Cal Travels to Washington for Thursday Meeting
Feb. 5, 2007
Golden Bears (12-10, 4-6) at Washington Huskies (14-8, 4-7)
Thursday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m., Bank of America Arena, Seattle, WA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Fox Sports Net
California Golden Bears at Washington State Cougars (19-4, 8-3, vs. Stanford 2/8)
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m., Friel Court, Pullman, WA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California hits the road this week for a trip to Washington and Washington State (#14 AP/#14 ESPN/USA Today), trying to snap out of four-game losing streak. The Golden Bears, though, have a tall task ahead as the Huskies and Cougars are a combined 23-2 on their home courts this season.
However, Cal did knock off the UW in the team's first meeting, 77-69, in overtime in Berkeley Jan. 13. The Bears won the rebounding battle, 47-36, to become the first team to out-board the Huskies this year. Freshman F Ryan Anderson led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while senior G Ayinde Ubaka scored six of his 13 points in the extra period.
Ubaka, who will be playing his 100th career game when he suits up against Washington Thursday night, has moved into 29th place on Cal's all-time scoring list with 1,047 points, and he can pass both Amit Tamir (1,055) and Larry Friend (1,061) with 15 more points vs. the Huskies.
After suffering from a stomach virus that limited his effectiveness vs. UCLA and USC Jan. 25-27, Ubaka came back with 17 points, seven assists and no turnovers against Stanford last Saturday.
Anderson continues to lead Cal in both scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg), and he remains the only player in the Pac-10 to rank among the top five in the league in both categories. With 372 total points this year, he needs just seven more points to jump over Jason Kidd (378 in 1993) to take over fifth place on the Bears' freshman scoring list.
Down to just nine healthy scholarship players, Cal has received a spark off the bench from freshman G Jerome Randle lately. On Jan. 27 vs. USC, he scored 12 points and dished out seven assists in 19 minutes of action. Then in last week's Stanford contest, he tossed in a career-high 19 points, with 12 points coming in the first half during a 23-10 run that brought the Bears back from 16 points down to a 30-27 deficit.
Probable StartersPOS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 210 Fr 4.5 2.0Career-high 10 points vs. USC; 8 points, 4 rebounds at Stanford F 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 So 8.5 4.4Career-high 19 points at Oregon; 16 points vs. UCLAF 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 235 Fr 16.9 8.4Top 5 in Pac-10 in scoring & rebounding; made 40 three-pointersG 1 Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 Sr 13.9 4.7 apg#29 in Cal history with 1,047 pts; season-high 26 pts at StanfordG 2 Omar Wilkes 6-4 185 Jr 10.3 2.2Leads Cal in FG shooting (52.2%); 14 points vs. USC
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 198-131, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 531-366. 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.
Washington Scouting Report
A Look at Washington
After starting Pac-10 play with a 1-6 mark, Washington won three in a row before suffering an 84-54 loss at Arizona last Saturday. The Huskies are 13-1 at home, which includes victories over then-No. 12 LSU and then-No. 7 Oregon. Center Spencer Hawes, who has come off the bench the last several games, paces the squad with 14.6 ppg, while guard Ryan Appleby has connected on 55 three-pointers (42.6%). UW leads the conference in rebound margin (+8.4) and is second in scoring offense with 80.2 ppg.
Cal-Washington Series History
Cal holds a narrow 72-71 series lead over Washington after posting a 77-69 overtime victory over the Huskies back on Jan. 13 in Berkeley. Ayinde Ubaka scored six of his 13 points in OT and Ryan Anderson finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Bears. Cal is 8-5 in is last 13 meetings with UW, and last won in Seattle, 73-66, on Jan. 16, 2003.
Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
Lorenzo Romar is 98-50 in his fifth season at Washington. Romar also previously served as head coach at Pepperdine (1997-99) and Saint Louis (2000-02). He was voted the 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading UW to a school-record-tying 29 victories.
For more information: www.gohuskies.com
Washington State Scouting Report
A Look at Washington State
Washington State, which hosts Stanford Thursday before playing Cal, enters with week with an 8-3 Pac-10 mark and tied for second place in the league standings. The Cougars are coming off a weekend sweep in Arizona, having defeating Arizona, 72-66, and Arizona State, 48-47. WSU is limiting teams to just 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 58.7 ppg. Derrick Lowe scores at a team-best 15.0 ppg clip and has made 56 three-pointers (43.4%).
Cal-Washington State Series History
Cal owns a 67-43 series lead over Washington State and has won five of the past six meetings in the state of Washington. Last year, the Bears held on for a 43-41 victory in Pullman - Cal's lowest point total in a win since defeating Stanford, 43-41, in double OT in 1985. Earlier this season, WSU posted a 73-56 victory over the Bears in Berkeley.
Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett is in his first season as head coach at Washington State after serving as an assistant to his father, Dick, the past three years. Bennett also played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay from 1989-92, where he was a two-time MCC Player of the Year.
For more information: www.wsucougars.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: No. 23 Stanford Defeats Cal, 90-71
Jerome Randle scored a career-high 19 points and Ayinde Ubaka added 17 points and seven assists with no turnovers, but Cal could not overcome its severe high disadvantage and fell to Stanford (#23 AP), 90-71, last Saturday at Haas Pavilion. The Cardinal raced out to a 20-4 lead to open the game. However, the Bears, behind 12 first-half points from Randle, battled back to make it 30-27 Stanford with 2:06 left in the first half. With Stanford up, 44-40, early in the second half, the Cardinal went on a decisive 8-0 run and maintained a double-digit lead most of the rest of the night. Stanford, which starts a pair of seven-footers, outrebounded Cal, 43-29. The Bears committed a season-low seven turnovers in the contest.
Stats Bear Out Importance of DeVon Hardin to Lineup
Cal has now played an even number of games with and without junior C DeVon Hardin in the lineup this season. During the first 11 games of the year, the Bears sported an 8-3 record with Hardin contributing 10.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg and, perhaps most importantly, 21 blocks. But in the 11 games since he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot, Cal has gone 4-7 and the entire Bear team has only 16 blocks. A closer look at the statistics shows how much Hardin's presence, especially from a defensive standpoint, has meant to Cal this season. In the 11 games with Hardin, the Bears allowed just one team to shoot higher than 50 percent from the floor, but opponents have reached the threshold eight times in the last 11 contests.
Cal Stats with Hardin Cal Stats without Hardin PPG 73.5 ppg 69.5 ppgOpp. PPG 61.4 ppg 76.8 ppgScoring Margin +12.1 -7.3RPG 33.7 rpg 30.5 rpgOpp. RPG 33.2 rpg 35.0 ppgRebound Margin +0.5 rpg -4.5Opp. FG% 40.6% 51.3%Opp. 3P% 28.5% 39.6%
Cal Has Equal Success Home and Away
Cal enters Thursday's game with a 6-5 home record, a mark that matches the Bears' success rate outside of Berkeley. Cal is 3-1 on neutral sites this year, which includes a 3-0 run to capture the Great Alaska Shootout in November. The Bears are also 3-2 on the road in Pac-10 games with victories at Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon State. Over the past two years combined, Cal is 9-5 in league road contests.
Bears to Face Six Top 25 Opponents in Seven-Game Stretch
Having just played four consecutive ranked opponents and with No. 14 Washington State on tap Saturday and No. 13 Oregon coming to Berkeley next Thursday, Cal is in the midst of facing six rated schools over a seven-game stretch. However, the Bears are 0-6 vs. ranked teams so far this season. According to CollegeRPI.com, Cal has played the nation's 11th-toughest schedule.
Anderson Could Break Powe's Freshman Rebound Mark
Just over halfway through the Pac-10 slate, freshman F Ryan Anderson has already moved into nine Cal freshman top-10 lists: points (6th, 372), points average (2nd, 16.9 ppg), rebounds (8th, 185), rebound average (T3rd, 8.4 ppg), field goals (10th, 129), field goal shooting (T10th, 49.0%), three-pointers (T4th, 40), free throws (T9th, 74) and free throw shooting (6th, 78.7%). Anderson's best chance for a school rookie record appears to be in rebounding. Projecting his 8.4 rpg average over the minimum 31 games the Bears are scheduled to play this year, he is on pace for 260 boards, which would top the mark of 256 set by Leon Powe in 2004.
Ayinde Ubaka First to 1,000 Points, 100 3-Pointers, 300 Assists
With 22 points at Oregon State Jan. 18, senior G Ayinde Ubaka became the 35th player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career, and entering this week's action, he is 29th with 1,047 points. As long as he hits his average in games at Washington Thursday and Washington State Saturday, he will move up to 26th on the Cal list. Ubaka is now the first Bear ever to have at least 1,000 points, 100 three-pointers and 300 assists. He already ranks sixth in the Cal record book in both assists (378) and treys (137).
Bears on Record Free Throw Pace, Lead NCAA
Perhaps the greatest area of improvement for the Bears over the past couple of years has been at the free throw line. After ranking last in the Pac-10 in both 2004 (62.8%) and 2005 (62.7%), Cal not only leads the league this year, but is No. 1 in the country at 78.6 percent.The Bears have been perfect from the line three times this season - 11-for-11 vs. Loyola Marymount Nov. 25, 12-for-12 at Oregon Jan. 20 and 8-for-8 vs. USC Jan. 27. The Oregon performance set a school record for most attempts without a miss. In addition, Cal was 42-for-44 at the charity stripe in the Great Alaska Shootout. Freshman Jerome Randle made the first 12 tries of his career and paces the squad at 84.4 percent, while senior Ayinde Ubaka is shooting 84.2 percent. The school team record is 73.5 percent set in 1986-87.
NCAA Free Throw Leaders (through games of Feb. 4)1. California 279-355 78.6%2. Florida State 338-432 78.2%3. Gonzaga 429-549 78.1%4. Villanova 370-481 76.9%5. Navy 274-357 76.8%
Anderson Could Be Third Freshman to Lead Cal in Scoring since '96
In contributing a team-high 16.9 ppg to date (No. 4 in the Pac-10), 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. Anderson is the only player in the Pac-10 to rank among the top five in both scoring and rebounding (5th, 8.4 rpg) this season.
Bears' Defense Key in Victories
In its 12 wins this season, Cal is limiting opponents to 38.6 percent shooting from the floor and 59.0 ppg. The Bears have allowed 51 or fewer points five times, holding Utah Valley State (47), Santa Clara (48) and Kansas State (48) in the 40s. The 47 points scored by Utah Valley State Nov. 15 was the lowest for a Cal opponent in a season opener since the Bears defeated Saint Mary's, 62-44, on Dec. 5, 1964. On the flip side, the Bears are allowing 81.2 ppg and 54.6 percent shooting in their eight losses. Cal is 11-1 when holding teams to 70 or fewer points, but 1-9 when opponents score 71 or more.
Cal on Track to Set Three-Point Record
Cal is on pace to break a pair of three-point records this year - most three-pointers in a season and most three-pointers per game. To date, the Bears have made 168 treys in 22 games, an average of 7.64 per contest. The current record is 7.00 per game set during the 1994-95 campaign. With at least nine games remaining (eight in the regular season plus at least one in the Pac-10 Tournament), Cal is on track to sink 236 shots from behind the arc - well beyond the record of 198 established in 2002-03. In fact, the Bears' 168 treys so far is more than the team's full season total for 10 of the last 20 years.
Top Three-Pointers Per Game AveragesYear G 3P Per Game2006-07 22 168 7.641994-95 27 189 7.002002-03 31 198 6.391989-90 32 196 6.13
Cal Keeps Turnovers to a Minimum
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 11.6 topg this year - second in the league to Washington State (10.3 topg). The Bears have committed more than 15 just once (17 vs. San Diego) and 11 or fewer nine times. Cal had a season-low seven turnovers vs. Stanford last Saturday and just eight TOs in a 78-48 victory over Kansas State Nov. 29. The Bears also committed nine total turnovers vs. Washington State Jan. 11 and 10 four other times.
Bears Lose Two Centers to Injury
When practice started for the 2006-07 season in October, the Bears believed they had a combination of depth and experience up front that would make the post position one of the strongest areas of the team. But by mid-December, Cal found itself shorthanded in the middle. First, 7-0 sophomore C Jordan Wilkes partially tore a tendon in his left knee during practice Nov. 7, and he underwent season-ending surgery two weeks later. Then 6-11 junior C DeVon Hardin, who was averaging 10.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg through 11 games, suffered a stress fracture to his left mid-foot vs. Furman Dec. 19. He also had surgery and is expected to be out 8-12 weeks. The losses have left Cal with just two players over 6-7 - freshmen Ryan Anderson and Taylor Harrison.
Vierneisel Misses UCLA, USC Games with Ankle Sprain
Junior F Eric Vierneisel sprained his left ankle in practice on Wednesday, Jan. 24, causing him to miss the Jan. 25 UCLA and Jan. 27 USC contests. His loss left the Bears played with just eight healthy scholarship players for those two games. Vierneisel returned vs. Stanford Feb. 3, but did not score. He had been averaging 9.4 ppg in Pac-10 games before the injury.
Knezevic Out Following Knee Surgery
Sophomore G Nikola Knezevic, who was expected to be a major contributor at point guard this season, has yet to see any action following offseason knee surgery. Knezevic hurt his right knee over the summer, and although he has been able to practice on a limited basis, he has not been cleared for games.
Jamal Boykin Transfers to Cal from Duke
Jamal Boykin, a 6-7, 230-pound forward, has transferred to Cal from Duke and has enrolled for the spring semester. Boykin played in 26 games as a freshman in 2005-06, helping the Blue Devils to a 32-4 record. He averaged 1.0 ppg and 0.8 rpg, shooting 47.1 percent from the floor (8-17) and 90.0 percent from the free throw line (9-10). Boykin saw action in just three games this past November, scoring four points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 30 minutes of action, before being sidelined with a severe case of mononucleosis. As a high school star at Fairfax HS in Los Angeles, Boykin was named the 2005 Gatorade State Player of the Year when he averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and five assists per game. Also a third-team Parade All-American, he was the John Wooden Award winner as the Los Angeles Player of the Year.
Russ Critchfield to Be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Former Cal All-American Russ Critchfield will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during a ceremony at the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles this March. One of the top guards in school history, he was a three-time team MVP from 1966-68 for the Bears. After earning honorable mention All-America honors as a junior, he was a first-team choice by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1968. Critchfield also claimed first-team all-conference honors twice. He finished his Cal career with 1,437 points, which rated No. 2 in school history at his graduation and still ranks eighth on the school's all-time list. In addition, his 19.4 ppg career scoring average is the third-best ever at Cal, and he is second in the Bear annals with 41 20-point games. In addition to Critchfield, UCLA alum Jamaal Wilkes, father of Cal players Omar and Jordan Wilkes, will also be inducted. The Pac-10 Hall of Honor inducts one former player, coach or administrator from each conference school every year.
Golden Bear Notes ...
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 was installed inside the Club Room at Haas Pavilion prior to the start of the season ... with a 2-0 mark in overtime games this year, Cal has improved to 15-8 in overtime games under head coach Ben Braun ... with an 8-4 non-league record, Cal had its highest pre-Pac-10 victory total since going 9-1 heading into conference play in 2001-02 ... freshman Ryan Anderson was voted MVP of the Great Alaska Shootout; he was joined on the all-tournament team by Ayinde Ubaka and DeVon Hardin ... Cal has added four walk-ons to the roster: 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) ... Ubaka was on the preseason watch lists for both the Wooden All-America team and the Bob Cousy Award ... for the second consecutive year, Cal was 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 ... of its 12 pre-Pac-10 games this season, Cal played six at home and six on the road ... 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.