The Bears ended the first half of the Pac-10 schedule at 7-2, tied for second place with their Bay Area rival. Ben Braun's squad emerged as one of the surprise teams in the country with their fast start, then lost some momentum in Arizona. Cal has now played each Pac-10 team once, and can boast wins over all of them except the Arizona schools - something they can redeem later this year.

"> The Bears ended the first half of the Pac-10 schedule at 7-2, tied for second place with their Bay Area rival. Ben Braun's squad emerged as one of the surprise teams in the country with their fast start, then lost some momentum in Arizona. Cal has now played each Pac-10 team once, and can boast wins over all of them except the Arizona schools - something they can redeem later this year.

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Game #19: Cal at Oregon State

<p class="txt">The Bears ended the first half of the Pac-10 schedule at 7-2, tied for second place with their Bay Area rival. Ben Braun's squad emerged as one of the surprise teams in the country with their fast start, then lost some momentum in Arizona. Cal has now played each Pac-10 team once, and can boast wins over all of them except the Arizona schools - something they can redeem later this year.</p>

In Corvallis, the Beavers have come alive under first year head coach Jay John. In my pre-season preview of the Pac-10, I forecast Oregon State to get the 8th spot - and thus a trip to the Pac-10 Tournament. If that plays out, John might go up against Lute Olson and Arizona in the first round, the program Jophn just left to to return to his roots. John is one of my favorite new head coaches, mixing in confidence and progression in his program. He has a knack for getting more out of less, and I think he will turn Oregon State into a top Pac-10 team within 5 years. John has developed an attitude on the team of playing hard no matter the score.

Oregon State currently sits at 11-7 (4-5 in the Pac-10). The Beavers are on a 4-game winning streak in conference play, and despite the 0-5 start, played excellent basketball for the most part. OSU started by dropping two tough games at home to Arizona and Arizona State, and were overwhelmed by the depth of those teams. The Beavers then traveled to the Bay Area and dropped the opener in a heartbreaker to the Cardinal by just 3 points after leading almost the entire game, and then to Cal by 5 the following Saturday. After another road loss to in-state rival Oregon by 11, Jay John found the right formula for his squad. They delivered home wins over Washington State and Washington, and backed that up with road wins over USC and UCLA. It was the 1st time since 1988 (the Gary Payton era) that Oregon State swept the L.A schools on the road. It was at the start of the year, thoiugh, when things weren't going well, that Jay John showed why he's going to be around for a long time in this conference. ''We gave everything we had in this game,'' John said after the loss to Stanford. ''During the season you're going to have bumps along the way and this was one of them. We should have won the game but they got one guy who got hot.'' That's a good way to show the confidence you have in your team.

Here is a quick look at the 2002-03 Oregon State team;

Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning starters in Bold) 2002-03 Statistics

  • PG- Lamar Hurd 6'4 175 Fr (6.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.1 apg)
  • SG- Jimmy Haywood 6'2 175 Sr (12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 34% 3-Ptr's)
  • SF- Floyd North III 6'4 215 So (5.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg)
  • PF- Brian Jackson 6'9 240 Sr (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 45% 3-Ptr's)
  • C- Phillip Ricci 6'7 250 Sr (17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.3 apg)

Reserves:

  • J. S. Nash 6'1 195 So (5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.4 apg)
  • Chris Stephens 6'1 173 Fr (3.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.4 apg)
  • Derek Potter 6'11 230 So (1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
  • David Lucas 6'6 205 So (4.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg)

The main difference between the team today, adn the one that started the season, is confidence. They are attacking and playing to their strengths instead of just trying to compete. There isn't just one player who has taken over the leadership of this team, rather every starter has improved his scoring totals since Cal last saw the Beavers at Haas Pavilion. Lamar Hurd has made an almost 2-point jump in his average, with everyone else adding close to a full point. The three seniors lead the way, with Jimmy Haywood and Brian Jackson mostly working from the outside ... and Phillip Ricci in the paint, though he'll take the 12 footer if you don't guard him.

The reserves have improved as well, most notably David Lucas and Chris Stephens. Lucas is averaging only 4.3 points per game, but he came on strong against UCLA dropping in 10 points and four rebounds in 19 energetic minutes. Stephens was scintillating against the Trojans (including 5 of 6 from behind the arc) totaling 17 points in just 15 minutes of play. This is the same Chris Stephens who came into that game averaging just 2.9 points per game! Stephens drives the stataticians nuts because 31 of his 64 total points come in just two games. Unfortunately for Cal, one of those games came in Berkeley. And its been like that in every game for the Beavers in this 4-game win streak - someone steps up each night behind the starters. Cal fans know that storyline all too well, as it was the play of Richard Midgley that first ignited the Bears into their Pac-10 season-opening winning streak.

In the first game between Cal and Oregon State, Joe Shipp just roasted the Beavers (or should I save that line for the Ducks?) 35 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 blocked shot for Shipp on 12 of 16 shooting (7 of 8 from the line too). The Bears worked him the ball constantly throughout the night, and the main reason for that is because the Beavers lack a wing that can compete with Joe. On the flip side, Cal was tested by Phillip Ricci who made 10 of 13 shots on his way to 23 points. The Beavers actually hit some three pointers late to make the score look a bit closer than it seemed, but then Cal knocked down their free throws.

California's 2002-03 Team:

Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning Starters in Bold) 2002-03 Statistics

  • PG- Richard Midgley, 6'1 200 Fr (9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 46% 3-ptrs)
  • SG- Brian Wethers, 6'5 215 Sr (14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 31% 3-Ptr's)
  • SF- Joe Shipp, 6'5 220 Sr (21.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 43% 3-ptrs)
  • F- Amit Tamir, 6'11 260 So (16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 45% 3-ptrs)
  • C- Gabriel Hughes, 6'11 230 Jr (2.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg)

Reserves:

  • A.J. Diggs, 5'9 165 Jr (3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 spg)
  • Oregon State to get the 8th spot\r\n- and thus a trip to the Pac-10 Tournament. If that plays out, John might go up against\r\nLute Olson and Arizona in the first round, the program Jophn just left to to return to his\r\nroots. John is one of my favorite new head coaches, mixing in confidence and progression\r\nin his program. He has a knack for getting more out of less, and I think he will turn\r\nOregon State into a top Pac-10 team within 5 years. John has developed an attitude on the\r\nteam of playing hard no matter the score.

    \r\n\r\n

    Oregon State currently sits at 11-7 (4-5 in the Pac-10). The Beavers are on\r\na 4-game winning streak in conference play, and despite the 0-5 start, played excellent\r\nbasketball for the most part. OSU started by dropping two tough games at home to Arizona\r\nand Arizona State, and were overwhelmed by the depth of those teams. The Beavers then\r\ntraveled to the Bay Area and dropped the opener in a heartbreaker to the Cardinal by just\r\n3 points after leading almost the entire game, and then to Cal by 5 the following\r\nSaturday. After another road loss to in-state rival Oregon by 11, Jay John found the right\r\nformula for his squad. They delivered home wins over Washington State and Washington, and\r\nbacked that up with road wins over USC and UCLA. It was the 1st time since 1988 (the Gary\r\nPayton era) that Oregon State swept the L.A schools on the road. It was at the start of\r\nthe year, thoiugh, when things weren't going well, that Jay John showed why he's going to\r\nbe around for a long time in this conference. ''We gave everything we had in this game,''\r\nJohn said after the loss to Stanford. ''During the season you're going to have bumps along\r\nthe way and this was one of them. We should have won the game but they got one guy who got\r\nhot.'' That's a good way to show the confidence you have in your team.

    \r\n\r\n

    Here is a quick look at the 2002-03 Oregon State team;

    \r\n\r\n

    Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning starters in Bold)\r\n2002-03 Statistics \r\n\r\n

      \r\n
    • PG- Lamar Hurd 6'4 175 Fr (6.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.1 apg)
    • \r\n
    • SG- Jimmy Haywood 6'2 175 Sr (12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 34%\r\n 3-Ptr's)
    • \r\n
    • SF- Floyd North III 6'4 215 So (5.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg)
    • \r\n
    • PF- Brian Jackson 6'9 240 Sr (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 45%\r\n 3-Ptr's)
    • \r\n
    • C- Phillip Ricci 6'7 250 Sr (17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.3 apg)
    • \r\n
    \r\n\r\n

    Reserves: \r\n\r\n

      \r\n
    • J. S. Nash 6'1 195 So (5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.4 apg)
    • \r\n
    • Chris Stephens 6'1 173 Fr (3.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.4 apg)
    • \r\n
    • Derek Potter 6'11 230 So (1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
    • \r\n
    • David Lucas 6'6 205 So (4.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
    • \r\n
    \r\n\r\n

    The main difference between the team today, adn the one that started the\r\nseason, is confidence. They are attacking and playing to their strengths instead of just\r\ntrying to compete. There isn't just one player who has taken over the leadership of this\r\nteam, rather every starter has improved his scoring totals since Cal last saw the Beavers\r\nat Haas Pavilion. Lamar Hurd has made an almost 2-point jump in his average, with everyone\r\nelse adding close to a full point. The three seniors lead the way, with Jimmy Haywood and\r\nBrian Jackson mostly working from the outside ... and Phillip Ricci in the paint, though\r\nhe'll take the 12 footer if you don't guard him.

    \r\n\r\n

    The reserves have improved as well, most notably David Lucas and Chris\r\nStephens. Lucas is averaging only 4.3 points per game, but he came on strong against UCLA\r\ndropping in 10 points and four rebounds in 19 energetic minutes. Stephens was\r\nscintillating against the Trojans (including 5 of 6 from behind the arc) totaling 17\r\npoints in just 15 minutes of play. This is the same Chris Stephens who came into that game\r\naveraging just 2.9 points per game! Stephens drives the stataticians nuts because 31 of\r\nhis 64 total points come in just two games. Unfortunately for Cal, one of those games came\r\nin Berkeley. And its been like that in every game for the Beavers in this 4-game win\r\nstreak - someone steps up each night behind the starters. Cal fans know that storyline all\r\ntoo well, as it was the play of Richard Midgley that first ignited the Bears into their\r\nPac-10 season-opening winning streak.

    \r\n\r\n

    In the first game between Cal and Oregon State, Joe Shipp just roasted the\r\nBeavers (or should I save that line for the Ducks?) 35 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1\r\nsteal, and 1 blocked shot for Shipp on 12 of 16 shooting (7 of 8 from the line too). The\r\nBears worked him the ball constantly throughout the night, and the main reason for that is\r\nbecause the Beavers lack a wing that can compete with Joe. On the flip side, Cal was\r\ntested by Phillip Ricci who made 10 of 13 shots on his way to 23 points. The Beavers\r\nactually hit some three pointers late to make the score look a bit closer than it seemed,\r\nbut then Cal knocked down their free throws.

    \r\n\r\n

    California's 2002-03 Team:

    \r\n\r\n

    Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning Starters in Bold)\r\n2002-03 Statistics \r\n\r\n

      \r\n
    • PG- Richard Midgley, 6'1 200 Fr (9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg, 46% 3-ptrs)
    • \r\n
    • SG- Brian Wethers, 6'5 215 Sr (14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 31%\r\n 3-Ptr's)
    • \r\n
    • SF- Joe Shipp, 6'5 220 Sr (21.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 43% 3-ptrs)
    • \r\n
    • F- Amit Tamir, 6'11 260 So (16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 45% 3-ptrs)
    • \r\n
    • C- Gabriel Hughes, 6'11 230 Jr (2.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
    • \r\n
    \r\n\r\n

    Reserves: \r\n\r\n

      \r\n
    • A.J. Diggs, 5'9 165 Jr (3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 spg)
    • \r\n