Cal Prepares to Face the Nation's Best in No. 1 Kansas
Dec. 17, 2009
Following back-to-back convincing victories, California will have its work cut out for itself this week as it squares off against No. 1 Kansas on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The Golden Bears and Jayhawks will play at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. at 6 p.m. (PT) on ESPN2.
Cal enters the Kansas game as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10. The last time that occurred was in 1993-94, which also happens to be the last year the Bears played at Kansas - a 76-56 Jayhawk victory. During that season 16 years ago, Cal was short-handed despite the presence of future NBA first-round picks Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray, as two starters - Alfred Grigsby and K.J. Roberts - were forced to redshirt with injuries. This year, Cal is also not quite at full strength again with forward Harper Kamp sidelined due to the effects of offseason knee surgery and Theo Robertson is recently returned to the lineup after suffering a foot injury that kept him out six games.
Senior guard Jerome Randle produced 15 points in Cal's 79-54 victory agaisnt Pacific on Dec. 9. Randle now has 1,360 career points and is 13th all-time in school history. He is Cal's leading scorer, averaging 19.6 ppg - fifth best in the Pac-10. Randle is also fourth on Cal's all-time assist list with 420. He is tied for second on Cal's all-time three-point list with 183 treys.
Sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez is currently Cal's most efficient three-point shooter at 58.8 percent. He has not shot the lights out from behind the arc, but he has connected on 10 of his 17 attempts.
Scoring has not been a problem for the Bears this season. Despite missing key players from injuries and illnesses over the past few weeks, Cal has scored at least 70 points in every contest and has topped 80 points four times. Defensively, Cal has held each of its last five opponents to shooting 42.0 percent or less from the floor, including 33.0 percent against Pacific and 28.3 vs. Jacksonville.Cal's strength of schedule currently ranks second in the nation and the Bears' RPI is No. 16. The Bears are also No. 10 in the Pomeroy rankings and No. 13 in the Sagarin poll.
Cal has outrebounded seven of its nine opponents. The Bears outrebounded Iowa State (51-32,), Princeton (37-20) and Pacific (45-30). Cal is currently averaging 40.2 rpg and sporting a rebounding margin of +7.1.
POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPGF 10 Jamal Boykin 6-8 240 Sr 12.4 6.9Boasts 66 points and 32 rebounds in his last three gamesC 14 Max Zhang 7-3 240 So 4.3 3.9Averaging 5.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and has eight blocks in last four gamesG 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 172 Sr 19.6 5.1 apgRacked up 22 points and nine assists vs. PrincetonG 2 Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 195 So 6.8 3.2Notched a season-high 12 points vs Iowa StateG 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 220 Sr 15.6 5.6Named Pac-10 Player of the Week for his double-double at Pacific
Cal Head Coach Mike Montgomery
Mike Montgomery, one of the most successful coaches in the collegiate game, is in his second season overseeing the California program. He has a 28-14 record with the Golden Bears and a 575-258 (.690) overall mark that includes eight years at Montana and 18 seasons at Stanford. Montgomery has coached teams to the NCAA Final Four (1998), four Pac-10 regular-season crowns (1999, 2000, '03, '04) and one Pac-10 Tournament title (2004), as well as one NIT title (1991). He was named the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2000 and is a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1999, 2000, '03, '04). Montgomery was introduced as Cal's 15th head coach on April 5, 2008. On Feb. 19, 2009, against Oregon, he became the third consecutive Cal mentor to win 20 games in his first full season as head coach (Ben Braun - 23 in 1996-97, Todd Bozeman - 22 in 1993-94). Montgomery currently ranks 10th in wins among active coaches. ESPN's Doug Gottlieb recently picked Montgomery to be this season's coach of the year.
Kansas Scouting Report
A Look at Kansas
Top-ranked Kansas is a spotless 9-0 this season, including a 7-0 record at home. The Jayhawks will take on Michigan on Dec. 19 before welcoming the Bears to their home court. Kansas is averaging 90 points per game with a scoring margin of +32.7. Freshman Xavier Henry is the Jayhawks' leading scorer, averaging 18.0 ppg.
Cal-Kansas Series History
Kansas leads the all-time series at 14-3. The last meeting was in 2005-06 when the Jayhawks were victorious, 69-56. The last time Cal beat Kansas was in the 1954-55 season (65-62). These teams also met in the Sweet 16 of the 1993 NCAA Tournament, with Kansas winning, 93-76.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
In Bill Self's six seasons as head coach at KU he has won one national championship, five straight regular-season Big 12 titles and three league tournament championships. In his first trip to the Final Four in 2008, Self's team won the title.
Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg RpgF 22 Marcus Morris 6-8 225 So 9.8 5.3C 45 Cole Aldrich 6-11 245 Jr 12.0 9.6G 10 Tyshawn Taylor 6-3 180 So 7.3 2.8G 1 Xavier Henry 6-6 220 Fr 18.0 4.1G 4 Sherron Collins 5-11 205 Sr 13.3 2.0
For more information: http://www.kuathletics.com/
Golden Bear Notes
Bears Trounce Pacific, 79-54, Behind Christopher's Double-Double
Patrick Christopher had game-high totals of 22 points and 10 rebounds on Dec. 9 to lead California to a 79-54 victory over Pacific in Stockton. Jerome Randle had 15 points and six assists for the Bears, who took command early in the first half and extended their lead throughout the game. Randle scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. The Bears wasted no time in taking a stranglehold on the game, taking a 10-point lead seven minutes into the contest. Christopher helped Cal gain that early lead when he connected on the first five shots that he took. Sophomore center Max Zhang helped out, as well, swishing two outside shots.
Christopher Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Patrick Christopher was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 7-13. Christopher led the Bears to a 79-54 victory over Pacific after scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, notching his second-straight double-double. Against the Tigers, he opened the contest going 5-for-5 from the field, en route to finishing 8-for-12 (.667) His 20-point outing was his third this season and the 23rd of his career. In addition, Christopher climbed the Cal history charts, moving past David Butler for 15th on the all-time scoring list with 1,294 points and cracked the top 10 for career three-pointers made with 123. This was the third weekly honor for Christopher and California's 42nd all-time Player of the Week.
Even when Cal was dealing with illnesses and injuries, the Bears were still having no trouble lighting up the scoreboards. Through the first nine games of the season, Cal has reached the 70-point plateau, including four 80-point performances, marking the first time this has occurred in school history. Cal ranks third in the Pac-10 with its scoring average of 79.1 ppg. A major factor in the success of the offense has been the play of Jerome Randle and the recent play of Patrick Christopher. Randle is averaging 19.6 ppg and has been Cal's most consistent scorer all season. Christopher, who was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 15, has scored 42 points in his last two games (20, 22) and is averaging 19.0 ppg in his last three contests. Christopher has also tallied two straight double-doubles in his last two games, as he's posted 21 rebounds in the last two games (11, 10). Jamal Boykin has also been a contributor in the scorebook, averaging 12.4 ppg with two 20-point efforts on the season.
Cal Boasts +7.1 Rebounding Margin
Despite lacking depth in the front court with Harper Kamp still out of the lineup with a sore knee, Cal is winning the battle on the boards by a 362 to 298 margin (42.0 rpg), good for a +7.1 rebounding margin. In their win over Pacific on Dec. 9, the Bears out-boarded the Tigers, 45-30 (+15). Omondi Amoke leads the squad with 7.2 rpg, but Jamal Boykin is also snaring an average of 6.9 rpg. In addition to the Pacific differential, Cal had a +19 edge over Iowa State, a +17 margin vs. Princeton and a +13 against Detroit. The Bears have only been outrebounded twice thus far this season, and one of those occurrences was only by a difference of two (38-36, Nov. 24 vs. Jacksonville).
Jerome Randle Almost Perfect at the Line
Cal's all-time leader in career free throw percentage entering last season, senior Jerome Randle connected at an even higher clip in 2008-09. Over his first two years in the program, Randle was a combined 115-for-126 (84.6%), which ranked just ahead of Michael Chavez, who was 198-for-235 (84.3%) at the stripe from 1980-83. Last season, though, Randle made 139-for-161 free throw attempts (86.3%). It appears nothing has changed for Randle, as he went 10-for-11 from the charity stripe against Murray State on Nov. 9 and a perfect 12-for-12 against Detroit on Nov. 11 and 7-for-7 vs. Princeton on Nov. 29. He's currently 43-for-46 on the season (93.5). Patrick Christopher is also in the top 10 in this category, currently ninth on the chart with a percentage of 79.5 (191-240).
Cal Career Free Throw Leaders
1. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 86.5% 297-3432. Michael Chavez (1980-83) 84.3% 198-2353. Ryan Anderson (2007-08) 84.1% 276-3284. Shantay Legans (2000-02) 83.7% 190-2275. Connie White (1975-76) 82.9% 155-1876. Bill Duwe (1969-72) 81.6% 120-1477. Amit Tamir (2002-04) 81.1% 163-2018. Denny Fitzpatrick (1958-59) 80.6% 112-1399. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 79.5% 191-240
Randle and Christopher Taking Their Place in Cal History
Last season, Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher each scored their 1,000th career point. Randle now has 1,360 career points and currently stands in 13th. Christopher is 15th with 1,294 points. Last season, Randle became the seventh player in school history to record 600 points in a single season, finishing with 603. Cal now has a pair of 1,000-point scorers on the team for the fourth time in school history, with the last occurrence being Joe Shipp and Brian Weathers in 2003. Theo Robertson is just 53 points shy of 1,000 career points. If he is able to reach 1,000 points, it would mark the first time that Cal had three 1,000-point scorers on the same team.
Cal's All-Time Scoring Leaders
10. Keith Smith (1987-90) 1,39811. Ansley Truitt (1970-72) 1,38412. Roy Fisher (1988-91) 1,38213. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 1,36014. Jackie Ridgle (1969-71) 1,34315. Patrick Christopher (2007- ) 1,294
Bears Are Golden From Behind the Arc
While Jerome Randle set the Cal single-season record for three-pointers with 82 in 2008-09, Theo Robertson and his 48.7 percent (56-115) shooting from behind the arc was another main contributor of Cal leading the nation in that category for all of last season. Individually, Robertson ranked fourth in the nation, after topping the chart for most of the season. Robertson currently ranks first in Cal history for three-point shooting at an even 43.8 percent (110-251). Randle ranks seventh all-time at 40.3 percent (183-453). Randle's 183 career treys tie for second Cal's all-time list with Richard Midgley (2003-06) Patrick Christopher's 123 career three-pointers have him 10th all-time in career three-pointers made. Jorge Gutierrez has been Cal's most efficient three-point shooter thus far this season, connecting on 10 of his 17 attempts from behind the arc.
Cal Three-Point Career Percentage Leaders
1. Theo Robertson (2006- ) 110 251 .4382. Billy Dreher (1991-92) 81 188 .4313. Keith Smith (1987-90) 90 218 .4134. Bill Elleby (1989-92) 135 329 .4105. Ryan Forehan-Kelly (1999-02) 107 263 .4076. Omar Wilkes (2006-07) 61 151 .4047. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 183 453 .403
Randle and Christopher Make Preseason Watch Lists
Jerome Randle was named one of the 50 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the national ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players. The Wooden Award All-American team will be announced the week of the 'Elite Eight' round during the NCAA Tournament. The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010. Randle and Patrick Christopher were also two of 50 players named to the Naismith Trophy watch list. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind. Randle was also named a candidate for the Bob Cousy Award, and Christopher was also named a Preseason All-American by CollegeInsider.com.
Boykin Boosts Bears With Boards and Baskets
Jamal Boykin emerged as Cal's most consistent rebounder last season, averaging 6.4 per game. He paced the Bears on the glass 16 times overall, He racked up five double-doubles on the year, including 11 points and 14 rebounds at Oregon on Feb. 19. Boykin averaged 9.6 ppg with 17 double-digit contests. In addition, Boykin's career field goal percentage of .535 ranks sixth all-time in school history. This season, he has made 52 of the 82 shots he's taken, good for a percentage of 63.4 - second best in the Pac-10. Boykin is once again one of Cal's leading rebounders this season, averaging 6.9 rpg - second on the team. He notched his first double-double of the season against New Mexico on Dec. 2 (21 points, 13 rebounds). Against Princeton on Nov. 29, Boykin tied his personal best in scoring with 22 points. On Nov. 9 against Murray State, Boykin had 12 points and five rebounds, and he collected 10 boards vs. Detroit on Nov. 11. On Nov. 19 against Syracuse, Boykin posted 14 points and led the Bears on the boards with eight. In his last four games, Boykin is averaging 16.5 ppg and 8.0 rpg.
Cal Career Field Goal Percentage Leaders
5. Brian Hendrick (1990-93) 53.6% 580-1,0826. Jamal Boykin (2007-) 53.5% 265-4957. S. Abdur-Rahim (1996) 51.8% 206-398
Hip Hip Jorge
The hustle of sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez has been evident throughout his time at Cal. One of Cal's toughest defenders, Gutierrez led the squad in steals with 27 and was fifth on the team in scoring (4.7 ppg) last season. In the 2009 season-opening victory against Murray State on Nov. 9, Gutierrez snagged two steals and was a clean 2-for-2 from the three-point line. On Nov. 19 against Syracuse, Gutierrez earned his first collegiate start, filling in for the injured Theo Robertson. In 24 minutes of work, Gutierrez finished with six points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Against Ohio State on Nov. 20, Gutierrez posted a season-high eight points. He held the Buckeyes' leading scorer Evan Turner to just four first-half points. On Nov. 24 against Jacksonville, he tied his career high with four assists, which he also did against New Mexico and Iowa State. Battling a head cold, Gutierrez set his season-best scoring total of 10 points against the Lobos on Dec. 2. Also against Iowa State, he set his season high in scoring with 12 points. While he doesn't take many shots from the three-point line, Gutierrez has connected on more than half of his attempts from behind the arc (10-17).
Max Zhang: Large and in Charge
Sophomore center Max Zhang, the tallest player in the history of the program at 7-3, has started in Cal's last four games, and has been taking advantage of the opportunity. In those four games, Zhang is averaging 5.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and has eight blocks, including three at Pacific on Dec. 9. Zhang set his career high in scoring with seven points three different times this season. After averaging just 4.5 minutes per game last season, Zhang is currently averaging 14.5 mpg this season. He leads the team with 12 blocks on the season, and is shooting 16-for-25 from the field. Against the Tigers, Zhang, who typically collects most of his points from lay-ins directly under the hoop, swished two shots from outside in the game's early minutes to help the Bears start off on the right foot.
Jerome Climbs the School's All-Time Assists Chart
With 420 careers assists, Jerome Randle currently stands fourth on the school's all-time list. On the season, Randle is averaging 5.1 assists per game, and has recorded nine assists in two separate games. With his season-high nine assists against Princeton on Nov. 29, Randle leapfrogged Butch Hays for fifth. He duplicated that total against Iowa State last Saturday. Against Arizona State on Jan. 4 last season, Randle dished out a career-best 10, and he led the team 20 times during the campaign. Randle currently ranks ninth on the school's single-season chart with 165 assists last season. If he records 80 more assists this year, he will become just the third player at Cal to record at least 500, joining Keith Smith and Kevin Johnson.
Cal's All-Time Assist Leaders
3. Jason Kidd (1993-94) 4944. Jerome Randle (2007- ) 420
With the Bears' depth at the frontcourt limited right now with Harper Kamp still out of the lineup, sophomore Omondi Amoke has stepped up in the last few games. Amoke recorded a double-double against Iowa State on Dec. 5 (11 points, 14 rebounds). He posted a career-best 15 rebounds vs. Ohio State on Nov. 20, and a personal-high of 15 points against Jacksonville on Nov. 24. Amoke leads the Bears on the boards so far with an average of 7.2 rpg. In his last six games, he is averaging 7.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Amoke has also been impressive at the free throw line, connecting on 20 of his 25 attempts from the charity stripe.