Cal Opens Four-Game Homestand with Oregon State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/25/2011

Jan. 25, 2011

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California (10-9, 3-4) vs. Oregon State (8-10, 3-4)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Time: 8 p.m. PT
Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KNEW 910 / Sirius 121 / XM 141

A week after a roller coaster weekend in Los Angeles, California returns to Berkeley for a four-game homestand. The Golden Bears (10-9, 3-4) begin the long stay at home Thursday, Jan. 27, against Oregon State at 8 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The next two weeks will be pivotal for Cal if it wants to get back in the race for the top of the Pac-10 standings.

Two nights after UCLA beat Cal on a buzzer beater, USC's last-second shot fell short and the Bears held on for their first win at the Galen Center in five attempts last Saturday. Junior forward Harper Kamp remained red hot, scoring 19 points and leading the Bears in scoring for the third consecutive game. Sophomore guard Brandon Smith also chipped in 12 points, including two three-pointers after starting the night with only one on the year. Now a full starter, Smith has taken the role as the team's primary point guard, allowing sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez to return to his natural off-guard role. Gutierrez drew a couple charges against the Trojans, helping Cal stifle the USC offense all night.

Cal has started going with a bigger lineup recently, using forwards Richard Solomon and Bak Bak more frequently in the front court. In 17 minutes of play, Bak racked up seven points at USC for his best outing of the conference season. Solomon is averaging 5.6 ppg and is tied for the team lead in blocks with 10. In the last four games, he is 12-for-15 from the field and 12-for-18 from the free throw line.

Since the start of Pac-10 play, nobody has come on stronger for the Bears than freshman guard Allen Crabbe. Averaging just under 17.0 ppg in the seven conference games played, Crabbe has shown more aggressiveness on the court since the start of Pac-10 play. His recent success was highlighted by his career-high 30 points against Washington State on Jan. 13 after tying his then-season high of 17 points in the previous two games. Crabbe has come through in the clutch, as well, drilling a three-pointer to tie last Thursday's game at UCLA with 10 seconds left in the contest.

An efficient free throw shooter, Crabbe boasts an 82.4 percentage (42-51) at the line that ranks fourth in the conference. Kamp leads the team, and is third in the Pac-10, at 83.0 percent (78-94).

Facing four opponents currently in the AP Top 20, Cal currently boasts a strength of schedule ranking of No. 3. Earlier this season, the Bears faced No. 4 San Diego State, No. 6 Kansas, No. 15 Notre Dame, No. 18 Washington. The Fighting Irish were not ranked yet when they played Cal in November. The Bears also beat then-No. 20 Temple, 57-50, on Nov. 26, in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Probable Starters

POS     NO      NAME                    HT      WT      YR      PPG     RPG
F	22      Harper Kamp             6-8     245     Jr.     14.4    5.6
Posted 20 points against Washington, and 21 at UCLA
C       10      Markhuri Sanders-Frison 6-7     265     Sr.     10.2    7.9
Earned his fifth double-double vs. Washington State
G       2       Jorge Gutierrez         6-3     195     Jr.     11.9    4.0 (APG)
Notched a career-high 21 points at Arizona State
G       23      Allen Crabbe            6-6     205     Fr.     11.5    5.4
Reached double figures in past six games
G       12      Brandon Smith           5-11    185     So.     5.2     3.2 (APG)
Nailed two treys at USC, and finished the game with 12 points

Oregon State Scouting Report
A Look at Oregon State

Oregon State has lost four of its last five, including a home loss to Oregon last Saturday, 63-59. Like the Bears, the Beavers are 3-4 in conference play thus far, capped by wins over USC and Arizona at home. Jared Cunningham paces the Beavers in scoring at 15.7 ppg, and also has 22 steals to his credit.
Cal-Oregon State Series History
Last season, Oregon State's defensive scheme gave Cal trouble in both meetings. The teams split the season series with the home team winning each game. Cal leads the overall series, 75-59.
Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson
Now in his third season as head coach, Craig Robinson has turned the OSU program around to win more games in a two-year span since the late 80s. Robinson guided the Beavers to a fifth-place finish last season, their best since the 2004-05 campaign.
Probable Starters

Pos     No      Name                    Ht      Wt      Yr      Ppg     Rpg
F       24      Omari Johnson           6-9     220     So.     8.6     6.3
F       44      Devon Collier           6-7     206     So.     4.8     3.1
C       12      Angus Brandt            6-10    237     So.     5.2     2.7
G       1       Jared Cunningham        6-4     182     Jr.     14.3    3.2
G       55      Roberto Nelson          6-3     188     Jr.     9.0     2.4

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Golden Bear Notes
Cal Sneaks Past USC, 68-66

A last-second three-point attempt by USC came up short and Cal held on for a two-point victory, it's first-ever at the Galen Center in five tries. Harper Kamp posted his eighth-straight double-digit outing, leading the Bears with 19 points. Using their new bigger lineup, the Bears' zone defense wreaked havoc on the USC offense all night. Donte Smith's eight treys were the only thing keeping the Trojans in the game. Jorge Gutierrez tied his season high in steals with four, and also drew a number of charges to help stifle the USC offense. Brandon Smith swished two three-pointers after coming into the game with only one this season and two all of last season.

Allen Crabbe: Raising His Game
Allen Crabbe boasted a career-high 30 points against Washington State on Jan. 13, shooting 10-for-15 from the field. It was the most by a Cal player this season and the most by a Pac-10 freshman in the last past three seasons. He is the first Cal freshman to score at least 30 since Shareef Abdur-Rahim did so four times during the 1995-96 season. Before his monster game against the Cougars, Crabbe tallied a then-season-high 17 points with nine rebounds against Hartford on Dec. 28. At UCLA last Thursday, he posted 13 of his 17 points in the final three and a half minutes, including a three-pointer to tie the game with 10 seconds left. He also scored 17 against Arizona and Arizona State, notching 15 of those points in the first half against the Wildcats. He made seven treys over the Arizona trip. Earlier this season, he earned his first collegiate double-double against Notre Dame on Nov. 26 when he garnered 10 points and 10 rebounds. In his last six games, he has shot 16-for-32 from three-point distance and 27-for-33 from the free throw line. Crabbe is averaging 11.5 ppg and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.4 rpg. He has also been good on 42 of his 51 tries from the free throw line, giving him a percentage of 82.4 that ranks third on the team and fourth in the conference. In conference games, Crabbe is averaging 16.6 ppg. He has also connected on 17 of his 36 three-point attempts against Pac-10 opponents.
Most Points by a Freshman in a Conference Game in 2010-11
Terrence Jones (Kentucky) - 35 vs. Auburn
Allen Crabbe (California ) - 30 vs. Washington State
Trey Zeigler (Central Michigan) - 30 vs. Toledo

Harper Kamp: Picking Up Where He Left Off
After redshirting last season due to a nagging knee injury, Harper Kamp has become one of the Bears' most reliable players this season. He has reached double figures in scoring the last eight consecutive games, and been Cal's leading scorer in the last three. Kamp posted a career-best 25 points against New Mexico on Nov. 20, and secured 20-point outings against Southern Miss. on Dec. 12, Washington on Jan. 16 and UCLA on Jan. 20. He also had a career day at Iowa State on Dec. 4, securing his first career double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds). The 10 boards were a new career high for Kamp, and he also tied his personal best in assists (5) and set a new career best in blocks (3). He paced Cal in scoring against Hartford, posting 19 points (shooting 6-for-7) with nine rebounds. Kamp is first on the team in scoring (14.4) and second in rebounding (5.6). After making his first 10 free throws this season, he has made 78 of his 94 tries (.830) from the charity stripe, including a perfect 9-for-9 effort at UCLA, which tied the team-best performance from the line this season. Kamp`s free throw percentage ranks third in the Pac-10 and best on his team.
Kamp's Shooting Totals in the Past Eight Games

Opp            Field Goals      Free Throws     Points
Hartford       6-7              7-7             19
at Stanford    6-9              3-4             16
at Arizona     5-8              2-4             12
at ASU         4-13             2-2             10
Wash. State    6-11             6-8             18
Washington     9-16             2-4             20
UCLA           6-11             9-9             21
USC            6-12             7-10            19

Sanders-Frison Racking up the Double-Doubles
Despite battling lingering foot injuries, Markhuri Sanders-Frison has been a force for the Bears. He has five double-doubles to his credit this season. He posted 10 points and 12 rebounds against Kansas on Dec. 22 and 15 points and 10 rebounds against Cal Poly on Dec. 18. He earned his most recent double-double vs. Washington State (14 points, 10 rebounds) on Jan. 13. He posted double figures in scoring three consecutive games earlier this season, including a 12-point effort at Iowa State on Dec. 4. He got his senior season off to a great start with his first career double-double against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 16, tallying a personal-best 15 points and tied his then-career high in rebounds with 10. He has led Cal in rebounding 12 of the 18 games he has played in this season. Sanders-Frison is also pacing the Bears on the boards at 7.9 rpg on the season that ranks fifth in the conference. On the season, Sanders-Frison is shooting .597 from the field that ranks second among the Pac-10 leaders. In his first four games this season, Sanders-Frison made just nine of his 24 attempts. His 10.2 ppg stands fourth on the team.
Sanders-Frison's Double-Doubles

Nov. 16 - Cal State Northridge - 15 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 18 - Cal Poly             - 15 points, 10 rebounds
Dec. 22 - Kansas               - 10 points, 12 rebounds
Jan. 8  - at Arizona State     - 13 points, 11 rebounds
Jan. 13 - Washington State     - 14 points, 10 rebounds

Bears Boast High Strength of Schedule
Cal has endured some growing pains with such a young team this season, but the competition has been pretty tough, as well. Cal has played four teams in the top 20 (No. 4 San Diego State, No. 6 Kansas, No. 15 Notre Dame, No. 18 Washington). The Fighting Irish were not ranked when they faced the Bears. Kansas and San Diego State ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the RPI rankings. The Bears also defeated then-No. 20 Temple, 57-50, as part of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., back in November. These four highly-ranked opponents have helped the Bears earn a strength of schedule ranking of No.3
Cal's Games Vs. Ranked Opponents

Nov. 25 vs. No. 20 Temple          - 57-50, Cal
Dec. 8  vs. No. 14 San Diego State - 77-57, SDSU
Dec. 18 vs. No. 3 Kansas           - 78-63, Kansas
Jan. 16 vs. No. 17 Washington      - 92-71, Washington

Gutierrez Leads the Way for the Bears
Jorge Gutierrez has reached double figures in 13 of the 19 games this season, after recording just four double-figure scoring performances last season. He paced the Bears with a new career high of 21 points at Arizona State on Jan. 8. Ever the tough defender, Gutierrez's 29 steals, part of the team's 106, leads the team. He set a new season high with four at Arizona on Jan. 6, and tied that mark at USC on Jan. 22. After having a quiet first half against UCLA on Jan. 20, he responded with 11 second-half points to finish with 15 for the game. Gutierrez has recorded a personal-best eight assists three times this season. He posted 19 points against San Diego State on Dec. 8, and shot 9-for-9 from the free throw line. He is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg, and set previous career highs in scoring in the first two games of the season (18 vs. Cal State Northridge and 20 vs. New Mexico). His apg of 4.1 is currently fourth in the Pac-10.

Down To the Wire
Cal enters Thursday's game against Oregon State with a record of 3-4 in the Pac-10, but the Bears easily could have had a couple of those losses swing the other way. Two conference games Cal lost were not decided until the final play of the game - Jan. 6 at Arizona and Jan. 20 at UCLA. Including a loss to Southern Miss., the Bears have lost three games by two points, and they picked up their first win by that score differential last Saturday at USC. Besides the win over the Trojans, Cal has also picked up a couple close-call victories. The Bears hung on to win at Iowa State by three and at Arizona State by four. Cal also held off Washington State in overtime in Berkeley after the Cougars were good on a three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into the extra session.
Games This Season Decided by Three Points or Less

Dec. 4  at Iowa State     - 76-73, Cal
Dec. 12 vs.Southern Miss. - 80-78, So. Miss.
Jan. 6  at Arizona        - 73-71, Arizona
Jan. 20 at UCLA           - 86-84, UCLA
Jan. 22 at USC            - 68-66, Cal

Smith is Set as a Starter
Brandon Smith has found himself taking on a much more prominent role this season, replacing the departed Gary Franklin in the starting lineup. He had a career night against Washington State on Jan. 13, securing new career highs in assists (9), rebounds (5) and playing time (44 minutes). Smith earned his first collegiate start against Hartford on Dec. 28, which resulted in him posting a personal-best 15 points. Smith has started every game since that career-high night against Hartford and into the conference portion of the schedule. Last Saturday at USC, Smith nailed two key three-pointers after entering the game with only one trey this season. He had a solid night against New Mexico on Nov. 20, garnering a then-career high of seven assists. He is currently second on the team in assists with 61. On the defensive end, Smith, who is regarded as one of the finest defenders in De La Salle High School history, came up with a big steal in the final minutes at Arizona when the game appeared to be over to give Cal a last-second chance to tie or win the game. Against WSU, Smith shut down Klay Thompson in the overtime period after Thompson put up 36 on the Bears in regulation, helping the Bears earn the win.

Solomon Boosts Bears off the Bench
Cal's best option off the bench, Richard Solomon notched a personal-best 14 points against Washington on Jan. 16. He earned a double-double against Hartford (10 points, personal-high 10 rebounds) on Dec. 28. Last Thursday at UCLA, Solomon posted 12 points and a season-high three steals, giving him 15 on the year. On Jan. 6 at Arizona, Solomon registered nine points, but more importantly, he went 4-for-5 from the free throw line, and was good on all four of his tries in the final two minutes of the contest to keep Cal in the game after both Harper Kamp and Markhuri Sanders-Frison got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out. Against Washington State on Jan. 13, Solomon finished with seven rebounds, and shot 3-for-4 from the field to record eight points. Currently averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.2 rpg, in his last four games, Solomon is shooting 12-for-15 from the field and 12-for-18 from the free throw line. He is also tied for the team lead in blocks with 10, notching three against Hartford.

Cal's Freshman Class Ranked in the Top 20
Cal's freshman class this season was ranked No. 17 by and No. 24 by ESPN. Leading the way is guard Allen Crabbe out of Price HS in Los Angeles, who was named the 2010 California Gatorade Player of the Year and Parade All-American. Two other newcomers join the squad from the Los Angeles area - freshman forward Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs, a sophomore transfer from Minnesota who attended Bishop Montgomery HS. Solomon was a high school teammate of Crabbe's and was rated the No. 20 power forward in the nation by One of the Bears' later signings, Emerson Murray from Vancouver, British Columbia, played on the Canadian Junior National team this past summer and was regarded by Hoopstars Canada as the second-best backcourt prospect in Canada. Alex Rossi is a natural shooter who is also known for his defensive abilities.

Golden Bear Notes
Max Zhang, Cal's 7-3 center who would have been a junior this season, recently signed with a professional team in China, ending his collegiate career ... Gary Franklin, a former freshman guard on this season's team, decided to transfer and left the team on Jan. 5 ... Harper Kamp played chess competitively as a child ... Brandon Smith, a graduate of De La Salle High School, has been to four different continents, including working for an outreach program for schools and orphanages in India ... Richard Solomon practiced karate as a child, achieving the rank of junior black belt ... Emerson Murray comes from a family with a history of competing in track and field. His father is a long time track and field coach, and his sister was a member of the Canadian National Track and Field team and competed at Hawaii ... The lone signee this fall for the Bears was 6-9, 210-forward Davis Kravish out of Lee's Summit, Mo ... Cal's Pac-10 title last season was the Bears' first since 1960 ... Cal was 24-11 overall and 13-5 in the conference in 2009-10 ... Mike Montgomery won 46 games in his first two seasons in Berkeley, breaking the school record of 39 set by Lou Campanelli in 1986 and '87.
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