Cal Opens Pac-10 Tournament Against USC

March 9, 2009


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California Golden Bears (22-9, 11-7) vs. USC Trojans (18-12, 9-9)
Thursday, March 12, 6 p.m. PT, Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Fox SportsNet

Entering the Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 3 seed, California (22-9, 11-7) faces No. 6 seed USC in first-round contest on Thursday. The Golden Bears and the Trojans split the season series, with each team winning at home. The last time they met back on Feb. 26 in Berkeley, the game went to overtime before Cal emerged victorious. Cal and USC square off at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Last weekend's contests were memorable games for both juniors Jerome Randle and Theo Roberston. Randle swished a career-high 31 points at Arizona and followed that performance with 24 points last Saturday at Arizona State. Robertson collected a personal best of 24 points and one of his treys was the 100th of his career against the Wildcats, while he scored 19 points two days later against the Sun Devils.

In his first year as head coach, Mike Montgomery coached Cal to a third-place conference first, after it was projected to come in eighth in the preseason poll. Montgomery also got the Bears into the Top 25 earlier this season for the first time since 2003.

Randle, an All-Pac-10 first-team selection along with Patrick Christopher, continues to lead the squad in scoring with 18.4 ppg and has been the Bears' leading scorer in 19 games this season. He is dishing out 5.0 apg, tied for the best in the Pac-10 right now, and is fourth on the team in steals with 21. On Cal's career chart, Randle is seventh in assists (365) and fifth in three-pointers (155). He is two treys away from tying Joe Shipp at 157. In addition, earlier this season, Randle set the single season record for three-pointers made and currently sits at 77.

The Bears continue to pace the nation in three-point accuracy, connecting on 43.8 percent of their attempts. Robertson leads the squad in three-point accuracy at 49.5 percent (min 1.5 made per game). Robertson recently moved into first place in the Cal record books for career three-point shooting accuracy at 43.6 percent. His season average is also the second best in school history. He is three three-pointers away from cracking Cal's top 10 for the most made in a season.

On defense, the Bears are holding opponents to 68.0 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg Cal allowed last year. The Bears have held eight opponents to less than 40.0 percent shooting this season. Only eight teams have been able to make more than half their attempts against Cal.

Probable Starters
POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPG F 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 230 Jr 9.7 6.5 Has amassed five of Cal's seven double-doubles on the season F 24 Theo Robertson 6-6 225 Jr 12.8 3.8 Tallied a career-high 24 points at Arizona C 33 Jordan Wilkes 7-0 225 Sr 4.8 4.0 Scored a career-high 16 points at USC G 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 160 Jr 18.4 5.0 apg Hit eight three-pointers and scored 31 points at Arizona G 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 Jr 14.6 3.8 Recorded a career-high 29 points vs. USC

Cal Head Coach Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery, one of the most successful coaches in the collegiate game, is in his first season overseeing the California program. He has a 22-9 record with the Golden Bears and a 569-253 (.692) overall mark that includes eight years at Montana and 18 seasons at Stanford. Montgomery has coached teams to one NIT title (1991), four Pac-10 regular-season crowns (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) and one Pac-10 Tournament title (2004), as well as the 1998 NCAA Final Four. He was named the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2000 and is a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004). Montgomery was introduced as Cal's 15th head coach on April 5, 2008. On February 19 against Oregon, Montgomery became the third consecutive Cal coach to win 20 games in his first season as head coach (Ben Braun - 23 in 1996-97, Todd Bozeman - 22 in 1993-94).

USC Scouting Report
A Look at USC

USC locked up the sixth seed in the Pac-10 Tournament with a victory over Oregon State last Saturday to cap off a two-win weekend for the Trojans. Before the two wins over the Oregon schools last weekend, the Trojans lost to Cal and Stanford in Northern California the weekend before. Taj Gibson leads USC in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.4 ppg and 9.3 rpg.

Cal-USC Series History
The Bears and Trojans have split the season series the past two years, with the home team winning each contest. Cal knocked off then-No. 22 USC in the 2007-08 Pac-10 opener, 82-72. Patrick Christopher led the Bears with 24 points, while Jerome Randle collected 16. The Trojans got even in Los Angeles later in the year, prevailing 93-89 in overtime. The teams met in overtime again this season, with Cal winning, 81-78 in overtime on Feb. 26 at Haas Pavilion, following its road loss Jan. 31 at USC 73-62. Cal leads the all-time series, 126-117.

USC Head Coach Tim Floyd
Tim Floyd is in his fourth season at USC and 21st season of head coaching at the collegiate and NBA levels. In 2007-08, he led USC to a 21-12 record and into the NCAA Tournament after finishing tied for third in the Pac-10 with an 11-7 record.
Probable Starters
Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg Rpg F 10 DeMar DeRozan 6-7 220 Fr 12.9 5.3 F 22 Taj Gibson 6-9 225 Jr 14.4 9.3 F 04 Leonard Washington 6-7 230 Fr 6.5 4.2 G 21 Dwight Lewis 6-5 215 Jr 14.2 3.3 G 13 Daniel Hackett 6-5 215 Jr 12.3 4.0
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Golden Bear Notes
Last Time Out: Bears Lose at ASU in Regular Season Finale
Jerome Randle posted another 20-point outing, collecting a team-high 24 points, but it wasn't enough for Cal to win its regular-season finale at Arizona State. Jeff Pendergraph put up 27 points to lead the Sun Devils. ASU led by as many as 22, including a 16-point halftime lead. The Bears were able to cut the deficit to nine, but that's as close as they got. Theo Robertson ended the contest with 19 points and Jamal Boykin added 10 points, along with eight rebounds.

Hot Shots: Jerome Randle Lighting Up the Nets
Jerome Randle, who averaged 11.8 ppg last season, is pouring in 18.4 ppg this year to lead the Bears. He has 15 20-point efforts so far, exceeding his career total of three 20-point games during his first two seasons in the program, and had his first career 30-point outing against Arizona on March 5. He has paced Cal in scoring 19 times in 31 games, including a career-high 31 points against the Wildcats. He was the 32nd player in school history to have a 30-point game. Randle is shooting 50.3 percent from the floor, up from 42.8 percent in 2008, and has made 46.7 percent of his three-point attempts (77-for-165). In addition, he is 136-for-156 at the free throw line (87.2%). On Feb. 5 vs. Washington, Randle recorded his 1,000th career point, becoming the 37th Cal player in school history to accomplish the feat.

Shooting at an All-Time Rate
Cal's near 50.0 percent shooting rate of 48.7 ranks seventh in the nation, second in the conference and fifth on the school's season list. It's also the best Cal has shot since the 1990 squad finished at 50.1 percent. The Bears have made more than half their shots in 11 of their last 21 games and have been over 65 percent twice this season - 66.7 percent vs. Oregon and 67.9 percent against Texas-Pan American.
Cal Season Field Goal Percentage Leaders
Year G FG-FGA Pct 1981-82 27 719-1402 51.3 1989-90 32 865-1726 50.1 1988-89 33 876-1750 50.1 1980-81 27 780-1569 49.7 1985-86 28 782-1591 49.2 2008-09 31 839-1724 48.7

Hot Shots, Part Trey
Cal is ranked first nationally in three-point shooting, having connected on 43.8 percent of its shots from behind the arc. Theo Robertson leads the Bears, having made 49.5 percent of his tries (53-107), which also ranks second in school history. As a team, the Bears have shot 50 percent or better 12 times, including going 8-for-12 vs. Washington State, 9-for-15 at UCLA, 7-for-10 at UNLV, 8-for-12 against San Francisco, 7-for-11 at Utah and 7-for-12 against Nevada. Against Arizona on March 5, Cal sank 16 treys, tying the school record and setting a new mark in a conference game for the Bears. Jerome Randle (46.7 percent), with the second-best percentage in a season in school history, is also shooting well from long distance. Randle made a career-high 8 three-pointers at Arizona, one shy of the school's all-time record for treys made in a game. His 77 three-pointers on the season are the most by a Cal player in a season.
NCAA Three-Point Percentage Leaders (as of 3/8/09)
1. California .438 ( 196/448 ) 2. Cornell .415 ( 235/566 ) 3. Green Bay .415 ( 262/632 ) 4. North Dakota State .412 ( 215/522 ) 5. IPFW .411 ( 191/465 )

Jerome Randle Aiming to Stay Hot at the Line
Already Cal's all-time leader in career free throw percentage entering the season, Jerome Randle is connecting at an even higher clip in 2008-09. Over his first two years in the program, Randle was a combined 115-for-136 (84.6%), which ranked just ahead of Michael Chavez, who was 198-for-235 (84.3%) at the stripe from 1980-83. This season, though, Randle has made 136-for-156 free throw attempts (87.2%), the fourth-best season percentage in school history. Five times this season Randle has been perfect at the line when having more than five shots. He went 8-for-8 vs. Arizona State, 7-for-7 against Nevada, 6-for-6 vs. Oregon, 6-for-6 against USF and 6-for-6 vs. USC. In addition, Patrick Christopher recently moved into the Cal top 10 at 79.3 percent (173-218).
Cal Career Free Throw Leaders
1. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 85.9% 250-291 2. Michael Chavez (1980-83) 84.3% 198-235 3. Ryan Anderson (2007-08) 84.1% 276-328 4. Shantay Legans (2000-02) 83.7% 190-227 5. Bill Duwe (1969-72) 81.6% 120-147 6. Amit Tamir (2002-04) 81.1% 163-201 7. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 80.6% 112-139 8. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 79.3% 173-218

Harper's Heating Up
Sophomore Harper Kamp has been an important factor in Cal's success this season, despite playing with a painful knee that is still recovering from offseason surgery. On Feb. 19 at Oregon, he led the Bears in scoring with a career-high 18 points, including going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Kamp has made 29 of his 44 free throws this season (65.9 percent). He also grabbed a career-best eight rebounds vs. Stanford on Feb. 14. The Mesa, Ariz., native is currently averaging 4.0 ppg and 3.3 rpg. But his biggest contributions have been on the defensive end, where he has been counted on to come off the bench and provide a strong presence.

Theo Robertson: Cal's Top Three-Point Shooter in School History
Theo Robertson is making 49.5 percent of his three-point attempts this year - the second-highest rate in school history, and now his career percentage of 43.6 percent is No. 1, too. Robertson, who missed all of last year with a hip injury, came into the year as a career 38.8 percent shooter from long-range. Robertson is three three-pointers away from cracking the school's top-10 in three-point field goals made in a season. In addition, Jerome Randle is sixth at Cal at 40.5 percent on the all-time career list.
Cal Career Top Three-Point Shooters
1. Theo Robertson (2006- ) 43.6% 103-236 2. Billy Dreher (1991-92) 43.1% 81-188 3. Keith Smith (1987-90) 41.3% 90-218 4. Bill Elleby (1989-92) 41.0% 135-329 5. Ryan Forehan-Kelly (1999-02) 40.7% 107-263 6. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 40.5% 155-382 7. Omar Wilkes (2006-07) 40.4% 61-151

Boykin Boosts Bears with Boards and Baskets
Jamal Boykin has emerged as Cal's most consistent rebounder this season, averaging 6.5 per game. He has paced the Bears on the glass 15 times overall, with a career high of 14 at Washington State on Jan. 8 that he duplicated at Oregon Feb. 19. Not only does Boykin have a team-high 129 defensive rebounds, but he also owns a team-best 71 offensive boards. He has also been helping with scoring, posting a career-best 22 points at Stanford on Jan. 17. He has five double-doubles on the year, most recently with 11 points and 14 rebounds at Oregon on Feb. 19. Boykin is averaging 9.7 ppg with 16 double-digit contests. In addition, Boykin's career field goal percentage of .526 ranks sixth all-time in school history.

Wilkes' Presence Felt as Smaller of the 7-Footers
Jordan Wilkes, half of Cal's tandem of 7-footers, is putting up career numbers so far in 2008-09, notching personal highs in points (16 at USC), rebounds (10 vs. DePaul) and blocks (2 vs. North Carolina A&T). The team leader in blocks this season with 14, Wilkes had a strong pair of games in his hometown of Los Angeles in late January, posting an eight-point performance at UCLA on Jan. 29 and following that up with a career-best 16-point outing at USC on Jan. 31. On Feb. 5 against Washington, Wilkes posted 14 points and led the Bears on the boards with eight. The brother of former Cal guard Omar Wilkes and son of NBA great Jamaal Wilkes has started all but one game this season.

Hip Hip Jorge
The hustle of freshman Jorge Gutierrez has become evident in the past few weeks. Gutierrez earned a season-best five steals and eight rebounds, and tied his season best with 10 points against Stanford on Feb. 14, helping the Bears turn a 22-point deficit into an 82-75 win. The week before against the Washington schools, he came off the bench for seven points vs. UW and four points, four rebounds and three assists against WSU. Despite averaging just 18.3 minutes per game, Gutierrez leads the squad in steals with 26. Gutierrez is sixth on the team in scoring (4.3 ppg). He first set his high of 10 points in the Bears' Nov. 28 win at UNLV and has snared at least five rebounds nine times.

Patrick Christopher: Four for Four
In the first four games in Pac-10 play, Patrick Christopher was on a roll. Christopher, a back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree this season, posted four consecutive 20-point performances against Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State and Washington, including a 27-point outing at Washington Jan. 10. He also tied his career best in rebounds against the Huskies with 11. In a game that went three overtimes, Christopher was playing with four fouls from the end of regulation and still played strongly defensively, as well. Within those four conference games, Christopher nailed 12 three-pointers and averaged 23.0 ppg, both of which were Pac-10 bests. On Feb. 26, Christopher posted a career-high 29 points vs. USC.

Cal in the Pac-10 Tournament
The Bears went 1-1 in last year's Pac-10 Tournament, defeating Washington in the first round, 84-81, before falling to UCLA in the quarterfinals, 88-66. Cal is 10-12 all-time in the history of the tournament, and 7-7 since the tournament resumed in 2002. Cal has only reached the championship game once, in 2006, and has made it to the semifinals three times since the tournament resumed (2002, 2003, 2007).

1,000 Points and More for Randle and Christopher
On Feb. 5, Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher became the 37th and 38th players in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Randle entered the Washington game needing 17 points and scored 21, while Christopher only needed three points to reach the milestone and hit it with a free throw with 2:23 left in the contest. Randle is 24th on the all-time scoring list with 1,152 points and Christopher is 26th with 1,129 points. Earlier this week, Randle and Christopher were both named to the All-Pac-10 first team.
Cal's All-Time Scoring Leaders
22. Richard Midgley (2002-06) 1,176 23. Michael Chavez (1979-1983) 1,162 24. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 1,152 25. Butch Hays (1981-84) 1,145 26. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 1,129

Bears Make Top 25 for the First Time in Six Years
For the first time in six years, Cal made an appearance in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/Coaches polls Jan. 12 after opening Pac-10 play with a 4-0 record, sweeping Arizona and Arizona State at home and Washington and Washington State on the road. The Bears were ranked No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 23 by the coaches. The last time Cal was in the rankings was during the 2002-03 season, when the Bears were No. 24 heading into the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament.

Cal Earns Best Pre-Jan. 1 Win Mark
Having completed the nonconference portion of its schedule with an 11-2 mark, Cal recorded double-digit pre-New Year's Day victories for the first time since the 1947-48 season, when the Bears were 10-3 before the New Year.

Former Great Darrall Imhoff Has No. 40 Jersey Retired
Former University of California center Darrall Imhoff, who helped the Golden Bears to the 1959 NCAA championship and was a member of the gold medal-winning 1960 U.S. Olympic team, had his number 40 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony during the Cal-Stanford game on Feb. 14. The event was part of a special celebration at the game commemorating the 100th season of Golden Bear basketball, as well as recognition of the 50th anniversary of Cal's national title. A standout for the Bears from 1958-60, Imhoff was named a second-team All-American as a junior and a first-team All-American his senior year. He was also a two-time first-team all-conference selection and was selected Cal's Most Valuable Player as a senior in 1960. Imhoff, a 6-10 center from San Gabriel, Calif., was a part of three conference championship squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Pete Newell. The 1958 team reached the regional final, where it lost in overtime to Seattle, before reaching the Final Four the next two years. Imhoff attended Cal's game at Oregon last Thursday.

100th Season of Cal Men's Basketball
California is celebrating the 100th season of Golden Bear men's basketball this year. Over the course of its first century of play, Cal has had its fair share of highlights - an NCAA championship in 1959, three Final Four appearances (1946, 1959, 1960) and an NIT title in 1999. The Bears have advanced to postseason 48 times, with the majority of those appearances in the last 25 years. Among the top names to pass through the Cal program include Hall of Fame coach Pete Newell; Olympic champions Darrall Imhoff, Jason Kidd and Shareef Abdur-Rahim; perennial NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson; and four Pac-10 Players of the Year (Kidd '94, Abdur-Rahim '96, Ed Gray '97, Sean Lampley '01). The Bears will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of their NCAA title run. Led by all-conference guards Al Buch and Denny Fitzpatrick and All-America center Imhoff, Cal defeated Oscar Robinson's Cincinnati squad, 64-58, in the national semifinals and then edged Jerry West's West Virginia team, 71-70, for the national crown. Cal will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1959 championship with a special ceremony during the Feb. 14, 2009, game vs. Stanford, which will include recognition of all Golden Bear basketball alumni who have contributed to Cal's history.

Bears Sign Bak Bak, Sanders-Frison
Cal signed two players to National Letters of Intent in November, adding 6-10, 200-pound forward Bak Bak out of Village Christian HS in Sun Valley, Calif., and 6-8, 265-pound center Markurhi Sanders-Frison from South Plains CC in Levelland, Texas, to the 2009-10 roster.
Originally from Sudan and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Bak spent last summer playing with the Double Pump AAU team. After moving to the United States, he attended the American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., for 2006-07, but did not play basketball. Bak then relocated to California in the fall of 2007, sitting out last season as a transfer at Valley Christian HS.
Sanders-Frison attended Jefferson HS in Portland, Ore., where he averaged 10 ppg and 8 rpg, helping the team to three city titles. Last year, he helped Eastern Arizona College to a 30-6 record and contributed 10 ppg and 10 rpg.

Remembering Hall of Famer Pete Newell
Pete Newell, one of the basketball's most respected and beloved figures who led California to the 1959 NCAA title, passed away on Monday, Nov. 17 after a long illness. He was 93.
Head coach of the Golden Bears from 1954-60, Newell guided Cal to four consecutive conference crowns (1957-60) and was voted National Coach of the Year in 1960. He finished his Cal career with a 119-44 record, which included an NCAA runner-up finish in '60 in addition to the 1959 title. Newell also led the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal at the 1960 Games in Rome with a squad that featured former Cal center Darrall Imhoff as well as such future NBA standouts as Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. He later served as Cal's Director of Athletics from 1960-68. On Dec. 21, 1987, the playing surface at Harmon Gym (now Haas Pavilion) was renamed 'Pete Newell Court' in his honor. A statue of Newell, created by renowned sculptor Eino, was installed in the Haas Pavilion Club Room in the fall of 2006. Newell was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a year later.
Newell, who guided San Francisco to the 1949 National Invitation Tournament title, is one of only three men to have captured the 'Triple Crown' of coaching - NIT, NCAA and Olympic gold medal (also Bob Knight, Dean Smith).

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