Cal Looks to Stay Unbeaten vs. North Carolina A&T Monday

Nov. 23, 2008

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North Carolina A&T (2-2) at California Golden Bears (3-0)
Monday, Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: none

California hosts North Carolina A&T in the second round of the Global Sports Classic Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Haas Pavilion to conclude its opening four-game homestand to start the 2008-09 campaign.

The Golden Bears, who play four of their next five games on the road, next travel to Las Vegas for the final two contests of the Global Sports Classic. Cal will face UNLV at 5 p.m. Friday, then meet either Florida State or Cincinnati Saturday.

So far, the Bears are 3-0 on the young season, with all three victories coming by at least 12 points. Despite losing F Ryan Anderson and his Pac-10-leading 21.1 ppg to the NBA last June, Cal is pouring in 80.0 ppg and shooting 56.6 percent from the floor.

The Bears nearly set a school record in their 85-58 rout of Texas-Pan American last Thursday, falling just short of the mark of 68.5 percent. For the game, Cal was 36-53 from the field after making a remarkable 76.0 percent of its attempts in the second half (19-25).

As a result, the Bears are third in the country in field goal percentage, trailing only Wake Forest (57.9%) and Arizona State (57.5%) through Saturday's action.

Cal is also lighting up the next from behind the arc, having drained 59.0 percent of its tries, which leads the country ahead of No. 2 Ohio (52.2%). The Bears have been better than 50 percent on three-pointers in all three of their games, with a high of 66.7 percent (8-12) against San Francisco.

Individually, junior G Jerome Randle is off to a red-hot start, averaging 19.7 ppg and 5.3 apg. He fell one point shy of his career high with 25 points vs. USF, and he is shooting 69.2 percent from the floor, 66.7 percent from three-point distance and 15-for-16 at the free throw line (93.8%).

Junior F Theo Robertson has shown few effects of the hip injury that sidelined him all of last season. He has scored in double figures each time out, including a personal-best 23 points against USF when he put up 19 points in the first half.

Juniors Patrick Christopher (13.3 ppg) and Jamal Boykin (11.0 ppg) are also contributing more than 10 ppg, while starting C Jordan Wilkes has a team-best 5.0 rpg.

In their most recent outing against Texas-Pan American, the Bears received 33 points from their bench, led by freshman Omondi Amoke's 9 points, plus four each from freshmen D.J. Seeley, Jorge Gutierrez and Max Zhang.

Probable Starters & Key ReservesPOS  NO   NAME                  HT    WT   YR   PPG    RPG F    10   Jamal Boykin          6-8   230  Jr   11.0   3.3Matched his career high with 18 points vs. Texas-Pan AmericanF    24   Theo Robertson        6-6   225  Jr   14.3   2.0Scored career-high 23 points vs. USF, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointersC    33   Jordan Wilkes         7-0   225  Jr   4.7    5.0Led Bears with six rebounds versus Pacific in first career startG     3   Jerome Randle        5-10   160  Jr   19.7   5.3 apgShooting 69.2% from the floor; 25 points vs. USFG    23   Patrick Christopher   6-5   215  Jr   13.3   3.0Honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick last season

North Carolina A&T Scouting Report

A Look at North Carolina A&T
North Carolina A&T is off to a 2-2 start, having posted wins over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (82-36) and Talladega College (83-54). The Aggies two losses have come on the road against Central Florida (81-62) and UNLV (71-58). The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team was 15-16 last season and tied for fifth the MEAC with a 9-7 record.

Cal-North Carolina A&T Series History
Cal will be playing North Carolina A&T for the first time in school history. The Bears are facing the Aggies as part of the 2008 Global Sports Classic.

North Carolina A&T Head Coach Jerry Eaves
Jerry Eaves is 47-107 in his seventh season at North Carolina A&T. In 2006-07, he led the Aggies to a 15-win campaign, the school's best in 10 years. He also guided NC A&T to a third-place MEAC finish that year, its highest in 10 seasons.

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Golden Bear Notes

Cal's Non-Conference Success at Haas Pavilion
With a 3-0 record to start the year, Cal has now won 25 of its last 28 non-conference home games. Last season, the Bears were 8-1 inside Haas Pavilion against teams outside the Pac-10, including a 68-66 victory over New Mexico in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. The only loss was a 67-65 setback to Utah. Looking back further, Cal was 6-1 outside the conference at home in 2006-07 and 6-0 in 2005-06.

Hot Shots
Through the first three games of the season, Cal has scorched the nets to the tune of 56.6 percent from the field. Over their last game and a half (second half vs. San Francisco plus the Texas-Pan American contest), the Bears have drained 55-of-81 field goal attempts (67.9%). Cal nearly set a school record when it made 67.9 percent vs. UTPA, falling just short of the mark of 68.5 percent reached three times, most recently vs. Arizona State on Jan. 5, 1989. Junior G Jerome Randle, a career 41.3 percent shooter entering the season, is 18-for-26 from the field (69.2%), while junior F Jamal Boykin is at 75.0 percent after making 8-of-9 vs. UTPA.

NCAA Field Goal Percentage Leaders (as of 11/23/08)1. Wake Forest     57.9%   84-1452. Arizona State   57.5%   46-803. California      56.6%   90-1594. Baylor          56.4%   102-1815. Duquesne        55.6%   65-117

Hot Shots, Part Trey
In addition to Cal's torrid field-goal percentage pace, the Bears are even better from three-point distance, where they lead the country at 59.0 percent. All four Cal players who have made at least one three-pointer are shooting 50 percent or higher. Junior G Jerome Randle is 8-for-12 (66.7%), and junior F Theo Robertson is 9-for-15 (60.0%) after a 5-for-7 percent effort vs. San Francisco. In addition, junior G Patrick Christopher has sunk 4-of-8, and sophomore Eddie Miller came off the bench vs. Texas-Pan American to nail his only two shots from behind the arc.

NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 11/23/08)1. California    59.0%   23-392. Ohio          55.2%   16-293. Penn State    50.0%   36-724. Weber State   49.0%   25-515. Texas Tech    48.9%   44-90

Montgomery Off to Quick Start at Cal
With a win over North Carolina A&T Monday, head coach Mike Montgomery would become just the third Cal coach to start his Golden Bear career with four straight victories. The last coach to accomplish the feat was Rene Herrerias, who began 5-0 in 1960-61 as the successor to Pete Newell. Ben Cherrington started out 11-0 during his only season leading the program in 1916-17, although four of the wins came against YMCA teams and one was against Berkeley High School.

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