Cal Travels to Great Alaska Shootout

Nov. 21, 2006

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California Golden Bears (2-1) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (1-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 9 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. AT, Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, AK
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California travels to the 29th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout this week, with the Golden Bears opening against Marshall Thursday night at 9 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Cal will face either Hawaii or Hofstra in the second round Friday. Pacific, UMKC, Loyola Marymount and host Alaska Anchorage round out the field. The tournament concludes Saturday, with the championship game slated for 9:30 p.m. PT. Both semifinals, as well as the title contest, will be shown by ESPN2.

The Bears are making their second appearance in the Shootout, having last competed in 1988 when they beat then-No. 15 Florida, but lost to Kansas and Kentucky.

Cal is coming off an impressive 73-48 home win over Santa Clara Monday night. After spotting the Broncos an early seven-point lead, the Bears closed the first half on a 23-4 run and never looked back.

Cal shot a season-best 50.0 percent from the floor, while holding Santa Clara to just 33.3 percent. The Bears also swatted away nine shots - their highest total in five seasons.

Freshman F Ryan Anderson continued his hot start, soaring for a career-best 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. The 6-10 Anderson has scored at least 20 points in all three games to date and is connecting on a team-high 10-of-17 (58.8%) from behind the arc.

Junior G Omar Wilkes has also reached double digits in points in every outing so far. His 57.7 overall field goal percentage is second only to Anderson (59.5%) on the team. Wilkes, who led the Bears in three-point accuracy last year (45.3%), is 4-for-8 on treys in '06-07.

Up front, junior C DeVon Hardin had his most complete contest of the year vs. Santa Clara, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. He leads all active Pac-10 players with 82 career blocks, and the double-double was his seventh as a Bear.

The Great Alaska Shootout will conclude a busy stretch for Cal, with the Bears having played six times in 11 days, including two road trips (to San Diego State and Alaska).

Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS  NO  NAME            HT    WT   YR  PPG   RPGF    34  Ryan Anderson   6-10  235  Fr  22.0  8.3Led Cal with at least 20 points in all three games; 59.5 FG% F    24  Theo Robertson  6-6   225  So  5.0   4.3Shot 40.7% from three-point range last year; HM Pac-10 All-FreshmanC    35  DeVon Hardin    6-11  235  Jr  10.3  7.782 career blocks, including personal-best 5 vs. Santa ClaraG     1  Ayinde Ubaka    6-4   200  Sr  12.0  3.0 apgAll-Pac-10 in 2006; preseason candidate for Wooden, Cousy awardsG     2  Omar Wilkes     6-4   185  Jr  12.0  1.715 points at San Diego State - most since 15 vs. Washington 1/26/06

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 188-122, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 521-357. 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.

Marshall Scouting Report

A Look at Marshall
Marshall is off to a 1-1 start this season, having defeated UNC Greensboro, 82-80, in overtime and lost to Robert Morris, 73-69. The Herd is averaging 51.0 rebounds per game, led by Travis Aikens and Markel Humphrey, who are both pulling down 9.0 rpg. Aikens is also contributing a team-high 19.5 ppg. Marshall was 12-16 last season and returns four starters from the squad.

Cal-Marshall Series History
Cal and Marshall have met just one time previously, with the Herd taking a 51-47 decision in Huntington, W.V., during the 1939-40 season.

Marshall Head Coach Ron Jirsa
Ron Jirsa is in his fourth season as head coach at Marshall, where he has compiled a 31-56 record. He also coached at Georgia during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons, leading the Bulldogs to a pair of NIT appearances. Jirsa has served as an assistant coach at Tulsa, Georgia and Dayton.

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Cal Tops Santa Clara, 73-48
Junior C DeVon Hardin scored 10 of his 12 points during a decisive 23-4 run to close out the first half, helping California to a 73-48 victory over Santa Clara Monday night in Haas Pavilion. The victory was Cal's 10th straight at home over a non-conference opponent. The Bears trailed by as many as seven points in the early going, before taking the lead for good, 26-24, on a 14-foot jumper by Hardin. Freshman F Ryan Anderson paced Cal for the third straight game with 25 points, sinking 5-of-7 from three-point range. Senior G Ayinde Ubaka added 13 points and five assists, and junior G Omar Wilkes chipped in 11 points. The Bears blocked nine shots as a team, with Hardin swatting away a career-best five on the night.

Bears Enjoy Block Party vs. Santa Clara
Led by DeVon Hardin's career-high five blocks, Cal swatted away nine shots against Santa Clara Monday night, most for the Bears since they also had nine in a 56-27 victory over Eastern Washington on Nov. 16, 2001. Both figures against the Broncos were just shy of school records. Michael Stewart had seven blocks in a game three times during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, while the team mark is 11. Hardin leads all active Pac-10 players with 82 career blocks. Last season, the 6-11 center blocked 48 shots - the fifth-highest season total in Cal history - and if he can duplicate the feat this year, he will tie Solomon Hughes for second all-time at Cal.

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. DeVon Hardin (2005- )         82

Bears Return to Alaska for Great Alaska Shootout
Cal is making its second appearance in the Great Alaska Shootout this week and its third trip to the state of Alaska. Previously, the Bears participated in the 1988 Shootout. Cal upset 15th-ranked Florida, 73-58, in the opening round, before falling to Kansas (86-71) and Kentucky (89-71). The Bears were also in the 1999 Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, finishing as the runner-up to Oklahoma after beating TCU and Houston to reach the final.

Cal's History against the Shootout Field
Cal has played six of the other seven schools in the 2006 Great Alaska Shootout previously, most recently meeting Pacific and Hofstra during the 1999-2000 season.

Opponent          Series  Last MeetingMarshall          0-1     Marshall 51, Cal 47, 1939-40 (Huntington, WV)Alaska Anchorage  1-1     UAA 88, Cal 73, Dec. 29, 1990 (Honolulu, HI)Hawaii            11-1    Cal 71, Hawaii 60, Nov. 15, 1998 (Honolulu, HI)Hofstra           2-0     Cal 68, Hofstra 61, Nov. 29, 1999 (Berkeley, CA)Loyola Marymount  1-3     LMU 80, Cal 75, March 13, 1986 (Berkeley, CA)UMKC              0-0Pacific           23-2    Cal 76, Pacific 72, Nov. 27, 1999 (Berkeley, CA)

Cal Comes Up Short in Rebounding Department
Perhaps the key area of concern for Cal entering the season was rebounding. After losing Leon Powe and his Pac-10-leading 10.5 rpg to the NBA last April, the Bears knew that they would have to pick up the effort on the boards. But through the first three games of the year, Cal has a cumulative -21 margin in rebounding. Utah Valley State out-boarded the Bears, 33-30, San Diego State posted a 34-24 rebound margin, and Santa Clara won the board battle, 41-33. The 24 rebounds vs. SDSU matched Cal's low for a game last year, set at Eastern Michigan and at Washington. Although three players are averaging at least 4.3 rpg - Ryan Anderson (8.3 rpg), DeVon Hardin (7.7 rpg) and Theo Robertson (4.3 rpg) - no other Cal player is pulling down more than 1.7 per game.

Bears Have Won 10 Straight Home Non-Conference Games
Cal's 73-48 win over Santa Clara marked the Bears' 10th straight home victory against non-conference competition inside Haas Pavilion. The Bears were a perfect 6-0 at home vs. teams outside the Pac-10 last year, and they are 2-0 this season. Cal's last loss in Berkeley to a non-Pac-10 squad was a 63-60 decision to Colorado on Dec. 7, 2004.

Ryan Anderson Matches Shareef Abdur-Rahim for Cal Start
By scoring at least 20 points in his first three games this season, freshman F Ryan Anderson has become the first Cal freshman to reach the 20-point plateau in his first three contests since Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96. Anderson, who has paced the Bears in scoring each time out, had 20 points vs. Utah Valley State, 21 at San Diego State and 25 vs. Santa Clara. Abdur-Rahim soared to a Cal freshman-record 33 points vs. Northern Arizona, had 29 vs. Texas Southern and had 32 against San Francisco en route to being named the 1996 Pac-10 Player of the Year as a rookie. No Cal freshman has ever scored 20 or more in four straight games to begin his career.

Jerome Randle Finds His Range on Road
Most players tend to feel more comfortable at home, but freshman G Jerome Randle has had most of his early success on the road. He has yet to score in either of Cal's games in Haas Pavilion, shooting a combined 0-for-8 from the floor. But in the Bears' first contest outside Berkeley, he quickly showed why he was chosen the Illinois Class A Player of the Year for 2006 when he lit up the nets for 18 points at San Diego State. In 21 minutes, Randle drained 6-of-9 shots from the field, including 2-of-3 on three-pointers, and sank all four of his free throw attempts. He scored the Bears' final nine points of the game, which included a three-pointer, two lay-ups and a pair of free throws. As a senior at Chicago's Hales Franciscan HS last season, the diminutive Randle averaged 25 ppg.

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 have kept up the trend this season, having made 42 free throws to their opponents' 29 attempts. The advantage was built in the opener vs. Utah Valley State when Cal was Cal was 25-of-32 from the line, while UVSC was just 4-of-5. The Bears also limited Santa Clara to just six free throw tries, while converting 8-of-11 themselves. Overall, Cal is connecting at a 75.0 percent clip from the stripe (42-56). Last year, the Bears shot 73.3 percent on free throws, their highest in 17 seasons, and they are ahead of that pace so far in 2006-07.

Ryan Anderson's Big Debut: 20 Points, 8 Rebounds
Freshman F Ryan Anderson, the third-leading high school scorer in California 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 State  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

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 71 of his 80 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.

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.

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 was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday.

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.

Ayinde Ubaka Nearing Three-Point Top 10
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka enters this week's tournament with 103 career three-pointers, needing just three more to break into Cal's all-time Top 10 list. Ubaka drained 61 threes last season, which ties for the third-highest total in school history. However, he is off to a slow start this year, having connected on just 2-of-10 from behind the arc.

Cal Career Three-Point Leaders7. Bill Elleby (1989-92)         1358. K.J. Roberts (1992-95)        1099. Ryan Forehan-Kelly (1999-02)  10710. Monte Buckley (1992-95)      106Ayinde Ubaka (2004- )            103

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), which beat the Bears last Saturday, and Nevada (27-6) on 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. In 2005-06, Cal defeated San Diego State, 82-64, and Washington, 71-69, at home, and beat UCLA, 68-61, on the road.

Golden Bear Notes ...
DeVon Hardin leads the Bears in charges taken with five, including two each against Utah Valley State and Santa Clara ... Cal is surrendering just 47.5 ppg at home, but allowed 86 points on the road to San Diego State ... the Bears, who led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), are committing just 12.3 topg this year ... Ayinde Ubaka is averaging 33.3 minutes per game, down from 37.3 mpg last year when he set a school record with 1,156 minutes played ... of its 12 pre-Pac-10 games this season, Cal plays six at home and six on the road.

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