Bears Host Kansas State Wednesday

Nov. 27, 2006

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Kansas State Wildcats (4-1) vs. California Golden Bears (5-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Fox Sports Net

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Now owner of a four-game winning streak that includes the championship of the Great Alaska Shootout, California returns to Haas Pavilion this week to host Kansas State Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The Golden Bears, who next play Nevada (#24 AP/#20 ESPN/USA Today) in the 10th Pete Newell Challenge Sunday in San Jose, have only two games this week after playing five contests during an eight-day stretch from Nov. 18-25.

After beginning the busy run with a setback at San Diego State, Cal has run off four consecutive victories, starting with a Nov. 20 triumph over Santa Clara.

In the Shootout last weekend in Anchorage, Alaska, the Bears defeated Marshall (72-70), Hawaii (72-56) and Loyola Marymount (78-70) on their way to the title.

Freshman F Ryan Anderson, who averaged 17.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg on 50 percent shooting from the floor, was voted tournament MVP. Anderson had double-doubles in the semifinal and championship rounds, pulling down a high of 12 boards against LMU.

Overall, the rookie post leads Cal in scoring (19.7 ppg), rebounding (8.8) and three-pointers (15, 45.5%). Anderson poured in a career-best 25 points vs. Santa Clara, helped by 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.

Senior Ayinde Ubaka continues his leadership at the point and seems to have regained his long-range shooting touch. After making just two of his first 10 three-point tries this season, he was 9-for-15 in Alaska and had a high of 21 points vs. Marshall (7-13 FG, 5-6 3P, 2-2 FT).

During the tournament, the Bears were particularly successful at the free throw line. In three games at the Shootout, they only missed two of 44 attempts at the stripe (95.5%) to set a tournament accuracy record. In the final vs. Loyola Marymount, Cal matched the school single-game record by going 11-for-11.

Junior C DeVon Hardin has also exerted himself as a force in the paint, having swatted away 15 shots in six outings for an average of 2.5 per game. In addition, he leads the Bears with seven charges taken and had his best offensive output since last Dec. 3 when he poured in 16 points against LMU Saturday night.

Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS  NO  NAME            HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPGF    24  Theo Robertson  6-6   225  So   4.2   4.8Shot 40.7% from three-point range last year; HM Pac-10 All-Freshman F    34  Ryan Anderson   6-10  235  Fr   19.7  8.8MVP of Great Alaska Shootout; 15-33 3-pointers (45.5%)C    35  DeVon Hardin    6-11  235  Jr   10.7  7.890 career blocks, including personal-best 5 vs. Santa ClaraG     1  Ayinde Ubaka    6-4   200  Sr   14.3  4.0 apg21 pts. vs. Marshall; preseason candidate for Wooden, Cousy awardsG     2  Omar Wilkes     6-4   185  Jr   12.2  2.0Tied career high with 18 points vs. LMU (8-10 FG, 2-2 FT) 

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 191-122, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 524-357. 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.

Kansas State Scouting Report

A Look at Kansas State
Kansas State enters Wednesday's game with a 4-1 record, having most recently defeated Coppin State, 68-57, at home last Saturday. Four players average in double figures for the Wildcats, led by David Hoskins, who is contributing 13.8 ppg. K-State is shooting just 36.6 percent from the floor, but it is outrebounding opponents by a 48.2-37.8 margin and is pulling down 18.8 offensive boards per game.

Cal-Kansas State Series History
Kansas State holds a 5-0 series lead over Cal, most recently defeating the Bears, 65-58, on Dec. 29, 1995 in the final of the Otis Spunkmeyer Classic at the Oakland Arena. The four other match-ups all occurred in 1950s. Then-third-ranked KSU handed Cal its first loss of the 1958-59 campaign on Dec. 12 in Berkeley (68-65); the Bears eventually went on to capture the NCAA championship at the end of the year.

Kansas State Head Coach Bob Huggins
Bob Huggins is in his first season at Kansas State and 25th year as a college head coach, entering the Cal game with a 571-200 record. He previous stops have been at Walsh College, Akron and Cincinnati, where he led the Bearcats to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1992 Final Four

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Cal Wins Great Alaska Shootout
Behind an MVP performance by freshman F Ryan Anderson, California captured the 2006 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage last week. The Bears swept through their three games, defeating Marshall (72-70), Hawaii (72-56) and Loyola Marymount (78-70) en route to the title. In the championship contest vs. LMU Saturday night, Cal built a 39-33 lead at the break, then raced out with a 16-4 run to begin the second half. The Bears' advantage reached as many as 18 points before LMU narrowed the gap in the closing minutes. Junior G Omar Wilkes matched his career high with 18 points (8-10 FG, 2-2 FT), while senior G Ayinde Ubaka finished with 17 points. Anderson added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and junior C DeVon Hardin had 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. In addition to Anderson, Ubaka and Hardin were also voted to the all-tournament squad.

Bears' Defense Key in Victories
In its five wins this season, Cal is limiting opponent to 37.2 percent shooting from the floor and 58.2 ppg. Three foes did not break the 60-point barrier - Utah Valley State (47), Santa Clara (48) and Hawaii (56). The 47 points scored by UVSC was the lowest for a Cal opponent in a season opener since the Bears defeated Saint Mary's, 62-44, on Dec. 5, 1964. Only Hawaii, at 40.7 percent, has managed to shoot higher than 40 percent from the floor among the five victims. In addition, Cal is outrebounding foes, 35.2-35.0, in wins, against a deficit of 10 in its lone loss at San Diego State.

Cal Second in Nation in Free Throw Shooting (84.0%)
There may be no other area on the court that has seen more improvement for the Bears over the past couple of seasons than at the free throw line. In 2003-04, Cal shot just 62.8 percent from the stripe, a rate that dropped to 62.7 percent a year later. Last season, however, the Bears raised their percentage to 73.3 percent - which just missed the school record of 73.5 percent set in 1987. Now, Cal is putting the all-time mark in jeopardy. Through six games, the Bears are connecting on 84.0 percent of their free throws, which ranks second nationally to Navy's 84.4 percent. They were especially accurate at the Great Alaska Shootout, sinking 42-of-44 (95.5%) - 19-of-20 vs. Marshall, 12-of-13 vs. Hawaii and 11-of-11 vs. Loyola Marymount. The LMU effort matched the Cal record for most attempts without a miss, with the Bears also going 11-for-11 at DePaul in the 1999 NIT second round.

Individually, freshman G Jerome Randle has yet to miss in eight tries on the year, while senior G Ayinde Ubaka has drained 19-of-21 (90.5%) and freshman F Ryan Anderson is 23-for-29 (79.3%). But perhaps the greatest improvement has come from junior C DeVon Hardin, a 38.6 percent shooter as a freshman two years ago, who is 20-for-23 this year (87.0%).

DeVon Hardin Taking Charge on Defense
With his 6-11, 235-pound frame, junior C DeVon Hardin offers an intimidating presence on the court. He leads the Bears with 15 blocked shots this year (2.5 per game), including a career-best five against Santa Clara and four more vs. Loyola Marymount. For his career, Hardin leads all active Pac-10 players and ranks fifth on Cal's career chart with 90 blocks. But Hardin has added another element to his defense this season - he paces the Bears with seven charges taken. Perhaps his most important stand came in the closing seconds of last Thursday's 72-70 victory over Marshall when he drew a charge against Chris Ross in the lane with just five seconds left and Cal clinging to a 70-68 lead.

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- )        90

Anderson Could Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 19.7 ppg to date, F Ryan Anderson is aiming to become the third freshman to pace Cal in scoring since 1996. Leon Powe was the last Cal rookie to accomplish the feat when he averaged 15.1 ppg in 2004 and was voted Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Back in 1996, Shareef Abdur-Rahim not only led the Bears, but he paced the Pac-10 with 21.1 ppg and was named both Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Player of the Year. Earlier this season, Anderson matched Abdur-Rahim as the only two Cal freshmen to score at least 20 points in each of their first three games. Anderson fell just short of a fourth consecutive 20-point outing when he finished with 19 points against Marshall, totaling 17 second-half points after a two-point first half.

Cal Freshman Scoring Leaders1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996)   21.1 ppg2. Ryan Anderson (2007)         19.7 ppg3. Leon Powe (2004)             15.1 ppg4. Brian Hendrick (1990)        14.9 ppg5. Rickie Hawthorne (1973)      14.2 ppg

Bears Have Won 10 Straight Home Non-Conference Games
Cal's 73-48 win over Santa Clara Nov. 20 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.

Cal Tries to Reverse Big 12 Trend vs. Kansas State
Cal has not fared particularly well against Big 12 teams in recent years, going just 1-9 over the previous 10 seasons. The lone victory was a 75-63 win over Colorado on Dec. 9, 2000 in Berkeley, while the losses have come against Kansas (3), Colorado (3), Texas (1) and Oklahoma (2). The Bears, though, are 2-1 vs. Bob Huggins-coached teams after spitting a pair of games vs. Cincinnati - won 89-80 on Feb. 20, 1994 in Orlando, Fla.; won 89-76 on Dec. 21, 1994 in Cincinnati; lost 77-70 on Dec. 20, 1995 in Oakland.

Jerome Randle Discovers Comfort Level on Road
Freshman G Jerome Randle has yet to score in a Cal home game, shooting a combined 0-for-8 from the field against Utah Valley State and Santa Clara. But away from Haas Pavilion, he seems to have found his comfort zone. Randle totaled 18 points at San Diego State and averaged 9.0 ppg in the Great Alaska Shootout, including a 14-point effort vs. Marshall. His four-point play vs. the Herd with 3:27 left broke a 62-all tie, helping the Bears to a 72-70 win.

Ayinde Ubaka Moves into Top 10 in Three-Pointers, FT Shooting
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has moved into Cal's all-time top 10 in three-pointers and free throw shooting, and he is on the verge of breaking into the assist list. Now, 11-for-25 (44.0%) from behind the arc, he has 112 career treys, good for eighth place. In addition, his 19-for-21 free throw accuracy (90.5%) has moved him into sixth on the Cal FT chart at 79.2 percent. Finally, Ubaka has 299 assists, which is just nine shy of the 10th spot held by Michael Chavez (308 from 1980-83).

Cal Career Three-Pointers       6. Amit Tamir (2002-04)    1367. Bill Elleby (1989-92)   1358. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- )   108

Cal Career FT Shooting5. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 112-139 80.6%6. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 179-226 79.2%7. Ed Gray (1996-97) 264-334 79.0%

Cal Improving 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. Through the first three games of the year, Cal had a cumulative -21 margin in rebounding. But in the Great Alaska Shootout, the Bears were +12, lowering their season average margin to -1.5 per game (33.3 - 34.8). Three players are averaging at least 4.8 rpg - Ryan Anderson (8.8 rpg), DeVon Hardin (7.8 rpg) and Theo Robertson (4.8 rpg).

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 84 free throws to their opponents' 62 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 and Hawaii to five.

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 underwent surgery on Nov. 21.

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.

Golden Bear Notes ...
The Bears, who led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), are committing 12.7 topg this year ... Ayinde Ubaka is averaging 34.3 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 ... junior G Omar Wilkes tied his career high with 18 points vs. Loyola Marymount and tops the Bears in field goal shooting at 59.3 percent ... Cal's championship in the Great Alaska Shootout was the first in-season tournament victory for the Bears, other than the Golden Bear Classic, since taking the Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., in December 1975 ... two games have been added to Cal's TV schedule, with contests at Arizona State (Dec. 30) and at Oregon State (Jan. 18) being picked up by FSN Bay Area Plus.

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