Game No. 7: San Jose State (3-2) at California Golden Bears (4-2)
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Net Bay Area
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
California hosts San Jose State Tuesday in the Bears last game before taking an 11-day break for final exams. Cal will resume play Dec. 18 when the Bears play UC Irvine at 8 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.
Cal and San Jose State will meet for the 20th time Tuesday, but it will be their first game since Dec. 28, 1991 when the Bears won, 93-87 in San Jose.
Cal will be looking to rebound from an 80-62 loss at Colorado Saturday. The Bears shot just 40.4 percent from the floor in its second-lowest scoring output of the year. Cal's freshman class, which had been averaging almost two-thirds of the team's points, was limited to 28 points in the game, and 22 of those came from forward Joe Shipp.
However, Cal has found its new home in Berkeley just as accommodating as old Harmon Gym. The Bears are riding a 20-game on-campus winning streak that dates back to the start of the 1995-96 season. Cal was 7-0 in Harmon in '95-96 and 11-0 there in '96-97. After playing the last two years at the New Arena in Oakland, the Bears are 2-0 in Haas Pavilion this year. The school record for consecutive wins on campus is 26, set from 1958-60.
Junior Sean Lampley, the only non-freshman in the starting lineup, continues to lead this young Bear squad. Lampley paces the team in both scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg), and he is second on the team with 18 assists. He has already posted three double-doubles, scoring a high of 26 points against Houston and grabbed 15 boards vs. Hofstra.
The next five spots on the scoring list belong to freshmen. Center Nick Vander Laan reached double figures in each of his first five games and was named to the all-tournament team at the Top of the World Classic. Shipp is coming off a career-best performance at Colorado, while Brian Wethers and Donte Smith provide solid support from the backcourt. The only non-starter of the group, point guard Shantay Legans, leads the Bears with 27 assists and nine steals.
Together, the newcomers average 48.0 ppg, exactly 64 percent of Cal's total per game. The freshman have also given the Bears a boost at the free throw line, where the team is shooting 72.9 percent. Shipp is 11-for-11 from the stripe (100%), with Legans shooting 13-for-14 (92.9%), Wethers 7-for-8 (87.5%) and Vander Laan 11-for-14 (78.6%).
Probable Starters & Key Reserves
|F||21||Sean Lampley||6-7||225||Jr||16.5||10.5||Season-high 15 rebounds vs. Hofstra, 26 points vs. Houston|
|F||34||Joe Shipp||6-5||215||Fr||12.8||3.3||22 points at Colorado (8-13 FG, 4-9 3P, 2-2 FT)|
|C||32||Nick Vander Laan||6-10||250||Fr||14.2||6.8||Scored at least 20 points twice: 20 vs. TCU, 23 vs. Oklahoma|
|G||3||Donte Smith||6-2||195||FrR||6.3||2.2 apg||Second on team with 7 3-pointers (36.8%)|
|G||25||Brian Wethers||6-5||205||Fr||6.8||3.0||12 points, 6 rebounds vs. Pacific|
|G||12||Shantay Legans||5-10||165||Fr||7.8||4.5 apg||9 points, 8 assists, 0 turnovers vs. Hofstra|
|C||14||Solomon Hughes||6-11||230||So||4.3||2.7||6 points, 6 rebounds at Colorado|
|G||15||Dennis Gates||6-3||190||So||3.5||1.7||Second on team with 7 steals, including 4 vs. Oklahoma|
|C||40||Shahar Gordon||6-10||250||So||1.8||1.0||Career-high 7 points (1-1 FG, 5-6 FT) at Colorado|
Head Coach: Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75) - 61-37 at Cal (4th year) & 394-272 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 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 61-37, while his career mark, which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College, is 394-272. 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.
San Jose State Scouting Report
A Look at San Jose State (3-2)
San Jose State began the season 3-0 - it's best start since 1973-74 - before losing to Santa Clara Dec. 1 and at Portland Dec. 4. The Spartans are allowing just 43.4 ppg and are holding opponents to 30.5 percent shooting from the floor. Darnell Williams leads the team in scoring with 12.8 ppg and in rebounding with 10.2 rpg.
Cal-San Jose State Series History
Cal owns a 16-3 all-time record against San Jose State, but the two teams haven't met since the Bears won, 93-87, on Dec. 28, 1991 in San Jose. The Spartans last visit to Berkeley came on Dec. 3, 1990 when Cal posted a 93-53 victory.
San Jose State Head Coach Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes is in his first season with the Spartans. Prior to moving to San Jose, he was an assistant coach at Iowa State in 1998-99 and spent a total of nine seasons as an assistant at the Division I level.
Golden Bear Notes
Cal Suffers Road Defeat at Colorado, 80-62
Colorado freshman center Richard Fox scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Buffaloes to an 80-62 win over California Saturday night in Boulder. The Bears jumped out to a 19-16 lead behind the hot shooting of freshman forward Joe Shipp. However, CU took a 42-28 lead at the break and led by at least 10 points the rest of the way. Shipp finished with a career-best 22 points, while junior forward Sean Lampley contributed 17 points and nine boards. Sophomore center Shahar Gordon came off the bench for a career-high seven points.
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. Three freshmen have started each of Cal's six games - guards Donte Smith and Brian Wethers and forward Joe Shipp. That trio has been joined by freshman center Nick Vander Laan in the opening lineup the last three contests, meaning Cal is starting four freshmen and a junior (Sean Lampley). As a group, the five newcomers, which also include guard Shantay Legans, averages 48.0 ppg (64.0% of team total), 15.8 rpg (43.2%) and 10.3 apg (65.3%). Vander Laan ranks second on the team in scoring with 14.2 ppg, including a high of 23 points vs. Oklahoma. Shipp scored 22 points at Colorado, while Legans paces the Bears with 27 assists (4.5 apg). In addition, Smith has made a team-high seven three-points and Wethers has reached double figures three times.
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||6||3|
|Nick Vander Laan||85||14.2|
|Nick Vander Laan||41||6.8|
|Nick Vander Laan||5||0.8|
*Cal statistics only
Cal Coming Up Big in Clutch
Cal may be starting four freshmen this season, but the Bears are coming across as veterans in crunch time this year. In its win over Pacific Nov. 27, Cal outscored the Tigers, 22-10, over the last 6:30 to pull out a 76-72 victory. The Bears also shot 9-for-9 from the free throw line in the final 4:57 to keep Pacific at bay. In its Nov. 29 victory over Hofstra, Cal was equally impressive, going 9-for-10 from the stripe in the last 1:37 to pull out a 68-61 win. The Bears are 19-for-24 from the free throw line (79.2%) in the last two minutes of games and are shooting 72.9 percent as a team overall. Five players are above 83.0 percent: Joe Shipp (11-11, 100%), Shantay Legans (13-14, 92.9%), Brian Wethers (7-8, 87.5%), Dennis Gates (7-8, 87.5%) and Shahar Gordon (5-6, 83.3%) That's quick a turnaround for a team that shot 67.1 percent from the line last year and hasn't been above 70 percent for a full year since 1989-90 (70.4%).
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 (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg) and ranking second in and assists (3.0 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 29 times in his last 38 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. He his also on pace to become the first Cal player since Hendrick (10.7 rpg in 1991-92) to average 10 rpg for a full season.
Cal Maintains Unbeaten On-Campus Streak
After a two-year hiatus, Cal has picked up right where it left off on campus with wins over Pacific and Hofstra, giving the Bears 20 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
|26||Dec. 27, 1958 to Dec. 16, 1960|
|20||Nov. 25, 1995 to present|
|16||February 1953 to Jan. 30, 1954|
|15||Dec. 8, 1945 to March 8, 1946|
|13||Jan. 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:
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 six games, the 6-10 Sacramento product is averaging 14.2 ppg on 62.7 percent shooting from the floor (37-59). 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.
This Week in the Pac-10
Dec. 7 - Arizona vs. Connecticut, Arizona State at BYU, San Jose State at California, Portland at Washington State
Dec. 8 - Hawaii at USC
Dec. 11 - Michigan State at Arizona, Cal State Northridge at Oregon, Denver at Oregon State, Stanford at Georgia Tech, Gonzaga at UCLA, USC at Loyola Marymount, Utah at Washington State
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.
Cal's Recent Double-Digit Comebacks
|Pacific||11/27/99||18 (26-8)||10:16/1st||W 76-72|
|at DePaul||3/16/99||17 (28-11)||7:41/1st||W 58-57|
|Fresno State||3/10/99||12 (49-37)||14:30/2nd||W 79-71|
|Arizona State||2/27/99||14 (32-18)||6:37/1st||W 78-73|
|Arizona||2/25/99||10 (22-12)||13:34/1st||W 89-76|
|North Carolina||12/29/98||10 (59-49)||13:28/2nd||W 78-71|
|Coppin State||12/7/98||12 (41-29)||13:08/2nd||W 54-52|
Legans Leads from the Point
Point guard Shantay Legans is the only freshmen not to have started a game for Cal this season, but he hasn't let that fact keep him from being a floor leader. Legans is second on the team in minutes played (27.2 mpg) and has a team-high 27 assists (4.5 apg) and just 13 turnovers. Considering that six of those turnovers came against Oklahoma, he has only seven turnovers in Cal's other five games. Perhaps his most impressive performance game against Hofstra Nov. 29 when he finished with nine points, eight assists, two steals and no turnovers. Overall, Legans is averaging 7.8 ppg, shooting 45.2 percent from the floor, 60.0 percent from the three-point range (6-10) and 92.9 percent from the line (13-14). He also has a team-best nine steals.
Golden Bear Notes
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 18 of their last 21 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 ... Shipp had four three-pointers at Colorado Dec. 4, the most for a Cal player since Geno Carlisle also had four vs. Oregon on March 7, 1998.