Staff Writer">

Wethers named MVP as Cal wins tourney

Brian Wethers (+22), Amit Tamir (+19), and Joe Shipp (+18) who combined for 53 of Cal's 77 points, were all named to the all-tourney team as Cal won the EA Sports Golden Bear Classic with strong 77-61 win over a well-regarded Louisiana-Lafayette team.


An opening 16-2 run helped put Cal out to a lead that they'd never surrender. Although the Ragin' Cajuns would occasionally break into high single digits, the Bears were always successful in quickly putting some distance between themselves and the opposition.  While Brian Wethers, Amit Tamir, and Joe Shipp played their usual solid games, Richard Midgley showed that he's becoming increasingly comfortable with the offense, both in terms of keeping the ball moving and taking shots within the offense.  

Against Louisiana-Lafayette, Cal used eight players compared to the 17 that they used the night before. It appears that Braun is trying to settle into a rotation as conference play approaches -- with Midgley coming off the bench and eventually finishing each half, Famulener coming in for Hughes, and Bond filling as needed for either Tamir, Famulener, or Wethers. Paris didn't play during the second half which was somewhat of a surprise considering that he played well against Grambling. Usually Paris would come in later in the first half -- but Braun has traditionally been wary about putting who aren't reliable free throw shooters on the court towards the end of either half - especially if Cal's in the one-and-one.

PLUS/MINUS vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Player Min +Pts -Pts Diff
Brian Wethers 36 71 49 +22
Amit Tamir 38 77 58 +19
Joe Shipp 34 67 49 +18
Richard Midgley 24 54 44 +10
Gabriel Hughes 15 20 15 +5
A.J. Diggs 23 33 29 +4
Conor Famulener 25 50 47 +3
Erik Bond 6 13 14 -1

Comment:The same four players who topped the plus/minus against Louisiana-Lafayette were the same four (and finished in the same order) who topped the list against Grambling. Not only did Wethers lead Cal in plus/minus in the two games, he also led Cal in plus/minus total in three of the four halves played, and was two points away from making it a clean sweep.

First vs. Second Half

First Half Top - Brian Wethers - 38-21, +17
Second Half Top - Richard Midgley - 32-25, -7

First Half Bottom - Erik Bond - 0-6, -6
Second Half Bottom - Gabriel Hughes - 1-4, -3

Difference Makers of the Game

With Brian Wethers in 36 minutes, 71-49, +22
Without Brian Wethers in 4 minutes, 6-12, -6

With Amit Tamir in 38 minutes, 77-58, +19
Without Amit Tamir in 2 minutes, 0-3, -3

Starting Lineup

Even though Cal only played eight players against Louisiana-Lafayette, the starters were on court together for a combined 10 minutes - 7 in the first half as the Bears jumped out to a 14-point lead, and 3 minutes in the second half.

Diggs, Tamir, Wethers, Hughes and Shipp in 9:56 - 17-6, +11
All other combinations in 30:04 minutes - 60-55, +5

Double Point Guards

Diggs and Midgley were on the court together for a few minutes late in the first half and a few minutes in the middle of the second half.  While they were steady and certainly not disastrous, the Bears offense wasn't appreciably better when the two were on the court at the same time.

With Diggs and Midgley in 5:34, 10-12, -2
With Diggs or Midgley in 34:26, 67-49, +18

Offensive Efficiency

Player PPM*
Midgley 2.25
Bond 2.17
Tamir 2.03
Famulener 2.00
Shipp 1.97
Wethers 1.97
TEAM 1.93
Diggs 1.43
Hughes 1.33

Comment: When Midgley played, Cal's offense hummed along at a 2.25 point-per-minute (90 ppg) clip, but while he was out, the Bear offense functioned at a 1.43 ppm/57 ppg rate. It should be noted that the overall pace of the game increased when Midgley was in the game as both offenses increased their scoring. It should be noted that while Diggs and Hughes appear at the bottom of this chart, they also appear at the top of the offensive chart.

*Points per minute scored by Cal while player was on the court.

Defensive Efficiency Top Stories

Player PPM*
Hughes 1.00
Diggs 1.26
Wethers 1.36
Shipp 1.44
Tamir 1.53
TEAM 1.53
Midgley 1.83