Cal Hosts DePaul Wednesday in Haas Pavilion
Dec. 1, 2008
DePaul Blue Demons (4-0) at California Golden Bears (5-1)
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: CSN California
California returns to Haas Pavilion to host DePaul Wednesday at 7:30, the Golden Bears' lone home contest during a five-game stretch that began Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 10.
Cal is coming off a split at the Global Sports Classic last weekend in Las Vegas. The Bears opened with a decisive 73-55 victory over host UNLV Friday to break the Runnin' Rebels' 19-game winning streak at the Thomas & Mack Center. In the tournament final, however, Florida State handed Cal its first loss by an 80-77 margin.
Next weekend, Cal travels to Columbia, Mo., to meet Missouri in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series before visiting Utah Dec. 10 for its last contest before fall final exams.
Led by junior G Jerome Randle, the Bears pace the nation in three-point accuracy, having connected on 53.8 percent of their long-range attempts. Randle is 18-for-28 on treys and his 64.3 percent rate is No. 7 in the country.Overall, Randle paces the squad with 20.5 ppg after matching his personal high with 26 points vs. Florida State. He is also dishing out a team-best 4.5 apg and owns a team-high eight steals.
On the defensive end, Cal is limiting its opponents to just 61.7 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg the Bears allowed last year. Against UNLV, Cal held the Rebels to only 29.7 percent field goal shooting and outrebounded them 50-34.
Junior G Patrick Christopher has been one of the keys to the Bear effort. He was the primary defender on Ed Jones, North Carolina A&T's leading scorer (15.3 ppg entering the Nov. 24 game), and helped keep him to 1-of-8 shooting. In Cal's next outing, he drew UNLV senior Wink Adams (16.2 ppg) as his assignment and held him to 3-of-14 from the floor.
The Bears also own a +6.8 rebound margin and have had a +9 or greater differential four times. Only one player - junior F Jamal Boykin (5.3 rpg) - averages more than five boards per game. Instead, eight players are grabbing at least 2.5 rpg in a show of true team effort.
Pete Newell Memorial - A public memorial for former Cal head coach Pete Newell, who died Nov. 17 at age 93, will be held prior to the DePaul game at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Pauley Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building.
Probable StartersPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 10.2 5.3Matched his career high with 18 points vs. Texas-Pan AmericanF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 13.0 2.7Scored career-high 23 points vs. USF, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointersC 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Jr 5.0 4.8Led Bears with six rebounds versus Pacific in first career startG 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 20.5 4.5 apgTied career best with 26 points at UNLV; 64.3 3P% and 90.7 FT%G 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 13.2 3.0Reached double figures in scoring in all 6 games this year
Cal Head Coach Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery, one of the most successful coaches in the collegiate game, is in his first season overseeing the California program. He has a 5-1 record with the Golden Bears and a 552-245 (.693) overall mark that includes eight years at Montana and 18 seasons at Stanford. 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 (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004). Montgomery was introduced as Cal's 15th head coach on April 5, 2008.
DePaul Scouting Report
A Look at DePaul
DePaul is off to a 4-0 start, its best since the 2002-03 campaign, following a 75-70 homecourt victory over Indiana State Saturday. Dar Tucker paced the Blue Demons with 26 points, while Mac Koshwal grabbed 15 rebounds against the Sycamores. For the season, Tucker is tossing in 20.8 ppg, and Koshwal averages a double-double with 12.3 ppg and 12.3 rpg.
Cal-DePaul Series History
DePaul owns a 3-2 series lead, including a 90-62 win over Cal on Dec. 23, 2006, in Rosemont, Ill. The Bears won the initial meeting, 62-59, in 2006 at the Bay Area Classic in San Jose. The teams then played twice in 1998-99 in Rosemont. The Blue Demons prevailed during the regular season, 75-72, but Cal overcame an early 17-point deficit to win the rematch, 58-57, in the second round of the NIT. The Bears went on to claim the NIT championship in March. DePaul also won, 68-65, at the 2005 Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland.
DePaul Head Coach Jerry Wainwright
Jerry Wainwright is 47-48 in his fourth season at DePaul and 233-192 in his 15th year as a collegiate coach. Prior to taking over the Blue Demon program, he had head coaching stints at Richmond and UNC Wilmington.
Probable StartersPos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 2 Dar Tucker 6-4 210 So 20.8 6.5F 31 Matija Poscic 6-10 235 Sr 5.8 6.0C 13 Mac Koshwal 6-10 240 So 12.3 12.3G 1 Jabari Currie 6-4 215 Sr 7.5 1.8G 30 Bill Walker 6-0 180 Jr 11.8 2.5
For more information: www.depaulbluedemons.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Florida State Edges Cal 80-77 for Tourney Title
Florida State held off a furious Cal rally in the final three minutes to win the Global Sports Classic with an 80-77 victory Saturday in Las Vegas, Nev. Down by 14 points with 2:41 left, Cal eventually got within two points at 78-76 with seven seconds to go. After FSU hit one of two free throws for a three-point advantage, Jerome Randle was fouled before he could attempt a three-pointer. He made his first free throw and missed the second on purpose. However, Florida State grabbed the rebound to seal the game. Randle, who tied a career high with 26 points, and Patrick Christopher were named to the all-tournament team. The Bears began the weekend with a 73-55 decision over host UNLV, breaking the Runnin' Rebels' 19-game home winning streak.
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.
Cal Rebounding Well with +6.8 Margin
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 35.3 to 28.5 margin. In the Bears' win over UNLV last Friday, they out-boarded the Runnin' Rebels, 50-34, grabbing at least 50 caroms for the first time since getting 51 vs. Oregon State in the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament. No one player is dominating the statistics - Jamal Boykin leads the squad with 5.3 rpg, but seven different players are snaring 2.7 or more per game. In addition to the UNLV differential, Cal had a +12 margin vs. North Carolina A&T and +9 against both Pacific and San Francisco. Even against a Florida State team that started four players 6-7 or taller, the Bears were nearly even (34 to 36).
Hot Shots: Jerome Randle Lighting Up the Nets
Junior G Jerome Randle, who averaged 11.8 ppg last season, is pouring in 20.5 ppg this year to lead the Bears. He already has four 20-point efforts so far, exceeding his career total of three 20-point games during his first two seasons in the program. He has paced Cal in scoring five times in six games, including a career-high-tying 26 points vs. Florida State last Saturday. Randle is shooting 55.9 percent from the floor and has made 64.3 percent of his three-point attempts (18-for-28), which ranks sixth-best in the country. In addition, he is 39-for-43 at the free throw line after going 16-for-18 against FSU to become the first Cal player to make 16 FTs since Ed Gray at Washington State in 1997.
Hot Shots, Part Trey
With Jerome Randle leading the way, Cal ranks first nationally in three-point shooting, having connected on 53.8 percent of its shots from behind the arc. Randle's 64.3 percent is No. 7 in the nation, while junior F Theo Robertson isn't much further behind at 54.2 percent (13-24). As a team, the Bears made more than half their attempts in each of their first five games, including a 7-for-10 effort at UNLV and an 8-for-12 performance against San Francisco. In addition to Randle and Robertson, reserves Eddie Miller (3-for-3) and Jorge Gutierrez (3-for-5) are both shooting well from long distance.
NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 12/1/08)1. California 53.8% 43-80 2. Ohio 52.4% 22-423. North Dakota State 47.2% 34-724. Utah State 46.8% 22-475. Texas Tech 45.0% 68-151
Montgomery Off to Quick Start at Cal
Head coach Mike Montgomery became the first Cal coach in 48 years to win his first five games directing the program. The Bears opened with victories over Pacific, San Francisco, Texas-Pan American, North Carolina A&T and UNLV before falling by three points to Florida State. The last coach to accomplish the five-game feat was Rene Herrerias, who began 5-0 in 1960-61 as the successor to Pete Newell.
Bears Begin with Five 10-Point Wins for First Time in 82 Years
Cal won each of its first five games by at least 10 points for the first time since the 1926-27 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). Cal then stopped UNLV's home winning streak at 19 games with a 73-55 triumph at the Thomas & Mack Center. Back in 1926-27, Cal also opened with wins over San Francisco and Pacific en route to prevailing by double figures in its first six contests.
Cal's Non-Conference Success at Haas Pavilion
With a 4-0 record in Haas Pavilion to start the year, Cal has now won 26 of its last 29 non-conference home games. Last season, the Bears were 8-1 in Berkeley 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.
Theo Robertson Returns to the Lineup
Junior F Theo Robertson is back in the starting lineup after missing all of last year due to preseason hip surgery. And six games into the 2008-09 campaign, it seems the 6-5 wing is playing as well as ever. He is averaging 13.0 ppg, scoring in double figures five times in six games, and shooting an even 50.0 percent from the floor and 54.2 percent from three-point distance. Robertson soared to a career-high 23 points - 19 in the first half - vs. San Francisco Nov. 18 and added 16 points against Florida State last week. As a sophomore in 2006-07, Robertson started all 33 games and chipped in 8.8 ppg despite having to play power forward much of the year due to injuries to a pair of Cal post players.
The Max Factor: Center Stands Tall in the Middle
Redshirt-freshman Max Zhang may be playing just 6.7 minutes per game, but he is making his presence felt with a team-leading nine 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 and thee more in the first half at UNLV.
Jerome Randle Almost Perfect at the Line
Already Cal's all-time leader in career free throw percentage entering the season, junior G Jerome Randle is connecting at an even higher clip in 2008-09. Over his first two years in the program, Randle was a combined 115-for-126 (84.6%), which ranked just ahead of Michael Chavez, who was 198-for-235 (84.3%) at the stripe from 1980-83. This season, though, Randle has made 39-for-43 free throw attempts (90.7%). He was an impressive 16-for-18 vs. Florida State Saturday even after missing his final try on purpose to give the Bears a chance at the rebound when they were down two with three seconds left.
Cal Career Free Throw Leaders1. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 86.0% 154-1792. 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
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).