Bears Return to Action vs. Southern

Nov. 22, 2004

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Southern Jaguars (2-0) at California Golden Bears (1-1)
Tuesday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
TV: None

California at BYU Cougars (0-0, at Maui Invitational Nov. 22-24)
Saturday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, Marriott Center, Provo, UT
Radio: KFRC (610 AM)
TV: Comcast Cable

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Following an 11-day break between games, California returns to the hardwood this week with a pair of contests, starting with a home date against Southern Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Golden Bears then make their first road trip of the season, visiting BYU Saturday at 6 p.m. PT.

The two contests kick off a busy 19-day schedule, as Cal will play six games over the span, which concludes Dec. 11 at San Diego State.The Bears began the year in fine fashion with a 78-61 victory over UC

Riverside in the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Nov. 11 in Berkeley. Cal led by 22 points at the break and took a 30-point advantage just over seven minutes into the second half. All 11 players who saw action scored, paced by a career-best 16 points from junior F David Paris, who also snagged a personal-high eight rebounds.

However, after watching the bench contribute 36 points against the Highlanders, the Bear reserves managed just three points the next night vs. Saint Mary's. Sophomore F Marquise Kately tried to pick up the slack with 24 points and seven boards, but the Gaels built an early lead and won, 61-52.

Cal's three returning starters from last year - Kately, junior G Richard Midgley and sophomore G Ayinde Ubaka - as perhaps expected, rank as the top three scorers on the squad to date. But it is the inside play that may very well determine the Bears' fortunes over the course of the season.

With 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Leon Powe, the league's leading rebounder a year ago, out for the season as he rehabilitates from knee surgery, Cal features a number of inexperienced players in the front court. In fact, the career totals of all of the Bears' post performers do not equal the number of rebounds Powe grabbed during the 2003-04 campaign - 256-237.

Cal lost the rebounding battle vs. both UC Riverside and Saint Mary's, although several players have demonstrated flashes of their potential. In addition to Paris' outing against UCR, sophomore F Dominic McGuire snared 16 rebounds and junior C Rod Benson added 11 boards in the exhibition win over Chico State, while freshman DeVon Hardin has nine rebounds in only 25 minutes in Cal's two regular-season games.

Golden Bear Notes

Bears Fall to Saint Mary's in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic 2nd Round
In the Golden Bears' most recent outing, Saint Mary's defeated Cal, 61-52, in the second round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Nov. 12. The Gaels jumped out to an early lead and were up, 29-20, at the break. The Bears whittled their deficit to 35-32 on a Richard Midgley jumper with 13:19 left, but could get no closer the rest of the way. Marquise Kately tied career highs with 24 points and seven rebounds to lead Cal, while Midgley added 13 points and Ayinde Ubaka had 10.

Paris' Big Night Leads Cal over UC Riverside in Opener
Junior F David Paris, who entered the season with career averages of just 1.6 ppg and 1.3 rpg, clearly played his best game as a Golden Bear in Cal's 78-61 win over UC Riverside Nov. 11 - setting personal bests in minutes (21), points (16), rebounds (8) and assists (4). In hitting his first five shots from the floor, Paris more than doubled his previous high of seven points set against Stanford his freshman year. And his assist count more than doubled his career total of three (2 in 2002-03; 1 in '03-04). In addition, Paris was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, another remarkable achievement for a player who connected at a rate of 38.1 percent from the charity stripe his first two seasons.

Downtown is Midgley's Favorite Neighborhood
Over his first two seasons at Cal, junior G Richard Midgley has clearly been Cal's most consistent three-point threat. After setting a school freshman record by making 44.9 percent (44-98) of his long-range attempts in '02-03, he was 40-for-114 (35.1%) last year. Midgley's career rate of 39.5 percent (85-215) rates fifth all-time at Cal, while his 84 treys already rank 14th in the school record book. The biggest shot of Midgley's career - a three-pointer, naturally - came with 3.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Bears to a 76-74 win over North Carolina State in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.

Cal Career Three-Pointers10. Lamond Murray (1992-94)    9911. Geno Carlisle (1988-99)    9212. Keith Smith (1987-90)      9013. Bryant Walton (1987-90)    8714. Richard Midgley (2003- )   85

Injuries Already a Factor for Bears
Cal enters the season knowing that three members of the team may miss most, if not all, of the upcoming campaign. Most notably, sophomore F Leon Powe, the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, is on the sidelines following Sept. 8 knee surgery and is not expected back in uniform until next season. Powe, who became the first freshman in the history of the Pac-10 to lead the league in rebounding (9.5 rpg), also was Cal's leading scorer in 2003-04 with 15.1 ppg. In addition, freshman C Sam Rayburn is rehabilitating from offseason knee surgery, while junior F Jordi Geli's recent foot surgery will keep him off the court for the near future.

Bears Hope Kately's Big Night a Sign of Things to Come
With 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Leon Powe sitting out this year due to offseason knee surgery, sophomore F Marquise Kately is expected to carry much of the load. Cal's most consistent scorer last year and recipient of the team's Best Defensive Player Award, the 6-5 wing averaged 10.5 ppg and ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in shooting percentage (53.5%) en route to earning league All-Freshman honors. This season, Kately struggled to find his shooting touch in the UC Riverside opener, finishing with nine points against the Highlanders. But against Saint Mary's, he led the Bears with 24 points and seven rebounds - tying career highs in both categories. In addition, he was 7-for-11 from the free throw line in the two contests, well above his 46.2 free throw rate of 2003-04.

Ubaka Showing More Confidence in Second Season
Sophomore G Ayinde Ubaka had one of the most difficult responsibilities on the team as a freshman last year. Not only did he guide the Bears' offense from the point as a first-year player, but he was in charge of one of the youngest squads in the country with four freshmen and a sophomore among the Top 6 players. An honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman selection, Ubaka led Cal league newcomers in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.96:1) while averaging 6.4 ppg and 3.9 apg. This season, Ubaka has gotten off to a strong start, making 6-of-11 shots from the floor (54.5%), including 80.0 percent from three-point range (4-5), with a best of 10 points vs. Saint Mary's. Those figures are far higher than last season's averages, when he was a 34.1 percent field goal shooter, making 25.9 percent (21-81) from behind the arc.

Vierneisel's Hot Touch Ignites Three-Point Barrage
During the 2003-04 season, Cal ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting by sinking just 31.0 percent of its attempts from long range. But this season, the Bears have connected on 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from behind the arc over their first two contests. Freshman F Eric Vierneisel came off the bench in the UC Riverside opener to drain all four of this three-point attempts, just missing the Cal record of 5-for-5 set by Amit Tamir against Arizona State in 2003. As a group, the Bears were 6-for-8 on threes vs. UCR, while they followed up that performance with a 3-for-6 (50.0%) night against Saint Mary's. In addition to Vierneisel, who is now 4-for-6 on the year, Ayinde Ubaka has made 4-of-5 and Richard Midgley is 1-for-3 on three-pointers.

Darrall Imhoff to Be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Darrall Imhoff, a standout center for the Bears from 1958-60 who led Cal to the 1959 NCAA championship, will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor at a banquet March 9, prior to the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles. In the '59 title game, Imhoff hit the winning basket with 17 seconds left to lift Cal to a 71-70 win over West Virginia. A two-time All-American, he also won a gold medal as part of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team in Rome. Imhoff went on to a 12-year NBA career, with All-Star Game appearances in 1966 and '67. He was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. Each year, starting in 2002, the Pac-10 adds one person from each league school into the Hall of Honor. The other Cal players who have been recognized are: Pete Newell (2002), Kevin Johnson (2003) and Jason Kidd (2004).