DePaul Blue Demons vs. California Golden Bears - Wednesday, December 3rd, 9:30 p.m. Central – Berkeley, California
Television – Comcast SportsNet California - Direct TV Ch. 698, Dish Network Ch. 409
Radio – WSCR AM 670
Internet Radio Links to Listen Live -
DePaul Broadcast on WSCR
WeAreDePaul.com Chat Room Link
Cal Athletics Site
Cal Bears Message Board
Cal Sports Digest
DePaul fans can watch the game at The Spread Bar & Grill in Lincoln Park. See this story for more information.
DePaul (4-0) travels to Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, CA to face the University of California. Cal (5-1) is coming off of tough loss on a neutral court this past Saturday at the 2008 Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas to Florida State, 80-77. Cal point guard Jerome Randle scored 26 points in the game to lead Cal. FSU withstood a furious rally by Cal in the final two minutes, coming from 14 points down with 2:41 to go.
The night before, Cal had come off of an impressive victory against the host school and previously unbeaten UNLV 73-55. This was an important game for Cal to win, because it showed that their previous four victories, all of which had been at home against low major schools, were not fluke wins.
DePaul is coming off of a 75-70 victory over Indiana State where they nearly blew a 20 point halftime lead, leading by only two in the final minute before weathering the storm. Dar Tucker led DePaul with 26 points despite only shooting 8-23 from the floor.
The last time that DePaul played Cal was two years ago at Allstate Arena. Just before the game, Cal had received the really bad news that star center DeVon Hardin was going to miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. In spite of that, they led a sluggish DePaul team at halftime 36-33. DePaul subsequently went on an incredible 53-23 run over the final 18 minutes of the 2nd half to turn a two point deficit into a major blowout victory 90-62.
This was supposed to be a transition year for Cal. Cal had fired longtime coach Ben Braun and replaced him with former Stanford and Golden State Warrior coach Mike Montgomery, a major coup, given his track record at Stanford. In addition, Cal lost center Devon Hardin and superstar power forward Ryan Anderson left early to find greener pastures in the NBA. From the looks of things though, this may be a much better year for Cal than people had thought. They have looked good in their five victories and even in the FSU loss, they showed poise and toughness all the way to the end. Coach Montgomery's Stanford teams always were known as great shooting and fundamentally sound teams, and certainly Cal has shot lights-out this year so far.
The strength of the Cal team is in the backcourt, where there are two outstanding performers in junior guards 5-10 Jerome Randle and 6-5 Patrick Christopher. Randle, as you may recall, was a superstar player from Hales Franciscan in Chicago who literally came out of nowhere to become a star and instant Top 100 recruit during AAU play between his junior and senior seasons in high school. DePaul made a big run at him but he wound up going to Cal, which has boasted the likes of quite a few other Chicago-area players, i.e. Sean Lampley, Dennis Gates and Eric Vierneisel. Randle is a scoring point guard who does look for his shot often, averaging 20.5 points a game over his first six games this year. Before the FSU game, where he only went 4-12 from the field, he had been 29-47 from the field, a blistering 61%. His 3 point FG% is at 64%, 18-28.
However, the weaknesses in Randle's game always has been his high turnover rate, pedestrian assist-to-turnover ratio and his defensive shortcomings. All are still pretty evident this year, as he is still averaging around three turnovers a game, similar to his totals from last year. His assists and steals numbers are averaging roughly the same as well.
Patrick Christopher is a three year starter at shooting guard. He's not terribly athletic, but has a long frame, a good shooter and ball-handler, and was a Top 100 player coming out of high school. He's averaging 13.2 points per game, but only shooting 26% from three point land so far. He too has had major issues in the past with defense. He's the one player on Cal who has the best chance of getting to the next level with continued improvement.
At small forward is 6-6 Theo Robertson. Theo has a football player's frame, appropriate considering he's from Concord De La Salle High Sschool, one of the foremost high school football powers of all-time. He's very athletic, pretty skilled both inside and outside, and can play anywhere from a two to a five. Theo brings lots of energy on the court and is averaging 13 points per game this year. His reappearance is one of the major reasons for Cal's resurgence this year. Last year he sat out the entire year with a hip injury.
At power forward is 6-8 Jamal Boykin. At 225 lbs., he plays mostly the four but can play the three as well. In some senses, he hasn't quite lived up to his billing as a McDonald's All-American, having transferred from Duke to Cal two years ago. With his talent, he's bound to have a breakout game or games soon. He is currently averaging 10 points a game in around 20 minutes per game.
At center is 7-0 Jordan Wilkes, son of former NBA star Jamaal Wilkes. His last two years have been marred by injuries, and he's finally playing regularly for the first time in his collegiate career. Like Christoper and Boykin, Jordan was a prep star in the Los Angeles area.
The bench is fairly strong, but not used all that much so far by Coach Montgomery. It's looking like he'll be primarily playing a seven or eight man rotation. 6-8 sophomore Harper Kamp is one of the key guys off the bench. He's a solidly built player who's intense and gives minutes at the four and five spots. 6-3 freshman Jorge Gutierrez, a Mexican native, gives minutes at both guard spots. 6-4 freshman guard D.J. Seeley, yet another Top 100 player out of high school last year, has surprisingly not seen much action this year. 7-3 freshman China native Max Zhang, 6-3 junior Serbia native Nikola Knezevic, and 6-7 redshirt Omondi Amoke can provide limited minutes as well.
Cal has a lot of size and has been red-hot in shooting so far this year. This will be a tall order for DePaul to come into Haas Pavilion and try and knock off a much better than expected Cal team. However, DePaul did come into Northern California, albeit at the nearby (to Berkeley) Oakland Arena (now Oracle Arena) three years ago and knock off a tough Cal team. In that game, DePaul did a great job defending Leon Powe and keeping the other players in check as well. The main questions will be:
1) can anyone on DePaul contain Randle?,
2) can DePaul match Cal's muscle, length, and athleticism in the frontcourt?
3) can DePaul get deep into Cal's bench? and
4) can DePaul's talented sophomore duo of Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal have banner days and combine for say at least 40-45 points?
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown/Last School
0 Nican Robinson * G 5-10 185 Jr 1V Oakland, Calif./UCLA/Oakland Tech HS
1 D.J. Seeley G 6-4 185 Fr HS Stockton, Calif./Modesto Christian HS
2 Jorge Gutierrez G 6-3 185 Fr HS Chihuahua, Mexico/Findlay College Prep (NV)
3 Jerome Randle G 5-10 160 Jr 2V Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan HS
10 Jamal Boykin F 6-8 230 Jr 1V Los Angeles, Calif./Duke/Fairfax HS
12 Nigel Carter * G 6-4 210 Fr HS Los Angeles, Calif./Dorsey HS
13 Nikola Knezevic G 6-3 185 Jr 2V Belgrade, Serbia/Fifth Economy School
14 Max Zhang C 7-3 225 Fr RS Yantai City, China/No. 4 Yantai HS
21 Omondi Amoke F 6-7 215 Fr RS Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS
22 Eddie Miller * G 6-5 190 So 1V Antioch, Calif./Antioch HS
23 Patrick Christopher G 6-5 215 Jr 2V Compton, Calif./Dominguez HS
24 Theo Robertson F 6-6 225 Jr 2V Pittsburg, Calif./De La Salle HS
32 Taylor Harrison C 6-10 250 So 1V San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HS
33 Jordan Wilkes C 7-0 225 Jr 2V Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola HS
43 Harper Kamp F 6-8 255 So 1V Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View HS
* - denotes walk-on
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