Cal to Meet Oregon in Pac-10 Semifinals
March 10, 2006
Oregon Ducks (15-17, 11-7)
vs. California Golden Bears (19-9, 12-6)
Friday, March 10, 8:50 p.m., Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KYCY (1550 AM)
TV: Fox Sports Net
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears* California meets Oregon in the semifinal round of the Pac-10 Tournament Friday at 8:50 p.m. The Golden Bears are making their third appearance in the semis in the past five years (also 2002 & '03) and their fourth overall (also 1987). Cal has never reached the league tourney final.
* Cal swept both games from Oregon during the regular season, defeating the Ducks, 77-66, Jan. 5 in Berkeley behind a career-high 29 points from Ayinde Ubaka and 27 points from Leon Powe. On Feb. 4 in Eugene, the Bears emerged with a 62-60 victory, as Ubaka chipped in 20 points. Cal holds a 69-51 overall series lead.
* Sophomore F Leon Powe grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds vs. USC Thursday, a Pac-10 Tournament record and the most for a Cal player since Mark McNamara had 22 at Arizona on Jan. 30, 1982. Only seven other players in school history have had 20 or more rebounds in one game.
* Powe is now averaging 20.0 ppg and 10.3 rpg, putting him on track to become the first Cal player to average at least 20 and 10 since McNamara finished with 22.0 ppg and 12.6 rpg in 1981-82. Powe is also one of just four players in the country to currently average 20 and 10 this season.
NCAA Players Averaging at Least 20 ppg, 10 rpg(through March 9, 2006)Kenny Adeleke, Hartford 20.7 ppg, 13.1 rpgJohn Bowler, Eastern Michigan 20.1 ppg, 10.8 rpgNick Fazekas, Nevada 21.1 ppg, 10.3 rpgLeon Powe, California 20.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg
* If Cal picks up one more win this season, it will give the Bears 20 victories for the sixth time during head coach Ben Braun's tenure in Berkeley. No other coach in school history has directed Cal to more than four 20-win seasons.
Cal Coaches with Three or More 20-Win SeasonsBen Braun 5 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003Nibs Price 4 1939, 1946, 1947, 1948Pete Newell 3 1957, 1959, 1960Lou Campanelli 3 1987, 1989, 1990
* With two more three-pointers vs. USC Thursday, junior G Ayinde Ubaka now has 58 treys on the season - sixth most in school history. He entered the year with just 40 career treys in his first two seasons combined. In addition, Ubaka is shooting 38.4 percent from the floor - far higher than his career 27.6 percent rate prior to 2005-06.
Cal Career Three-Pointers List1. Ryan Drew (1990) 682. Bill Elleby (1992) 643. Amit Tamir (2003) 614. Randy Duck (1997) 604. Ryan Drew (1988) 606. Ayinde Ubaka (2006) 58
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Powe Powers Cal Past USC, 82-67
Leon Powe scored 22 points and grabbed a Pac-10 Tournament-record 20 rebounds to lead Cal to an 82-67 win over USC Thursday night. The Bears, who trailed 33-31 at the break, rallied for a win after being behind at the break for the first time all year (now 1-5) by holding the Trojans to just 29.6 percent shooting from the floor over the final 20 minutes. Down 41-39 with 6:47 left, Cal used a 12-1 run to take control. USC narrowed the gap to 67-61, but the Bears responded with nine straight points to keep the Trojans at bay. In addition to Powe, Ayinde Ubaka finished with 16 points and six assists, Omar Wilkes had 14 points, and Eric Vierneisel added a season-high 10 points.
Bears Could Top Pac-10 in Three-Point Shooting for First Time
After ranking last in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting the last two years, Cal has found its range behind the arc this season, now connecting on a 37.6% pace - a rate that just trails league-leader Arizona State (37.8%). Since the shot was implemented in 1986-87, the Bears have never led the conference from three-point distance for an entire year. Omar Wilkes is draining a team-high 45.8 percent (22-48), while both Richard Midgley (47-120, 39.2%) and Ayinde Ubaka (58-151, 38.4%) have rated among the Pac-10 leaders most of the year. In Pac-10 games only, freshman Theo Robertson made a team-high 42.3 percent (11-26).
As a team, Cal's three-point rate is the highest for the Bears since the team shot a school-record 38.7 percent in 1989-90.
Cal Three-Point Shooting Last Three Seasons2005-06 157-417 37.6% 5.61 three-pointers per game2004-05 110-344 32.0% 3.79 three-pointers per game2003-04 127-410 31.0% 4.54 three-pointers per game
Top Three-Point Shooting Seasons1. 1989-90 196-507 38.7%2. 2005-06 157-417 37.6%3. 1987-88 133-355 37.5%
Cal Allowing Just 63.7 ppg - Best in 20 Years
Cal enters Friday's game vs. Oregon surrendering an average of 63.7 ppg - lowest for a Bear team in 20 years when the 1985-86 squad gave up 63.4 ppg. Cal has allowed more than 70 points just five times, while holding opponents to 60 or fewer points on 10 occasions. Eight Pac-10 foes failed to break 60, including Washington State, which was held to 41 points Feb. 23 - lowest total for a Cal opponent since the Bears beat Eastern Washington, 56-27, in 2001.
More Powe Notes
After his 22-points, 20-rebound effort vs. USC, Leon Powe now has 14 double-doubles on the year - matching his 2003-04 season total and most in the Pac-10 this season ... if he maintains his 20.0 ppg average, he will become the eighth Cal player ever to average at least 20 ppg for a full season ... Powe's career average of 17.5 ppg is the sixth highest in school history, while his 9.9 rpg rate is fourth best and most since Mark McNamara (11.6 rpg, 1981-82) ... Powe has taken 239 free throw attempts this year and is within range of the school record of 253 set by Jackie Ridgle in 1969 ... his 172 FTM rank No. 3 in Cal history, behind only Ridgle (187 in 1969) and Sean Lampley (180 in 2001) ... Powe is averaging 10.0 trips to the line per game this season and has raised his conversion rate to 72.0 percent (172-253), up from 61.0 percent as a freshman in 2003-04 ... he has reached double figures in scoring in 17 consecutive games, including three straight contests with 20 or more points.
19 Victories, 12 Pac-10 Wins Good Sign for NCAA Tournament Invite
Now that the Bears have improved to 19-9 overall, including a 12-6 Pac-10 record, history indicates Cal is in very good shape for earning an NCAA Tournament berth. Prior to this year, the last 50 teams to win at least 12 Pac-10 contests have made the NCAA Tourney; UCLA, which was 16-14 overall and 12-6 in the Pac-10 in 1988, was the last not to go. In addition, every conference school that ended the regular season with at least 12 Pac-10 victories and 18 overall wins since 1984 (61 total) have earned spots in NCAAs.
Vierneisel Provides Timely Support
Sophomore F Eric Vierneisel came off the bench for a near-perfect night vs. USC Thursday, finishing with 10 points (4-5 FG, 1-2 3P, 1-2 FT) and five rebounds in 17 minutes. The effort marked his highest point total since he had 12 in his first career game against UC Riverside on Nov. 11, 2004. Vierneisel's previous season best was a six-point outing vs. Northern Colorado Nov. 25, while his three-pointer was just his second of the year (also at UCLA Dec. 31).
Ubaka Provides Second-Half Surge
Over his past two games, Ayinde Ubaka has raised his level of play in the second half. In the March 4 contest vs. USC, he totaled 15 of his 17 points after intermission, while he had 11 of his 16 points in the final 20 minutes against the Trojans Thursday.