Cal Visits San Diego State Saturday

Nov. 16, 2006

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California Golden Bears (1-0) at San Diego State Aztecs (4-0)
Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:30 p.m., Cox Arena, San Diego, CA
Radio KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Versus

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California takes the first of four non-conference road trips this season when the Golden Bears visit San Diego State Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by Versus (formerly OLN).

Cal is facing the Aztecs for the third consecutive year after having not played them since the 1941-42 season. The Bears won on their last visit to Cox Arena on Dec. 11, 2004 with a 60-57 triumph in the San Diego SLAM. Last Dec. 6 in Berkeley, Cal broke open a tight game with a 14-0 run late in the first half en route to an 82-64 victory.

The Bears enter Saturday's match-up following a season-opening 60-47 win over Utah Valley State Wednesday night. Cal held UVSC without a point until 9:51 remained in the first half and limited the Wolverines to the lowest point total by a Cal opponent in a season opener since Saint Mary's managed just 44 points to start the 1964-65 campaign.

Freshman F Ryan Anderson started his college career with a breakout performance, leading all scorers with 20 points and adding eight rebounds and a pair of blocks. The 6-10 Anderson started the game with a three-pointer and hit back-to-back treys during a decisive 14-2 run midway through the second half.

Senior G Ayinde Ubaka also had a strong effort with 18 points, two steals and 10-of-12 free throw shooting. In addition, he directed an offense that committed just 10 turnovers on the night. Last season, the Bears led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers (12.4 per game) and had 10 or less on nine occasions.

Earlier this week, Cal suffered a severe blow when head coach Ben Braun announced that sophomore C Jordan Wilkes will miss the season with a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee. He is scheduled to undergo surgery next week, and the loss leaves the Bears with only one returning post player on the roster in C DeVon Hardin. The 6-11 junior is the leading returning shot blocker in the Pac-10 (74 career) and had nine points and six boards in 20 minutes in the opener.

Probable Starters

POS  NO  NAME             HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPG F    34  Ryan Anderson    6-10  235  Fr   20.0  8.0Led Cal in scoring and rebounding in career debut vs. Utah Valley St. F    24  Theo Robertson   6-6   225  So   2.0   7.0Shot 40.7% from three-point range last year; HM Pac-10 All-FreshmanC    35  DeVon Hardin     6-11  235  Jr   9.0   6.0Leads all returning Pac-10 players with 74 career blocksG     1  Ayinde Ubaka     6-4   200  Sr   18.0  2.0 apgAll-Pac-10 in 2006; preseason candidate for Wooden, Cousy awardsG     2  Omar Wilkes      6-4   185  Jr   10.0  1.0Led Cal from three-point range in 2006 (45.3%, 24-53)

Cal Head Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), the second-winningest coach in Cal history, is in his 11th year in Berkeley and 30th season as a collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 187-121, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 520-356. The 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and one of 25 finalists for the 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year award, Braun has led the Bears to the postseason seven times in his first 10 years. After taking Cal to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1997, he guided the Bears to the NIT championship in 1999 and to the NIT quarterfinals in 2000. He also directed Cal to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 2001, '02 and '03, plus another NCAA berth in 2006. At EMU from 1985-96, the three-time MAC Coach of the Year guided the Eagles to three NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance with an overall record of 185-132. He was also 148-103 from 1977-85 at Siena Heights. A native of Chicago, Braun earned a teaching degree in English with a minor in African-American studies at Wisconsin in 1975. He received his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Siena Heights.

San Diego State Scouting Report

A Look at San Diego State
San Diego State is off to a 4-0 start after routing UC San Diego, 84-48, in its home opener Wednesday night. Five players scored in double figures for the Aztecs, who shot 60.9 percent from the floor. For the year, San Diego State is connecting on 58.7 percent of its three-point attempts, led by Richie Williams (7-10) and Brandon Heath (10-20). The Aztecs were 24-9 last season and have been picked to repeat as Mountain West Conference champions.

Cal-SDSU Series History
Cal and San Diego State are meeting for the third consecutive season, with the Bears taking the previous two match-ups. DeVon Hardin had 11 points and five rebounds to pace Cal to a 60-57 victory at the San Diego SLAM on Dec. 11, 2004. Then last Dec. 6 in Berkeley, Leon Powe scored 22 points, as the Bears prevailed, 82-64. Overall, Cal owns a 3-2 series lead.

SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher
Steve Fisher is 109-106 in his eighth season at San Diego State, and he owns a 293-188 career mark, which includes just over eight years at Michigan. Fisher guided San Diego State to the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and 2006 and to the National Invitation Tournament in 2003, while he took Michigan to three Final Fours, winning the title in 1989.

Probable Starters

Pos  No  Name            Ht   Wt   Yr  Ppg   RpgF    31  Lorrenzo Wade   6-6  228  So  13.0  4.3F    34  Mohamed Akubar  6-10 229  Sr  17.5  6.0C    30  Chris Lamb      6-10 245  So  3.0   1.8G     1  Brandon Heath   6-4  203  Sr  21.3  5.0G     3  Richie Williams 5-9  162  So  9.3   5.0 apg

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Cal Opens with 60-47 Win over Utah Valley State
California held Utah Valley State without a point for the first 10 minutes of the game, building a 13-0 lead, and cruised to a 60-47 victory over the Wolverines in the Bears' opener Wednesday night in Haas Pavilion. DeVon Hardin had six points and Ryan Anderson five during the run. Cal eventually moved ahead by 24 (55-31) with 7:27 left in the game. Anderson paced all scorers with 20 points, while Ayinde Ubaka added 18 and Omar Wilkes had 10. The Bears held UVSC to just 34.6 percent shooting from the floor, and the 47 points scored by the Wolverines was the lowest for a Cal opponent in a season-opener since the Bears beat Saint Mary's, 62-44, to start the 1964-65 campaign.

Ryan Anderson's Big Debut: 20 Points, 8 Rebounds
Freshman F Ryan Anderson, the third-leading high school scorer in the state last year when he poured in 28.9 ppg for Oak Ridge HS in El Dorado Hills, led the Bears with 20 points and eight rebounds in his first collegiate contest vs. Utah Valley State. Anderson scored Cal's first points of the season on a three-pointer just over a minute into the game, and he finished the night making 5-of-10 shots from the floor, including 3-of-6 from three-point distance. He also contributed a pair of blocks in his 29 minutes of action. Although one game does not guarantee future success, Anderson's output compares favorably to other recent prolific scorers in their Golden Bear freshman debuts.

Recent Cal Freshman Debut EffortsRyan Anderson        Nov. 15, 2006 vs. Utah Valley St.    20 points, 8 reboundsLeon Powe            Nov. 21, 2003 vs. Cal Poly           12 points, 10 reboundsSean Lampley         Nov. 22, 1997 at North Carolina      4 points, 3 reboundsJoe Shipp            Nov. 18, 1999 vs. TCU                20 points, 3 reboundsShareef Abdur-Rahim  Nov. 25, 1995 vs. Northern Arizona   33 points, 9 reboundsLamond Murray        Nov. 21, 1992 vs. Nevada             20 points, 4 rebounds

Cal Takes Advantage at Free Throw Line Again
Last season, Cal made more free throws (525) than its opponents attempted (505) for the first time in school history. And the Bears kept up the trend in their season opener vs. Utah Valley State Wednesday. Cal was 25-of-32 from the line, while UVSC was just 4-of-5. Two Cal players tried more than 10 free throws each - Ayinde Ubaka (10-12) and Ryan Anderson (7-10). Ubaka is the leading returning free throw shooter in the Pac-10, after making 83.3 percent last year, and he hit that exact average Wednesday.

Bears Allow Fewest Points in Opener since 1964-65
In defeating Utah Valley State, 60-47, Wednesday, Cal surrendered the fewest points in a season opener since the Bears beat Saint Mary's, 62-44, on Dec. 5, 1964. UVSC was held without a point until 9:51 remained in the first half and made just 8-of-27 shots over the first 20 minutes. For the game, the Wolverines shot 34.6 percent from the floor. The result was easily the best defensive performance in Ben Braun's 11 season openers with the Bears, with the previous low being 58 points by Princeton in a 70-58 Cal victory on Nov. 15, 2001.

Ayinde Ubaka on Two Preseason Award Lists
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka, who earned All-Pac-10 honors last season when he averaged 14.5 ppg and 3.8 apg, is on the preseason watch lists for both the Wooden All-America team and the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation's best point guard. Ubaka is the most experienced member of the Bears, having started 69 of his 78 career games. As a junior, he more than doubled his career scoring average entering the year, going from 6.3 ppg to 14.5 ppg. He also drained 61 three-pointers during the campaign, tying for third-most in school history and just seven shy of the Cal record. Ubaka is the top returning free throw shooter in the Pac-10 after making 83.3 percent of his attempts in 2005-06, and his career rate of 78.3 percent from the charity stripe ties for seventh on the school chart.

Jordan Wilkes Third Post Hurt in Past Three Years
For the third consecutive season, Cal will be missing one of its primary post players for most, if not all, of the year. The Bears played the 2004-05 campaign without 6-8 forward Leon Powe, who sat out the entire year due to preseason knee surgery. Last year, 6-11 center Rod Benson missed 11 games and was limited in several others due to a stress fracture in a foot, then a torn meniscus in his right knee. Now, 7-0 sophomore center Jordan Wilkes has been diagnosed with a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee and is sidelined for the season. He is scheduled to undergo surgery within the next week.

DeVon Hardin Chasing Yogi on All-Time Block List
With 74 blocks during his tenure with the Bears, junior C DeVon Hardin already ranks sixth on Cal's career block list and needs just two more to pass Lamond Murray (75 blocks from 1992-94) for the fifth spot. Although he has quite a way to go to reach all-time leader Michael 'Yogi' Stewart, who had 207 blocks from 1994-97, Hardin would move into a tie for the second spot if he can duplicate last season's 48-block total.

Cal Career Blocked Shot Leaders1. Michael Stewart (1994-97)    2072. Solomon Hughes (1999-02)     1223. Tom Schneiderjohn (1976-79)  1054. Brian Hendrick (1990-93)      985. Lamond Murray (1992-94)       756. DeVon Hardin (2005- )         74

Cal Picked Fifth in Pac-10 Media Poll Again
Just like last year, California has been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of media who cover the conference. UCLA is the favorite, followed by Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Cal. In 2005-06, the Bears played above expectations, placing third in the league with a 12-6 mark. Cal went on to reach the final of the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time ever and earned its fifth NCAA Tournament bid under head coach Ben Braun.

Bears Return Triple Threat from Three-Point Range
With three returning three-point threats who combined to make 109-of-276 from behind the arc last season (39.5%), head coach Ben Braun has said this could be his best shooting team at Cal. Ayinde Ubaka nailed 61 treys in 2005-06, while Omar Wilkes (45.3%) and Theo Robertson (40.7%) were both above the 40 percent mark. As a team, the Bears shot 37.4 percent from three-point distance last year - second-best in school history and second in the Pac-10. However, Cal got off to a slow start from long range in its opener, going 3-for-12 from behind the arc vs. Utah Valley State. Ubaka, Wilkes and Robertson were a combined 0-for-4, but 6-10 freshman Ryan Anderson was 3-for-6.

Pete Newell Statue Installed in Haas Pavilion Club Room
As a fitting tribute to Pete Newell's lifetime accomplishments in basketball as a coach, mentor and leader, a statue of the Hall of Famer and former Golden Bear head coach has been installed inside the Club Room at Haas Pavilion. Created by renowned sculptor Eino, the statue stands approximately seven feet high and weighs nearly 1,200 pounds. The work originated through the vision of the late Brian Maxwell and received additional financial assistance from players, coaches and managers who were part of Newell's teams in Berkeley. As a coach, Newell directed Cal to the 1959 NCAA championship and to a runner-up finish in 1960, when he was voted National Coach of the Year. He later guided the U.S. team to an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Games in Rome. Newell, who turned 91 in August, served as head coach of the Bears from 1954-60 and compiled a 119-44 record that included four conference titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. He then worked as Cal's athletic director from 1960-68.

Cal Could Play 8 Contests vs. '05-06 24-Game Winners
Cal has the potential to play eight games against teams that won at least 24 games last season. On the non-conference schedule are San Diego State (24-9) Saturday and Nevada (27-6) Dec. 3, with potential match-ups in the Great Alaska Shootout against Hofstra (26-7) and Pacific (24-8). The Golden Bears will also play Washington (26-7) and UCLA (32-7) twice in Pac-10 action. Cal defeated San Diego State, 82-64, and Washington, 71-69, at home, and beat UCLA, 68-61, on the road in 2005-06

Bears Add Four Walk-ons to Roster
Continuing a long-standing tradition under head coach Ben Braun, Cal has added four walk-ons to the roster for the 2006-07 campaign: sophomore G Nican Robinson (5-10, 180, Oakland, CA/Oakland Tech HS), freshman F Thomas Fang (6-5, 200, San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS), freshman G David Liss (6-0, 165, San Francisco, CA/Branson School) and senior G Patrick Armstrong (6-0, 175, San Jose, CA/Bellarmine Prep). Robinson, a walk-on at UCLA last year, will have sit out the season under NCAA transfer rules. During his tenure in Berkeley, Braun has offered deserving walk-ons a scholarship seven times, including senior Alex Pribble, who received the recognition prior to the 2005-06 season.

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