Cal Opens Pac-10 Play Against Arizona
Dec. 30, 2008
Arizona Wildcats (9-3, 0-0) at California Golden Bears (11-2, 0-0)
Friday, Jan. 2, 5:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Comcast SportsNet California
Arizona State Sun Devils (11-1, 0-0) at California Golden Bears
Sunday, Jan. 4, 5:00 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Comcast SportsNet California
Fresh off of producing one of its best nonconference records in school history, and riding a five-game winning streak, California (11-2) opens the Pac-10 portion of its schedule against Arizona on Friday, Jan. 2, at 5:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears, who won six of their seven games in the month of December, claimed their 11th Golden Bear Classic title in 16 years last weekend, knocking off Portland in the final with an 81-61 victory over the Pilots on Dec. 28.
Along the way to the Bears' tournament title, junior F Jamal Boykin secured Cal's first double-double of the season when he earned career highs in points (19) and assists (12) to lead the Bears in both categories against Portland. Prior to the win over the Pilots, Cal won its fourth in a row on Dec. 27, topping Dartmouth by a lopsided score of 98-62, the Bears' largest point total this season.
The 36-point win was also the Bears' largest margin of victory this year, following a previous 35-point victory against Colgate in their previous game. The Bears continue to pace the nation in three-point accuracy, connecting on just over half of their attempts (50.6%). Junior F Theo Robertson is currently No.1 nation in three-point percentage at 61.5 percent (min 1.5 made per game), while junior G Jerome Randle is No. 5 in the NCAA in the same category at 56.1 percent.
Randle paces the squad with 19.5 ppg and has led the Bears in 11 of 13 games. He was Cal's leading scorer for nine games in a row before Boykin's impressive day against Portland. Randle matched his career high with 26 points vs. Florida State on Nov. 29. He is dishing out 4.8 apg and owns a team-best 14 steals. On the defensive end, the Bears are holding opponents to 64.3 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg Cal allowed last year.
Junior G Patrick Christopher is currently averaging 14.0 ppg. He is also tied for third on the team in rebounds with 49, averaging 3.8 per game. Offensively against Portland, he posted another double-digit scoring performance with 13 points.
POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 9.9 6.2Career bests in points (19) and rebounds (12) vs. PortlandF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 11.8 3.4Nailed 10 of his last 13 three-point attemptsC 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Jr 4.9 4.0Tied his career high with 11 points against DartmouthG 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 19.5 4.8 apgCal's leading scorer in 11 of 13 games this seasonG 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 14.0 3.8Led Cal in rebounds for the first time this year vs. Nevada with six
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 11-2 record with the Golden Bears and a 558-246 (.694) 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.
Arizona Scouting Report
A Look at Arizona
In its final nonconference game of the regular season, Arizona got past Weber State, 71-65, on Dec. 29 in Tucson, Ariz. Nic Wise led the Wildcats with a game-high 23 points, and also chipped in five assists. On the season, Jordan Hill has been Arizona's leading scorer, averaging 18.9 ppg and 11.8 rpg.
Cal-Arizona Series History
Arizona takes the floor at Haas Pavilion with a 51-25 all-time lead in the series, having swept last year's two games against the Bears, a 79-75 road win in Berkeley and a 10-point home victory in Tucson.
Arizona Head Coach Russ Pennell
Russ Pennell assumed the role of interim head coach at Arizona on Oct. 24, 2008, in the wake of Lute Olson's retirement. Pennell returned to college basketball with the Wildcats in May of 2008, ending a two-year stint as the head of the Arizona Premier League in the Phoenix area. Most recently, Pennell served as an assistant coach for Arizona State for eight seasons from 1998-2006.
Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 43 Jordan Hill 6-10 235 Jr. 18.9 11.8F 34 Chase Budinger 6-7 218 Jr. 17.8 5.8F 42 Jamelle Horne 6-6 209 So. 8.5 5.4G 13 Nic Wise 5-10 177 Jr. 13.8 2.8G 21 Kyle Fogg 6-2 175 Fr. 5.3 2.3For more information: www.arizonaathletics.com
Arizona State Scouting Report
A Look at Arizona State
Arizona State routed Central Connecticut State, 84-47, on Dec. 29 in its final nonconference regular season contest. James Harden led the Sun Devils, notching game highs in points (24) and assists (6). Harden has been paving the way for ASU all season, averaging 23.8 ppg. He also leads his squad in assists (52) and steals (22).
Cal-ASU Series History
In their last meeting, on Feb. 16, 2008, the Bears beat the Sun Devils in Tempe, Ariz., 76-73, to split the season series after ASU came away with its 99-90 double-overtime win in Berkeley. Arizona State holds a three-game edge, 34-31, in the all-time series.
Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek
Arizona State is coached by Herb Sendek, in his 16th year as a head coach and third season at the helm of the Sun Devils. Sendek turned ASU, which finished with a Pac-10 record of 2-16 the year before he came to Tempe, into a team that won 21 games and a school-record 15 home wins his first year.
Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 4 Jeff Pendergraph 6-9 240 Sr. 12.6 7.4F 30 Rihards Kuksiks 6-6 205 So. 10.7 3.5G 13 James Harden 6-5 218 So. 23.7 6.3G 3 Ty Abbott 6-3 215 So. 10.9 5.0G 12 Derek Glasser 6-1 190 Jr. 5.4 2.2For more information: www.thesundevils.com
Last Time Out: Cal Wins 11th Golden Bear Classic Title
Jamal Boykin recorded Cal's first double-double of the season as he scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both career highs, lifting Cal to an 81-61 victory over Portland in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic on Dec. 28. The Bears ended the nonconference season with an 11-2 record. The title, also earned with a 98-62 victory over Dartmouth on Day 1 of the GBC, was Cal's 11th in the tournament's 16-year history. Theo Robertson and tournament MVP Jerome Randle each scored 16 against Portland and Patrick Christopher added 13 points. Robertson and Boykin made the all-tournament team.
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. Junior F 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 junior C Jordan Wilkes had not had a start prior to this year.
Hot Shots: Jerome Randle Lighting Up the Nets
Jerome Randle, who averaged 11.8 ppg last season, is pouring in 19.5 ppg this year to lead the Bears. He already has seven 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 11 times in 13 games, including a career-high-tying 26 points vs. Florida State Nov. 29. Randle is shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and has made 56.1 percent of his three-point attempts (32-for-57). In addition, he is 73-for-85 at the free throw line (85.9%).
Hot Shots, Part Trey
Cal ranked first nationally in three-point shooting coming out of last weekend's action, having connected on 50.6 percent of its shots from behind the arc. Theo Robertson is leading the nation in three-point percentage at 61.5 percent (min 1.5 made per game), with Jerome Randle No. 5 in the nation at 56.1 percent. As a team, the Bears have made more than half their attempts a number of times this season, including a 7-for-10 effort at UNLV, an 8-for-12 performance against San Francisco, 7-for-11 at Utah and 7-for-12 against Nevada. In addition to Randle and Robertson, Jamal Boykin (3-for-3) and reserve Eddie Miller (4-for-5) are also shooting well from long distance.
NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 12/29/08)
1. California .506 ( 82/162 )2. Arizona .444 ( 60/135 )3. Air Force .443 ( 85/192 )4. North Dakota State .439 ( 83/189 )5. Miami (OH) .422 ( 73/173 )
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. In 27 minutes of play, Kamp was 5-for-10 from the floor and collected three rebounds. He followed that performance with six points against Nevada, improving his season scoring average to 2.9. He also collected five rebounds and two assists against the Wolf Pack. Kamp is currently averaging 3.5 ppg and 3.2 rpg.
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 Earns Best Pre-Jan. 1 Win Mark
Having completed the nonconference portion of its schedule with an 11-2 mark, Cal has recorded double-digit pre-New Year's Day victories for the first time since the 1947-48 season, when the Bears were 10-3 before the New Year.
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.
Theo Robertson Returns to the Lineup
Theo Robertson is back in the starting lineup after missing all of last year due to preseason hip surgery. Thirteen games into the 2008-09 campaign, it seems the 6-5 wing is playing as well as ever. He is averaging 12.1 ppg, scoring in double figures 10 times in 13 games, and shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and 61.5 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 swished all 10 of his points against Nevada on Dec. 20 in the final seven minutes of the contest, helping Cal seal the victory.
Gutierrez Quietly Making an Impact
The hustle of freshman G Jorge Gutierrez has been paying off on the scoresheets as of late. Gutierrez earned a season-best three steals and also tied his season best in assists with four at Utah. He also tallied four assists against Texas-Pan American on Nov. 20. Gutierrez is averaging 18.4 minutes per game of playing time. In 23 minutes of play against Nevada, Gutierrez posted four points, three rebounds and two assists. He notched eight points against Colgate with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gutierrez is currently averaging 1.7 assists per game 0.85 steals per game, second best on the team.
The Max Factor: Center Stands Tall in the Middle
Redshirt-freshman C Max Zhang may be playing just 5.2 minutes per game, but he is making his presence felt with a team-leading 12 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. He added two blocks against Portland in the final of the Golden Bear Classic.
Wilkes' Presence Felt as Smaller of the 7-Footers
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), blocks (2 vs. North Carolina A&T), and tying his career best in points (11 vs. Dartmouth). Wilkes tied his then-season-best point total against Colgate on Dec. 22, putting up eight points. The brother of former Cal guard Omar Wilkes and son of NBA great Jamaal Wilkes has also spent his most time on the floor this season, at 18.5 mpg.
Boykin Boosts Bears on Boards
Jamal Boykin has emerged as Cal's most consistent rebounder this season, averaging 6.2 per game. He has paced the Bears on the glass seven times in the last 11 games, with a new career high of 12 vs. Portland. Not only does Boykin have a team-high 50 defensive rebounds, but he also owns a team-best 30 offense boards. On Dec. 10, Boykin led the Bears on the glass with a team-high six rebounds against at Utah.
Jerome Randle Aiming to Stay Hot at the Line
Already Cal's all-time leader in career free throw percentage entering the season, 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 73-for-85 free throw attempts (85.9%). Two times this season Randle has been perfect at the line when having more than five shots. He went 7-for-7 against Nevada and 6-for-6 against USF on Nov. 18.
Cal Career Free Throw Leaders
1. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 85.4% 188-2202. 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).
Bears Sign Bak Bak, Sanders-Frison
Cal signed two players to National Letters of Intent in November, adding 6-10, 200-pound forward Bak Bak out of Village Christian HS in Sun Valley, Calif., and 6-8, 265-pound center Markurhi Sanders-Frison from South Plains CC in Levelland, Texas, to the 2009-10 roster.
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.
Sanders-Frison 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.
100th Season of Cal Men's Basketball
California is celebrating the 100th season of Golden Bear men's basketball this year. Over the course of its first century of play, Cal 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 vs. Stanford, which will include recognition of all Golden Bear basketball alumni who have contributed to Cal's history.
Remembering Hall of Famer Pete Newell
Pete Newell, one of the basketball's most respected and beloved figures who led California to the 1959 NCAA title, passed away on Monday, Nov. 17 after a long illness. He was 93.
Head coach of the Golden Bears from 1954-60, Newell guided Cal to four consecutive conference crowns (1957-60) and was voted National Coach of the Year in 1960. He finished his Cal career with a 119-44 record, which included an NCAA runner-up finish in '60 in addition to the 1959 title. Newell also led the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal at the 1960 Games in Rome with a squad that featured former Cal center Darrall Imhoff as well as such future NBA standouts as Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. He later served as Cal's Director of Athletics from 1960-68. On Dec. 21, 1987, the playing surface at Harmon Gym (now Haas Pavilion) was renamed 'Pete Newell Court' in his honor. A statue of Newell, created by renowned sculptor Eino, was installed in the Haas Pavilion Club Room in the fall of 2006. Newell was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a year later.
Newell, who guided San Francisco to the 1949 National Invitation Tournament title, is one of only three men to have captured the 'Triple Crown' of coaching - NIT, NCAA and Olympic gold medal (also Bob Knight, Dean Smith).
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