Dec. 6, 2007
California Golden Bears (6-0) at Kansas State Wildcats (5-3)
Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. CT / 11:00 a.m. PT, Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, KS
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: FSN Bay Area / FSN Midwest
California makes its final non-conference road trip of the year when the undefeated Golden Bears visit Kansas State Sunday at 1 p.m. CT / 11 a.m. PT. The contest will be televised on FSN Bay Area.
Now at 6-0 on the season, Cal can match its best start in 13 years with a victory over the Wildcats. The Bears defeated Kansas State, 78-48, last season, but they have never won a game in the state of Kansas.
In their lone outing away from Berkeley so far in 2007-08, Cal built a 14-point first-half lead at Nevada before prevailing, 74-68, to snap the Wolf Pack's 13-game home winning streak behind a career-high 36 points from sophomore F Ryan Anderson.
After his 23-point performance vs. Jackson State Wednesday (in 19 minutes of action), Anderson now ranks 14th nationally with 22.5 ppg. He was 9-for-11 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point distance, against the Tigers to raise his season field goal rate to 54.8 percent.
Sophomore G/F Patrick Christopher joins Anderson in the 20-point club with his contribution of 20.7 ppg. He set a personal best with 26 points Wednesday and has totaled at least 16 points in every game this year.
Up front, senior C DeVon Hardin ranks second in the country in rebounding with 13.0 rpg, just behind leader Michael Beasley of Kansas State, who is pulling down 14.8 rpg. Hardin has also increased his offensive production of late, tossing in 16 points vs. Missouri and 17 against Jackson State.
As a team, the Bears are holding the opposition to 39.4 percent shooting from the field and have allowed only one squad (Missouri) to make more than 40 percent of its attempts. Cal also owns a +10.3 rebound margin, posting a cumulative differential of +46 over the past three contests.
Ryan Anderson: Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore F Ryan Anderson, who averaged 25.5 ppg and 12.0 rpg in leading Cal to wins at Nevada Nov. 28 and vs. Missouri Dec. 1, has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week. He set his career high with 36 points at Nevada, also pulling down 13 rebounds. Then against Missouri, Anderson had his third double-double of the year to help Cal to a 5-0 record, finishing with 15 points and 11 boards.
Schedule Note: Times for the second day of the Golden Bear Classic (Dec. 29) have changed to 5 p.m. for the consolation game and 7:30 p.m. the championship game. Times for the first day (Dec. 28) will remain the same.
Probable Starters POS NO NAME HT WT YR PPG RPG F 23 Patrick Christopher 6-5 215 So 20.7 3.5 Has at least 16 in each game after averaging 5.2 ppg last year F 34 Ryan Anderson 6-10 240 So 22.5 9.2 Career-high 36 points plus 13 rebounds at Nevada C 35 DeVon Hardin 6-11 250 Sr 10.8 13.0 2nd in country in rebound average; 109 career blocks (#3 at Cal) G 3 Jerome Randle 5-10 165 So 14.3 3.8 apg 21 points vs. SDSU in first game after Oct. 29 kidney biopsy G 13 Nikola Knezevic 6-2 185 So 4.8 3.2 apg 7 points, 3 steals in win over Missouri; 7 points vs. Jackson State
Cal Head Coach Ben Braun
Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75), the second-winningest coach in Cal history, is in his 12th year in Berkeley and 31st season as a collegiate head coach. His record at Cal stands at 208-138, while his career mark - which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College - is 541-373. The 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and one of 25 finalists for the 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year award, Braun has led the Bears to the postseason seven times. After taking Cal to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1997, he guided the Bears to the NIT championship in 1999 and to the NIT quarterfinals in 2000. He also directed Cal to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 2001, '02 and '03, plus another NCAA berth in 2006. 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 earned a teaching degree in English with a minor in African-American studies at Wisconsin in 1975. He received his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Siena Heights.
Kansas State Scouting Report
A Look at Kansas State
Kansas State is off to a 5-3 start, including a 3-1 record at home in Bramlage Coliseum. The one loss was an 80-77 overtime setback to Oregon Nov. 29. Freshman Michael Beasley leads the country in rebounding with 14.8 ppg, while also ranking fourth in scoring at 25.8 ppg, and he is shooting 57.9 percent from the floor. KSU out-rebounds its opponents by 7.2 boards per game and is holding foes to 40.4 percent from the field.
Cal-Kansas State Series History
Kansas State leads the series, 5-1, although the Bears prevailed, 78-48, on Dec. 29, 2006, in Berkeley. Ryan Anderson finished with a team-high 15 points and DeVon Hardin contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds for Cal. In the Bears' only previous appearance vs. the Wildcats in Kansas, third-ranked KSU won, 58-44, on Dec. 20, 1957, in Lawrence.
Kansas State Head Coach Frank Martin
Frank Martin is in his first season as head coach at Kansas State. He was an assistant with the Wildcats last season, helping the team to a 23-12 mark and a berth in the NIT, and previously had collegiate stints at Cincinnati and Northeastern.
Probable Starters Pos No Name Ht Wt Yr Ppg Rpg F 4 Andre Gilbert 6-7 205 Jr 6.9 2.5 F 30 Michael Beasley 6-10 235 Fr 25.8 14.8 F 40 Ron Anderson 6-8 245 Fr 4.9 6.5 G 0 Jacob Pullen 6-1 185 Fr 12.1 1.3 G 2 Blake Young 6-2 195 Sr 8.9 3.8
For more information: www.kstatesports.com
Golden Bear Notes
Last Game: Cal Routs Jackson State, 117-74
Sophomore F Patrick Christopher scored a career-high 26 points and sophomore F Ryan Anderson added 23 more to lead Cal to a 117-74 decision over Jackson State Wednesday night in Haas Pavilion. The Bears reached 100 points in regulation for the first time under head coach Ben Braun and posted the third-highest total in school history. The win also improved Cal to 6-0 for just the second time in 40 years, while the margin of victory was the Bears' biggest since 1991. Five players scored in double figures for Cal for the second straight game, with senior C DeVon Hardin adding 17 points in 14 minutes, sophomore G Jerome Randle tossing in 14 and freshman F Harper Kamp coming off the bench for 16.
Year of the Sophomore for Golden Bears
In many circles around the country, the 2007-08 season has been deemed the Year of the Freshman for the number of quality newcomers on college rosters. But at Cal, the campaign can easily be called the Year of the Sophomore. The Bears' second-year players are combining to average 62.7 ppg, or 76.0 percent of Cal's total. The team's top three scorers are all sophomores, led by Ryan Anderson's 22.5 ppg. He is followed by Patrick Christopher with 20.7 ppg and Jerome Randle with 14.3 ppg. Each player has already set a career high, as well. Anderson poured in 36 points at Nevada, Christopher had 26 vs. Jackson State, and Randle came through with 21 points against San Diego State.
Cal Production by Class Points (Avg.) Rebounds (Avg.) Assists (Avg.) Senior 77 (12.8) 91 (15.2) 21 (3.5) Junior 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Sophomore 376 (62.7) 115 (19.2) 69 (11.5) Freshman 42 (7.0) 19 (3.2) 9 (1.5)
More Superlatives from Jackson State Win
In its 117-74 victory over Jackson State Wednesday, Cal scored the third-most points in school history and topped 100 points in regulation for the first time since a 112-73 triumph at Texas Southern on Nov. 29, 1995. The Bears' 43-point margin of victory was the 12th-largest ever in a home game and widest since a 97-50 decision over Morgan State on Nov. 25, 1991. Four Cal players also set career scoring highs, most notably Patrick Christopher with 26 points and Harper Kamp with 16. Nican Robinson (6 points) and Patrick Armstrong (2), both walk-ons, had their best nights, as well.
Highest Scoring Games in Cal History 1. 127 vs. Oklahoma City (67), Jan. 3, 1971 2. 121 vs. U.S. International (97), Dec. 19, 1990 3. 117 vs. Jackson State (74), Dec. 5, 2007 4. 112 at Texas Southern (73), Nov. 29, 1995
Anderson Averaging 24.8 ppg, Shooting 58.1% Last 5 Games
When sophomore F Ryan Anderson erupted for a career-high 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the floor in Cal's Nov. 28 win at Nevada, he became the first Golden Bear to score more than 30 points since Leon Powe had 41 vs. Oregon in the semifinals of the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament. For the season, Anderson is averaging 22.5 ppg on 54.8 percent field goal shooting. Since an 11-point outing in the opener vs. Southern Miss - when he missed 10 minutes of the second half with blurred vision in his left eye - he has averaged 24.8 ppg, made 43-of-74 shots (58.1%) and reached the 20-point level four times. During his Nov. 19-28 burst (27 vs. Nicholls State, 23 vs. San Diego State, 36 at Nevada), Anderson scored 86 points, becoming the first Cal player to have as many in a three-game stretch since Ed Gray had 90 in games against Oregon State (25), Washington (17) and Washington State (school-record 48) in February 1997.
Anderson, Hardin Lead Pac-10 in Scoring, Rebounding
Sophomore F Ryan Anderson, averaging 22.5 ppg, and senior C DeVon Hardin, grabbing 13.0 rpg, lead the Pac-10 in scoring and rebounding, respectively. On the national scene, Anderson is 14th in the scoring column, while Hardin is second behind Kansas State's Michael Beasley (14.8 rpg). Hardin had at least 12 boards in his first five games, including a career-best 16 at Nevada. He came through with "only" eight rebounds vs. Jackson State, but did so in just 14 minutes of action.
Cal Off to Best Start under Head Coach Ben Braun
Now at 6-0 to begin the season, Cal is off to its best start in 12 years under head coach Ben Braun. Cal was last 6-0 or better in 1994-95, when the Bears got off the blocks with wins in their first seven contests, although those victories were later forfeited for use of an ineligible player. Prior to that season, the last time Cal won more than five straight to open a year was 1967-68, when the Bears were 7-0.
Bears Dominating Boards in Early Season Contests
Cal has out-rebounded its opponents in every game this year and enters Sunday's game with a +10.3 rebound margin. The Bears have had double-figure differentials in their last three outings - +14 at Nevada (48-34), +21 vs. Missouri (41-20) and +11 vs. Jackson State (43-32). So how rare is it for Cal to post such a margin? The Bears haven't been +4.0 or better for a full season since 1992-93 (+4.6) or +5.0 or better since 1968-69 (+6.5).
Top Rebound Margins in School History Season Cal Reb Opp Reb Margin 1959-60 46.8 35.6 +11.2 2007-08 41.5 31.2 +10.3 1968-69 53.2 46.7 +6.5 1967-68 52.2 46.4 +5.8 1958-59 45.1 40.1 +5.0
With Hardin in Middle, Defense Returns to Form
Over Cal's first six games, the Bears have limited their opponents to 39.4 percent shooting from the floor and out-rebounded them by +10.3 per game, and much of the reason for those low figures can be traced to the return of DeVon Hardin to the lineup. Not only does the 6-11 senior center have a team-leading 14 blocks so far, but he has also grabbed at least 12 rebounds five times. Cal's defensive stats represent quite a turnaround from last year; during the final 22 games of the year when Hardin was sidelined with a stress fracture in his foot, the Bears surrendered 49.7 percent shooting and were beaten on the boards by a 3.8 margin.
With Hardin in '07-08 Without Hardin in '06-07 (6 games) (final 22 games) FG% Allowed 39.4% (146-371) 49.7% (579-1166) Rebound Margin +10.3 -3.8 Opponents with >40 FG% 1 of 6 20 of 22
Jerome Randle Sparkles in Return to Court
Sophomore G Jerome Randle underwent a kidney biopsy Oct. 29, and although the results revealed a mild inflammation that can be treated with medication, he was kept off the court for almost four weeks to allow the procedure to heal. But in his first game back - Cal's 77-69 win over San Diego State on Nov. 24 - he proved to be the difference with his quickness and scoring ability. After scoring five points in the first half, he came through with 16 after intermission to finish with a career-best 21, topping the 19 he had at home vs. Stanford last season. Randle has since added 16 points against Missouri and 14 vs. Jackson State, when he was perfect from the field (4-4 FG, 2-2 3P, 4-4 FT) and dished out seven assists.
Patrick Christopher Raises Scoring Production
After averaging 5.2 ppg and reaching double figures just four times as a freshman last year, sophomore G Patrick Christopher has shown off a new-found scoring ability so far this season, reaching double figures in all six games to pass his total for all of 2006-07. He tied his high from his freshman campaign with 24 points against Nicholls State, then set a personal best with 26 points vs. Jackson State. Christopher also paced the Bears vs. Southern Miss (19 points) in the opener and had a team-high 18 points against Missouri. Now contributing 20.7 ppg, he gives the Bears a pair of 20-point scorers, as Ryan Anderson is adding 22.5 ppg. Cal has never had two players average 20 ppg for a full year, coming closest in 1967-68 (Russ Critchfield 22.5 ppg; Bob Pressley 18.9 ppg).
Hardin Up to Third in Cal Career Blocks
With 14 blocks so far this season, senior C DeVon Hardin has moved into third place on the Bears' all-time list with 109. He had a high of four in the opener vs. Southern Miss, when he finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. The 6-11 Hardin has led Cal in blocks each of the past two seasons. He totaled 48 as a sophomore in 2006 - No. 5 on the Bear charts - and had a team-best 21 last year despite being limited to just 11 games due to injury. Hardin's individual game high is five, a mark he set against Santa Clara on Nov. 20, 2006, and he has had at least three in a game 15 times.
Cal Career Blocked Shot Leaders 1. Michael Stewart (1994-97) 207 2. Solomon Hughes (1999-02) 122 3. DeVon Hardin (2004- ) 109 4. Tom Schneiderjohn (1976-79) 105
Walk-ons Continue Tradition of Filling Significant Roles
With Cal down to six available scholarship players for the Nov. 19 contest vs. Nicholls State, the Bears were forced to rely on their stable of walk-ons to fill significant roles. Sophomore G David Liss earned his first career start and came through with eight points (3-5 FG, 2-4 3P), four assists and a block in 37 minutes. For all of last season, he played in 12 games and saw a total of 18 minutes of action. In addition, sophomore Nican Robinson (5 games) and freshman Eddie Miller (6 games) have all seen action to date. Under head coach Ben Braun, utilizing walk-ons in significant roles is nothing new. Alex Pribble, now a student assistant coach, started Cal's final five games at a wing spot last year, while Ryan Forehan-Kelly finished his career in 2002 ranked fourth on the school's all-time three-point shooting list (40.7 percent) and A.J. Diggs (2001-04) picked off 158 steals, good for third all-time in Bear annals.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Cal has won 18 of its last 19 non-conference home games ... sophomore C Jordan Wilkes connected on the second three-pointer of his career vs. Southern Miss; he also had one against Arizona State on Feb. 18, 2006 ... Wilkes also pulled down a career-high 7 rebounds vs. Jackson State ... senior F Eric Vierneisel set career highs in both rebounding (6) and assists (5) in the opener vs. Southern Miss ... Cal is 10-2 in home openers under head coach Ben Braun ... Cal has added six non-scholarship players to the roster, four of whom return from last year (Nican Robinson, Thomas Fang, David Liss, Patrick Armstrong) and two who are new to the team (Jordan Fillmore, Eddie Miller) ... Vierneisel entered the year with more games-played experience (78) than any other member of the squad ... sophomore F Jamal Boykin, a mid-year transfer from Duke who was the California state Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Los Angeles' Fairfax HS in 2005, will become eligible to play when the Bears host Utah Dec. 22 after the completion of fall final exams ... 2007-08 marks the 99th season of Cal basketball ... the Bears feature two 7-footers on the roster for the first time ever in 7-0 Jordon Wilkes and 7-2 Max Zhang - the tallest player in school history ... Cal had three players score at least 20 points vs. San Diego State (Ryan Anderson 23, Jerome Randle 21, Patrick Christopher 21) for the first time since an 84-80 OT win over Oregon State on Feb. 17, 2007 (Christopher 24, Ayinde Ubaka 21, Theo Robertson 21) ... Ben Braun ranks 10th among active coach with 541 victories.