Cal Hosts 14th Annual Golden Bear Classic

Dec. 5, 2006

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14th Annual Golden Bear Classic
Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA

Friday, Dec. 8
Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-4, vs. Oakland 12/5) vs. San Diego Toreros (3-4, vs. Cal State Bakersfield 12/5), 5 p.m.
Chicago State Cougars (3-5, at DePaul 12/6) vs. California Golden Bears (6-2), 7:30 p.m.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: none

Saturday, Dec. 9
Consolation Game, 5 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California returns to Haas Pavilion this weekend to host the 14th annual Golden Bear Classic. The tournament gets underway Friday with Eastern Michigan meeting San Diego at 5 p.m., followed by Cal vs. Chicago State at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the consolation game starts at 5 p.m. and the championship contest at 7:30 p.m.The Bears have played just three of eight games at home this season, but are a perfect 3-0 on Pete Newell Court and have won 11 consecutive games vs. non-conference opponents in Berkeley.

In beating Utah Valley State, Santa Clara and Kansas State in Haas this season, Cal has yet to surrender 50 points to any foe, holding them to a combined 34.1 percent shooting from the floor and 21.3 percent from three-point range.

Four of the Bears' five starters are averaging in double figures, led by freshman F Ryan Anderson, who is pouring in 18.3 ppg. The 6-10 rookie, who was named MVP of the Great Alaska Shootout last month, also paces the Bears in three-pointers, having drained 19-of-41 from behind the arc (46.3%).

Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has played well, too, lifting his averages to 14.5 points and 4.6 assists. He rates among the top five in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (4th, 86.7%), assists (4th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (5th, 2.47).

As a team, the Bears lead the nation in free throw accuracy at 83.8 percent, as of Dec. 5, having made 114-of-136 tries. Cal has connected on at least 80 percent from the stripe in each of its last five games, including an 11-for-11 effort vs. Loyola Marymount Nov. 25, which tied the school record for most attempts without a miss.

Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS  NO  NAME             HT    WT    YR   PPG   RPGF    24  Theo Robertson   6-6   225   So   5.5   4.5Averaging 9.5 ppg last two games (7-13 FG) F    34  Ryan Anderson    6-10  235   Fr   18.3  8.3MVP of Great Alaska Shootout; 19-41 3-pointers (46.3%)C    35  DeVon Hardin     6-11  235   Jr   11.3  8.693 career blocks, 12 points, 12 rebounds vs. Kansas StateG     1  Ayinde Ubaka     6-4   200   Sr   14.5  4.6 apg21 pts. vs. Marshall; preseason candidate for Wooden, Cousy awardsG     2  Omar Wilkes      6-4   185   Jr   11.8  2.1Tied 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 192-123, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 525-358. 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.

Chicago State Scouting Report

A Look at Chicago State
Chicago State, which plays at DePaul Wednesday before traveling to Berkeley, owns a 3-5 record with four players averaging in double figures. The Cougars have played only one home game to date, an 86-70 win over Wright State, and have taken trips to Texas, Indiana, Wichita State and Texas-El Paso, among others.

Cal-Chicago State Series History
This will be the first meeting between Cal and Chicago State.

Chicago State Head Coach Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones is in his fourth season at Chicago State and has a 35-75 record with the Cougars. He is guiding the team as an independent this year after Chicago State spent 12 seasons in the Mid-Continent Conference.

Probable StartersPos  No  Name               Ht    Yr   Ppg   RpgF    12  Michael Henderson  6-5   Sr   14.9  7.1G    30  Aaron Williams     6-3   Sr   7.8   3.3C    44  Carl Ross          6-10  So   2.6   2.3G     3  David Holston      5-8   Jr   18.3  3.4G    11  Royce Parran       5-9   Sr   12.3  3.5

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Comeback Falls Short vs. Nevada, 77-71
California battled back from an 18-point second-half deficit for force a tie, but Nevada (#24 AP/#20 ESPN/USA Today) outscored the Bears, 14-8, down the stretch to win at the 10th Pete Newell Challenge Sunday at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Cal trailed 43-25 early in the second half, but used a 16-4 run to tie the contest at 63. After the teams traded baskets, Nevada scored six straight points for a 71-65 advantage. All five starters scored in double figures for the Bears, led by Ayinde Ubaka's 16 points. DeVon Hardin also finished with a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Twelve of his points came after intermission.

Cal Hosts 14th Annual Golden Bear Classic
California is hosting the 14th edition of the Golden Bear Classic this weekend with Chicago State, Eastern Michigan and San Diego all making their first appearances in the event. Cal has captured nine of the previous 13 events, including the past two. Last year, the Bears defeated Northern Colorado, 83-59, in the opening round, then beat Northeastern, 83-76, behind 23 points and 14 rebounds by tournament MVP DeVon Hardin in the championship game. Both of Hardin's totals still stand as career highs. Overall, eight of the finals have been decided by less than 10 points, and four by three points or less, most recently in 2004 when Cal upended Pepperdine, 61-58.

Golden Bear Classic Notebook: Eastern Michigan head coach Charles Ramsey served as an assistant coach under Ben Braun at Cal from 1997-2001 ... the Eagles defeated Cal, 67-65, in Ypsilanti, Mich., in last year's season-opener - the only previous meeting between the schools ... Braun spent 11 years coaching EMU before taking his current position at Cal and is a member of the EMU Hall of Fame ... Cal has a 2-0 series lead over San Diego, but the teams have not met since the 1981-82 season.

Bears Have Won 11 Straight Home Non-Conference Games
Cal's 78-48 win over Kansas State Nov. 29 marked the Bears' 11th 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 3-0 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 Has Scored 70+ for Seven Straight Games
Cal has topped the 70-point barrier in offensive production in each of its last seven games, their longest such streak since scoring at least 70 points 10 consecutive times during the 2002-03 season. The Bears totaled a season-high 79 points, albeit in a loss, at San Diego State to begin the run. They also had 78 points in back-to-back contests vs. Loyola Marymount in the final of the Great Alaska Shootout and at home against Kansas State.

Ayinde Ubaka Picking Up the Assists
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka has led the Bears in assists in five of Cal's last six games. Although the stat shouldn't be a surprise, Ubaka, however, has averaged 5.5 assists per game during the stretch, well above his career rate of 3.7 apg. He had a high of eight (no turnovers) against Kansas State Nov. 29 and had six (1 turnover) vs. Hawaii Nov. 24. As a result, Ubaka has moved into ninth place on Cal's career assist list with 312, and he needs just six more to tie Rickey Hawthorne for the eight spot.

Cal Career Assist Leaders6. Gene Ransom (1976-78)        3567. Roy Fisher (1988-91)         3338. Rickey Hawthorne (1973-76)   3189. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- )        312

Cal Keeps Turnovers to a Minimum
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 12.0 topg this year. The Bears have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in six of eight games, and have committed more than 14 just once (16 vs. Loyola Marymount). In last week's win over Kansas State, Cal had just two turnovers at halftime and finished the game with only eight - the Bears' lowest figure since a four-turnover performance vs. Stanford last Feb. 9. Cal also committed three turnovers in the second half vs. Nevada this past Saturday.

Bears' Defense Key in Victories
In its six wins this season, Cal is limiting opponent to 36.8 percent shooting from the floor and 56.5 ppg. None of the three foes to play in Haas Pavilion so far have reached 50 points - Utah Valley State (47), Santa Clara (48) and Kansas State (48). 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 six victims. In addition, Cal is outrebounding foes, 35.7-35.0, in wins, against a combined deficit of 16 in its losses to San Diego State and Nevada.

Ayinde Ubaka Efficiently Handling Duties at the Point
Senior G Ayinde Ubaka, who began his career by ranking third in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.96) as a freshman, has greatly improved his ratio this year. Entering Friday's contest vs. Chicago State, Ubaka has 37 assists to just 15 turnovers (2.47 ratio). In Cal's win over Kansas State, he had eight assists - one off his career high - and no turnovers. In his last four games, Ubaka has 24 assists and only six turnovers.

Cal Scorching Nets at 83.8% Clip from Free Throw Line
Over a two-year period, Cal has turned what was once a liability into what it now a reliable asset - free throw shooting. The Bears shot just 62.7 percent from the stripe in 2004-05. They then raised their average to 73.3 percent last year, which just missed the school record of 73.5 percent set in 1987. But this season, Cal is one pace to obliterate the mark. Through eight games, the Bears are connecting on 83.8 percent of their free throws. 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. As a team, the Bears made 24 consecutive free throws over the course of the Marshall and Hawaii games, and had another 19-made streak vs. Hawaii/LMU/Kansas State.

Individually, Cal's top five scorers are a combined 97-for-113 (85.8%). Freshman G Jerome Randle has yet to miss in 12 tries on the year, while senior G Ayinde Ubaka has drained 26-of-30 (86.7%) and freshman F Ryan Anderson is 29-for-35 (82.9%). 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 26-for-31 this year (83.9%).

NCAA Free Throw Percentage Leaders (as of Dec. 5)1. California        114-136   83.8%2. Butler            149-183   81.4%3. Delaware State     84-104   80.8%4. Eastern Michigan   79-101   78.2%5. Navy              133-170   78.2%

Cal Takes More FT than Opponents Attempt
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 114 free throws to their opponents' 92 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, Hawaii to five and Kansas State to eight.

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 19 blocked shots this year (2.38 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 93 blocks. But Hardin has added another element to his defense this season - he paces the Bears with eight charges taken. Perhaps his most important stand came in the closing seconds of Cal'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- )          93

Anderson Could Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 18.3 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)         18.3 ppg3. Leon Powe (2004)             15.1 ppg4. Brian Hendrick (1990)        14.9 ppg5. Rickie Hawthorne (1973)      14.2 ppg

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 this season. Now, 14-for-35 (40.0%) from behind the arc, he has 115 career treys, good for eighth place. In addition, his 26-for-30 free throw accuracy (86.7%) this year has moved him into sixth on the Cal career FT chart at 79.1 percent.

Cal Career Three-Pointers6. Amit Tamir (2002-04)    1367. Bill Elleby (1989-92)   1358. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- )   115

Cal Career FT Shooting5. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 112-139 80.6%6. Ayinde Ubaka (2004- ) 186-235 79.1%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 over their last five contests, the Bears are +9, lowering their season average deficit to -1.5 per game (33.5 - 35.0). Three players are averaging at least 4.5 rpg - Ryan Anderson (8.3 rpg), DeVon Hardin (8.6 rpg) and Theo Robertson (4.5 rpg). Hardin has double-doubles in his last two games vs. Kansas State (12-12) and Nevada (14-10).

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 76 of his 85 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.

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. He is a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.

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.

Bears Ink Two Forwards to Letters of Intent
Cal signed two forwards to National Letters of Intent during the early November signing period - Harper Kamp and Omondi Amoke. Kamp, a 6-8, 250-pounder from Mesa, Ariz., led his Mountain View High School team to a pair of state championships in 2005 and '06. He was named the Arizona Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2005. In 2005-06, Kamp missed much of the early part of the year with a foot injury, but still recovered to lead his team to a 25-3 mark and another state title. In addition to repeating as the Region Player of the Year, he was a first-team all-state selection. Due to limited minutes during his first games back from injury, he averaged 10 ppg, 6 rpg and 3 apg during the campaign. Amoke, who stands 6-7, 205, hails from Oxnard High School in Oxnard, Calif. Rated the No. 91 national recruit by Hoop Scoop and the 22nd-best forward by, he was voted MVP of the Pacific View League and the Ventura County Star Player of the Year as a junior in 2005-06. Amoke averaged 19.8 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.5 bpg and 3.6 spg, helping Oxnard HS to a 23-7 record. During his sophomore year, the athletic wing contributed 17.7 ppg and 12 rpg.

Golden Bear Notes ...
For the second consecutive year, Cal has been picked fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of media who cover the conference; last year, the Bears finished third during the regular season with a 12-6 mark and reached the final of the Pac-10 Tournament ... Ayinde Ubaka is averaging 33.9 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 56.9 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 ... sophomore G Nikola Knezevic, who was expected to be a primary contributor in the backcourt this season, has yet to play as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery to clean up loose cartilage in his right knee.

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