Cal Returns Home to Face Nevada and Colgate
Dec. 17, 2008
BERKELEY - Complete Release in PDF Format
Nevada Wolf Pack (5-4) at California Golden Bears (7-2)
Saturday, Dec. 20, 3 p.m. / Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Nevada Sports Network
Colgate Raiders (3-6) at California Golden Bears
Monday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m. / Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: none
California returns to Haas Pavilion this week after a 10-day break, hosting Nevada on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m. and Colgate on Monday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. The Golden Bears (7-2) look to carry the momentum after last week's thrilling 72-69 victory over Utah into their matchup with the Wolf Pack.
Following their second loss of the season at Missouri on Dec. 7, the Bears rebounded with an impressive win at Utah on Dec. 10. Junior G Jerome Randle's three-pointer with six seconds left proved to be the difference, breaking a 69-all tie. Cal now has the luxury of finishing its nonconference schedule and opening the first week of Pac-10 play in Berkeley.
The Bears continue to pace the nation in three-point accuracy, having connected on just over half their attempts (51.7%). Randle is leading the way from behind the arc, hitting on 25-of-41 for a 61.0-percent success rate, No. 2 in the country (min. 2.5 made per game). Not far behind is junior F Theo Robertson, at 60.0 percent (18-of-30). Last week at Utah, Robertson nailed all three three-pointers that he took.
Randle also paces the squad with 20.3 ppg and has led the Bears in eight of nine games. He matched his career high with 26 points vs. Florida State on Nov. 29 and tossed in 21 at Utah. He is dishing out 4.3 apg and owns a team-best 12 steals.On the defensive end, the Bears are holding opponents to 66.6 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg Cal allowed last year. Four teams have not broken 60 points, including North Carolina A&T, which was confined to 47 points.
Junior G Patrick Christopher has also been one of the keys on both ends of the floor. In addition to contributing 14.2 ppg, he has stepped up on his defensive assignments. Christopher grabbed eight rebounds vs. DePaul and had seven more at UNLV.
Offensively, he posted 17 points last week at Utah and added two assists and five rebounds.
Note: Monday, Dec. 22, is a doubleheader as the Cal women's basketball team will face Baylor at 5 p.m., followed by the men vs. Colgate at 8 p.m. A ticket to the men's game is good for the earlier women's game that day, as well.
POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 8.9 6.118 points vs. Texas-Pan Am; team-high six rebounds at UtahF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 12.3 3.4Perfect 3-for-3 at the three-point line at UtahC 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Jr 4.4 4.7Personal-high 10 rebounds vs. DePaulG 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 20.3 4.3 apgGame-high 21 points, including the game-winning basket, at UtahG 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 14.2 3.8Reached double figures in scoring in 8 of 9 games this year
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Cal Escapes Utah with Three-Point Win
Jerome Randle drilled a three-pointer with six seconds left to give Cal a 72-69 victory at Utah on Dec. 10. Randle recorded a game-high 21 points and also added three assists and three rebounds. Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson each tallied 17 points and five rebounds against the Utes. Robertson was a perfect 3-for-3 from the three-point line and Christopher also added two assists. Sophomore F Harper Kamp tallied a season-best 12 points against the Utes. Freshman G Jorge Gutierrez recorded a season-best three steals and had a team-best four assists.
New Times for Day 1 of Colliers International Golden Bear Classic
Due to the 5 p.m. kickoff time for Cal football against Miami at the Emerald Bowl Dec. 27 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, tipoff times for the two basketball games on the first day of the Colliers International Golden Bear Classic have been changed to allow fans to enjoy the complete slate of action on the gridiron and hardwood that day. Cal and Dartmouth will square off at Haas Pavilion at 1 p.m., followed by Air Force vs. Portland at 3:30. The move allows Cal fans to watch the basketball game, then have the option of taking BART to AT&T park to attend the football game. Times for the second day of the Golden Bear Classic on Dec. 28 will remain the same - consolation game at 2:30 and championship game at 5 p.m.
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: Jerome Randle Lighting Up the Nets
Junior G Jerome Randle, who averaged 11.8 ppg last season, is pouring in 20.3 ppg this year to lead the Bears. He already has six 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 eight times in nine games, including a career-high-tying 26 points vs. Florida State Nov. 29. Randle is shooting 54.6 percent from the floor and has made 61.0 percent of his three-point attempts (25-for-41), which ranks second-best in the country. In addition, he is 52-for-61 at the free throw line (85.2%).
Hot Shots, Part Trey
With junior G Jerome Randle leading the way, Cal ranks first nationally in three-point shooting, having connected on 51.7 percent of its shots from behind the arc. Randle's 61.0 percent is No. 2 in the nation, while junior F Theo Robertson has also been shooting well at 60.0 percent (18-30) from the three-point line. 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, junior F Jamal Boykin (2-for-2) and reserve Eddie Miller (3-for-3) are also shooting well from long distance.
NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 12/10/08)1. California .517 (61/118 )2. Arizona .467 (56/120 )3. Air Force .459 (68/148 )4. North Dakota State .457 (64/140 )5. Miami (OH) .443 (70/158 )
Harper's Heating Up
Sophomore F Harper Kamp had a huge game against Utah on Dec. 10. Kamp posted a season-best 12 points, jumping up from averaging 1.4 ppg to 2.6. Kamp entered the game against the Utes with 11 points on the year and surpassed that season total with his performance that night. His career-best showing is 16 points, which he earned against Jackson State on Dec. 5 of last year. In 27 minutes of play, Kamp was 5-for-10 from the floor and collected three rebounds.
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.
Cal's Nonconference Success at Haas Pavilion
With a 5-0 record in Haas Pavilion to start the year, Cal has now won 27 of its last 30 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 nine games into the 2008-09 campaign, it seems the 6-5 wing is playing as well as ever. He is averaging 12.3 ppg, scoring in double figures seven times in nine games, and shooting 50.6 percent from the floor and 60.0 percent from three-point distance. Robertson soared to a career-high 23 points - 19 in the first half - vs. San Francisco on Nov. 18 and added 17 points against Utah 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 5.4 minutes per game, but he is making his presence felt with a team-leading 10 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 three more in the first half at UNLV.
Wilkes' Presence Felt as Smaller of the 7-Footers
Seven-foot junior C Jordan Wilkes, the other half of Cal's tandem of 7-footers, is putting up career numbers so far in 2008-09, notching career highs in rebounds (10 vs. DePaul) and blocks (2 vs. North Carolina A&T). The brother of former Cal guard Omar Wilkes and son of NBA great Jamal Wilkes has also spent his most time on the floor this season, at 19.9 mpg.
Boykin Boosts Bears on Boards
Junior F Jamal Boykin has emerged as Cal's most consistent rebounder this season, averaging 6.1 per game. He has paced the Bears on the glass six times in the last seven games, with a high of nine at Missouri. Not only does Boykin have a team-high 38 defensive rebounds, but he also owns a team-best 17 offense boards. Last week at Utah, Boykin continued his streak of pacing the Bears on the glass with a team-high six rebounds against the Utes.
Jerome Randle Aiming to Stay Hot 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 52-for-61 free throw attempts (85.2%). He was an impressive 16-for-18 vs. Florida State 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- ) 85.2% 167-1962. 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