Nov. 4, 2009
California Golden Bears (0-0) vs. Chico State Wildcats (0-0)
Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: Internet Broadcast TV: none
No. 12 California will step onto the court for the first time this season when it hosts Chico State in an exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears were picked to win the Pac-10 in the conference media poll that came out last week. In addition, Cal earned a Top-25 preseason ranking for the third time in school history (No. 12 USA Today/Coaches poll, No. 13 Associated Press). Cal was also picked No. 10 in the Rivals.com preseason poll and No. 12 in the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) poll.
Unlike many of their conference foes, the Bears have the luxury of having the great majority of their lineup back from last season, including All-Pac-10 first-team picks Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher. Randle was selected by Rivals.com as the fourth point guard in its preseason point guard power rankings. The senior guards will guide the team along with fellow returning starters, senior forwards Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin.
Randle (18.3 ppg) and Christopher (14.5 ppg), who have both reached 1,000 career points, paced Cal in scoring a year ago. Both Randle and Christopher were recently named to the Naismith Trophy watch list. Randle is also listed as a candidate for the Wooden Award and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
One of the major contributing factors to Cal's 20-win campaign in 2008-09 was its three-point shooting. The Bears, who led the nation in that category all of last season, were armed with Robertson (56-115, 48.7%), Randle (82-177, 46.3%) and Christopher (48-134, 35.8%) from behind the arc. Cal ended the campaign with a three-point shooting percentage of 42.7, which not only was the best in school history, but marked first time the Bears shot over 40.0 percent.
Also returning to the backcourt are sophomore guards Jorge Gutierrez and D.J. Seeley. A tenacious defender, Gutierrez led the team in steals last season with 27. Seeley, while he didn't see a lot of playing time as a rookie, poses a threat from behind the arc.
Junior forward Harper Kamp should be an important factor in Cal's success this season. He contributed 3.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg a year ago. JC transfer Markhuri Sanders-Frison, who averaged 9.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg at South Plains City College last season, should help in the frontcourt.
*Please note Thursday's game will not be broadcast on KFRC. You can catch Roxy Bernstein and Todd McKim call the action through the online video webcast by clicking here.