Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Dean Hare
Scouting report: California
Game info: 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Edmundson Pavilion.
TV/Radio: FSN NW/KJR-950 AM
Record: 11-5, 3-1. RPI rank: 37.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Coach: Mike Montgomery has a 33-16 record in his second year with the Bears, 580-260 in 28 years.
Last season: 22-11 overall, 11-7 Pac-10 (T-3rd)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2009.
Prediction: Picked to finish 1st in the Pac-10 in a media poll.
Series: Cal leads 76-74 in a series that began Jan. 14, 1916. The Bears have won the past three games and four of the past five. They swept last year’s regular-season series, including a three overtime 88-85 win in Seattle.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Senior G Jerome Randle (above) scored a career-high 39 points in Thursday’s 93-88 win at Washington State. He is third in the Pac-10 and 21st in the country with 20.4 points per game. Randle is shooting 92.7 percent at the free throw line, which ranks fifth in the country. His 330 free throws ranks ninth all-time in school history. Randle is eighth on Cal’s career scoring list. He needs nine three-pointers to set the new school record for treys in a career. He also needs 46 assists to become the third Cal player to record 500. Randle was voted first team All-Pac-10 last season.
— An early foot injury sidelined senior F Theo Robertson, who missed six games. Cal was 3-3 when he was out. Since his return, the Bears are 6-2. Cal has bigger stars, but Robertson is probably its most important player and best all-around player. He’s a tough defender and capable scorer. On most Pac-10 teams, he’d be the primary scoring option.
— Senior G Patrick Christopher is a streaky shooter. In their first meeting last season, he scored a game-high 27 points. In their next game, he had three points in 33 minutes. He’s 11th on the school’s career scoring list and leads the Bears with 25 steals this season. Christopher was voted first team All-Pac-10 last season.
— The Bears haven’t had F Harper Kamp, who is redshirting after undergoing offseason knee surgery, this season and will likely play today without their top two reserves. Sophomore G Jorge Gutierrez, Cal’s best defender, is sidelined with a sprained right knee. He’s missed the past three games. And junior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison is questionable with back spasms. He sat out Thursday.
— Sophomore forward Omondi Amoke got his first collegiate start in place of Frison on Thursday. He finished with seven rebounds. He snagged a career high 15 against previously No.1-ranked Kansas.
— Senior power forward Jamal Boykin moved to center.
— Montgomery chose Amoke instead of sophomore backup center Max Zhang because Zhang has a propensity to collect fouls.
— Randle has a sore right knee, injured Thursday when WSU guard Reggie Moore accidently stepped on it.
— In 14 of the 16 games this season, Cal has reached the 70-point plateau, with seven of those performances reaching the 80-point mark. The Bears also earned their third 90-point performance on Jan. 14 with 93 at Washington State. Their season scoring average of 80.0 currently ranks second in school history.
— At one point this season, four of the five teams who have defeated Cal – Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State and New Mexico – were all ranked in the AP Top 20.
G Randle, 5-10, 172, Sr., 20.4 ppg., 2.1 rpg., 5.0 apg.
G – Christopher, 6-5, 220, Sr., 15.8, 5.5, 1.9
F – Robertson 6-6, 230, Sr., 14.7, 4.4, 2.2
F – Boykin, 6-8, 240, Sr., 11.4, 6.5, 1.2
F – Amoke, 6-7, 225, So., 5.7, 5.6.
— Isaiah Thomas had a marvelous defensive performance Thursday against Stanford’s Jeremy Green, who finished with seven points. He’ll need another strong defensive effort today against Randle if UW hopes to pull off the upset. In their first meeting, they both played 41 minutes in the triple overtime game. Randle finished with 23 points, Thomas 22. In their next meeting, Thomas had 13 points in 25 minutes and Randle had 21 in 39 to lead the Bears to an easy 86-71 win.
January 15, 2010 at 8:04 PM
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