Nov. 4, 2001
BERKELEY - The Cal men's basketball team takes to the court for the first time this year when the Bears host the L.A. Stars in an exhibition game Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.
Cal will also play EA Sports in an exhibition game Friday at 8 .m. before officially getting the season underway Nov. 15-16 with the BCA Classic in Haas.
The Bears, who are ranked tied for 25th in Street & Smith's magazine's preseason poll, have been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a vote of West Coast media.
Cal returns four starters and 11 lettermen from last year's 20-11 team that earned an NCAA Tournament berth. In addition, the Bears have added four freshmen, including Parade All-America center/forward Jamal Sampson and 6-10 Israeli Amit Tamir.
Tamir, whose eligibility was called into question because he played with professionals as a member of the Israeli National Team, will have to sit out the first eight games of the year after a ruling by the NCAA Board of Directors last week. However, he will be able to play in Cal's two exhibition game before waiting to return to action Dec. 28 against Harvard.
Leading the returning group is junior point guard Shantay Legans, who averaged 9.5 points and 4.8 assists last season. He also paced the squad with 43 steals and 47 three-pointers.
In the middle, senior center Solomon Hughes is back after leading the Pac-10 in field goal shooting (62.9 percent) while averaging 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Cal has earned postseason tournament invitations each of the last three years, the last time the Bears had four straight appearances in the postseason came during NCAA Tournament years between 1957-60 under head coach Pete Newell ... Cal could face St. Joseph's, a preseason Top 10 team, in the second round of the BCA Classic ... in order to provide a better distribution of wheelchair seating at all levels of Haas Pavilion, the Athletic Department has added 13 seats on the floor, eight on the baselines and five in Section 15 ... to show support of the victims of the Sept. 11 attack and U.S. personnel overseas, the national anthem will be played immediately before introductions with both teams present on the court at most college arenas this season, including at Cal and at all Pac-10 schools.