Cal Heads to Arizona for Final Weekend of Regular Season
March 3, 2009
California Golden Bears (21-8, 10-6) at Arizona Wildcats (18-11, 8-8)
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. PT, McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz..
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Fox Sports Net
California Golden Bears at Arizona State Sun Devils (21-7, 10-6)
Saturday, March 7, 11 a.m. PT, Wells Fargo Arena
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: CBS
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, California (21-8, 10-6) heads to Arizona and Arizona State this weekend. Cal split last weekend's final two contests in Berkeley, topping USC in overtime on Thursday but falling to UCLA on Saturday. The Golden Bears, currently tied for third in the Pac-10 with the Sun Devils, play Arizona on Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the McKale Center.Last weekend, junior guard Patrick Christopher scored a career-high 29 points against USC and 16 points against UCLA. Christopher currently stands at No. 26 in the school's all-time career scoring list.
In the NCAA statistics, Cal currently ranks among the nation's top 15 in field goal shooting (7th, 49.0%), three-point shooting (1st, 43.9%) and free throw shooting (12th, 75.9%). No other school in the country rates in the top 15 in all three categories.
Junior guard Jerome Randle continues to lead the squad in scoring with 17.8 ppg and has been the Bears' leading scorer in 17 of 29 games. He is dishing out 5.1 apg, the best in the Pac-10 right now, and is fourth on the team in steals with 21. On Cal's career chart, Randle is seventh in assists (358) and sixth in three-pointers (144). He is also within striking distance of the school record for three-pointers in a season, having drained 66 this year, just two shy of the 68 by Ryan Drew in 1990.
The Bears continue to pace the nation in three-point accuracy, connecting on 43.9 percent of their attempts. Junior forward Theo Robertson is currently No. 3 in three-point accuracy at 52.2 percent (min 1.5 made per game). Robertson recently moved into first place in the Cal record books for career three-point shooting accuracy at 44.3 percent.
On defense, the Bears are holding opponents to 67.2 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg Cal allowed last year. The Bears have held eight opponents to less than 40.0 percent shooting this season, including holding the Ducks to 33.9 percent on Feb. 19. Only seven teams have been able to make more than half their attempts against Cal.
POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 9.8 6.5Has amassed five of Cal's seven double-doubles on the seasonF 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 12.2 3.8Led the Bears in scoring at Oregon State with 15 pointsC 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Sr 5.1 3.8Scored a career-high 16 points at USCG 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 17.8 5.1 apgEarned 14th 20-point performance with 20 vs. UCLAG 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 15.0 3.8Recorded a career-high 29 points vs. USC
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 21-8 record with the Golden Bears and a 568-252 (.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. On February 19 against Oregon, Montgomery became the third consecutive Cal coach to win 20 games in his first season as head coach (Ben Braun - 23 in 1996-97, Todd Bozeman - 22 in 1993-94).
Arizona Scouting Report
A Look at Arizona
Arizona is coming off a weekend in which they lost to Washington State and then-No. 21 Washington. The Wildcats are currently on a three-game losing streak. Jordan Hill leads the squad in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.2 ppg and 11.0 rpg.
Cal-Arizona Series History
Arizona currently leads the all-time series 51-26, 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. Cal won the first meeting of the year with a 69-55 victory in Berkeley in both teams' Pac-10 opener.
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. 18.2 11.0F 34 Chase Budinger 6-7 218 Jr. 17.6 6.6G 2 Zane Johnson 6-5 204 So. 5.1 1.8G 13 Nic Wise 5-10 177 Jr. 14.8 2.5G 21 Kyle Fogg 6-2 175 Fr. 6.4 2.2
For more information: www.arizonaathletics.com
Arizona State Scouting Report
A Look at Arizona State
Arizona State and Cal head into the final weekend of the regular season tied for third in the Pac-10. ASU is coming off back-to-back overtime losses after being swept by then-No. 21 Washington and Washington State on the road. James Harden currently leads the Sun Devils in scoring with 20.8 ppg, which also leads the Pac-10.
Cal-ASU Series History
Arizona State leads the all-time series 34-32. Last season, Cal and ASU split their series, with the road team winning in each game. The Sun Devils beat Cal in Berkeley with a 99-90 double-overtime win, while the Bears beat Arizona State 76-73 in Tempe. In their first meeting of the year, Cal upset the Sun Devils 81-71 in Berkeley.
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 in his first year at Tempe, into a team that won 21 games and a school-record 15 home wins in his second year.
Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 4 Jeff Pendergraph 6-9 240 Sr. 13.9 8.4F 30 Rihards Kuksiks 6-6 205 So. 10.4 3.9G 13 James Harden 6-5 218 So. 20.8 5.6G 10 Jamelle McMillan 6-2 180 So. 4.9 2.0G 12 Derek Glasser 6-1 190 Jr. 8.0 2.1
For more information: www.thesundevils.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Bruins Crash Bears' ESPN GameDay Party
Jerome Randle scored 20 points and Patrick Christopher had 16 in the final game of the season at Haas Pavilion for Cal, but the Bears fell to UCLA, 72-68. Theo Robertson also added 14 points. Cal led 53-49 with nine and a half minutes to play before Nikola Dragovic's 3-pointer kicked off 13 consecutive points for the Bruins. The game also marked the final home game for Jordan Wilkes. ESPN GameDay was present at this game, the first time the show has ever been filmed at Haas Pavilion.
Harper's Heating Up
Sophomore F Harper Kamp has been an important factor in Cal's success this season, despite playing with a painful knee that is still recovering from offseason surgery. On Feb. 19 at Oregon, he led the Bears in scoring with a career-high 18 points, including going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Kamp has made 29 of his 44 free throws this season (65.9 percent). He also grabbed a career-best eight rebounds vs. Stanford on Feb. 14. The Mesa, Ariz., native is currently averaging 4.2 ppg and 3.4 rpg. But his biggest contributions have been on the defensive end, where he has been counted on to come off the bench and provide a strong presence.
Shooting at an All-Time Rate
Cal's near 50.0 percent shooting rate of 49.0 ranks seventh in the nation, second in the conference and fifth on the school's season list. It's also the best Cal has shot since the 1990 squad finished at 50.1 percent. The Bears have made more than half their shots in 11 of their last 19 games and have been over 65 percent twice this season - 66.7 percent vs. Oregon and 67.9 percent against Texas-Pan American.
Cal Season Field Goal Percentage Leaders
Year G FG-FGA Pct1981-82 27 719-1402 51.31989-90 32 865-1726 50.11988-89 33 876-1750 50.11980-81 27 780-1569 49.72008-09 28 785-1601 49.0
Hot Shots: Jerome Randle Lighting Up the Nets
Jerome Randle, who averaged 11.8 ppg last season, is pouring in 17.8 ppg this year to lead the Bears. He has 14 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 17 times in 29 games, including a career-high-tying 26 points vs. both Florida State and Arizona State. Randle is shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, up from 42.8 percent in 2008, and has made 45.2 percent of his three-point attempts (66-for-146). In addition, he is 130-for-148 at the free throw line (87.8%). On Feb. 5 vs. Washington, Randle recorded his 1,000th career point, becoming the 37th Cal player in school history to accomplish the feat.
Hot Shots, Part Trey
Cal is ranked first nationally in three-point shooting, having connected on 43.9 percent of its shots from behind the arc. Theo Robertson leads the Bears, having made 52.2 percent of his tries (48-92), which also ranks first in school history. As a team, the Bears have shot 50 percent or better 12 times, including going 8-for-12 vs. Washington State, 9-for-15 at UCLA, 7-for-10 at UNLV, 8-for-12 against San Francisco, 7-for-11 at Utah and 7-for-12 against Nevada. Jerome Randle (45.2 percent), with the fifth-best percentage in a season in school history, and Patrick Christopher (40.7) are also shooting well from long distance.
NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 3/1/09)
1. California .439 ( 175/399 )2. North Dakota State .415 ( 210/506 )3. Green Bay .412 ( 253/614 )4. IPFW .411 ( 191/465 )5. Cornell .410 ( 222/542 )
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-136 (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 130-for-148 free throw attempts (87.8%), the third-best season percentage in school history. Five times this season Randle has been perfect at the line when having more than five shots. He went 8-for-8 vs. Arizona State, 7-for-7 against Nevada, 6-for-6 vs. Oregon, 6-for-6 against USF and 6-for-6 vs. USC. In addition, Patrick Christopher recently moved into the Cal top 10 at 80.0 percent (169-211).
Cal Career Free Throw Leaders
1. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 86.2% 245-2842. 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% 120-1476. Amit Tamir (2002-04) 81.1% 163-2017. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 80.6% 112-1398. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 80.0% 169-211
Theo Robertson: Cal's Top Three-Point Shooter in School History
Theo Robertson is making 52.2 percent of his three-point attempts this year - the highest rate in school history. And now his career percentage of 44.3 percent is No. 1, too. Robertson, who missed all of last year with a hip injury, came into the year as a career 38.8 percent shooter from long-range. In addition, Jerome Randle is seventh at Cal at 39.6 percent on the all-time career list.
Cal Career Top Three-Point Shooters
1. Theo Robertson (2006- ) 44.3% 98-2212. Billy Dreher (1991-92) 43.1% 81-1883. Keith Smith (1987-90) 41.3% 90-2184. Bill Elleby (1989-92) 41.0% 135-3295. Ryan Forehan-Kelly (1999-02) 40.7% 107-2636. Omar Wilkes (2006-07) 40.4% 61-1517. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 39.6% 144-363
Boykin Boosts Bears with Boards and Baskets
Jamal Boykin has emerged as Cal's most consistent rebounder this season, averaging 6.5 per game. He has paced the Bears on the glass 15 times overall, with a career high of 14 at Washington State on Jan. 8 that he duplicated at Oregon Feb. 19. Not only does Boykin have a team-high 123 defensive rebounds, but he also owns a team-best 65 offensive boards. He has also been helping with scoring, posting a career-best 22 points at Stanford on Jan. 17. He has five double-doubles on the year, most recently with 11 points and 14 rebounds at Oregon on Feb. 19. Boykin is averaging 9.8 ppg with 15 double-digit contests. In addition, Boykin's career field goal percentage of .521 ranks sixth all-time in school history.
Wilkes' Presence Felt as Smaller of the 7-Footers
Jordan Wilkes, half of Cal's tandem of 7-footers, is putting up career numbers so far in 2008-09, notching personal highs in points (16 at USC), rebounds (10 vs. DePaul) and blocks (2 vs. North Carolina A&T). The team leader in blocks this season with 14, Wilkes had a strong pair of games in his hometown of Los Angeles in late January, posting an eight-point performance at UCLA on Jan. 29 and following that up with a career-best 16-point outing at USC on Jan. 31. On Feb. 5 against Washington, Wilkes posted 14 points and led the Bears on the boards with eight. The brother of former Cal guard Omar Wilkes and son of NBA great Jamaal Wilkes has started all but one game this season.
Gutierrez Quietly Making an Impact
The hustle of freshman Jorge Gutierrez has become evident in the past few weeks. Gutierrez earned a season-best five steals and eight rebounds, and tied his season best with 10 points against Stanford on Feb. 14, helping the Bears turn a 22-point deficit into an 82-75 win. The week before against the Washington schools, he came off the bench for seven points vs. UW and four points, four rebounds and three assists against WSU. Despite averaging just 18.0 minutes per game, Gutierrez leads the squad in steals with 25. Gutierrez is sixth on the team in scoring (4.4 ppg). He first set his high of 10 points in the Bears' Nov. 28 win at UNLV and has snared at least five rebounds nine times.
Patrick Christopher: Four for Four
In the first four games in Pac-10 play, Patrick Christopher was on a roll. Christopher, a back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree this season, posted four consecutive 20-point performances against Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State and Washington, including a 27-point outing at Washington Jan. 10. He also tied his career best in rebounds against the Huskies with 11. In a game that went three overtimes, Christopher was playing with four fouls from the end of regulation and still played strongly defensively, as well. Within those four conference games, Christopher nailed 12 three-pointers and averaged 23.0 ppg, both of which were Pac-10 bests. Last Thursday, Christopher posted a career-high 29 points vs. USC.
1,000 Points and More for Randle and Christopher
On Feb. 5, Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher became the 37th and 38th players in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Randle entered the Washington game needing 17 points and scored 21, while Christopher only needed three points to reach the milestone and hit it with a free throw with 2:23 left in the contest. Christopher is now 26th on the all-time scoring list with 1,095 points and Randle is 29th with 1,077 points.
Cal's All-Time Scoring Leaders
24. Butch Hays (1981-84) 1,14525. Andy Wolfe (1946-48) 1,11226. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 1,11127. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 1,097
Bears Make Top 25 for the First Time in Six Years
For the first time in six years, Cal made an appearance in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/Coaches polls Jan. 12 after opening Pac-10 play with a 4-0 record, sweeping Arizona and Arizona State at home and Washington and Washington State on the road. The Bears were ranked No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 23 by the coaches. The last time Cal was in the rankings was during the 2002-03 season, when the Bears were No. 24 heading into the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament.
Cal Earns Best Pre-Jan. 1 Win Mark
Having completed the nonconference portion of its schedule with an 11-2 mark, Cal 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.
Former Great Darrall Imhoff Has No. 40 Jersey Retired
Former University of California center Darrall Imhoff, who helped the Golden Bears to the 1959 NCAA championship and was a member of the gold medal-winning 1960 U.S. Olympic team, had his number 40 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony during the Cal-Stanford game on Feb. 14. The event was part of a special celebration at the game commemorating the 100th season of Golden Bear basketball, as well as recognition of the 50th anniversary of Cal's national title. A standout for the Bears from 1958-60, Imhoff was named a second-team All-American as a junior and a first-team All-American his senior year. He was also a two-time first-team all-conference selection and was selected Cal's Most Valuable Player as a senior in 1960. Imhoff, a 6-10 center from San Gabriel, Calif., was a part of three conference championship squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Pete Newell. The 1958 team reached the regional final, where it lost in overtime to Seattle, before reaching the Final Four the next two years. Imhoff attended Cal's game at Oregon last Thursday.
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.
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.
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).