No. 22 Bears Visit Stanford Saturday
March 3, 2003
California Golden Bears (20-6, 13-4) at Stanford Cardinal (22-7, 13-4)
Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m., Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA
TV: KRON TV (Channel 4)
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Cal travels to Stanford Saturday for the final game of the regular season, with second place in the Pac-10 standings on the line. Both schools are currently tied for second with 13-4 league marks, and the winner will receive the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pac-10 Tournament.
The Bears, who have won two straight over the Cardinal, reached the 20-win plateau with their 80-72 victory over Arizona State last Sunday. Combined with 20-11 (2001) and 23-9 (2002) marks the past two seasons, Cal has accumulated at least 20 victories in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1946-48.
If the Bears prevail Saturday, they would tie a school record with their 14th league victory. Only the 1956-57 squad that went 14-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference had so many triumphs.The Bears are also virtually assured a postseason berth for the fifth year in a row - a feat that would be the first of its kind in school history. Cal played in the NIT in 1999 and 2000, while the Bears danced in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.
Shipp not only leads the Pac-10 in scoring (21.0 ppg), but rates in the league's Top 10 in rebounding and field goal shooting. He has scored in double figures for 32 consecutive games and has led the Bears in scoring 15 times this year.
Wethers raised his field goal percentage to an even 50 percent (164-of-328) with a 7-12 effort (20 points) vs. ASU. He has also connected on 7-of-16 three-pointers (43.8%) and 15-of-17 free throws (88.2%) over his past four games, during which he has averaged 20.8 ppg.
Tamir is the only player in the conference positioned in the league's Top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists. He drained a school-record five three-pointers in five attempts against ASU. In addition, Tamir has 21 assists with just four turnovers over the last four games.
Injury-plagued senior G Donte Smith gained his first start since his freshman year vs. the Sun Devils and acquitted himself with seven points (3-4 FG, 1-1 3P) in 13 minutes - his highest point total in more than two years.
Seniors Close Out Haas Careers with Win over ASU
Cal completed a 13-1 home schedule with an 80-72 victory over Arizona State last Sunday. Senior F Joe Shipp, playing in his final game at Haas Pavilion, scored a game-high 21 points, while senior G Brian Wethers added 20 points and fellow senior G Donte Smith tallied seven points - his highest total in over two years. Amit Tamir set a Cal record for three-point accuracy, shooting 5-for-5 from behind the arc, and finished with 20 points. The Bears led just 64-63 with 6:46 left when they went on an 8-1 run, capped by a Tamir three-pointer, to open a 72-64 advantage with 4:42 to go.
Cal Post Three Straight 20-Win Seasons
Now with a 20-6 overall record, Cal has recorded three consecutive 20-win seasons for only the second time in school history. Cal finished 20-11 in 2001 and 23-9 last season. Fifty-seven seasons ago when Nibs Price directed the program, Cal was 30-6, followed by a 20-11 record in 1947 and 25-9 in '48. Only two other times have the Bears even posted back-to-back 20 win campaigns - 1959 (25-4) and '60 (28-2) under Pete Newell, and 1989 (20-13) and '90 (22-10) under Lou Campanelli. Head coach Ben Braun, in his seventh season at Cal, has produced five 20-win campaigns - more than any other Berkeley coach.
Cal Coaches with 20-Win Seasons5 Ben Braun 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 20034 Nibs Price 1939, 1946, 1947, 19483 Lou Campanelli 1987, 1989, 19903 Pete Newell 1957, 1959, 1960
Bears Seek Most Conference Victories since 1957
At 13-4 in the Pac-10 this year, Cal needs just one more victory to record its highest league win total since the 1956-57 Bears posted a school-record 14 victories during a 14-2 showing in the old Pacific Coast Conference. In fact, the only other time Cal had as many as 13 league victories came in 1994 when the Bears were 13-5 and sported All-Americans Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray on the roster. This year also marks the third time in seven seasons under head coach Ben Braun that Cal has had at least 12 Pac-10 triumphs, joining the 1997 (12-6) and 2002 (12-6) squads that both tied for second place.
Cal Guaranteed First Winning Road Mark since '95
Sporting a 7-3 road record, Cal is guaranteed its first winning road mark since the Bears were 7-5 during the 1994-95 season. During last year's 23-9 overall finish, the Bears were 4-6 on opponent home floors, while they were 5-7 in 2000-01 and just 4-7 in 1999-00 when seniors Joe Shipp, Brian Wethers and Donte Smith were freshmen. In addition, at 5-3 outside of Berkeley during Pac-10 play, Cal has the opportunity, with a victory at Stanford, to match the 1992-93 squad for most league road wins in the past 11 seasons. That squad posted a 6-3 conference road mark.
Shipp Jumps to 6th on Scoring Chart
Senior F Joe Shipp, who leads the Pac-10 with 21.0 ppg, has jumped 23 spots on Cal's career scoring list this season. After entering the year in the 29th spot, he now holds the sixth position with 1,579 points, passing such notable alumni as Mark McNamara, Larry Friend, Ed Gray, Andy Wolfe, Russ Critchfield and Brian Hendrick. Shipp has reached double figures in every game, and he has topped 25 points six times. With 30 more points, he will claim fifth place at Cal, topping Leonard Taylor's 1,608 points scored from 1985-89.
Cal Career Scoring Leaders1. Sean Lampley (1998-01) 1,7762. Lamond Murray (1992-94) 1,6883. Kevin Johnson (1984-87) 1,6554. Bob McKeen (1952-55) 1,6545. Leonard Taylor (1985-89) 1,6086. Joe Shipp (2000- ) 1,579
Wethers Also Climbing Scoring List
With his 18-point effort at Arizona State Jan. 30, senior G Brian Wethers became the 32nd player in school history to amass 1,000 points during a career. Now with 1,169 points entering Saturday's game at Stanford, Wethers is 19th on the all-time Cal list. With senior F Joe Shipp holding down the sixth spot with 1,558 points, the Bears have two players teaming together with at least 1,000 points for the first time since Roy Fisher (1,382) and Ryan Drew (1,086) during the 1990-91 season. Ed Gray (1,082) and Randy Duck (1,003) both topped 1,000 points in 1997, but Duck reached his total after Gray was out of the lineup due to a broken foot.
Cal Career Scoring Leaders15. Doug True (1977-80) 1,21516. Gene Ransom (1976-78) 1,18517. John Coughran (1971-73) 1,18318. Chris Washington (1984-87) 1,17919. Brian Wethers (2000- ) 1,169
Big Three Contribute 69.9 Percent of Scoring
How much does Cal rely on the scoring ability of Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers? Try 69.9 percent of the team's total - a figure that, if it holds up the rest of the year, would be the school's highest as far back as complete statistics are available (1949-50 season). The only trio to come close was the combination of Lamond Murray, Jason Kidd and Monty Buckley, which provided 67.8 percent of the Bears' output in 1993-94. Murray led the conference in scoring with 24.3 ppg, while Pac-10 Player of the Year Kidd averaged 16.7 ppg and Buckley added 12.8 ppg. Prior to this season, no Ben Braun-coached team had a threesome average more than 56.1 percent of a squad's total (1998-99 - Geno Carlisle, Thomas Kilgore and Sean Lampley). Last year, Shipp, Tamir and Wethers, who were Cal's top three scorers in 2001-02, contributed 45.1 percent of the Bears' points.
Tamir Sets Cal Three-Point Record vs. Sun Devils
Sophomore F Amit Tamir made all five of his three-point attempts vs. Arizona State last Sunday, breaking the school record of 4-for-4 co-held by Shantay Legans (at ASU, Feb. 28, 2002), Anwar McQueen (vs. Howard, Dec. 28, 1996) and Billy Dreher (vs. Stetson, Dec. 28, 1990). For the season, Tamir is 59-for-132 from behind the arc (44.7%), including a high of seven treys at Oregon State (11 attempts).
Shipp Likely 5th Bear in 10 Years to Lead Pac-10
Senior F Joe Shipp, who has averaged 21.9 ppg on 54.7 percent shooting from the floor since the start of conference play, holds the Pac-10 scoring lead with an overall rate of 21.0 ppg. If he can maintain that position for the rest of the season, he would become the fifth Bear in the last 10 years to pace the conference. Lamond Murray averaged 24.3 ppg in 1994, while Shareef Abdur-Rahim (21.1 ppg in 1996), Ed Gray (24.8 ppg in '97) and Sean Lampley (19.5 ppg in '01) also topped the league. Abdur-Rahim, Gray and Lampley earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in the seasons they led the Pac-10.
6-11 Tamir Poses Triple Threat
At 6-11, 260 pounds, sophomore F Amit Tamir looks like he should be Cal's dominant player near the basket. And in fact, he leads the Bears with 6.4 rpg, including five double-doubles and a career-high 14 boards vs. Howard. But Tamir's game is not limited to the area just around the hoop. Cal's second-leading scorer at 16.7 ppg, he tops the Bears in three-pointers made (59, 44.7%). His most important triple came against USF Dec. 30 when his three-pointer with 3.7 seconds left in regulation sent the contest into overtime, a game the Bears won, 77-70. Tamir has scored at least 25 points five times this season, including a 27-point outing at Oregon State. His other big nights came against Georgia (27 points), San Francisco (26), Oregon (25) and at Washington (26). In addition, he leads the Bears in assists (3.3 apg) and free throw shooting (82.1%). Before missing against Stanford Jan. 4, Tamir had made 23 straight from the free throw line.
Cal Season 3-Pointers Made1. Ryan Drew (1990) 682. Bill Elleby (1992) 643. Randy Duck (1997) 60 Ryan Drew (1988) 605. Amit Tamir (2003) 59
Shipp in Rare Company with Five 30-Point Games
With four 30-point outings so far this season and another against Fresno State last year, senior forward Joe Shipp has joined just seven other Cal players with five career 30-point games. The next time he reaches 30, Shipp will tie the school record of six held by Ed Gray (1996-97) and Mark McNamara (1981-82). In addition, Shipp's four 30-point outbursts this year are only two off the Cal season record - Gray reached 30 six times in 1997. Shipp's career high is 35 points established against Oregon State Jan. 11 - a feat that helped him earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
Wethers Report: Senior Reigns on Both Ends
According to coach Ben Braun, senior guard Brian Wethers, Cal's most athletic player, has the ability to dictate play on both ends of the court. And Wethers displayed his all-around skill to its fullest at the EA Sports Golden Bear Classic in late December. In earning tournament MVP honors, Wethers averaged 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg. In addition, he helped hold Louisiana-Lafayette's high-scoring guard Brad Boyd to just 6-for-17 shooting in the championship game. Later, he kept Oregon's Luke Jackson without a field goal for the first 36 minutes in Cal's Jan. 9 win. Then in Cal's victory at Oregon Feb. 8, he had 21 points (9-11 FG) to go with two blocks and five steals to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Wethers, who tallied at least 10 points in Cal's first 21 games this season, also scored 21 points at UCLA and totaled a season-high 24 points at USC (8-12 FG, 2-3 3P, 6-6 FT). He ranks third on the team in scoring (15.3 ppg), second in assists (3.2 apg) and third in rebounding (4.4 rpg). He leads all current players on the roster with 232 career assists and had a personal high of seven assists vs. Washington Feb. 15.
Rebounding Margin Key Stat in Cal Results
If there is one statistic that stands out as a key indicator of Cal's results, it is rebounding margin. Through 26 games, the Bears are a perfect 15-0 when they out-rebound their opponent. Perhaps more significant, Cal's rebound margin is +3.8 in the Bears' 20 wins and -5.8 in their four losses. Cal's highest margin was +22 vs. Grambling (53-31) - the team's largest since posting a +25 advantage vs. Texas Southern (47-22) on Nov. 30, 1996. Overall, Cal averages 1.6 more rebounds than its opponents, a figure that, if it holds up, would be the Bears' highest since 1996-97 when the difference was +2.5.
Midgley Cool Competitor as a Freshman
'Midgley's not 19, he's 24. They need to check his birth certificate.' Those words from Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar came after Midgley, Cal's freshman point guard, calmly sank a pair of three-pointers and two free throws over the final 4:27 to lead the Bears to a 58-53 win over the Huskies Feb. 15. Now averaging 9.4 ppg and 3.0 apg, he is shooting 44.7 percent (34-for-76) from three-point range. Midgley, who started the first 16 Pac-10 games before coming off the bench on Senior Day vs. Arizona State, scored a career-best 23 points vs. USC Jan. 23 - one of only three times neither Joe Shipp nor Amit Tamir has led Cal in scoring - and he sank 9-of-10 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the final minute, to help the Bears top Oregon Feb. 8. In the Feb. 13 win over WSU, Midgley had one of his best all-around performances with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Haas Pavilion Winning Streak Ends at 17 Games
Arizona's 88-75 victory over Cal Feb. 27 ended the Bears' 17-game homecourt winning streak - the third longest on-campus run in school history. Over the past two seasons, Cal is 30-2 in Berkeley - with the only losses coming against Arizona - including a 13-1 mark this year. Since the start of the 2000-01 season, the Bears are a Pac-10 best 44-5 at home.
Longest Home Winning Streaks1. 26 Dec. 27, 1958 to Dec. 16, 19602. 23 Nov. 25, 1995 to Dec. 28, 1999*3. 17 Feb. 2, 2002 to Feb. 15, 2003*includes on-campus games only; Cal played the 1997-98 and '98-99 seasons at the Oakland Arena
Bear Notes ...
Cal's eight-game winning streak from Dec. 30 through Jan. 25 was the team's longest since also winning eight in a row in 1993 ... when Joe Shipp (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Amit Tamir (20 points, 10 rebounds) both had a double-double vs. UCLA Jan. 25, they became the first Cal pair to do so since Sean Lampley (25 points, 10 assists) and Nick Vander Laan (14 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Georgia on Dec. 21, 2000 ... junior G A.J. Diggs tied Jason Kidd's school record with eight steals at Cleveland State; Kidd had eight steals vs. Washington on Jan. 28, 1993 ... head coach Ben Braun has moved into second place on Cal's all-time coaching list with 138 wins, passing both Pete Newell (119-44, 1955-60) and Lou Campanelli (123-108, 1986-93) this season ... with a 71-54 Pac-10 record, Braun is also second to Nibs Price (176-123 from 1925-54) in conference victories and he is the first Cal coach with a winning league mark since Pete Newell was 62-26 from 1955-60 ... beginning Pac-10 action with a 7-0 record, Cal jumped out to its best conference start since the 1957 season when the Bears began 10-0 in the old Pacific Coast Conference.
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