No. 24 Bears to Face OSU in Pac-10 Tournament
March 10, 2003
California Golden Bears (20-7, 13-5) vs. Oregon State Beavers (13-14, 6-12)
Thursday, March 13, 9:10, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Cal enters this week's Pac-10 Tournament as the third seed and will face sixth-seeded Oregon State in a first-round match-up Thursday night at 9:10 p.m. in the Staples Center.
If the Bears win, they would play the Stanford-USC winner at 8:45 p.m. Friday. The championship game is slated for 3:15 Saturday.
At 20-7 overall and 13-5 in the Pac-10, Cal is virtually assured of 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.
Earlier this season, Cal swept both games against Oregon State, prevailing, 78-73, in Berkeley Jan. 11 and, 84-71, in Corvallis Feb. 6. The Bears are riding a 10-game winning streak over OSU and are 15-1 in their last 16 games in the series.
Cal and OSU have met twice previously in the Pac-10 tourney, with the Bears taking a 64-57 decision in the 1987 quarterfinals and the Beavers winning, 79-66, in the 1989 quarters.
Last year, Cal reached the semifinals of the 2002 tournament by defeating UCLA, 67-61, before losing to eventual champion Arizona, 90-78. Joe Shipp played especially well for the Bears in the two games, averaging 21.5 ppg on 16-of-26 shooting from the floor (61.5%), including a 25-point effort vs. Arizona.
This season, Shipp leads the Pac-10 with 20.7 ppg and has reached double figures in every game. He scored a career-high 35 points (12-16 FG, 4-5 3P and 7-8 FT) in the first contest against OSU this year - a performance that earned him his first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
Sophomore F Amit Tamir was the catalyst in the victory in Corvallis when he totaled 27 points and connected on 7-of-11 from three-point range. In addition to his 16.1 ppg overall, Tamir leads the Bears in both rebounding (6.4 rpg) and assists (3.2 apg).
Senior F Brian Wethers has paced the Bears in scoring three times in the last five games and has averaged 19.8 ppg during that time. He has nailed 10 of his last 18 three-point attempts (55.6%) after making just 13 of his first 40 tries (32.5%). Wethers has also gone 17-for-19 from the free throw line (89.5%) since Feb. 20 after shooting only 59.7 percent (37-62) the first 22 games of the year.
Golden Bear Notes
No. 17 Stanford Beats No. 22 Cal, 72-60
Stanford used a balanced scoring attack and took advantage of a 42-33 rebounding advantage to hand Cal its 10th straight loss in Maples Pavilion, 72-60. The Bears shot a season-low 33.3 percent, including just two points from Amit Tamir (1-12 FG), while dishing out only five assists. The Cardinal led by 18 points in the first half (37-19) before Cal cut its deficit to 37-26 at the half. After the break, the Bears used some hot three-point shooting from Brian Wethers (4-6 3P) and got within four points at 52-48 with 8:24 to go. But Stanford responded with a 10-0 run to put the game away.
Cal Posts Three Straight 20-Win Seasons
With a 20-7 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
Cal's Pac-10 Tournament History
Cal enters this week's play with a 3-5 all-time record in Pac-10 Tournament action. The Bears won their first ever game, 64-57, over Oregon State to reach the semifinals in 1987, they claimed an opening round victory over USC in 1988, and they defeated UCLA in the quarterfinals last year. Here is a look at how has Cal fared in the league tournament:
1987 at Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CAQF: Cal 64, Oregon State 57SF: UCLA 75, Cal 68
1988 at McKale Center, Tucson, AZFirst Round: Cal 75, USC 59QF: Arizona 88, Cal 64
1989 at Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, CAQF: Oregon State 79, Cal 66
1990 at University Activity Center, Tempe, AZQF: Stanford 77, Cal 61
2002 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CAQF: Cal 67, UCLA 61SF: Arizona 90, Cal 78
A Look Back at the 2002 Pac-10 Tourney
Last March, Cal entered the Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 3 seed and drew sixth-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals. Behind a career-high-tying 20 points from Ryan Forehan-Kelly, including a 6-for-9 performance from three-point range, the Bears won, 67-61. Joe Shipp added 18 points (7-10 FG, 2-4 3P, 2-4 FT) and six rebounds, as Cal outscored UCLA, 8-2, in the final 2:05 of the contest. In the semifinals, Arizona shot 57.9 percent from the field en route to a 90-78 victory. Cal shot better than 50 percent, as well (50.8%), and got 25 points from Shipp and 22 more from Brian Wethers. The Bears won the rebounding battle, 38-23, but couldn't overcome 16 turnovers.
Pac-10 Tournament Schedule
The Pac-10 Tournament runs Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. All seven games will be televised, the quarterfinals and semifinals on Fox Sports Net and the championship game on CBS. Here is the full schedule:
Thursday, March 13Game 1: No. 1 seed Arizona vs. No. 8 seed Washington, 1:20 p.m.Game 2: No. 4 seed Arizona State vs. No. 5 seed Oregon, 3:50 p.m.Game 3: No. 2 seed Stanford vs. No. 7 seed USC, 6:40 p.m.Game 4: No. 3 seed California vs. No. 6 seed Oregon State, 9:10 p.m.
Friday, March 14Game 5: Arizona/Washington winner vs. ASU/Oregon winner, 6:15 p.m.Game 6: Stanford/USC winner vs. Cal/OSU winner, 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, March 15Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 3:15 p.m.
Bears Tie 1994 for Most League Wins since 1959
At 13-5 in the Pac-10 this year, Cal tied the 1993-94 squad for most league wins since the 1958-59 Bears were 14-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference on their way to the NCAA championship. In '94, the Bears also finished Pac-10 play at 13-5, tying for second place. 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 7-4 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.
Big Three Contribute 69.4 Percent of Scoring
How much does Cal rely on the scoring ability of Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir and Brian Wethers? Try 69.4 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.
Shipp Jumps to 6th on Scoring Chart
Senior F Joe Shipp, who leads the Pac-10 with 20.7 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 1,593 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 16 more points, he will claim fifth place at Cal, passing 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- ) 1,593
Wethers Making Late Scoring Push
Senior G Brian Wethers, who has ranked third on the Bears in scoring all season, has raised his rate to 19.8 ppg over his past five games. During that span, which including a season-high 24-point effort at USC, he has shot 55.6 percent from three-point range (10-18) and 89.5 percent from the free throw line (17-19). As a result, Wethers has moved into a tie for 16th place with Gene Ransom on Cal's career scoring list with 1,185 points. With senior F Joe Shipp holding down the sixth spot with 1,593 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 Leaders14. Dave Butler (1983-87) 1,29115. Doug True (1977-80) 1,21516. Brian Wethers (2000- ) 1,18516. Gene Ransom (1976-78) 1,185
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 21.5 ppg on 54.2 percent shooting from the floor since the start of conference play, holds the Pac-10 scoring lead with an overall rate of 20.7 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 16.1 ppg, he tops the Bears in three-pointers made (59, 42.8%). 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 (3.2 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.
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 27 games, the Bears are a perfect 15-0 when they out-rebound their opponent, but just 5-7 when they don't. Perhaps more significant, Cal's rebound margin is +3.8 in the Bears' 20 wins and -6.3 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 1.2 more rebounds than its opponents.
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 44.9 percent (35-for-78) 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 - the only time neither Joe Shipp, Amit Tamir or Brian Wethers 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.
Cal Boasts 44-5 Haas Pavilion Record Last 3 Seasons
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 71-55 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.