Anderson Named to First-Team All-Pac-10
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
• On Monday, Cal men's basketball forward Ryan Anderson was among the five players named to the first-team All-Pac-10. Anderson was joined by James Harden of Arizona State, Brook Lopez of Stanford, O.J. Mayo of USC, and Kevin Love of UCLA. Love was also named the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Player of the Year as well as Freshman of the Year.
"That's a great honor for one of Cal's players to be on first-team All-Conference, especially when you look at this league," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "(To be) first-team in the Pac-10 in its greatest year in history-that's got to be a great award."
Last year, after leading the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman, Anderson was chosen to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team as well as honorable mention All-Pac-10.
Despite drawing much more attention this season from opposing defenses tailored to stop him, Anderson's offensive production has only increased. He currently leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 21.5 ppg and is third in rebounding, with 9.9 per game.
On Monday, Anderson was also named as one of the 24 finalists for the 2008 John R. Wooden Award.
"It would be great to see him get Player of the Year ... but that usually goes to a player on a winning team," said Patrick Christopher, who was named honorable mention All-Pac-10. "He's been the most consistent probably on the team. Also, he's been the player that's been on the other team's scout. They're double-teaming, sending everything that they can at him, and he's still prevailing."
• Despite the controversy surrounding the officiating in Saturday's game against No. 3 UCLA, Braun wanted to set something straight in Monday's media luncheon.
"For the record, the officials at our game were good officials," he said. "I thought they officiated a pretty good game. Unfortunately, it's like playing and coaching. If there's a mistake made in the last minute of the game, it can impact the game and that's the one you remember."
The Bears watched film Monday morning of their heartbreaking 81-80 loss to the Bruins, and focused on factors of the game other than the officiating.
"My message is: We never want to play a game that comes down to a call," Braun said. "Maybe (with) an offensive rebound or two, we (wouldn't) even be talking about this. That's back on us."
Braun said Saturday's loss was the most emotional he had ever seen his team, with multiple players tearing up in the locker room afterwards. This anger seemed to translate to Monday's practice. Players attested to the fiery and spirited nature of the 6:30 a.m. practice, during which Jerome Randle took the place of the characteristically enthusiastic Jamal Boykin in leading the rally.
"It was the most spirited practice he's had since he's been here," Braun said. "Usually it's Jamal who's doing all the chirping. I look up today and it's Jerome. He was as loud as Jamal today."
The team is hoping that the emotion elicited by Saturday's loss will translate over to extra motivation when it plays Washington in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament on Wednesday.
"If we envision UCLA jerseys on the Washington players ..." Boykin said.
• Center DeVon Hardin, who did not suit up for Cal's game against the Bruins because of a strained hip flexor, is expected to take the floor Wednesday.
Braun said Hardin practiced Monday and looked improved in defensive drills. Whether or not Hardin will start or even play extensive minutes remains to be determined in the next few days.
Contact Steffi Chan at [email protected]
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