Cal Opens Haas Pavilion Against Pacific, Hofstra
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/23/1999

Nov. 23, 1999

BERKELEY, Calif. - California opens the Haas Pavilion era when the Bears host Pacific Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Cal remains at home for a contest against Hofstra Monday before heading to Colorado Dec. 4.

Cal's 1999 National Invitation Tournament championship banner will be raised in a ceremony prior to the UOP contest.

The Bears (2-1) are coming off a second-place finish at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, Nov. 18-21. After edging TCU, 91-83, in the first round, Cal ran past Houston, 95-70, before falling to Oklahoma, 75-58, in the championship game.

Faced with the task of replacing four starters, the Bears started three freshmen in Alaska and had as many as four freshmen on the court at the same time during the tournament. As a group, the newcomers, which number five strong, scored 161 of Cal's 244 points (66.0 percent).

Leading the way is freshman center Nick Vander Laan, who came off the bench to average a team-high 18.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg. He scored 20 points in his debut game against TCU, then pumped in 23 points vs. Oklahoma. In addition, he is shooting 67.6 percent from the floor (25-37) and was named to the Top of the World Classic all-tournament team.

Like Vander Laan, freshman forward Joe Shipp also tallied 20 points in the TCU opener. He also had nine rebounds in the victory over Houston. Freshman guard Donte Smith is shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range (5-12) and averaging 9.0 ppg, while freshman guard Shantay Legans set a tournament record with 15 assists (5.0 apg). Finally, freshman guard Brian Wethers had 11 points against Houston and is a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

Among the returning players, junior forward Sean Lampley was voted to the all-tournament squad after averaging 17.0 ppg and 8.7 rpg in three games. He had two double-doubles in the tournament - 16-12 vs. TCU and 26-12 vs. Houston - and is shooting 57.6 percent from the floor (19-33). Lampley now has 16 career double-doubles.

The Bears also showed off an increased three-point accuracy. After shooting a Pac-10 low 31.0 percent from beyond the arc last year, Cal is making 40.0 percent this year (18-45). The Bears were 8-for-16 against TCU and 7-for-17 vs. Houston.

Game No. 4: Pacific Tigers (0-1, vs. Loyola Marymount 11/23)
vs. California Golden Bears (2-1)
Saturday, Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Bay Area with Barry Tompkins and Stan Morrison

Game No. 5: Hofstra Flying Dutchmen (0-1, vs. Stony Brook 11/27)
vs. California
Monday, Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion

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
All Cal releases, results, statistics, box scores, schedules and coach and player information, as well as historical data, is available on the Internet at 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.

Releases on Fax Service
All Cal basketball releases are available to the media using Info Connection. To access the system, call 800-868-2007 from the handset of your fax machine. The code for the Pac-10 Conference is 72210, while the Cal codes are listed below:

Cal Fax on Demand Codes

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Latest Box Score1917

Haas Pavilion
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 59-36, while his career mark, which includes 11 years at Eastern Michigan and eight seasons at Siena Heights College, is 390-270. 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.

Pacific Scouting Report

A Look at Pacific (0-1, vs. Loyola Marymount 11/23)
Pacific, which plays its home opener Tuesday against Loyola Marymount before visiting Cal, lost at Santa Clara, 73-65, last Saturday. The Tigers were led by center Mike Preston's 18 points and 10 rebounds. UOP was 14-13 last year and tied for second in the Big West's West Division with a 9-7 record.

Cal-Pacific Series History
Cal owns a 22-2 lead in a series that dates back to the 1908-09 season, although the teams have not met since the Bears defeated Pacific, 85-66, on Dec. 3, 1994 in Berkeley. Overall, Cal has won six straight from UOP, with the Bears last loss coming during the 1954-55 season (82-77 in overtime).

Pacific Head Coach Bob Thomason
Bob Thomason, a two-time Big West Coach of the Year, is 174-145 in his 12th season at Pacific. He is the winningest coach in Pacific history. As a player, Thomason was an all-conference guard at UOP in 1971.

Probable Starters

F35Barry Marvel6-7Sr2.01.0
F45Mike Hahn6-7So8.02.0
C51Mike Preston6-9So18.010.0
G22Clay McKnight6-2Sr12.02.0
G20Nathan Davis6-2So5.05.0 apg

Hofstra Scouting Report

A Look at Hofstra (0-1, vs. Stony Brook 11/27)
Hofstra opened the season in the preseason NIT and lost 69-55 at New Mexico State Nov. 16. The Flying Dutchmen host Stony Brook Saturday before traveling to Berkeley. Against NMSU, forward Norman Richardson scored 14 points, while center Greg Springfield recorded 10 blocked shots. Hofstra was 22-10 last year, reaching the first round of the NIT.

Cal-Hofstra Series History
Cal and Hofstra have played only one time previously, with the Bears defeating the Flying Dutchmen, 85-55, on Jan. 19, 1987 in Berkeley.

Hofstra Head Coach Jay Wright
Jay Wright is 72-74 in his sixth season at Hofstra. Last season, he guided the team to its first NIT appearance and first 20-win season in 22 years.

Probable Starters

F4Roberto Gittens6-7240Jr6.06.0
F21Norman Richardson6-5200Jr14.05.0
C3Greg Springfield6-9235Jr7.05.0
G10Craig Claxton5-11180Sr11.05.0 apg
G12Jason Hernandez6-0190Jr6.00.0

Golden Bear Breakdown

By Class

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

By Height

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

GamesCareer Starts
Sean Lampley6239
Raymond King*5814
Robbie Jones3510
Solomon Hughes325
Dennis Gates312
Shahar Gordon313
Shantay Legans30
Joe Shipp33
Donte Smith33
Nick Vander Laan30
Brian Wethers33

PointsCareer Avg.
Sean Lampley67310.9
Raymond King*2494.3
Solomon Hughes1133.5
Dennis Gates832.7
Robbie Jones671.9
Nick Vander Laan5518.3
Joe Shipp3913.0
Shahar Gordon351.1
Donte Smith279.0
Shantay Legans248.0
Brian Wethers165.3

ReboundsCareer Avg.
Sean Lampley4477.2
Raymond King*1071.8
Solomon Hughes812.5
Robbie Jones521.5
Shahar Gordon351.1
Dennis Gates321.0
Nick Vander Laan217.0
Joe Shipp165.3
Shantay Legans82.7
Brian Wethers82.7
Donte Smith41.3

AssistsCareer Avg.
Raymond King*1081.9
Sean Lampley1021.6
Dennis Gates200.6
Shahar Gordon180.6
Robbie Jones160.5
Shantay Legans155.0
Solomon Hughes50.2
Joe Shipp41.3
Donte Smith41.3
Brian Wethers31.0
Nick Vander Laan10.3

*Cal statistics only

Golden Bear Notes

Cal Takes Second at Top of the World Classic
Cal went 2-1 in the Top of the World Classic to finish second in the eight-team tournament held Nov. 18-21 in Fairbanks, Alaska. In their opener, the Bears trailed TCU by as many as eight points in the first half before rallying for a 43-41 lead at the break. In the second half, Cal used a 12-0 run to take a 57-45 lead and held on for the 91-83 win. Freshmen Joe Shipp and Nick Vander Laan scored 20 points each, while junior forward Sean Lampley added 16 points and 12 boards.

In the second round, Cal met Houston for the third consecutive season. This time, the Bears jumped out to a quick 18-5 start and were never threatened in a 95-70 victory. Cal led by 29 points at the half (53-24) and had as much as a 37-point advantage in the second half. Lampley narrowly missed his career high with 26 points, while Shipp had 14 and Vander Laan 12.

In the championship game, Oklahoma's Eduardo Najera proved to be too much to handle as the Sooners broke open a close game for a 75-58 win. The teams were tied at 38-all and Cal trailed by just 46-44 with 13 minutes left. At that point, OU went on a 15-0 run to take control. Najera finished with 23 points and limited Lampley to just nine. Vander Laan was the only Bear in double figures with 23 points.

Freshmen Make Big Impact for Bears
Cal's five-player freshman class has seemingly made an easy adjustment to the college level. Through the first three games of the season, they have combined to score almost two-thirds of the Bears points (161 of 244). Center Nick Vander Laan, who was voted to the Top of the World Classic all-tournament team, leads Cal with 18.3 ppg on 67.6 percent shooting from the floor. He had 20 points against TCU and 23 vs. Oklahoma. Forward Joe Shipp ranks third on the squad in scoring with 13.0 ppg. He also tallied 20 points against TCU and nearly had a double-double with 14 points and nine boards vs. Houston. Starting guards Donte Smith (9.0 ppg) and Brian Wethers (5.3 ppg) have been solid factors, as has guard Shantay Legans, who set a tournament record with 15 assists in Alaska, including seven in the TCU opener.

Three-Point Shot Becoming Key Component Again
After shooting a Pac-10 low 31.0 percent from three-point range and making just 3.5 treys per game last season, Cal has put the three-pointer back in the offense again. The Bears, who made more than five threes just four times in 1998-99, had eight against TCU and seven more vs. Houston. They were 8-for-16 (50.0 percent) from long range against the Horned Frogs and are at 40.0 percent (18-45) through three games. Freshman Donte Smith is 6-for-13 (46.2%), while freshman Joe Shipp is 5-for-12 (41.7%), sophomore Dennis Gates is 4-for-8 (50.0%) and freshman Shantay Legans is 3-for-4 (75.0%). No Cal team has ever shot 40.0% from three-point range for a full season, with the season record being 38.7 percent set in 1989-90.

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, ranking second on the team in scoring (17.0 ppg), first in rebounding (8.7 rpg) and second in assists (3.3 apg). He had double-doubles in his first two games - 16-12 vs. TCU and 26-12 vs. Houston. The 26 points on 10-of-16 field goal shooting 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 26 times in his last 35 games. His 7.2 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.

Cal Puts 18-Game Streak on Line vs. Pacific
When Cal moved out of Harmon Gym at the end of the 1996-97 season to make way for Haas Pavilion, the Bears did so having won their last 18 games on campus - the second-longest streak in school history. Cal was 7-0 in Harmon Gym in 1995-96 and 11-0 there in '96-97. The only longer on-campus winning streak came between Dec. 27, 1958 and Dec. 16, 1960 when the Bears won 27 games in a row at home. Cal played the last two seasons at the New Arena in Oakland.

Pac-10 Standings

Arizona State0-01-0
Oregon State0-00-0
Washington State0-01-1

This Week in the Pac-10

Nov. 23
Oregon at Illinois-Chicago, Chico State at Oregon State, Fairfield at UCLA, USC at Maui Invitational

Nov. 24
Arizona vs. Notre Dame, Cal State Bakersfield at Stanford, USC at Maui Invitational, Washington at Alaska-Anchorage

Nov. 25
Arizona State vs. Texas

Pac-10 Teleconferences
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:

Thursday, Dec. 16
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

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:


Bears Picked to Finish Sixth in Pac-10
The Cal men's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the 1999-2000 Pacific-10 Conference race in a vote of 36 sportswriters who regularly cover the league. The poll lists Arizona as the overwhelming favorite, with the Wildcats garnering 32 first-place votes. UCLA was picked third, followed by Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State.

1999-2000 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll

1. Arizona (32) 356
2. UCLA (3) 307
3. Stanford (1) 296
4. Oregon 246
5. Oregon State 174
6. California 152
7. USC151
8. Arizona State129
9. Washington 117
10. Washington State44

First-place votes in parentheses

Golden Bear Notes

  • Cal has won 11 of its last 12 home openers, with the only loss coming against St. Mary's in 1997 when the Bears were down to eight scholarship players

  • 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 16 of their last 18 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.