Cal Returns From Finals To Host UC Irvine At 8 p.m. Saturday
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/13/1999

Dec. 13, 1999

BERKELEY, Calif. - After an 11-day break for fall final exams, Cal returns to action Saturday night when the Bears host UC Irvine at 8 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.

Cal is 3-0 at home this year, posting victories over Pacific, Hofstra and San Jose State. Those results have extended the Bears on-campus winning streak to 21 games. The current run, which includes a 7-0 record in old Harmon Gym in 1995-96 and an 11-0 mark in Harmon in 1996-97, is the second longest in school history, trailing only a 26-game string from 1958-60.

Prior to the start of finals, Cal defeated San Jose State, 67-52, shooting a season-high 57.1% from the floor. The Bears limited the Spartans to the lowest scoring total by an opponent since Cal beat Oregon St., 54-52, last Jan. 4.

The outcome came after head coach Ben Braun shuffled the starting lineup. After beginning the first six games of the season with freshmen Donte Smith and Brian Wethers in the Cal backcourt, freshman Shantay Legans and sophomore Dennis Gates started for the Bears at guard vs. San Jose State.

Legans, in the first start of his career, responded with his most impressive game. He finished with 19 points, four assists and two steals in 29 minutes. Legans made 6-of-8 field goal attempts and shot 5-for-7 from three-point range. For the year, he is now 11-for-17 (64.7%) from long range, easily the best on the team and in the Pac-10.

His performance provided another example of the impact Cal's five freshmen have had this season. Every freshman has at least one start this year, and the Bears have played up to four newcomers on the court at the same time in each game. After junior forward Sean Lampley, who leads the squad in both scoring and rebounding, the next five highest scorers are freshmen, topped by center Nick Vander Laan's 13.6 ppg.

Freshman Joe Shipp, the only rookie to start every game this year, is averaging 12.6 ppg and has complemented Legans with his perimeter shooting. Shipp sank four three-pointers on his way to a career-high 22 points at Colorado Dec. 4, then had three more treys in the win over San Jose State. On the year, he has a team-best 13 three-pointers (44.8%).

Saturday's Cal-UC Irvine game will mark the 100th for Braun with the Bears. Through 99 games, he is 62-37, leading Cal to the 1997 NCAA Sweet 16 and the '99 NIT championship.

Game No. 7: UC Irvine Anteaters (3-2, vs. Western Washington 12/14)
at California Golden Bears (5-2)
Saturday, Dec. 18, 8 p.m., Haas Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Net Bay Area

Probable Starters & Key Reserves

F21Sean Lampley6-7225Jr16.19.9Season-high 15 rebounds vs. Hofstra, 55.1% FG
F34Joe Shipp6-5215Fr12.63.622 points at Colorado (8-13 FG, 4-9 3P, 2-2 FT)
C32Nick Vander Laan6-10250Fr13.66.364.6% FG shooter, 23 points vs. Oklahoma
C14Solomon Hughes6-11230So3.72.46 points, 6 rebounds at Colorado, 6 blocks
G12Shantay Legans5-10165Fr9.44.4 apgShooting 64.7% (11-17) from 3-point range, 19 points vs. SJS
G15Dennis Gates6-3190So3.71.6Second on team with 9 steals, including 4 vs. Oklahoma
G3Donte Smith6-2195FrR5.92.0 apgStarted first 6 games of season
G25Brian Wethers6-5205Fr6.62.912 points, 6 rebounds vs. Pacific
C40Shahar Gordon6-10250So1.50.8Career-high 7 points (1-1 FG, 5-6 FT) at Colorado

Head Coach: Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75) - 62-37 at Cal (4th year) & 395-272 overall (23rd year)

Cal on the Radio
All California games will be broadcast on KABL Radio (960 AM) in San Francisco and KATD Radio (990 AM) in Concord with Roxy Bernstein calling the action. Each broadcast begins 20 minutes prior to tip-off with the Cal Basketball Pregame Show. After the game, head coach Ben Braun will recap the action on the Cal Basketball Postgame Show. In addition to the radio, broadcasts can be heard on the Internet at
All Cal releases, results, statistics, box scores, schedules and coach and player information, as well as historical data, is available on the Internet at Game recaps and statistics are updated after each contest. The site also includes information on all 27 of Cal's teams.

Cal Radio on Telephone
All Cal basketball radio broadcasts during the 1999-2000 season are available nationwide via telephone through TRZ Telephone Broadcast Services. Fans may access the Cal games from anywhere in the country by dialing 800-846-4700, extension 5918. The cost is 50 cents for the first minute, with decreasing rates for each addition minute.

Haas Pavilion
Cal returned to campus this season with the opening of the new 12,300-seat Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion. The $57.5 million facility is a renovated and expanded version of old Harmon Gym. In addition to the basketball court, the building features coaching and administrative office space, locker rooms, a spacious weight room and athletic training facilities, as well as media work and interview rooms. While Haas Pavilion was under construction, Cal played the last two seasons at the New Arena in Oakland.

Cal Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), who was named the 14th head coach in Cal history on Sept. 15, 1996, is in his fourth year in Berkeley and 23rd season as collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 62-37, while his career mark, which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College, is 395-272. The 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and a finalist for '97 National Coach of the Year honors, Braun led the Bears to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1997 and to the NIT championship in 1999. In October 1997, he agreed to a new eight-year contract that extends through the 2004-05 season. At EMU from 1985-96, the three-time MAC Coach of the Year guided the Eagles to three NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance with an overall record of 185-132. He was also 148-103 from 1977-85 at Siena Heights. A native of Chicago, Braun played one year of basketball at Wisconsin-LaCrosse before transferring to Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a teaching degree in English with a minor in African-American studies in 1975. He received his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Siena Heights.

UC Irvine Scouting Report

A Look at UC Irvine (3-2, vs. W. Washington 12/14)
UC Irvine, which hosts Western Washington Tuesday night, is 3-2 on the year with wins over SW Texas (69-46), Loyola Marymount (69-59) and St. Mary's (67-59). Guard Jerry Green, the 1999 Big West Freshman of the Year, leads the Anteaters with 19.8 ppg. Sean Jackson, who transferred from Cal to UCI after the 1997-98 season, averages 8.4 ppg and has started all five games.

Cal-UC Irvine Series History
Cal owns a 2-1 lead over UC Irvine in the series, but the teams haven't played since UCI defeated the Bears, 98-88, on Dec. 22, 1990 in Irvine. Cal won the two previous games in Berkeley: 83-50 on Dec. 30, 1977 and 99-78 on Dec. 9, 1989.

UC Irvine Head Coach Pat Douglass
Pat Douglass owns an 18-40 record in his third season at UC Irvine. Prior to moving to UCI, he led Cal State Bakersfield to three NCAA Division II titles.

Probable Starters

F21Mark Ondera6-7220Sr11.08.4
F24Sean Jackson6-5215Jr8.43.8
C3Greg Ethington6-8230Fr4.23.6
G5Jerry Green6-3185So19.84.6
G14Zamiro Bennem6-4195So9.82.8

Golden Bear Notes

Three-Point Barrage Helps Cal Past San Jose State
Relying on its outside shooting more than any other time this year, Cal made a season-high 10 three-pointers (19 attempts) in a 67-52 victory over San Jose State Dec. 7 in Haas Pavilion. Leading the way was freshman guard Shantay Legans. In his first career start, he pumped in a season-best 19 points, making 5-of-7 from long range. Freshman forward Joe Shipp also sank 3-of-4 treys. The Bears led 31-25 at the break and opened a 12-point advantage two minutes into the second half. Cal shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the floor.

Freshmen Class Makes Big Impact on Bears
Before the start of the season, head coach Ben Braun stated that all five Cal freshmen would get a chance to contribute right away for the Bears. What he probably didn't expect was the magnitude of their impact on the team so early in the year. Every freshman has started at least one game, with forward Joe Shipp starting all seven. Guard Donte Smith and Brian Wethers have six starts each, while center Nick Vander Laan owns three and guard Shantay Legans one. Three times this year Cal has started four freshmen in a game with junior Sean Lampley the only veteran in the lineup. As a group, the five newcomers average 48.0 ppg (65.0% of team total), 15.3 rpg (44.2%) and 10.3 apg (64.3%). Vander Laan ranks second on the team in scoring with 13.6 ppg, including a high of 23 points vs. Oklahoma. Shipp scored 22 points at Colorado, while Legans paces the Bears with 31 assists (4.4 apg). In addition, Smith and Wethers have started six times together and provided solid play in the backcourt.

Golden Bear Breakdown

By Class
Senior (2) - Robbie Jones, Raymond King
Junior (1) - Sean Lampley
Sophomore (3) - Dennis Gates, Shahar Gordon, Solomon Hughes
Freshman (5) - Shantay Legans, Joe Shipp, Donte Smith, Nick Vander Laan, Brian Wethers

By Height
6-11 - Solomon Hughes
6-10 - Shahar Gordon, Nick Vander Laan
6-7 - Sean Lampley
6-5 - Joe Shipp, Brian Wethers
6-3 - Dennis Gates, Robbie Jones
6-2 - Donte Smith
5-10 - Raymond King, Shantay Legans

Sean Lampley6643
Raymond King*6114
Robbie Jones3610
Solomon Hughes366
Dennis Gates353
Shahar Gordon343
Shantay Legans71
Joe Shipp77
Donte Smith76
Nick Vander Laan73
Brian Wethers76

Sean Lampley73511.1
Raymond King*2514.1
Solomon Hughes1233.4
Nick Vander Laan9513.6
Dennis Gates952.7
Joe Shipp8812.6
Robbie Jones671.9
Shantay Legans669.4
Brian Wethers466.6
Shahar Gordon421.2
Donte Smith415.9

Sean Lampley4897.4
Raymond King*1081.8
Solomon Hughes882.4
Robbie Jones531.5
Nick Vander Laan446.3
Shahar Gordon401.2
Dennis Gates371.1
Joe Shipp253.6
Brian Wethers202.9
Shantay Legans101.4
Donte Smith81.1

Raymond King*1131.9
Sean Lampley1091.7
Shantay Legans314.4
Dennis Gates250.7
Shahar Gordon190.6
Robbie Jones160.4
Donte Smith142.0
Brian Wethers101.4
Joe Shipp81.1
Nick Vander Laan71.0
Solomon Hughes50.1

*Cal statistics only

Hot Shots!: 3 Players Better Than 55% from Floor
The last two seasons, Cal has shot less than 44.0% from the floor as a team - 43.8% in 1997-98 and 43.2% last year. But this season, the Bears are at 48.5% after making a season-best 57.1% of their shots against San Jose State last week. Leading the way is freshman center Nick Vander Laan, who is 42-of-65 from the field, good for 64.6%. If he can maintain that rate, it would be the second highest in school history, trailing only Mark McNamara (70.2% in 1981-82). In addition, both junior forward Sean Lampley (55.1%) and freshman forward Joe Shipp (55.2%) are above the 55% level. Toss in freshman guard Shantay Legans (51.3%), and Cal's top four scorers are all making more than half of their attempts.

Hot Shots! Part Deux
Not only are freshmen Shantay Legans and Joe Shipp proving they can score from the field, but they are also turning out to be pretty fair three-point and free throw shooters. Legans, after making 5-of-7 from beyond the arc vs. San Jose State, is 11-for-17 on his three-point attempts this year for a Pac-10-high 64.7%. Of those making at least one per game, he ranks seventh in the nation in three-point accuracy. Shipp leads the Bears in treys with 13 and is sinking his at a 44.8% clip. From the free throw line, Shipp tops the charts at a perfect 11-for-11, while Legans is at 93.8% (15-16).

Lampley Lights the Way for Bears
Junior forward Sean Lampley, Cal's only returning starter from the 1999 NIT champion team, has handled his veteran status well, leading the team in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 rpg) and ranking second in and assists (2.7 apg). He has had double-doubles three times this season - 16-12 vs. TCU, 26-12 vs. Houston and 22-13 vs. Pacific. The 26 points on 10-of-16 field goal shooting against UH just missed his career best of 28 points set in the first round of the NIT last year against Fresno State. Lampley now has 16 career double-doubles and has led Cal on the boards 30 times in his last 39 games. His 7.4 career rpg average ranks 14th in school history and is the best for a Bear since Brian Hendrick averaged 8.5 rpg from 1990-93.

Cal Maintains Unbeaten On-Campus Streak
After a two-year hiatus, Cal has picked up right where it left off on campus with three home wins this season, giving the Bears 21 consecutive victories in Berkeley. The streak, which included a 7-0 mark in Harmon Gym in 1995-96 and an 11-0 mark there in 1996-97, is the second longest in school history. The only longer on-campus winning streak came between Dec. 27, 1958 and Dec. 16, 1960 when the Bears won 26 games in a row at home. During its current run, Cal played seven games off campus in 1995-96 (6 at the Oakland Arena, 1 at the San Jose Arena) and three games at the Cow Palace in '96-97. The last two years, the Bears played all their home games at the Oakland Arena.

Cal's Longest On-Campus Homecourt Winning Streaks

26Dec. 27, 1958 to Dec. 16, 1960
21Nov. 25, 1995 to present
16February 1953 to Jan. 30, 1954
15Dec. 8, 1945 to March 8, 1946
13Jan. 31, 1925 to 1927-28

Bear Squad Youngest in School History
With only three upperclassmen among its 11 scholarship players, this year's Cal team is the youngest in school history. The Bears lost four starters and their sixth man following their NIT championship run last spring, leaving them with just two seniors and one junior for the upcoming campaign. A look at past rosters shows that every previous Cal squad had at least four upperclassmen. Below is a look at several of the youngest squads to play for the Bears:


Pac-10 Standings

Oregon State0-05-2
Arizona State0-04-3
Washington State0-04-3

This Week in the Pac-10
Dec. 13 - IUPUI at Arizona, Gonzaga at Washington
Dec. 14 - Denver at Oregon
Dec. 15 - Eastern Washington at Oregon State
Dec. 16 - Nevada at Stanford, USC at Long Beach State
Dec. 17 - Wichita State at Washington
Dec. 18 - Arizona vs. Nebraska, San Diego State at Arizona State, UC Irvine at California, Oregon vs. Minnesota, Sacramento State at Stanford, DePaul at UCLA

Pac-10 Teleconferences
The Pac-10 will hold media-only teleconferences with Pac-10 head coaches 10 times throughout the 1999-2000 season. Media should call the Pac-10 office at 925-932-4411 to obtain the number. A taped replay of the teleconference will be available beginning at 4 p.m. PT following each call at 402-220-9927. Below are the teleconference dates for this season:

Thursday, Dec. 16
Tuesday, Jan. 11
Tuesday, Jan. 18
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Tuesday, Feb. 1
Tuesday, Feb. 8
Tuesday, Feb. 15
Tuesday, Feb. 22
Tuesday, Feb. 29
Tuesday, March 7

The order of coaches is as follows:

10:35 a.m.E. Kent, Oregon
10:43 a.m.R. Evans, ASU
10:51 a.m.E. Payne, OSU
10:59 a.m.L. Olson, Arizona
11:07 a.m.B. Braun, California
11:15 a.m.P. Graham, WSU
11:23 a.m.M. Montgomery, Stanford
11:31 a.m.H. Bibby, USC
11:39 a.m.B. Bender, Washington
11:47 a.m.S. Lavin, UCLA

Vander Laan Puts Up Big Numbers in the Middle
It's been seven seasons since Cal had a center that scored in double figures, but freshman Nick Vander Laan is on his way to snapping that string. Through seven games, the 6-10 Sacramento product is averaging 13.6 ppg on 64.6 percent shooting from the floor (42-65). He scored 20 points in his debut vs. TCU, then came back with 23 against Oklahoma in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic. As a result, Vander Laan was voted to the all-tournament team. Upon Cal's return to Berkeley, Vander Laan received his first start and responded with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists vs. Pacific. The last center to average at least 10 points for the Bears was Brian Hendrick, who averaged 10.4 ppg during 1992-93 season.

Cal Continues to Show Comeback Ability
When Cal trailed Pacific by 18 points early in the first half of their Nov. 27 game, the Bears took a cue from their 1998-99 squad en route to the 76-72 victory. Last season, Cal came back from at least 10 points down to win six times, including overcoming a 17-point hole at DePaul in the second round of the NIT. In addition to the UOP game this year, Cal trailed Hofstra, 25-23, at the break before winning, 68-61. The Bears also fell behind by eight points to San Jose State before taking a 67-52 decision.

Cal's Recent Double-Digit Comebacks

Pacific11/27/9918 (26-8)10:16/1stW 76-72
at DePaul3/16/9917 (28-11)7:41/1stW 58-57
Fresno State3/10/9912 (49-37)14:30/2ndW 79-71
Arizona State2/27/9914 (32-18)6:37/1stW 78-73
Arizona2/25/9910 (22-12)13:34/1stW 89-76
North Carolina12/29/9810 (59-49)13:28/2ndW 78-71
Coppin State12/7/9812 (41-29)13:08/2ndW 54-52

Legans Leads from the Point
Point guard Shantay Legans may have only started last week's San Jose State game, but he hasn't let that fact keep him from being a floor leader. Legans is second on the team in minutes played (27.4 mpg) and has a team-high 31 assists (4.4 apg) and just 15 turnovers. Against San Jose State, he clearly had his best game with 19 points and four assists. He also had a strong game off the bench against Hofstra with nine points, eight assists, two steals and no turnovers. Overall, Legans is averaging 9.4 ppg, shooting 51.3% from the floor, 64.7% from three-point range (11-17) and 93.8% from the free throw line (15-16). He also has a team-best 11 steals.

Golden Bear Notes ...
The 10 three-pointers (19 attempts) by Cal against San Jose State were the most for the Bears since they had 11 (19 attempts) at Stanford on Jan. 31, 1996 ... Cal shot 53.2 percent from the floor against TCU (33-62) and 54.3 percent from the field against Houston (38-70) - the first time the Bears have shot at least 50 percent in consecutive games since they did it against Oregon State and Stanford Jan. 5 & 10, 1996 ... Cal also scored 90+ points two games in a row vs. TCU (91) and Houston (95) for the first time since November 1995 against Northern Arizona and Texas Southern ... the Bears have won 19 of their last 22 non-conference games, including a 14-1 mark last year ... when Joe Shipp and Nick Vander Laan each scored 20 points vs. TCU last week, it marked the highest scoring output for a Cal freshman in his debut game since Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 33 vs. Northern Arizona in 1995 ... Shantay Legans had five three-pointers vs. San Jose State, the most for a Cal player since Geno Carlisle had five at Oregon State on Jan. 5, 1998.