Cal Takes on Ole Miss in First Round of NIT
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/15/2011

March 15, 2011

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NIT Ticket Information

No. 4 seed California (17-14) vs. No. 5 seed Ole Miss (20-13)
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Time: 6 p.m. PT
Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910

California (17-14) opens the National Invitational Tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Golden Bears square off with the No. 5 seed Ole Miss. Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Wednesday's matchup will be the first-ever meeting between Cal and the Rebels.

The Bears were ousted from last week's Pac-10 Tournament in the first round by USC, 70-56. Freshman guard Allen Crabbe paced Cal in scoring with 21 points. Fellow guard sophomore Brandon Smith shot 4-for-5 from the field to finish with 10 points. Freshman forward Richard Solomon was the third Bears to reach double figures in scoring with 11. Solomon also swatted away three blocks. USC's perimeter shooting proved to be too much for the Bears, as the Trojans connected on eight of their three-point attempts, including four from Donte Smith.

Last week, Crabbe was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, becoming the seventh Cal player to earn the recognition and the first since Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96. He also earned All-Pac-10 honorable-mention honors. In addition, junior guard Jorge Gutierrez was named to the All-Pac-10 first team the Pac-10 defensive team and the USBWA All-District team, while junior forward Harper Kamp made the All-Pac-10 second team, and also the NABC all-district second team.

With the win over Stanford on March 5 to end the regular season, Cal won its last four regular-season games for the second year in a row. Last year was the first time Cal accomplished the feat since 1993. In addition, Cal has won at least 10 conference games three years in a row now for just the second time (2001-03) since Pete Newell was head coach.

Becoming a much bigger factor on offense this season, Gutierrez, who is known more for his defensive capabilities, has upped his points per game average by nearly nine points (8.8 ppg). He racked up a career-high 34 in Cal's overtime win over UCLA on Feb. 20.

Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison has been the Bears' leading rebounder all season with a current average of 7.4 rpg. Rebounding has been critical for the Bears, as they are 15-4 when outrebounding their opponent.

Cal is participating in the NIT for the seventh time and owns an 11-5 record in the event. The Bears won the championship in 1999 and reached the quarterfinals in both 1987 and 2000. Cal's NIT berth in 1986 marked the school's first postseason appearance since the NCAA runner-up squad of 1960, although the Bears made a first-round exit. Most recently, Cal reached the second round in 2008 after defeating New Mexico in the first round at Haas Pavilion.

Probable Starters

POS     NO      NAME                    HT      WT      YR      PPG     RPG
F       22      Harper Kamp             6-8     245     Jr.     14.3    5.6
C       10      Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7     265     Sr.     10.9    7.4
G       2       Jorge Gutierrez         6-3     195     Jr.     14.3  4.5 (APG)
G       23      Allen Crabbe            6-6     205     Fr.     13.3    5.5
G       12      Brandon Smith           5-11    185     So.     6.3   3.9 (APG)	

Ole Miss Scouting Report

A Look at Ole Miss
The Rebels is led by Chris Warren, who is averaging 19.0 ppg. Zach Graham is also averaging double figures in scoring (14.1 ppg). Reginald Buckner and Terrance Henry pace the Rebels on the boards at 6.5 rpg and 6.1 rpg, respectively. Ole Miss has won two of its last three contests. The Rebels fell to Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, 75-66. Cal-Ole Miss Series History
Wednesday's game will be the first meeting between these teams.

Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy
In his five years at Ole Miss, Andy Kennedy's Rebels have gone 105-63. In the previous four seasons, Ole Miss was 55-63 overall and 17-47 in the SEC). Since Kennedy arrived, the Rebels have set season records in almost every offensive statistical category and several defensive ones, as well.
Probable Starters

Pos     No      Name                    Ht      Wt      Yr      Ppg     Rpg
F       1       Terrance Henry          6-10    210     Jr.     9.6     6.1
F       2       Reginald Buckner        6-9     238     So.     7.0     6.5
G       5       Dundrecous Nelson       5-11    194     Fr.     7.4     1.4
  G     12      Chris Warren            5-10    168     Sr.     19.0    2.2
G       32      Zach Graham             6-6     210     Sr.     14.1    4.5

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Golden Bear Notes

USC Exits Cal From Pac-10 Tournament in Quarterfinals
Despite having an early first-half leading, a poor shooting day doomed Cal in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament against USC, as the Trojans won, 70-56. Allen Crabbe paced the Bears with 21 points, but four Trojans reached double figures, and as a team, USC nailed eight treys. USC went on a 16-4 run in the first half to claim the lead that it never gave up. One of the few bright spots of the day for Cal, the Bears made eight of their nine free throw attempts for a season-high percentage of 88.9. Cal is now 2-3 all time against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament.

Allen Crabbe: Pac-10 Freshman of the Year
Allen Crabbe, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, boasted a career-high 30 points against Washington State on Jan. 13, becoming the second Cal freshman and first since Shareef Abdur-Rahim to accomplish this feat. He led Cal with 24 points in the regular-season finale against Stanford on March 5. During Cal's trip to Oregon, Crabbe connected on 10 of his 16 three-point attempts, including a season-high six treys at Oregon State on Feb. 26. 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. 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, who also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors, is averaging 13.3 ppg (team-best 16.4 ppg in Pac-10 games) and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. He has also been good on 72 of his 87 tries from the free throw line, giving him a percentage of 82.8 that ranks second among Cal freshmen all-time. Since returning from his brief absence due to a mild concussion, Crabbe is averaging 19.6 ppg in those five games.
Crabbe on the All-Time Cal Freshmen Ranks
Three-Pointers Made

1. Ryan Drew (1988)             60
2. Ryan Anderson (2007)         58
3. Allen Crabbe (2011)          55

Three-Point Percentage
2. Shantay Legans (2000)        47-110  .427
3. Theo Robertson (2006)        24-59   .407
4. Bryant Walton (1987)         38-94   .404
5. Allen Crabbe (2011)          55-138  .398

Free Throw Percentage
1. Shantay Legans               66-77   .857
2. Allen Crabbe                 72-87   .828

Harper Kamp: Picking Up Where He Left Off
After redshirting last season due to a knee injury, Harper Kamp was named to the All-Pac-10 second team and the NABC all-district second team. Kamp has been the Bears' leading scorer for the majority of the season and second on the team in rebounding for most of the campaign. 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, UCLA on Jan. 20 and Stanford on March 5. 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 tied for first on the team in scoring (14.3) and second in rebounding (5.6). He has made 120 of his 148 tries (.811) from the charity stripe, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort vs. USC (2/17).

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). On March 5 against Stanford, he registered his seventh career double-double vs. Stanford (13 points, 13 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. On the season, Sanders-Frison is shooting .589 from the field that ranked third among the Pac-10 leaders at the end of the regular season. He is also pacing the Bears on the boards at 7.4 rpg. His 10.9 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 on Feb. 20.

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 played five teams that ended the season in the top 25 (No. 2 Kansas, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 San Diego State, No. 17 Arizona and No. 23 Washington). 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 helped the Bears earn a strength of schedule ranking of No.19. 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

Smith Takes Aim From Three
Brandon Smith has quietly become one of Cal's clutch shooters. He posted a career-high 18 points at Oregon on Feb. 24, going 4-for-5 from behind the arc. After entering the USC game on Jan. 22 with only one trey to his credit, he has gone on to shoot 17-for-32 from three-point distance. He set 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. Smith earned his first collegiate start against Hartford on Dec. 28, which resulted in him posting a then-personal-best 15 points. 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 on Feb. 20 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 3.9, and finished conference play with 83 assists to 38 turnoversCal is 16-4 this season when garnering more assists than its opponent. Last week against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament, Smith shot 4-for-5 from the field to finish with 10 points, one of three Bears to reach double figures in scoring against the Trojans.

Gutierrez Leads the Way for the Bears
Jorge Gutierrez, who was named to the All-Pac-10 first team Pac-10 all-defensive team and USBWA All-District team, has reached double figures in 23 of the 31 games this season, and 10 in a row before the streak was snapped in the regular-season finale on March 5. During his streak of 10 consecutive double-digit performances, he averaged 20.3 ppg. He has scored at least 20 points six times this season, including four times in his last nine games. In the Feb. 20 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 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. On Feb. 24 at Oregon, Gutierrez had a huge second half, finishing the night with a game-high 23 points to lead the Bears to victory once again. 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 50 steals, part of the team's 175, leads the team. He is just one steal away from cracking the school's single-season top 10 list. He is tied for first on the team in scoring at 14.3 ppg, and his apg of 4.5 leads his team.
Cal Single-Season Steals List

6.  Thomas Kilgore (1999)      - 55
7.  Anwar McQueen (1997)       - 52
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996) - 52
9   Shantay Legans (2000)      - 51
    Kevin Johnson (1987)       - 51
11. Jorge Gutierrez (2011)     - 50

Down To the Wire
Cal enters the NIT with a record of 17-14, 10-8 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 on Feb. 20. 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 18 Pac-10 games played were decided by four points or less or in overtime.
Games This Season Decided by Two Points or Less

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

What a Difference a Year Makes
A sign of how much Jorge Gutierrez has meant to this year's Cal squad, Gutierrez is averaging nearly nine points per game more than last season. Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Brandon Smith have also seen their ppgs rise considerably, as well. Sanders-Frison is finally back to near health after dealing with planar fasciitis earlier in the campaign, and Smith's shooting has increased considerably in recent weeks, particularly his three-point shooting. Smith notched 10 points, 4-for-5 from the field, against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament last week.
2009-10 2010-11 Increase

Jorge Gutierrez                 5.5 ppg	      14.3 ppg        8.8
Markhuri Sanders-Frison         3.3 ppg       10.9 ppg        7.6
Brandon Smith                   0.9 ppg       6.3 ppg         5.4

Cal in the NIT
Cal is participating in the NIT for the seventh time and owns an 11-5 record in the event. The Bears won the championship in 1999 and reached the quarterfinals in both 1987 and 2000. Cal's NIT berth in 1986 marked the school's first postseason appearance since the NCAA runner-up squad of 1960, although the Bears made a first-round exit. Most recently, Cal reached the second round in 2008 after defeating New Mexico in the first round at Haas Pavilion.

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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