prevailed in two contests played in Las Vegas - 59-57 on Nov. 29, 2003, and 101-81 in the second round of the Preseason NIT on Nov. 17, 1989.

UNLV Head Coach Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger is 96-42 in his fifth season at UNLV and 414-275 in 22 years coaching college basketball. Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, Kruger has led UNLV to a 62-15 mark and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Overall, he has won at least 20 games nine times and guided his 1993-94 Florida team to the Final Four.

Probable StartersPos  No   Name              Ht    Wt    Yr   Ppg   RpgF    44   Darris Santee     6-8   225   Jr   6.6   4.2F    45   Joe Darger        6-7   225   Sr   9.8   4.8G     1   Wink Adams        6-0   200   Sr   16.2  5.2G    24   Rene Rougeau      6-6   210   Sr   9.2   7.4G    33   Tre'Von Willies   6-4   195   So   7.6   2.2

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Cal Cruises Past NC A&T, 82-47
Jerome Randle scored 20 points and Omondi Amoke came off the bench to add a career-high 11 points to lead Cal to an 82-47 win over North Carolina A&T Monday in the Global Sports Classic. The Bears held the Aggies to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor and just 2-of-17 from three-point range. After a 7-7 tie five minutes into the first half, Cal outscored A&T 33-16 the rest of the period. Patrick Christopher was the only other Bears in double figures, finishing with 10 points, and Theo Robertson had a good all-around effort with seven points, six rebounds and a personal-best five assists (0 turnovers).

All-Junior Lineup for Bears
With no seniors on the roster, Cal has to look to its junior class for veteran leadership this season, and the Bears are getting just that with an all-junior starting lineup. Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher combined as Cal's starting backcourt virtually all of last year, and the pair is teaming up again in 2008-09. Jamal Boykin started in 11 of the Bears' final 15 games last season, while Theo Robertson started all 33 games in 2006-07 before missing '07-08 with a hip injury. Only C Jordan Wilkes had not had a start prior to this year.

Hot Shots
Through the first four games of the season, Cal has scorched the nets to the tune of 54.4 percent from the field. The Bears nearly set a school record when they made 67.9 percent of their shots vs. Texas-Pan American Nov. 20, falling just short of the mark of 68.5 percent reached three times, most recently vs. Arizona State on Jan. 5, 1989. Junior G Jerome Randle, a career 41.3 percent shooter entering the season, is 24-for-36 from the field (66.7%), while junior F Jamal Boykin is at 69.2 percent after making 8-of-9 vs. UTPA.

NCAA Field Goal Percentage Leaders (as of 11/26/08)1. Wake Forest          56.7%   106-1872. Baylor               54.9%   130-2373. North Dakota State   54.8%   103-1884. California           54.4%   118-2175. Tennessee            54.2%   104-192

Hot Shots, Part Trey
In addition to Cal's torrid field-goal percentage pace, the Bears are even better from three-point distance, where they lead the country at 58.8 percent. Cal has shot higher than 53 percent from behind the arc in all four games, with a best of 66.7 percent (8-12) vs. San Francisco Nov. 18. Jerome Randle paces the team and ranks fifth nationally at 70.6 percent, having made 12-of-17. He was 4-for-5 from long distance vs. North Carolina A&T, 3-for-4 against USF and 4-for-6 vs. Texas-Pan American. Theo Robertson is an impressive 9-for-17 (52.9%), while Eddie Miller (3-for-3), Jorge Gutierrez (1-for-1) and Nikola Knezevic (1-for-1) have yet to miss.

NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 11/26/08)1. California    58.8%   30-51 2. Ohio          55.2%   16-293. Lehigh        48.5%   32-664. Texas Tech    48.1%   50-1045. Penn State    47.6%   49-103

Overview of 2008 Global Sports Classic
Monday's game vs. North Carolina A&T was part of the eight-team Global Sports Classic that concludes this weekend in Las Vegas. Cal opened the first two rounds with an 85-58 win over Texas-Pan American and an 82-47 victory over North Carolina A&T. On Friday, Cal will meet UNLV on the Rebels' Thomas & Mack Center court and will face Florida State or Cincinnati at either 5 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Other teams competing in the tournament are Western Illinois and Coastal Carolina.

Opening RoundsNov. 18 - UNLV 73, Texas-Pan American 48Nov. 20 - California 85, Texas-Pan American 58Nov. 22 - Cincinnati 74, Western Illinois 46          Florida State 82, Coastal Carolina 70          UNLV 71, North Carolina A&T 58Nov. 24 - Florida State 67, Western Illinois 55          Cincinnati 82, Coastal Carolina 56          California 82, North Carolina A&T 47

Third Round*Nov. 28 - Coastal Carolina vs. Western Illinois, 12 noon Texas-Pan American vs. North Carolina A&T, 2:30 p.m. California vs. UNLV, 5 p.m. Florida State vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Championship Round*Nov. 29 - CCU/WIU loser vs. UTPA/NC A&T loser, 12 noon CCU/WIU winner vs. UTPA/NC A&T winner, 2:30 p.m. Cal/UNLV loser vs. FSU/Cincinnati loser, 5 p.m. Cal/UNLV winner vs. FSU/Cincinnati winner, 7:30 p.m.

*at Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Montgomery Off to Quick Start at Cal
With Monday's win over North Carolina A&T, head coach Mike Montgomery became just the third Cal coach to start his Golden Bear career with four straight victories. The last coach to accomplish the feat was Rene Herrerias, who began 5-0 in 1960-61 as the successor to Pete Newell. Ben Cherrington started out 11-0 during his only season leading the program in 1916-17, although four of the wins came against YMCA teams and one was against Berkeley High School.

Bears Begin with Four 10-Point Wins for First Time in 56 Years
Cal has won each of its first four games by at least 10 points for the first time since the 1952-53 season. The Bears opened with a 68-56 victory over Pacific and followed with decisions over San Francisco (87-74), Texas-Pan American (85-58) and North Carolina A&T (82-47). Back in the fall of '52 when Nibs Price oversaw the program, Cal started with a 20-point win over its alumni and recorded double-digit wins over Pacific and USF (two of the same teams it faced this year), plus a victory over Hawaii.

Cal's Non-Conference Success at Haas Pavilion
With a 4-0 record to start the year, Cal has now won 26 of its last 29 non-conference home games. Last season, the Bears were 8-1 inside Haas Pavilion against teams outside the Pac-10, including a 68-66 victory over New Mexico in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. The only loss was a 67-65 setback to Utah. Looking back further, Cal was 6-1 outside the conference at home in 2006-07 and 6-0 in 2005-06.

Jerome Randle Provides Scoring, Assists at the Point
Junior PG Jerome Randle, who leads the Bears in both scoring (19.8 ppg) and assists (4.5 apg), has scored at least 20 points three times in four games - equaling his career total entering the season. Randle had 24 points in the opener vs. Pacific, then fell one point shy of his career best with 25 points against San Francisco. In Monday's triumph over North Carolina A&T, he chipped in with another 20 points. Shooting 66.7 percent from the floor and 70.6 percent from three-point range, Randle is Cal's all-time leader in free throw percentage, having made 134-of-157 from the stripe (85.4%), including 19-of-21 this season (90.5%). In addition to his scoring prowess, Randle dished out seven assists in consecutive games vs. USF and Texas-Pan American and owns a team-high four steals.

Cal Career Free Throw Leaders1. Jerome Randle (2007- )     85.4%   134-1572. Michael Chavez (1980-83)   84.3%   198-2353. Ryan Anderson (2007-08)    84.1%   276-3284. Shantay Legans (2000-02)   83.7%   190-2275. Bill Duwe (1969-72)        81.6%   120-147

The Max Factor: Center Stands Tall in the Middle
Redshirt-freshman Max Zhang may be playing just 7.3 minutes per game, but he is making his presence felt with a team-leading five blocks so far. The tallest player in school history at 7-3, Zhang had a pair of blocks vs. Texas-Pan American, then swatted away three shots in the second half vs. North Carolina A&T.

Nibs Price to Be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Clarence Merle 'Nibs' Price will be Cal's inductee into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during the conference basketball tournament in March. Price, who graduated from Cal in 1914, is the school's all-time winningest basketball coach, having guided the Bears to a 449-294 record from 1924-54. His teams won eight Pacific Coast Conference championships in addition to capturing 12 Southern Division crowns. He led the Bears to 29 consecutive wins over one three-year stretch, including a pair of undefeated seasons, going 14-0 in 1925-26 and 13-0 in 1926-67. Price's 1945-46 squad finished 30-6 overall, setting a Cal record for most wins in a season and advancing to the NCAA Final Four, where the Bears placed fourth. He also served as Cal's football coach from 1926-30 and led the Bears to the 1929 Rose Bowl. Previous Cal inductees into the Hall of Honor are Pete Newell (2002), Kevin Johnson (2003), Jason Kidd (2004), Darrall Imhoff (2005), Andy Wolfe (2006), Russ Critchfield (2007) and Charles Johnson (2008).

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