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Bears Look For First Pac-10 Win Vs. Arizona State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/07/2000

Jan. 7, 2000

Game No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-4, 0-1) at California Golden Bears (9-4, 0-1)
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2000, 5 p.m., Haas Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Net Bay Area

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Cal, which battled fifth-ranked Arizona to the wire before falling, 65-61, Thursday, gets another chance at its first Pac-10 victory when the Bears host Arizona State Saturday in Haas Pavilion.

Cal will be looking to avoid its first 0-2 start to league play since the Bears lost at Arizona (81-80) and at Arizona State (64-60) in 1997. That season, Cal went on to tie for second in the conference with a 12-6 mark and advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The last time the Bears lost their first two Pac-10 games at home also came against the Arizona schools - 99-86 to Arizona and 73-68 to ASU in 1995.

Against Arizona Thursday night, Cal started four freshmen for the fifth time this year and for the second consecutive game. The Bears were led by rookie center Nick Vander Laan, who finished with 14 points, a personal-best 10 boards - for his first double-double - and three steals. Cal's bench also performed well, with sophomore guard Dennis Gates tying a career high with 12 points (4-7 3P) and sophomore center Solomon Hughes adding eight points.

In addition, the crowd of 12,172 marked the first sellout at the new Haas Pavilion. In eight home dates this year, Cal is averaging 10,636 per game.

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 (48.0% to 43.2%), from three-point range (35.5% to 31.0%) and from the free throw line (70.3% to 67.1%). If Cal can maintain its field goal rate, it would be the best for the team since the 1989-90 team shot 50.1 percent.

Individually, junior forward Sean Lampley continues to lead the Bears in scoring (16.84 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg) and minutes (32.8 mpg). Often double-teamed on the post, he has also shown good patience and vision, dishing out 45 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.

Freshman Shantay Legans has taken over the starting point guard duties the last seven contests. In those games, he has averaged 9.0 ppg and 4.3 apg. In addition to a team-leading 57 assists overall, he tops the Bears with 19 steals.

Cal received a boost to its frontcourt depth with the return of sophomore center Shahar Gordon against Arizona. Gordon, who had been out since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Dec. 17, returned to practice Monday and played five minutes against the Wildcats.

Probable Starters & Key Reserves

POS NO   NAME               HT    WT   YR   PPG   RPG 
F   21   Sean Lampley       6-7   225  Jr   16.4  8.7 
F   34   Joe Shipp          6-5   215  Fr   10.5  3.3 
C   32   Nick Vander Laan   6-10  250  Fr   11.2  6.5 
G   12   Shantay Legans     5-10  165  Fr   8.5   4.4 apg 
G   25   Brian Wethers      6-5   205  Fr   7.1   3.5 
G    3   Donte Smith        6-2   195  FrR  7.6   1.8 
C   14   Solomon Hughes     6-11  230  So   5.9   2.6
G   15   Dennis Gates       6-3   190  So   5.2   1.7 

Head Coach: Ben Braun (Wisconsin '75) - 66-39 at Cal (4th year) & 399-274 overall (23rd year)

Cal Bears Men's Basketball

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