March 5, 2013
BERKELEY - Winners of seven straight and nine of 10 overall, California is entrenched in the race for the Pac-12 Conference regular-season title heading into Wednesday's regular-season finale against Stanford at 8:05 p.m. (PT) on Senior Night at Haas Pavilion.
Cal, 20-9 overall and 12-5 in the Pac-12, heads into the final week of regular-season play third in the conference standings, a half-game back of first-place Oregon and UCLA. The Bears swept Oregon and split their two games against UCLA this season. They currently own the tiebreaker against the Ducks and the Bruins should the teams all finished tied in the standings.
Wednesday's matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch handling the play-by-play and Bill Walton serving as the analyst. The Cal IMG Sports Network will carry the game on KSFS NewsTalk 910 AM in the Bay Area with Cal alum Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Todd McKim (analyst) on the call. The broadcast is also available online by clicking here. The pre-game show starts at 7:30 p.m.
With 12 wins in league play, Cal is the only team in the Pac-12 Conference to post at least 10 conference wins each of the last five years, the first five years of the Mike Montgomery era.
Cal's seven-game conference winning streak is its longest since the 2002-03 season when the Bears opened league play 7-0. Should they extend their streak to eight-straight league wins, it would be the longest winning streak in conference play since the 1960 NCAA runner-up squad posted 11-straight wins in the Athletic Association of Western Universities conference.
The seven-consecutive wins is its longest overall streak since posting nine-straight wins in 2008-09.
It is the longest active streak in the Pac-12, the second-longest among BCS conference schools (Georgetown has won 11-straight) and the 11th longest overall among Division I schools.
Cal is holding opponents under .400 (.390) from the field through the first 29 games. The mark is the lowest since the 1960 NCAA Runner-Up squad that held opponents to a .365 shooting percentage.
Mike Montgomery, the NCAA's eighth-winningest active Division I head coach with 655 wins, is the fourth winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 272 league wins. He moved past Washington's Hec Edmundson (266 wins from 1921-1947) in the win vs. UCLA on Feb. 14. Montgomery is just four wins shy of matching the legendary Oregon State head coach, Slats Gill, for the third place.
The junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs is the second highest scoring pair in the Pac-12 with a combined average of 33.2 points per game. Crabbe leads the Pac-12 and ranks 34th nationally at 18.4 points per game, while Cobbs ranks 11th in the conference at 14.8 points per contest. The pair has combined to score 964 of Cal's 1,955 points (49.3 percent).
Allen Crabbe, who was named one of the top-30 candidates for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award, enters the Stanford game as the Pac-12's active career scoring leader and 10th in school history with 1,465 career points in 94 career games.
Tyrone Wallace and junior F Richard Solomon. Cal has used this lineup each of the last 13 games.
Seniors Bak Bak, Brandon Smith and Robert Thurman will play their final regular-season home games on Wednesday. The trio has served an important role in the program's success throughout their careers in Berkeley. They are part of the winningest four-year stretch in more than 50 years. A part of 86 victories over the last four seasons, the group is seeking its second conference championship after winning the league title in 2010.
CRABBE CONTINUES TO CLIMB ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Junior Allen Crabbe became the 42nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his Golden Bear career. He hit the four-digit total in the season's third game at Denver on Nov. 16. Crabbe achieved the milestone in his 68th career game, 19 games less than it took Cal's all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle (1,835 from 2006-10) to reach the 1,000-point mark. Crabbe enters Wednesday's regular-season finale against Stanford 10th in career scoring with 1,465 points in 94 games.
CRABBE AND COBBS
Junior guards Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe have combined to score 964 of Cal's 1,955 points through 29 games. Crabbe leads the Pac-12 conference with 535 points on the year, while Cobbs is 11th in the league with 429 points. Crabbe and Cobbs are the second highest scoring pair in the Pac-12, combining for 33.2 points per game. The duo has each recorded 20-point games in the same contest on six occasions. Cal owns a 5-1 record in those games.
WALLACE IS INSTANT IMPACT
Freshman guard Tyrone Wallace has provided an instant impact for the Bears. He earned a starting role in Cal's 10th game (vs. UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 18) of the season and has played at least 30 minutes in nine of the Bears' last 13 games. The first-year guard posted a pair of double-doubles on the season. In his first career start against UCSB he had 10 points and 10 rebounds and in his last outing vs. Colorado, the freshman recorded a career-high tying 16 points and a career-best 11 rebounds.
Wallace is Cal's fifth-leading scorer (7.5 ppg.) and lone freshman to play in all 29 games. He played a career-long 38 minutes at USC, vs. Oregon and last time out against Colorado. The freshman scored a career-best 16 points vs. Washington State, at Arizona State and last time out vs. Colorado. Wallace has reached double figures in rebounding three times with a career-best 11 last time out against Colorado and 10 each against No. 13 Creighton and UCSB, while his career-best eight assists came at Utah.
Since Wallace was inserted into the starting lineup 20 games ago, he has averaged 8.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
KRAVISH STRONG IN THE POST
After a 2011-12 season where David Kravish earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman team, the 6-9 forward added 20 pounds to his frame in the off-season. He is the team's leading rebounder (ranks 10th in the Pac-12 with 7.0 rpg.) and shot blocker (5th in the Pac-12 at 1.7 bpg.). The forward has posted seven or more rebounds in a game in 15 contests. Kravish has three double-doubles this season (11 points, 12 rebounds at Denver, a season-high 18 points, 13 rebounds against UCLA, and 14 points, 11 rebounds last time out vs. Colorado). He has posted six double-digit rebounding games this season. In two games against UCLA this season, Kravish totaled 25 rebounds. The sophomore ranks sixth all-time at Cal with 89 career blocks and is tied for fifth on the school's single-season list with 48 this year.
SOLOMON RETURNING TO FORM
Junior Richard Solomon, who missed the final 15 games of last season, has played in all 29 games this season. He has started 27 contests. Solomon is Cal's third-leading scorer (8.4 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (6.6 rpg.). The junior has scored in double figures in 10 games, including a career-high 18 points vs. Prairie View A&M. He recorded a career-best 12 rebounds vs. No. 10 Oregon. Solomon has posted a pair of double-doubles this season (11 points and 10 rebounds at UCLA, 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. Oregon). He also registered a career-high six blocks vs. WSU to go along with seven points and eight rebounds, becoming the first player in school history with at least six points, six rebounds and six blocks in a game. With 78 career blocks, Solomon ranks seventh on Cal's all-time list.
THURMAN EFFICIENT WITH MINUTES
Senior forward Robert Thurman has made the most of his minutes on the floor. The forward, who has started two games this season, is averaging 17.0 minutes per contest. The senior made his first career start in his 55th career game vs. Washington on Jan. 9. He is averaging 4.8 ppg. and 3.8 rpg. The forward posted a season-high 14 points in 23 minutes vs. UCSB.
SMITH RETURNS TO THE COURT
Senior guard Brandon Smith, who missed six games after suffering a head injury vs. PVAM on Dec. 22, made his return to the court 12 games ago at Utah. After being sidelined for more than a month, he was cleared to play on Jan. 23. The senior has averaged 2.0 points and 1.8 assists in 16.3 minutes per game since his return. Smith has played in a team-high 113 career games at Cal.
Senior center Bak Bak has played in 17 games overall, including three of Cal's last four contests. Bak scored a season-high six points in six minutes in the win at No. 7 Arizona. Five of his 19 rebounds on the year have come in his last two games.
Junior guard Jeff Powers has played in 13 of the Bears' 17 conference games. The junior has connected on six three-pointers out of 16 attempts this season. Cal is 4-1 in games Powers hits a three-pointer. The guard started the Bears' game against Washington State, playing a season-long 19 minutes against the Cougars.
A LOOK AT STANFORD
Stanford heads into Wednesday's regular-season finale with a 17-13 overall record. The Cardinal, who earned an 84-66 win over Utah at home this past Sunday, is 8-9 in conference play and in ninth place in the league standings.
In the first matchup between Cal and Stanford this season, the Cardinal was led by junior forward Dwight Powell with 17 points and nine rebounds in the contest. Sophomore guard Chasson Randle added 15 points and junior forward John Cage was a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in the game. The Cardinal finished the contest 25-of-31 from the free-throw line.
Powell, who is averaging 15.9 points in conference play this season is one of only two players in the Pac-12 to post double-digit scoring totals in each league contest this season.
Stanford is last in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage, shooting .415 on the season. The Cardinal is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the conference, however, averaging 6.5 threes per contest.
CALIFORNIA-STANFORD SERIES HISTORY
California and Stanford have met on the hardwood 261 times previously. The Golden Bears hold a 145-116 advantage in the all-time series with the Cardinal. Cal has won six of the last nine match-ups against Stanford. Cal and Stanford split the regular-season series last year with each team winning at home (69-59 at Cal and 70-75 at Stanford). The Bears defeated Stanford, 77-71, in the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles. Earlier this season at Stanford, the Cardinal posted a 69-59 victory.