Stanford Will Test Bear Cubs





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With an entire week to prepare for this coming Saturday's showdown against No. 3 Stanford, the Cal men's basketball team was hoping to venture into uncharted territory and discover something often missing in young teams: consistency.

But after juggling several different starting lineups this season, the Bears will need to replace seven-time starter Dennis Gates in the rotation after the sophomore was diagnosed with a mild knee sprain earlier this week.

The sophomore guard injured his right knee against Oregon last Thursday and missed Saturday's contest against Oregon State.

"It was a scare at first because we weren't sure (how serious it was)," Cal head coach Ben Braun said. "It flared up right away and he was in a lot of pain."

Gates underwent an MRI last Friday, but the test revealed no significant damage. Gates is expected to return to practice by the middle of this week, but is questionable for Saturday's game.

Gates' injury comes at a time when the Bears' offensive duo of Sean Lampley and Shantay Legans have struggled to put consistent games together.

Lampley scored 29 points against the Ducks, but followed that up with an 11-point effort against the Beavers. Likewise, Legans led Cal with 28 points in its double-overtime loss to Arizona State, but committed six turnovers in 22 minutes in the Bears' win over OSU.

"Shantay, like Lampley, can't play a lot of minutes without getting fatigued," Braun said. "I want to see them more alert, but it's hard when you're fatigued."

Braun plans to cut down on Lampley's team-leading 33.7 minutes per game, and would to see Legans expend less energy on making passes, and more on developing his scoring game.

"It's nice to have a player who's trying to get his teammates shots, but when you're one of the top shooters in the league, you have to look for your shot," Braun said. "You've got to be an aggressive scorer, and then life becomes a little easier for you."

WALK-ON WONDERS

When Braun rewarded senior walk-on Robbie Jones with a full scholarship last summer, he may have motivated some of his other walk-ons to get in on the action.

Sophomore walk-on Ryan Forehan-Kelly led the Bears past the Beavers with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. He nailed a pair of three-point baskets that ignited Cal's offense in the first half, and also tallied four rebounds and two steals in his 19-minute stint.

Forehan-Kelly has played in 14 of the Bears' 16 games this season, averaging 8.2 minutes per contest. But the jury is still out as to whether or not a scholarship is in his future.

"I'd love to if we can," Braun said. "I would hope that by his junior or senior year, we can reward him for his play."

The coach was also quick to point out that despite Forehan-Kelly's recent success, the forward is not the only walk-on contributing to Cal's success.

Senior Ryan Meyers had his nose broken Monday morning in practice, but would not leave the court until assistant coach Louis Reynaud forced him to seek medical attention.

"He put a pin in his foot last year to come back to practice and make (former Bear Fransisco) Elson a better player," Braun said. "That's the kind of heart you got to appreciate."

FOUR FOR 400

Braun entered this year's Pac-10 season just one win shy of his 400th career coaching victory. But after two hard-fought losses to No. 2 Arizona and Arizona State and a drubbing by Oregon, the coach had to wait until his fourth conference game to snag the victory.

Braun began coaching at Siena Heights College in 1977 before taking the helm at Eastern Michigan in 1986. His overall record now stands at 400-276, including a 67-41 mark in four seasons with the Bears.

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