Jan. 3, 2000
BERKELEY, Calif. - California's young team, which features as many as four freshmen in the starting lineup, will get its biggest test to date this year when the Bears open the Pac-10 season against fifth-ranked Arizona. Cal will then host Arizona State Saturday afternoon to complete a eight-game stay in the Bay Area (seven games in Haas Pavilion, one game at the Oakland Arena).
The Bears ended their pre-conference slate with a 95-87 victory over Davidson Sunday. In matching the team's highest point total of the year, Cal also had five players score in double figures. But the stat that stood out the most from that contest was the 12 assists by junior forward Sean Lampley - the most by a Cal player since Jan. 26, 1995 and a record for a Cal forward.
Overall, the Bears have put up some impressive team numbers, especially when compared to last season. This year's squad is shooting better from the field (49.2% to 43.2%), from three-point range (35.4% to 31.0%) and from the free throw line (70.7% to 67.1%). If Cal can maintain its field goal rate, it would tie for the fifth highest in school history and would be the best for the team since the 1989-90 team shot 50.1 percent.
Individually, Lampley continues to lead the Bears in scoring (16.8 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and minutes (33.2 mpg). Often double-teamed on the post, he has also shown good patience and vision, dishing out 42 assists (3.5 apg). He has had six double-doubles on the season (including the 14 points and 12 assists vs. Davidson) and has been named to all-tournament teams at both the Top of the World Classic and the Golden Bear Classic.
Also providing scoring punch for Cal is freshman forward Joe Shipp, who is second to Lampley in points (11.3 ppg). He paces the team in both three-pointers (21, 42.0%) and free throw shooting (93.8%, 15-16). Shipp has reached double figures six times in the last eight games, with a high of 22 points at Colorado.
Fellow freshman Shantay Legans has taken over the starting point guard duties the last six contests. In those games, he has averaged 9.7 ppg and 4.3 apg. In addition to a team-leading 53 assists overall, he tops the Bears with 19 steals. Legans was also voted all-tournament at the Golden Bear Classic.
Game No. 13 Arizona Wildcats (11-2) at California Golden Bears (9-3)
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion
Game No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-3, at Stanford Jan. 2) at California
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2000, 5 p.m., Haas Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Net Bay Area
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 www.broadcast.com.
All Cal releases, results, statistics, box scores, schedules and coach and player information, as well as historical data, is available on the Internet at www.calbears.com. 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.
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 66-38, while his career mark, which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College, is 399-273. 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.
Arizona Scouting ReportA Look at Arizona (11-2)
Arizona, the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 title this season, enters Thursday's game ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll. The Wildcats opened the year with six straight wins, including the Preseason NIT title. Arizona is holding opponents to just 38.4 percent shooting from the floor and is outrebounding them, 41.5 to 33.9.
Cal-Arizona Series History
Arizona owns a 33-23 series lead over Cal, although the Bears have won two of the last three in the Bay Area. In 1997, Cal edged the Wildcats, 79-77, at the Cow Palace, while the Bears triumphed, 89-76, last year at the Oakland Arena. The teams have split the season series seven times in the last nine years.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson
Lute Olson is 406-122 in his 17th season at Arizona. He has a career mark of 598-214. Olson, a six-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, led Arizona to the 1997 NCAA title.
|G||22||Jason Gardner||5-10||178||Fr||11.4||5.6 apg|
Arizona State Scouting ReportA Look at Arizona State (8-3, at Stanford 1/2)
Arizona State, which plays at Stanford Thursday, begins the New Year on a four-game winning streak. Senior guard Eddie House is averaging 20.6 ppg and has topped 40 points twice already this season - 46 points vs. San Diego State and 42 points vs. Penn State. He is averaging 35.0 ppg the last four games.
Cal-Arizona State Series History
In a series that has been dominated by the home team, Arizona State holds a 27-20 all-time lead. Each school is 9-1 at home the last 10 years. Cal has won four in a row at home over ASU, including a 78-73 decision at the Oakland Arena last year.
Arizona State Head Coach Rob Evans
Rob Evans is 22-19 in his second year at ASU. Prior to moving to Tempe, he was 86-81 in six seasons at Mississippi, which included a pair of SEC West titles.
Golden Bear Breakdown
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
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
|Nick Vander Laan||12||4|
|Nick Vander Laan||132||11.0|
|Nick Vander Laan||74||6.2|
|Nick Vander Laan||10||0.9|
*Cal statistics only
Golden Bear NotesCal Out-Races Davidson, 95-87
Shooting a season-best 57.4 percent from the floor, Cal outscored Davidson, 95-87, last Sunday at Haas Pavilion in the team's final tune-up before the start of Pac-10 play Thursday. The Bears started four freshmen for the fourth time this season and were led by Donte Smith - the only rookie who didn't start - with 17 points. Junior Sean Lampley posted his sixth double-double of the year, this time doing it with 14 points and a career-high 12 assists. Also reaching double figures were Joe Shipp (16 points), Nick Vander Laan (12) and Solomon Hughes (career-high 12).
Freshman 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 four games, with Joe Shipp starting 11 of 12. Four times this year Cal has started four freshmen in a game - including the Davidson game - with junior Sean Lampley the only veteran in the lineup. As a group, the five newcomers average 46.2 ppg (60.3% of team total), 16.1 rpg (46.8%) and 10.2 apg (61.3%). Shipp ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg, including a best of 22 at Colorado, while center Nick Vander Laan was named to the Top of the World Classic all-tournament team. Guard Shantay Legans paces the Bears in both assists (53) and steals (19). In addition, guards Donte Smith (personal-best 17 points vs. Davidson) and Brian Wethers (50.0 FG%, 26 assists) have started six times together and provided solid play in the backcourt.
Production By Class in 1999-2000
|Year||Points (ppg / %)||Rebounds (rpg / %)||Assists (apg / %)|
|Senior||16 (1.3 / 1.7%)||8 (0.7 / 1.9%)||11 (0.9 / 5.5%)|
|Junior||203 (16.9 / 22.1%)||105 (8.8 / 25.5%)||42 (3.5 / 21.1%)|
|Sophomore||141 (11.8 / 15.3%)||71 ((5.9 / 17.2%)||22 (1.8 / 11.1%)|
|Freshman||554 (46.2 / 60.3%)||193 (16.1 / 46.8%)||122 (10.2 / 61.3%)|
% = percent of team total
Bears Raise Shooting Percentages Across the Board
After ranking at or near the bottom of the Pac-10 in every shooting category last year, Cal has significantly raised its percentages in field goals, three-pointers and free throws this season. As a unit, the Bears are making 49.2 percent of their attempts from the floor, sinking at least 50 percent six times in 12 games. As a comparison, Cal shot just 43.2 percent from the floor and made more than half its shots on only three occasions all of last season. From three-point range, the Bears are at 35.4 percent (5.3 3FG per game) this year after rating last in the conference at 31.0 percent (3.5 3FG per game) in 1998-99. The same improvement is true from the free throw line. This year's squad is shooting 70.7 percent after making 67.1 percent last season.
Individually, several Cal players are putting up some impressive numbers. Four players are above 54 percent from the field, including each of the Bears top three scorers: Sean Lampley (55.2%), Joe Shipp (54.3%) and Nick Vander Laan (57.5%). From beyond the arc, Shantay Legans is shooting an even 50 percent (14-28) and Shipp, who has made a team-high 21 treys, is at 42.0 percent. Shipp also leads three players who are better than 89 percent from the free throw line, the freshman from Los Angeles has made 15 of his 16 tries (93.8%). In addition, Dennis Gates is 13-for-14 (92.9%) and Legans is 25-for-28 (89.3%).
Braun Aims for 400th Career Win
With Cal's next victory, head coach Ben Braun will earn his 400th career win. Braun began his head coaching career at Siena Heights College in 1977-78 and stayed there eight seasons, compiling a 148-103 record. He then spent the next 11 years at Eastern Michigan, guiding EMU to a 185-132 mark, which included three trips to the NCAA Tournament and three Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors. Braun started his Cal career in 1996-97 and promptly was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 23-9 record and the NCAA Sweet 16. Last year, he took Cal to the NIT championship. Braun enters this week's games with a 66-38 record in Berkeley and a 399-273 mark in his 23rd season overall.
This Week in the Pac-10
Jan. 6 - Arizona at California, Arizona State at Stanford, UCLA at Washington, USC at Washington State
Jan. 8 - Arizona at Stanford, Arizona State at California, Oregon at Oregon State, UCLA at Washington State, USC at Washington
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:
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|
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 (16.8 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and minutes (33.2 mpg) and ranking second in assists (3.5 apg). He has had double-doubles six times this season, with the first five coming in the points and rebounds variety - 16-12 vs. TCU, 26-12 vs. Houston, 22-13 vs. Pacific, 16-10 vs. UC Irvine and 17-10 vs. Boston Univ. Lampley then had 14 points and a career-best 12 assists against Davidson Jan. 2, giving him 19 career double-doubles. The assist total was the highest for a Cal player since Jelani Gardner had 13 at USC on Jan. 26, 1995, a span of almost five full years. Lampley has led Cal on the boards 33 times in his last 44 games, including nine times this year. His 7.4 career rpg average ties for 14th in school history and is the best for a Bear since Brian Hendrick averaged 8.5 rpg from 1990-93.
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:
Cal Looks to Start New Winning Streak
Cal's 74-71 loss to Penn Dec. 28 in the Golden Bear Classic final ended a 23-game on-campus winning streak for the Bears. In games played in either Harmon Gym or Haas Pavilion, Cal had not loss since a 92-89 setback to Washington State in the 1994-95 season-finale. The string, which included a 7-0 mark in Harmon Gym in 1995-96, an 11-0 mark there in 1996-97 and five wins in Haas Pavilion this season, was 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.
Cal's Longest On-Campus Homecourt Winning Streaks
|26||Dec. 27, 1958 to Dec. 16, 1960|
|23||Nov. 25, 1995 to Dec. 28, 1999|
|16||February 1953 to Jan. 30, 1954|
|15||Dec. 8, 1945 to March 8, 1946|
|13||Jan. 31, 1925 to 1927-28|
Hughes, Vander Laan Provide Support in the Middle
Sophomore center Solomon Hughes and freshman center Nick Vander Laan have given the Bears a stronger presence in the middle this year than they have in recent seasons. Hughes, who has started eight games, is averaging 5.8 ppg on 60.0 percent shooting from the floor. But in the last five games, he is averaging 8.6 ppg and has broken his career high twice, first with 11 points vs. Boston University, then with 12 against Davidson. Vander Laan, a member of the staring lineup four times, ranks third on the Bears with 11.0 ppg (57.5 FG%) and second with 6.2 rpg. He had a high of 23 points against Oklahoma and was named to the all-tournament team at the Golden Bear Classic. The duo is sure to get a boost with the return of sophomore Shahar Gordon in the next couple of weeks. Gordon has been out since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Dec. 17. He is expected to be back in the lineup by mid-January.
Pac-10 Statistical Leaders
|T3. Sean Lampley||17.0 ppg|
|1. Sean Lampley||9.2 rpg|
|13. Nick Vander Laan||6.1 rpg|
|8. Shantay Legans||4.6 apg|
Field Goal Shooting
|7. Nick Vander Laan||58.5%|
|9. Solomon Hughes||56.8%|
|5. Shantay Legans||48.1%|
|10. Joe Shipp||44.4%|
Free Throw Shooting
|1. Shantay Legans||92.3%|
|Scoring Offense||7th||74.9 ppg|
Legans Leads from the Point
After coming off the bench as a reserve the first six games of the season, freshman point guard Shantay Legans has become a fixture in the starting lineup. Since joining the opening group, Legans has averaged 9.7 ppg and 4.3 apg. He scored a personal-high 19 points in his first start against San Jose State Dec. 7 and was named to the Golden Bear Classic all-tournament team after scoring eight points with six assists against Boston University and adding 11 points vs. Penn. For the year, Legans ranks second on the team in minutes (27.9 mpg) and leads the Bears in both assists (53) and steals (19). He is also shooting 50 percent from three-point range (14-28) and 89.3 percent from the foul line (25-28). From a defensive standpoint, his most impressive outing came in Cal's victory over then-No. 22 Gonzaga, when he helped hold preseason All-American Matt Santangelo to just two points on 1-for-13 shooting from the floor.
Shipp Provides Consistency for Bears
Early in his freshman season, forward Joe Shipp has proven to be the most consistent newcomer for the Bears. Now second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.3 ppg, Shipp has reached double figures eight times. He tied for team honors with 20 points in his debut game vs. TCU at the Top of the World Classic, then posted a career-best 22 points at Colorado Dec. 4. After his most disappointing game (0 points on 0-2 FG vs. Penn), he came back with 16 points (7-11 FG) against Davidson. Shipp has also proven to be an accurate shooter, making 54.3 percent of his attempts overall, 42.0 percent from three-point range (21-50) and 15 of his 16 free throw tries (93.8%). In addition, he is third on the squad in rebounding with 3.3 rpg, including a best of nine vs. Houston.
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, the Bears repeated the feat vs. San Jose State (57.1%) and UC Irvine (51.6%) ... 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 ... 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 ... Cal has won four of its last five home games against ranked opponents, beating No. 9 North Carolina (78-71, 12/29/98), No. 9 UCLA (85-69, 2/13/99), No. 7 Arizona (89-76, 2/25/99) and No. 22 Gonzaga (72-64, 12/21/99), the only loss was to No. 4 Stanford (57-55, 2/3/99).