Despite Tamir's Superstar Saturday, the Bears Are No One-Man Show

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Because a different player steps up every time out, it has to be an unusual task for an opponent to plan how to slow down the Cal men's basketball team on offense.

"It's kind of like rolling dice right now," guard Brian Wethers said. "You never know who's going to pop up."

Six different players have led the Bears in scoring this season. Amit Tamir's number came up Saturday and Cal hit the jackpot against then-No. 13 Oregon.

The freshman scored 39 points, the fifth-best total in school history, in Cal's 107-102 double-overtime win. He was one point shy of becoming the fifth Bear to tally 40 points in a single game.

The Cal record was set in 1997, when Ed Gray poured in 48 points at Washington State. Tamir's total was the most since.

For his efforts, on Monday Tamir was named Pac-10 Player of the Week. Yesterday, he was tabbed's Player of the Week.

Tamir's hot shooting could carry over to tomorrow's game against Washington State. Still, there's no telling who will pace the Bears (17-5, 8-4 in the Pac-10).

The mindset of the team has been whomever has the hot hand, feed him. Joe Shipp has led Cal in scoring 12 times and paces the Bears at 14.9 points per game.

"We really don't have a go-to guy," Wethers said. "Just a lot of solid guys."

Tamir is second for the Bears at 12.1 ppg, followed by Wethers at 9.8 ppg.

Wethers caught fire off the bench against Jan. 24 at USC, finishing with 24 in Cal's 92-91 overtime win. Solomon Hughes, Shantay Legans and Ryan Forehan-Kelly have also taken turns pacing the Bears at one point in the season.

The situation could lead to a player taking a night off. With no one in particular expected to shoulder the scoring burden, someone could hide in the background and let his teammates do the work.

Wethers isn't thinking like that.

"I'd actually like that pressure," he said.

But at any given time, Wethers could sit for long stretches (as he did against Oregon State) despite being in a rhythm.

Cal coach Ben Braun uses a deep bench to play matchups. Sometimes, this means extended time on sideline for any player on any given night.

If most teams have a "Big Two" or "Big Three" who score the bulk of their points, the Bears must have the "Big Five" or "Big Six."

"If you look at our major scorers, it's becoming a little more predictable," Braun said. "We have different guys that get points, but I think Joe has been pretty consistent. Brian has showed us some ability to score, Shantay has had that ability and Amit is emerging."

But with the Bears tied for third in the Pac-10 and only one game behind conference-leading Arizona in the loss column, no one is whining.

"As long as we're on a winning team and have a chance to win the Pac-10 title, there's no room for complaint," Wethers said.


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