Cal Hosts Golden Bear Classic

Nov. 22, 2005


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13th Annual Golden Bear Classic
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 25-26, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA

Friday, Nov. 25
Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-0) vs. Northeastern Huskies (2-0), 5 p.m.
Northern Colorado Bears (0-3) vs. California Golden Bears (1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Radio: KYCY (1550 AM)
TV: none

Saturday, Nov. 26
Consolation Game, 5 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California hosts the 13th annual Golden Bear Classic this weekend in Haas Pavilion. Cal State Northridge and Northeastern meet in Friday's opener at 5 p.m., followed by Cal vs. Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m.

The consolation game will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the championship contest set for 7:30 p.m.

The Golden Bears captured last year's title with a 61-58 victory over Pepperdine and have won eight of the previous 12 tournaments.

Cal enters the Golden Bear Classic with a 1-1 record after Monday night's 88-69 triumph over Long Beach State. Led by 18 points from sophomore G Omar Wilkes, five players reached double figures for the second consecutive game. Three Bears had 14 points, including freshman F Theo Robertson, who is now averaging 13.0 ppg on 60 percent shooting from the floor (9-15 FG).

Cal received a boost to its front line with the return of senior F/C Rod Benson vs. the 49ers. Diagnosed with a stress fracture in his heel in August, he went through his first full practice on Sunday and saw 15 minutes of action against Long Beach State, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds.

However, the Bears missed three key contributors in the game. Senior G Richard Midgley should return this weekend after a shoulder stinger kept him out Monday, but sophomore F Leon Powe (foot) and senior G Martin Smith (pelvis) are still nursing stress fractures.

In the win over Long Beach State, head coach Ben Braun picked up with 500th victory of his career. Now with a 500-346 record in his 29th season as a head coach, he ranks 15th among active coaches in career wins. Braun is 166-111 in his 10th year at Cal. He also spent 11 seasons at Eastern Michigan (185-132) and eight years at Siena Heights (148-103).

Northern Colorado Scouting Report

A Look at Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado, which plays at Wyoming Tuesday night, is off to an 0-3 start to the year. The Bears lost a pair of games in the Guardian Classic in Lexington, Ky. (72-60 to Lipscomb and 61-59 to South Dakota State), then dropped a 70-57 decision at home to Colorado State last Friday. UNC, which competes as an independent, finished 8-21 last year - its second season as a Division I school.

Cal-Northern Colorado Series History
This will be the first meeting between Cal and Northern Colorado

Northern Colorado Head Coach Craig Rasmuson
Craig Rasmuson is in his seventh season as head coach at Northern Colorado and owns a 58-108 records with the Bears. He previously went 66-66 as head coach at Lincoln Memorial and earned Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1998.

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Northeastern Scouting Report

A Look at Northeastern
Off to a 2-0 start to the year with wins over Brown and Central Connecticut State, Northeastern hosts Division III Lasell Tuesday before flying to the Bay Area. Senior G Jose Juan Barea, a first-team all-conference choice last year, was named the Colonial Athletic Association Co-Player of the Week after averaging 25.0 ppg and 7.0 in NU's two wins to begin the season. The Huskies received a National Invitation Tournament berth in 2004-05, finishing with a 21-10 overall record.

Cal-Cal Northeastern Series History
Cal and Northeastern has not play previously.

Northeastern Head Coach Ron Everhart
Ron Everhart is in his fifth year at Northeastern and has a 65-57 record with the Huskies. He was voted the 2004-05 America East Conference Coach of the Year. Everhart's career mark stands at 157-161, which includes seven seasons as head coach at McNeese State.

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Cal State Northridge Scouting Report

A Look at Cal State Northridge
Cal State Northridge opened the season with an 81-76 overtime victory at USC last Sunday behind 20 points from Mike Efevberha. The Matadors host Tulsa Tuesday before traveling to Berkeley for the Golden Bear Classic. Last season, CSUN finished 18-13 overall and tied for third in the Big West Conference with a 12-6 mark.

Cal-CSUN Series History
Cal owns a 5-0 series lead over Cal State Northridge, with four of the meetings occurring in the 1990s. The Bears and Matadors first played on Dec. 30, 1981, with Cal winning, 72-67. The only game contested in Northridge resulted in a 76-65 Cal victory on Jan. 22, 1995.

CSUN Head Coach Bobby Braswell
Bobby Braswell is in his 10th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge and has a 144-121 record at the school. A 1985 CSUN graduate, he was voted the 2001 Big Sky Coach of the Year when he guided the Matadors to a 22-10 record.

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Golden Bear Notes

Braun Wins 500th Career Game vs. Long Beach State, 88-69
Sophomore G Omar Wilkes scored 18 points to lead five Bears in double figures as California defeated Long Beach State, 88-69, Monday in Haas Pavilion for the 500th victory in head coach Ben Braun's career. Playing without senior G Richard Midgley (shoulder), senior G Martin Smith (pelvis) and sophomore F Leon Powe (foot), Cal still built a 12-point halftime lead, 46-34. Sophomore C DeVon Hardin posted his second career double-double with a personal-best 14 points and 10 rebounds. Junior G Alex Pribble, a former walk-on awarded a scholarship before the year, played a career-high 23 minutes and added three points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Golden Bear Classic History
Cal has captured eight of the previous 12 Golden Bear Classics, including seven of nine tournaments under head coach Ben Braun. Each of the schools participating this year is making its first appearance in the field. Last year, Cal defeated Hampton, 69-46, in the first round, then edged Pepperdine, 61-58, on Richard Midgley's three-pointer at the final buzzer. Midgley, who scored 14 points in the title game, and G Martin Smith (10 points, 8 assists vs. Hampton) earned spots on the all-tournament team. Complete results and records are detailed in the PDF version of the release.

Braun Reaches 500th Career Win
Head coach Ben Braun entered this season with 499 wins, and he picked up this 500th career win with Monday's 88-69 victory over Long Beach State. Prior to moving to Berkeley in September 1996, Braun served as head coach at EMU for 11 seasons and compiled a 185-132 record that included three Mid-American Conference championships, three MAC Coach of the Year awards and three NCAA Tournament berths. Braun began his career at Siena Heights University, an NAIA school in Adrian, Mich., and was 148-103 in eight years from 1978-85. At Cal, he is the second-winningest coach in school history with a 167-111 record (Nibs Price was 449-294 from 1925-54) and has led the Bears to four NCAA Tournaments, a pair of National Invitation Tournaments (including the NIT title in 1999) and five 20-win seasons. Braun ranks 15th among active coaches with his 499 wins.

Ben Braun Coaching SummaryCalifornia         167-111   1997-currentEastern Michigan   185-132   1986-96Siena Heights      148-103   1978-85Totals             500-366

Pribble Comes to the Rescue
With guards Richard Midgley and Martin Smith sidelined by injury and Ayinde Ubaka in early foul trouble, Alex Pribble entered the lineup at point guard with 5:56 remaining in the first half of the Long Beach State game and Cal clinging to a 30-29 lead. But over the next four-and-a-half minutes, the Bears went on a 16-2 run to take control. Pribble, in his most extensive action at Cal, set career highs in minutes (23), rebounds (7) and assists (5), tying for team honors in the latter category.

Cal to See Familiar Foes on Opposing Benches This Season
Cal will face four teams that sport former Ben Braun assistants as head coaches this season. The first battle occurred in the season opener Nov. 18 in Ypsilanti, Mich., when the Bears played Eastern Michigan against first-year head coach Charles Ramsey, who served as assistant to Braun at Cal from 1996-97 through 2000-01. Ramsey was also on Braun's staff from 1990-93 when Braun oversaw the EMU program. In the first round of the Golden Bear Classic, Cal will play Northern Colorado, which is led by Craig Rasmuson, an assistant for Braun at Eastern Michigan during the 1990-91 season. On Nov. 30, Cal will host San Jose State, which features first-year head man George Nessman. A 1981 Cal graduate, Nessman spent last year as an assistant on Braun's staff before accepting the position with the Spartans in the spring. Finally, when Akron visits Haas Pavilion Dec. 3, the Zips will be led by Keith Dambrot, a second-year head coach who was an assistant coach on Braun's Eastern Michigan teams from 1986-89.

Stressful Start to the Season for Bears
California entered the 2005-06 season with three key contributors on the sidelines - all due to stress fractures. Senior C Rod Benson, who paced the Bears in both scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) last year, missed the Eastern Michigan opener with a stress fracture in his heel, while senior G Martin Smith - Cal's assist leader last season - is nursing a stress fracture in his pelvis. Finally, sophomore F Leon Powe, the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, expects to return shortly after being diagnosed with a minor stress fracture in his right foot the week of the opener. In addition, senior G Richard Midgley sat out the Long Beach State game after suffering a stinger in his right shoulder at Eastern Michigan. He should return to action for the Golden Bear Classic.

Richard Midgley Poised to Move Up Career Lists
Senior G Richard Midgley entered his final season at Cal poised to move up on several of Cal all-time lists. With 929 points, he needs just 71 more points to become the 34th player in school history to reach 1,000. In addition, Midgley is tied for fifth in school history with 136 three-pointers and he can jump to fourth once he reaches 140. Finally, he stands eighth all-time with a 37.7 three-point shooting percentage after setting a Cal freshman record in 2002-03 when he drained 44.9 percent of his long-range attempts.

Cal Career Three-Pointers Made1. Ryan Drew         1988-91   2142. Joe Shipp         2000-03   1573. Randy Duck        1994-97   1534. Shantay Legans    2000-02   1395. Richard Midgley   2003-     1365. Amit Tamir        2002-04   136
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