Bears Visit No. 1 Stanford, Host South Florida
Jan. 15, 2001
Cal faces its toughest week of the season to date when the Bears visit No. 1 Stanford Wednesday before hosting South Florida Saturday. The Cardinal are 15-0 on the year, while the Bulls, out of Conference USA, are 11-4 and enter this week with nine wins in their last 10 games.
Cal, though, has been playing its best and most consistent basketball of the year recently to up its record to 11-4 after a 1-3 start. The Bears are 3-1 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1996 and have seen their Sagarin rating climb to 23rd and their RPI jump to 29th this week.
Although just 1-4 on the road heading into the Stanford contest, Cal did win its most recent game away from home, 82-67 at Arizona State to break at 10-game losing streak in Tempe. That contest came just two days after a narrow 78-75 setback at then-No. 16 Arizona.
At home, the Bears are a perfect 9-0 and have claimed 12 consecutive games in Haas Pavilion, dating back to last year.
Cal's offense, which has seen the team shoot at least 50 percent from the floor in nine straight games, has received much of the attention for the Bears recent surge. However, their defense has improved to third in the Pac-10 in points allowed (64.9 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (41.2%).
Individually, senior forward Sean Lampley continues his assault on Cal's all-time scoring record. Last Saturday against Oregon State, he moved up another spot into sixth place and now has 1,453 points. Voted MVP of the Golden Bear Classic in late December, he has scored at least 20 points in five straight games and has led or tied for the team lead in points 12 times in 15 games on the season.
Also up front, sophomore forward Joe Shipp is coming off his best performance of the year against OSU when he totaled 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Over his last six games, Shipp is averaging 12.3 ppg and has made 27 of his 42 attempts (64.3%).