Cal Hosts WSU, Washington in Final Homestand

Feb. 26, 2008

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Washington State Cougars (21-6, 9-6) at California Golden Bears (15-10, 6-8)
Thursday, Feb. 28, 8 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Fox Sports Net

Washington Huskies (15-13, 6-9, at Stanford 2/28) at California Golden Bears
Saturday, March 1, 3 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet

California concludes its home schedule when the Golden Bears host Washington State (#22 AP/#22 ESPN/USA Today) Thursday at 8 p.m. and Washington Saturday at 3 p.m.

Cal is just 2-5 at home in Pac-10 play, but the Bears defeated both WSU and UW on the road earlier in the season - their first sweep in the state of Washington since 2003. Cal's 69-64 victory at then-No. 9 WSU was the team's first over a Top 10 team on the road since 1995, while the 79-75 triumph over Washington was the Bears' first in Seattle in five years.

Cal continues to lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense at 77.8 ppg - a rate that also stands as the 30th best in the country. The Bears also pace the league in assists (15.88 apg).

In addition, Cal ranks first in the conference and fourth in the country in free throw accuracy, making 77.8 percent of its tries. The Bears were third in the country last season with a school-record 76.9 percent, and they are ahead of that pace this time around.

Sophomore G Jerome Randle has improved to 100-for-118 during his career, giving him the highest percentage (84.7%) in school history, while sophomore F Ryan Anderson is right behind in third place at 84.2 percent for his career (230-for-273).

This season, Anderson stands as one of only four players to rate among the Top 20 nationally in both scoring (21.8 ppg, 14th) and rebounding (10.2 rpg, 19th). Already the highest-scoring sophomore in school history with 1,083 points, he needs just four more points to move into 25th place on Cal's career list.

In the two games earlier this season at Washington State and Washington, Anderson averaged 30.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg to earn Pac-10 and National Player of the Week honors.

This weekend also marks the final home appearance for four members of the Golden Bears - seniors DeVon Hardin (No. 2 on Cal's all-time blocked shots list with 125), Eric Vierneisel, Patrick Armstrong and Sam Rayburn - who will be honored with a pregame ceremony Saturday.

Probable StartersPOS  NO   NAME                  HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPGF    14   Eric Vierneisel       6-7   210  Sr   4.6   2.3Career-high 15 points vs. USC; has dished out 51 assists (2.1 apg) F    34   Ryan Anderson         6-10  240  So   21.8  10.22-time Pac-10 Player of the Week; 27 points, 9 rebounds at WSUC    35   DeVon Hardin          6-11  250  Sr   9.7   7.530 blocks; 56.9 FG%; DNP at WSU, UW due to viral infectionG     3   Jerome Randle         5-10  165  So   11.8  4.0 apg17 points at Arizona; Golden Bear Classic MVPG    23   Patrick Christopher   6-5   215  So   16.2  3.715 or more pts. in 19 games; 20 pts., including game-winner, at UW

Cal Head Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), the second-winningest coach in Cal history, is in his 12th year in Berkeley and 31st season as a collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 217-148, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 550-383. 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. 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 State Scouting Report

A Look at Washington State
Washington State, which is ranked 22nd in both national polls, features the top defense in the Pac-10, allowing just 55.5 ppg, and the Cougars are 9-0 when giving up 60 or fewer points in conference action. WSU is 9-2 away from home this year, most recently sweeping Oregon State and Oregon Feb. 14-16. Derrick Low leads a balanced offense with 13.8 ppg.

Cal-WSU Series History
Cal holds a 68-44 all-time lead over Washington State after upending the then-No. 9 Cougars, 69-64, on Jan. 31 in Pullman. Ryan Anderson had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bears, who picked up their first road victory over a Top-10 team since 1995. The series has featured sweeps by one team each of the last seven years, with Cal winning both games in 2001, '02, '03, '05 and '06, and WSU taking both contests in 2004 and '07.

WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett is 47-14 in his second year at Washington State. Last season, he was named both Pac-10 and National Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to a 26-8 record and a second-place finish in the Pac-10 (13-5).

Probable StartersPos  No   Name               Ht    Wt   Yr   Ppg   RpgF    34   Robbie Cowgill     6-10  211  Sr   7.0   5.0C    11   Aron Baynes        6-10  270  Jr   10.8  5.8G     2   Derrick Low        6-2   196  Sr   13.8  1.7G    10   Taylor Rochestie   6-1   186  Jr   10.4  3.1G    25   Kyle Weaver        6-6   201  Sr   11.4  5.0

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Washington Scouting Report

A Look at Washington
Washington, which visits Stanford Thursday before playing Cal, features the top rebounder in the Pac-10 in junior Jon Brockman, who is pulling down 11.8 rpg. Brockman also tosses in 17.8 ppg and is shooting 53.8 percent from the field. Ryan Appleby has connected on a team-high 63 three-pointers (38.9%) and averages 11.3 ppg.

Cal-Washington Series History
On the strength of a 79-75 victory in Seattle on Feb. 2, Cal owns a slim 73-72 series advantage over Washington. Patrick Christopher's three-pointer with 24 seconds left broke a 72-all tie in the first meeting, and Ryan Anderson finished with 33 points and 17 rebounds. The Bears, who have won 10 of their last 16 games vs. UW, last swept the Huskies in 2003.

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
Lorenzo Romar is 118-68 in his sixth season at Washington. He has guided the Huskies to three NCAA Tournaments, including a pair of appearances in the Sweet 16. Romar was also 42-44 at Pepperdine (1997-99) and 51-44 at Saint Louis (2000-02).

Probable StartersPos  No   Name            Ht    Wt   Yr   Ppg   RpgF    21   Artem Wallace   6-8   250  Jr   3.0   2.7F    40   Jon Brockman    6-7   255  Jr   17.8  11.8G     1   Venoy Overton   5-11  180  Fr   5.0   1.8G     4   Tim Morris      6-4   210  Sr   7.5   3.7G    20   Ryan Appleby    6-3   170  Sr   11.3  1.1

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Golden Bear Notes

Last Game: Comeback Falls Short at No. 9 Stanford, 79-69
After staking Stanford (#9 AP/#9 ESPN/USA Today) to a 28-12 lead, Cal battled back to get within two points 10 times, but could never move ahead and fell to the Cardinal, 79-69, last Sunday at Maples Pavilion. Down early, the Bears used a 13-0 run to get back into the game at 28-25. Later, with Stanford up, 68-64, with 2:46 left, the Cardinal scored six straight points to take over, 74-64, with 1:33 to go. Ryan Anderson was held to 2-for-13 shooting from the floor, yet still scored 15 points, going 10-for-10 from the line, while Patrick Christopher added 15 points, as well. The Bears outrebounded the Cardinal, 39-33, and got a big lift off the bench from Jamal Boykin, Jordan Wilkes and Harper Kamp, who combined to hit 9-of-11 shots from the floor.

Final Home Weekend for Cal Seniors
This weekend marks the final home appearance for three seniors on the Cal roster -- center DeVon Hardin, forward Eric Vierneisel and guard Patrick Armstrong - and they will be recognized before Saturday's contest against Washington. In addition, Sam Rayburn, who signed with the Bears four years ago but was unable to play due to a knee injury, is graduating this spring and will be honored, as well. Hardin, who has moved into 15th place on Cal's career rebound list with 600, ranks second on the all-time school list with 125 blocked shots. Vierneisel is the most experienced member of the team with more than 102 games to his credit. He scored a personal-best 15 points in Cal's home win over USC to open Pac-10 play. Armstrong joined the Bears as a walk-on last year and has appeared in six games over two seasons, while Rayburn received a medical hardship waiver following several knee surgeries and has been working as an assistant in the basketball office.

Ryan Anderson: Cal's First 1,000-Point Sophomore
With 22 points vs. Oregon State Feb. 7, F Ryan Anderson became the first sophomore in school history to score 1,000. He is the 36th Cal player ever to attain the 1,000-point level and enters Thursday action 26th all-time with 1,083 points. Only two other Bears scored 1,000 points in their first two years with the program, and both of them transferred in. Mark McNamara, who began his career at Santa Clara, had 1,041 points in 1981 and '82, while Ed Gray finished with 1,082 points in 1996 and '97 after entering Cal from the College of Southern Idaho. In addition, Anderson is one of just four Cal players to score more than 500 points in back-to-back years, and his total of 1,083 points is the fourth-highest two-season total in Cal history.

Most Points Freshman-Sophomore Seasons at CalName                          Frosh   Soph   Total1. Ryan Anderson (2007-08)    539     544    10832. Brian Hendrick (1990-91)   478     492    9703. Leon Powe (2004, 06)       409     553    962

Most Points in Back-to-Back Seasons at CalName Best 2 Years 1st Year 2nd Year Total1. Lamond Murray 1993-94 572 729 13012. Sean Lampley 2000-01 549 605 11543. Joe Shipp 2002-03 474 632 11064. Ryan Anderson 2007-08 539 544 1083

Bears Pouring in the Points
Now averaging 77.8 ppg, Cal leads the conference in offensive production, something no Cal team has done since the 1970-71 season. The Bears have scored at least 90 points four times, including a pair of games over 100, and 80 or more on seven occasions. In fact, Cal's 117-74 win over Jackson State Dec. 5 represented the third-highest single-game total in school history. The Bears also defeated Long Beach State, 102-65, on Dec. 28 in the first round of the Golden Bear Classic, and topped USC, 92-82, in their Pac-10 opener. Cal's current per-game rate is the fifth highest in school history, represents a +8.3 ppg increase over last year, and is the team's best since the 1994-95 squad averaged 79.9 ppg.

Cal Also Dishing Out Pac-10-Leading 15.9 apg
One stat that head coach Ben Braun values highly is assists, which provide a good indication of how well the Bears are playing as a team on the offensive end. In 2007-08, Cal has averaged 15.88 apg, best in the Pac-10 and the Bears' highest rate since the 2000-01 squad averaged 16.4 apg. No one player is responsible for the rise, as four different Bears are averaging more than two per game - Jerome Randle (4.04 apg, 9th in Pac-10), Nikola Knezevic (2.4 apg), Patrick Christopher (2.3 apg) and Eric Vierneisel (2.1 apg). In Pac-10 games only, Randle is tied for the league lead with 4.43 apg and his assist-to-turnover ratio is the conference's third highest (1.94:1).

Cal Among NCAA Free Throw Leaders Again
From 1997 through 2005, Cal never once managed to make 70 percent of its attempts from the free throw line. But over the last three years, the Bears have proven to be one of the most accurate teams in the country. After connecting on 73.3 percent of its tries in 2006 - Cal's highest rate since 1989 - the Bears ranked third in the country in 2007 with a school-record 76.9 percent. Now, Cal is ahead of that pace, having drained 77.8 percent from the stripe, a figure that is fourth best in the NCAA entering this week. The Bears were perfect from the line at Washington State (6-6) and have been over 80 percent 12 times. Individually, Ryan Anderson is second in the Pac-10 at 88.2 percent, while Jerome Randle is third at 88.1 percent. Those figures rate third and fourth, respectively, on Cal's season chart. On the career list, Randle is first at 84.7 percent, followed by Anderson in third at 84.2 percent.

Top Free Throw Rates in School HistoryYear         FT-FTA    Pct1. 2007-08   404-519   .7782. 2006-07   400-520   .7693. 1986-87   513-698   .7354. 2005-06   525-716   .733

Anderson Could Be Cal's 7th Pac-10 Scoring Champ since '94
Now contributing 21.8 ppg and owner of four 30-point games this year, sophomore F Ryan Anderson is on his way to becoming the Bears' seventh conference scoring champion in the past 15 years. Anderson set a career best with 36 points at Nevada and later tossed in 32 vs. Arizona State, 30 against Arizona and 33 at Washington. Only two players at Cal have had more 30-point games in one year - Ed Gray had six in 1996-97 and Lamond Murray had five in 1993-94. Anderson enters Thursday's Washington State game having reached double figures in 28 straight contests, and he has scored 20 or more points 14 times this year, including nine games with at least 27 points. The school record for consecutive games scoring at least 10 points is 51 in a row by Lamond Murray (1993-94).

Recent Cal Pac-10 Scoring ChampionsLamond Murray         1993-94   24.3 ppgShareef Abdur-Rahim   1995-96   21.1 ppgEd Gray               1996-97   24.8 ppgSean Lampley          2000-01   19.5 ppgJoe Shipp             2002-03   20.4 ppgLeon Powe             2005-06   20.5 ppgRyan Anderson         2007-08   21.8 ppg**leads Pac-10 entering this week's action

Cal Posting Highest Rebound Margin since 1993
With a +3.6 rebound margin this season, Cal has its highest differential since the 1992-93 squad owned a +4.6 per game advantage on the boards. The Bears have posted double-digit advantages seven times, most recently vs. Oregon State Feb. 7 when they held a 44-32 edge. The largest margin came against Missouri Dec. 1 when Cal won the board battle, 41-20. In the Feb. 24 game at Stanford, the Bears became the first Pac-10 team to outrebound the Cardinal, finishing with a 39-33 count. Individually, Ryan Anderson ranks third in the Pac-10 with 10.2 per game, while DeVon Hardin is seventh in the league with 7.5 rpg. Hardin opened the year with three straight games of 14, followed by a 16-rebound effort at Nevada, to become the first Bear to grab 14 or more in four consecutive contests since Darrall Imhoff in 1959-60.

Cal's Top Rebounding Margins Last 20 YearsYear      Cal Reb   Opp Reb   Margin1992-93   37.9      33.3      +4.62007-08   36.4      32.8      +3.61988-89   33.2      30.6      +2.61996-97   38.0      35.5      +2.5

Year of the Sophomore for Golden Bears
In many circles around the country, the 2007-08 season has been deemed the Year of the Freshman for the number of quality newcomers on college rosters. But at Cal, the campaign can easily be called the Year of the Sophomore. The Bears' second-year players are combining to average 59.4 ppg, or 76.3 percent of Cal's total. The team's top three scorers are all sophomores, led by Ryan Anderson's 21.8 ppg. He is followed by Patrick Christopher with 16.2 ppg and Jerome Randle with 11.8 ppg. Each player has already set a career high, as well. Anderson poured in 36 points at Nevada, Christopher had 26 vs. Jackson State, and Randle came through with 26 points against North Dakota State.

Cal Production by Class            Points (Avg.)   Rebounds (Avg.)   Assists (Avg.)Senior      335 (13.4)      227 (9.1)         66 (2.6)Junior      0 (0.0)         0 (0.0)           0 (0.0)Sophomore   1485 (59.4)     548 (21.9)        303 (12.1)Freshman    125 (5.0)       71 (2.8)          28 (1.1)

DeVon Hardin Holds Down No. 2 Block Spot
With 125 blocks during his Cal career, senior C DeVon Hardin has cemented his place as the No. 2 shot-blocker in school history. Michael Stewart, who played from 1994-97, is the all-time leader with 207. Hardin has swatted 30 shots this year and is well on his way to leading the team for the third consecutive season. He had a high of 48 as a sophomore in 2006, and although he was limited to just 11 games due to a foot stress fracture last year, he still had a team-best 21. On the offensive end, Hardin is shooting a career-high 56.9 percent from the floor, which ranks sixth in the Pac-10, tossing in 9.7 ppg.

Anderson Reaps Pac-10, National Honors for WSU, UW Effort
Sophomore F Ryan Anderson, who averaged 30.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg in wins at Washington State and Washington Jan. 31-Feb.2, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, as well as the, The Sporting News and National Player of the Week. Dick Vitale also selected him Co-Player of the Week. Anderson made 20-of-32 shots from the floor (62.5%), 9-of-14 from three-point range (64.3%) and all 11 of his free throw tries. He had 27 points and nine rebounds at WSU, including the go-ahead layup with 42 seconds left, and 33 points and a career-high-tying 17 boards at UW.

Patrick Christopher One of Most Improved In Pac-10
After averaging 5.2 ppg and reaching double figures just four times as a freshman last year, G Patrick Christopher has shown off a new-found scoring ability this season, reaching double digits in 20 games, including 19 games of 15 or more. Now tossing in 16.2 ppg, he is scoring 11.0 ppg more than he did last year - the highest increase for any Pac-10 player this year. Christopher tied his high from his freshman campaign with 24 points against Nicholls State Nov. 19, then set a personal best with 26 points vs. Jackson State Dec. 5. Christopher also paced the Bears vs. Southern Miss (19 points) in the opener, had a team-high 18 points against Missouri Dec. 1 and poured in 24 points vs. USC Jan. 3. In Cal's 79-75 win at Washington, he had 20 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 27 seconds left that broke a 72-all tie. In addition, he is grabbing 3.7 rpg, has dished out 58 assists (2.3 apg) and is shooting 78.6 percent from the free throw line. On the defensive front, he recently drew the assignment of guarding Arizona State's James Harden and held him to just 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor in Cal's 76-73 win Feb. 16.

Cal Learning to Win the Close Ones
Heading into its road trip to Washington Jan. 31, Cal was 0-4 in games decided by five points or less or in overtime. But since then, the Bears have won their last four close contests, three of which came on the road - at then-No. 9 Washington State (69-64), at Washington (79-75) and at Arizona State (76-73) - plus one at home vs. Oregon State, 81-76. Cal took the lead for good at WSU on Ryan Anderson's layup with 42 seconds left., while Patrick Christopher snapped a 72-all tie with a three-pointer with 24 seconds on the clock at Washington. Against OSU, the Bears used a late 8-0 run in the final 2:19 to break open a two-point game, while Cal made 15-of-18 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hold off the Sun Devils.

Anderson's Game Not Just about Points
Although Ryan Anderson has been piling up the points all season, scoring is not the only area where he excels. The 6-10 forward is pulling down 10.2 rpg, which rates third in the Pac-10 and 19th in the country. He already has 13 double-doubles and has paced the Bears on the glass in 13 straight games. When he grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds at Oregon State Jan. 12 and followed it up with 15 more boards against Arizona State Jan. 17, Anderson became the first Cal player to have at least 15 rebounds in back-to-back contests since Brian Hendrick had 15 at Washington State and 17 vs. ASU on Feb. 1-6, 1992. Anderson later matched his personal best with 17 boards at Washington Feb. 2. In addition, Anderson is second in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (88.2%, 15th in NCAA), third in three-point accuracy (44.9%) and h eighth in three-pointers per game (2.12).

Players Ranked in NCAA Top 20 in Scoring and ReboundingMichael Beasley, Kansas State - 26.1 ppg (3rd), 12.5 rpg (1st)Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina - 23.1 ppg (8th), 10.5 rpg (16th)Arizona Reid, High Point - 23.1 ppg (9th), 10.9 rpg (11th)Ryan Anderson, California - 21.8 ppg (14th), 10.2 rpg (19th)

Bears Get Big Win in the Palouse
Cal's 69-64 win against then-No. 9 Washington State Jan. 31 represented the Bears' first over a Top 10 team in a true road game since topping then-No. 9 Arizona, 74-72, on Feb. 12, 1995, in Tucson. Cal did beat then-No. 4 UCLA, 76-69, in overtime in last year's Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals in Los Angeles, but the game was played in a neutral site at the Staples Center.

Winning Pac-10 Road Record Has Meant Postseason Invite
Now sporting a 5-4 record outside of Haas Pavilion, including a 4-3 mark in Pac-10 play, Cal is on the verge of posting its third winning road record under head coach Ben Braun. The Bears were also over .500 in 2005-06, when they went 6-4 overall, and in 2002-03, when they finished 7-4. In Pac-10 action, Cal has had a winning road record six times, resulting in an NCAA Tournament berth on each occasion - 2006, 2003, 2001, 1994, 1993 and 1990.

Cal's Winning Pac-10 Road Records (since 1978-79)Season    Overall   Pac-10   Postseason2007-08   5-4       4-3      ???2005-06   6-4       5-3      NCAA2002-03   7-4       5-4      NCAA2000-01   5-7       5-4      NCAA1993-94   6-5       5-4      NCAA1992-93   8-3       6-3      NCAA1989-90   7-4       7-2      NCAA

Charles Johnson to Be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Charles Johnson, a 6-0 guard who served as team captain for three seasons from 1969-71, will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during ceremonies at the Pac-10 Tournament in March. Known as 'C.J.' he finished his Cal career with 1,025 points and pulled down more than 500 rebounds. He later played seven seasons in the NBA and won titles with the Washington Bullets and Golden State Warriors. Also inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996, Johnson passed away after a battle with cancer on June 1, 2007. Previous Cal inductees into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor are Pete Newell, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Darrall Imhoff, Andy Wolfe and Russ Critchfield.

Cal Ranked No. 1 in Directors' Cup
Cal is ranked as the No. 1 athletic program in the country in the final fall U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings, marking the second year in a row the Bears have stood atop the rankings at the end of the fall seasons. Cal accumulated a total of 370 points in six sports, led by a national championship in men's water polo and an NCAA semifinal appearance in volleyball. In addition, the Bears earned points in football, men's cross country, and men's and women's soccer. The Directors' Cup measures the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country and awards points based on final national standings in a maximum of 10 NCAA-sponsored sports for both men and women. Last year, Cal also led the nation after the fall and finished ninth in the final standings. The Bears have placed in the top 10 four of the last five years, including a program-best seventh in 2006.

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