Friday, November 13, 1998
Coach: Ben Braun (3rd season, 35-24).
vs. California Golden Bears
1997-98 record: 12-15, 5th place tie Pac-10.
Projected Pac-10 finish: Between 2nd and 5th.
Key returnees: Geno Carlisle (6-3 Sr. guard, 17.9 ppg);, Thomas Kilgore (6-2 Sr. guard, 12.9 ppg), Raymond "Circus" King (5-10 Jr. guard, assist leader); Sean Lampley (6-7 so. forward, all-conference freshman team).
Top newcomers: Donte Smith (6-2 Fr. guard), Washington, D.C., prep player of the year; Dennis Gates (6-4 Fr. guard), MVP of Illinois prep championship game; Shahar Gordon (6-10 Fr. center); Carl Boyd (6-5 Jr. swingman), rated a Top 25 JUCO player.
Fun facts: Cal is No. 27 in the preseason AP poll... The Bears' recruiting class was ranked in the Top 20... Cal is eligible for postseason play after being banned last year due to recruiting violations by former coach Todd Bozeman.
Not-so-fun facts: Cal could be a little shorthanded Sunday. A thumb injury might keep Lampley out of Sunday's game ... The Bears, 8-10 in the Pac-10 last season, were 0-8 in games decided by three points or less. Included were losses to Sweet 16 teams Stanford, Arizona, Washington and UCLA (twice).
Keys to the game: Cal's strength -- experienced senior guards -- is Hawaii's weakness. Backcourt starters Carlisle and Kilgore ranked 1-2 on the team in scoring. The Rainbows will have to stop the Bears' up-tempo game and play tight defense. Hawaii may match up athletically but, with only two returning part-time starters, are at a disadvantage in experience. Mike Robinson and Erin Galloway have to stay out of foul trouble for the Rainbows to stay in the game. It's a real trial by fire for junior transfer Johnny White, running the show at point guard.