Cal Heads Back on the Road to Oregon This Week
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/22/2011

Feb. 22, 2011

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California (14-13, 7-8) at Oregon (14-12, 7-7)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Time: 6 p.m. PT
Location: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
TV: CSN Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910 / XM 194 / Sirius 215

After enjoying its first victory over UCLA in Berkeley since 2004, California heads back on the road for the final regular-season trip of the season. The Golden Bears head to Oregon to face the Ducks Thursday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore.

Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez erupted for a career-high 34 points in leading the Bears to victory in overtime over UCLA, 76-72, last Sunday. Gutierrez stole the show, scoring nine of his points in the overtime session. He also finished 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Cal held sizable leads throughout the first half, but the Bruins fought back to take the lead at one point in the second half. While UCLA's Malcolm Lee hit a clutch three-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, it was not as big of a shot as sophomore guard Brandon Smith's trey in the final minute of overtime to put Cal up by four.

Over his past eight games, Gutierrez has scored 166 points (20.7 ppg), going 62-for-75 from the free throw line in the process.

Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison remains one of the Pac-10's most efficient shooters at 60.4 percent that ranks second in the conference. He has been the Bears' leading rebounder all season with a current average of 7.3 rpg. Rebounding has been critical for the Bears, as they are 13-4 thus far when outrebounding their opponents. Second on the team in rebounding (5.9), junior forward Harper Kamp has been an efficient free throw shooter for Cal with a team-best percentage of 82.5 (third in Pac-10).

Cal got a major component of its lineup back Sunday night - freshman guard Allen Crabbe. Having missed the previous two games after suffering a concussion at Washington at Feb. 10, Crabbe tallied eight points, seven rebounds and two steals in his return to the starting lineup. He also registered 43 minutes of playing time, showing no rust after the brief absence.

Smith has taken the role as the team's primary point guard, and is currently second on the team in assists, averaging 3.8 a game after dishing out a game-high seven assists at Washington State on Feb. 12. He has recorded at least one steal in 11 of the 16 games since he's taken over as the starting point guard, including a season-high of three against Arizona on Feb. 5. Gutierrez and Smith both rank in the top six in the conference in assists per game - Gutierrez 4.3, Smith 3.8. Both of the Cal guard's efforts have been crucial to the overall team play, as the Bears are currently 13-4 when they amass more assists than the opposition.

Sunday's win over the Bruins marked Cal's 10th conference game this season to be decided by four points or less or in overtime. The Bears are 5-5 in those games, 2-1 in the overtime contests.

Probable Starters

POS     NO      NAME                    HT      WT      YR      PPG     RPG
F       22      Harper Kamp             6-8     245     Jr.     14.7    5.9
Posted third career double-double vs. USC (16 points, 10 rebounds)
C       10      Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7     265     Sr.     11.2    7.3
Scored career-high 23 points vs. USC
G       2       Jorge Gutierrez         6-3     195     Jr.     14.6    4.3 (APG)
Notched career-high 34 points against UCLA
G       23      Allen Crabbe            6-6     205     Fr.     11.8    5.5
Returned to action last Sunday after missing two games with a concussion
G       12      Brandon Smith           5-11    185     So.     5.7   3.8 (APG)
Made a huge three-pointer in overtime to seal the win for Cal vs. UCLA

Oregon Scouting Report
A Look at Oregon

Oregon has been on a roll lately, winning six of their last eight contests, and the last three at home. In their last outing, the Ducks thrashed in-state rival Oregon State, 82-63. Joevan Catron paces Oregon in scoring and on the boards at 15.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg.
Cal-Oregon Series History
Cal has won the last six consecutive meetings with the Ducks, including the first meeting this season in Berkeley (85-77, Jan. 29). The Bears also topped the Ducks in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Pac-10 Tournament. Cal leads the all-time series, 77-55, and Mike Montgomery boasts a career record of 33-9 vs. Oregon.
Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman
Prior to coming to Oregon last April, head coach Dana Altman led Creighton to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and he is the all-time winningest coach with a record of 327-176.
Probable Starters

Pos     No      Name                    Ht      Wt      Yr      Ppg     Rpg
F       25      E.J. Singler            6-6     210     So.     11.2    5.6
F       34      Joevan Catron           6-6     245     Sr.     15.5    6.5
C       31      Tyrone Nared            6-8     210     Jr.     5.2     3.7
G       3       Garrett Sim             6-1     181     Jr.     7.7     2.6
G       10      Johnathan Loyd          5-8     160     Fr.     4.8     2.1

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Golden Bear Notes
Gutierrez Carries Cal to Overtime Victory Over UCLA

Behind Jorge Gutierrez's epic career-high 34 points, California snapped its four-game losing streak with a 76-72 overtime victory over UCLA Sunday night at Haas Pavilion. Gutierrez scored nine points in the overtime period, although Brandon Smith's key three-pointer to put the Bears up by four was the biggest shot of the game. Cal took advantage of a sluggish UCLA team in the first half to take an 11-point lead at the break, but the Bruins came back to take the lead at one point in the second half. A key three-pointer by Malcolm Lee at the end of regulation saved UCLA and sent the contest into overtime.

Allen Crabbe: Raising His Game
Allen Crabbe boasted a career-high 30 points against Washington State on Jan. 13, shooting 10-for-15 from the field. Before his monster game against the Cougars, Crabbe tallied a then-season-high 17 points with nine rebounds against Hartford on Dec. 28. At UCLA on Jan. 20, he posted 13 of his 17 points in the final three and a half minutes, including a three-pointer to tie the game with 10 seconds left. When Arizona State came to Cal on Feb. 3, Crabbe nailed a clutch trey with 15 seconds left to seal the win for Cal. In the next game against Arizona, Crabbe notched 54 minutes of playing in the triple-overtime contest, scoring 27 points and seven rebounds with two steals. Earlier this season he earned his first collegiate double-double against Notre Dame on Nov. 26 when he garnered 10 points and 10 rebounds. Crabbe is averaging 11.8 ppg and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. He has also been good on 60 of his 74 tries from the free throw line, giving him a percentage of 81.1 that ranks second on the team and tied for fifth in the conference. Crabbe returned to action last Sunday after missing the previous two games with a concussion.

Jeff has the Power From Behind the Arc
One of Cal's biggest contributors in on the Washington trip was redshirt freshman Jeff Powers. Coming off the bench against the Huskies, he posted a then-career-high 13 points, connecting on both of his three-point attempts. Two days later at Washington State, he made his first career start for the injured Allen Crabbe (concussion). Powers filled in admirably, garnering a new personal-best 14 points. He played 31 minutes against the Cougars. He had only played a total of 24 minutes in his previous five appearances. Combined with his 10 points against USC on Feb. 17, Powers notched 37 points in those three games after only registering six in his previous four contests.

Harper Kamp: Picking Up Where He Left Off
After redshirting last season due to a nagging knee injury, Harper Kamp has become one of the Bears' most reliable players this season. Kamp posted a career-best 33 points against Arizona on Feb. 5, and secured 20-point outings against New Mexico on Nov. 20 (25 points), Southern Miss. on Dec. 12, Washington on Jan. 16 and UCLA on Jan. 20. Kamp also earned his second double-double against the Wildcats on Feb. 5, boasting a personal-best-tying 10 rebounds. On Feb. 17 against USC, Kamp garnered his third double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He had a career day at Iowa State on Dec. 4, securing his first career double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds), and he also tied his personal best in assists (5) and set a new career best in blocks (3). Kamp is first on the team in scoring (14.7) and second in rebounding (5.9). He has made 113 of his 137 tries (.825) from the charity stripe, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort vs. USC (2/17). Kamp`s free throw percentage ranks third in the Pac-10.

Sanders-Frison Racking up the Double-Doubles
Markhuri Sanders-Frison has been a force for the Bears. On Feb. 17 against USC, he nailed two three-pointers in the final minute to give him a new career high of 23 points, part of his sixth career double-double (11 rebounds). He collected a then-career-high 18 points against Oregon on Jan. 29, converting on six of his seven shots and going 6-for-9 from the free throw line. His fifth double-double came against Washington State (14 points, 10 rebounds) on Jan. 13. He got his senior season off to a great start with his first career double-double against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 16, tallying 15 points and tied his then-career high in rebounds with 10. Sanders-Frison is also pacing the Bears on the boards at 7.3 rpg on the season that ranks seventh in the conference. On the season, Sanders-Frison is shooting .604 from the field that ranks second among the Pac-10 leaders. His 11.2 ppg stands fourth on the team. He also notched a career-high four steals at Washington State on Feb. 12 and three blocks vs. UCLA last Sunday.

Sanders-Frison's Double-Doubles

Nov. 16 - Cal State Northridge - 15 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 18 - Cal Poly             - 15 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 22 - Kansas               - 10 points, 12 rebounds
Jan. 8  - at Arizona State     - 13 points, 11 rebounds
Jan. 13 - Washington State     - 14 points, 10 rebounds
Feb. 17 - USC                  - 23 points (career high), 11 rebounds

Bears Boast High Strength of Schedule
Cal has endured some growing pains with such a young team this season, but the competition has been pretty tough, as well. Cal has played five teams currently in the top 25 (No. 3 Kansas, No. 6 San Diego State, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 Arizona and No. 24 Temple). The Fighting Irish were not ranked when they faced the Bears. The Bears defeated then-No. 20 Temple, 57-50, as part of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., back in November. These five ranked opponents have helped the Bears earn a strength of schedule ranking of No.11. Earlier in the conference season, the Bears faced Washington on Jan. 16 when the Huskies were ranked No. 17. On Feb. 5, Arizona was the fifth ranked team Cal played this season.

Cal's Games Vs. Ranked Opponents

Nov. 25 vs. No. 20 Temple         - 57-50, Cal
Dec. 8 vs. No. 14 San Diego State - 77-57, SDSU
Dec. 18 vs. No. 3 Kansas          - 78-63, Kansas
Jan. 16 vs. No. 17 Washington     - 92-71, Washington
Feb. 5 vs. No. 21 Arizona         - 107-105 (3OT), Arizona

Bears Earn High Conference-Game Percentages
Through 15 conference games this season, Cal has quietly been putting up strong offensive numbers in conference play. The Bears are third in scoring offense at 77.0 ppg. While Cal has shot the fewest three-point attempts in conference games (189), the Bears have made good on 72 of those attempts, good for a percentage of 38.1, second only to Arizona. The Bears were good on a season-high eight treys on Feb. 12 at Washington State. Cal is also second assists (15.5 apg) and third in the league in field goal percentage (46.8). Individually, Jorge Gutierrez and Brandon Smith are second and third, respectively in assists per game at 4.7 and 4.5. Smith is also first in assist-turnover ratio in Pac-10 games (2.3).

Gutierrez Leads the Way for the Bears
Jorge Gutierrez has reached double figures in 21 of the 27 games this season, and the last eight in a row. During the stretch he has averaged 20.8 ppg. He has scored at least 20 points five times this season, including 3 times in his last 5 games. In last Sunday's overtime win vs. UCLA, Gutierrez carried Cal to the win with a new personal-best 34 points. He scored nine of those points in the extra session. Earlier in the season, Gutierrez recently notched back-to-back 20-point outings for the first time in his career. He collected a then-career high of 25 points against Arizona on Feb. 5, and followed that with 24 points at Washington on Feb. 10. Gutierrez was by far Cal's most potent offensive weapon against the Huskies, as he also tied his season high in rebounds with seven. On Feb. 12 at Washington State, Gutierrez scored all 19 of his points in the second half, and his three-point attempt to tie the game with 15 seconds left rattled in and out of the basket. He earned his first career double-double against Oregon State on Jan. 27, boasting 16 points and personal-high 11 assists. Ever the tough defender, Gutierrez's 40 steals, part of the team's 149, leads the team. He is second on the team in scoring at 14.6 ppg, and his apg of 4.3 leads his team.

Down To the Wire
Cal enters Thursday's game at Oregon with a record of 7-8 in the Pac-10, but the Bears easily could have had a couple of those losses swing the other way. Three conference games Cal lost were not decided until the final play of the game - Jan. 6 at Arizona, Jan. 20 at UCLA and Feb. 17 vs. USC. Including losses to Southern Miss. and Arizona on Feb. 5, the Bears have lost four games by two points, and they picked up their first win by that score differential at USC on Jan. 22. Besides the win over the Trojans, Cal has also picked up a couple close-call victories. The Bears hung on to win at Iowa State by three, at Arizona State by four and at home against the Sun Devils by four. Cal also held off Washington State in overtime on Jan. 13 after the Cougars were good on a three-pointer to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation. The same thing happened at the end of regulation when the Bears beat UCLA, 76-72, in overtime last Sunday. On Feb. 12 at WSU, Jorge Gutierrez's three-point attempt to tie the game with 15 seconds left rattled in and out of the basket, and the Bears lost by four in the Palouse. 10 of the 15 Pac-10 games played thus far have been decided by four points or less or in overtime.

Games This Season Decided by Three Points or Less

Dec. 4 at Iowa State       - 76-73, Cal
Dec. 12 vs. Southern Miss  - 80-78, So. Miss.
Jan. 6 at Arizona          - 73-71, Arizona
Jan. 20 at UCLA            - 86-84, UCLA
Jan. 22 at USC             - 68-66, Cal
Feb. 5 vs. Arizona         - 107-105 (3OT), Arizona
Feb. 17 vs. USC            - 78-75, USC

Smith is Set as a Starter
Brandon Smith posted new personal bests in assists (11), rebounds (8) and playing time (53 minutes) against Arizona on Feb. 5, coming up one point shy of his first career double-double. On the defensive end, Smith, who is regarded as one of the finest defenders in De La Salle High School history, shut down WSU's Klay Thompson in overtime when Cal and Washington State met on Jan. 13 after Thompson put up 36 on the Bears in regulation. Smith earned his first collegiate start against Hartford on Dec. 28, which resulted in him posting a personal-best 15 points. On Jan. 22 at USC, Smith nailed two key three-pointers after entering the game with only one trey this season. He hit double figures against Arizona State on Feb. 3 with 11, including a big momentum-shifting three-pointer. Smith saved the day against UCLA last Sunday with a huge trey in overtime to give Cal a four-point lead in the final minute. He is currently second on the team in assists with an average of 3.8. He and fellow guard Jorge Gutierrez rank in the top six in the conference among the Pac-10's assist leaders.

Pac-10 Assist Leaders (All Games)

1. Isaiah Thomas, Wash.   -  5.9 APG
2. Jorge Gutierrez        -  4.3 APG
3. Malcolm Armstead, Ore. -  4.2 APG
4. Klay Thompson, WSU     -  4.0 APG
5. Jamelle McMillan, ASU  -  3.8 APG
6. Brandon Smith          -  3.8 APG

McKeen to be Inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor
Bob McKeen, a 6-7 center who played for the Golden Bears from 1952-55, will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during a ceremony at the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles. McKeen played for two of the most notable coaches in Cal history - Nibs Price and Pete Newell - and finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,654 points), setting a record that stood for more than 30 years. McKeen averaged 15.5 points per game over his four-year career and finished with 1,654 points, nearly 400 points more than any Bear up to that time. The mark remained atop Cal's scoring chart until 1987 when Kevin Johnson tallied just one point more. McKeen will become the 10th Golden Bear enshrined n the Hall of Honor, following coaches Pete Newell and Nibs Price and players Kevin Johnson, Darrall Imhoff, Jason Kidd, Andy Wolfe, Russ Critchfield, Charles Johnson and Earl Robinson.

Golden Bear Notes
Max Zhang, Cal's 7-3 center who would have been a junior this season, recently signed with a professional team in China, ending his collegiate career ... Gary Franklin, a former freshman guard on this season's team, decided to transfer and left the team on Jan. 5 ... Harper Kamp played chess competitively as a child ... Brandon Smith, a graduate of De La Salle High School, has been to four different continents, including working for an outreach program for schools and orphanages in India ... Richard Solomon practiced karate as a child, achieving the rank of junior black belt ... Emerson Murray comes from a family with a history of competing in track and field. His father is a long time track and field coach, and his sister was a member of the Canadian National Track and Field team and competed at Hawaii ... The lone signee this fall for the Bears was 6-9, 210-forward Davis Kravish out of Lee's Summit, Mo ... Cal's Pac-10 title last season was the Bears' first since 1960 ... Cal was 24-11 overall and 13-5 in the conference in 2009-10 ... Mike Montgomery won 46 games in his first two seasons in Berkeley, breaking the school record of 39 set by Lou Campanelli in 1986 and '87.
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