Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Minnesota Trip Report

After its 3-2 start, Caltech traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take on two MIAC opponents. The Beavers beat Macalester, 71-65, on Monday, Dec. 12 to score their third win in a row and what is believed to be the first out-of-state NCAA win in program history. In a tightly contested and physical battle, the Beavers were able to hold off a resilient Scots' squad during the closing minutes of the game. Caltech scored 17 points off Macalester's 18 turnovers and registered 10 steals for the game. Michael Edwards scored 24 points and Todd Cramer had 19 points and 10 assists. Pan Wang scored a career-high 12 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. The next day, the Beavers drove down the road to face Hamline. The Pipers came out strong and never looked back as Caltech moved to 4-3 on the year. Edwards and Cramer again led the visitors in scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Bryan Joel added 9 points.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beavers Score Historical Road Win

Caltech traveled to West Coast Baptist last Thursday and earned a historical victory, 95-79. The win marked the first time the Beavers beat the Eagles (previously 0-2), and the 95 points are believed to be the most ever scored on the road by a Caltech team. In addition, the Beavers improved to 3-2, their best start since the 1994-95 season when they won their first eight games (all against non-NCAA schools). Michael Edwards and Bryan Joel were the game high scorers with 22 points each. Todd Cramer had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals. Andrew Hogue scored 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Collin Murphy had 5 points and 8 boards. You can read Murphy's take on the game here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Caltech Hoops in the News

Lots happening in Pasadena. Caltech posted it's second win of the season this past Sunday as it defeated the University of Dallas on the second day of the Thanksgiving Classic, 69-53. After a slow start, the Beavers found their way back to .500 (2-2) as they shot 6 of 12 from behind the arc and 56.7 percent overall in the second half. Todd Cramer paved the way with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Michael Edwards led all scorers with 21 points while freshmen Bryan Joel and Andrew Hogue combined for 23 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.


Collin Murphy, a junior captain from Wasilla, Alaska, is contributing periodically to the new blog, HoopSpeakU. You can read his first post here.

Coach Eslinger is also writing for HoopSpeak on the new Coaches Forum. His first post is here.


And, if you haven't heard, Caltech made Esquire's Best of 2011 for it's record-breaking victory last February.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beavers Win Home Opener

Caltech recorded a victory in its first home game of the season on Tuesday. Michael Edwards poured in 28 points and new Beaver guard Bryan Joel had 12 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals in his first collegiate start. Alex Runkel posted a double double with 10 points and 10 boards. The game was intense -- a back and forth affair for 40 minutes. Ethan Boroson scored on an acrobatic bank shot to give Caltech the lead for good with 10 seconds remaining.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get Ready for Beaver Season

Caltech's season opener is less than two weeks away. A strong core of juniors will lead the way, highlighted by Michael Edwards, Caltech's leading returning scorer. Sophomore All-SCIAC selection Todd Cramer led the league in assists and the team in rebounds in his opening campaign. Sophomore Mike Paluchniak led the conference in minutes played as a first year player. The Beavers brought in two more freshmen to join their returners and it looks like they'll each make a significant impact. Bryan Joel is a lead guard who can play the point and has scoring skills. Andrew Hogue is a do-it-all guard/wing/forward.

Check out the 2011-12 roster here and the recently released season preview here. The schedule is an exciting and challenging one. As usual, good teams from out east are traveling to Pasadena and Caltech will take a trip to the Twin Cities in December.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Madness Returns

Caltech hosted its first ever Midnight Madness last year, and this Friday, the second installment returns to Pasadena. The event, which historically highlights the beginning of basketball season, promises to be even grander this year with more of everything: more food, more contests, more prizes, more sponsors, more fans, and more fun.

And the folks at Caltech are sticking to tradition with the late night introduction of ballers and the focus on community, unlike other colleges across the country.

Go Beavers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No. 1 in THE World

Announced today, Caltech is the best university on the Earth, according to THE World University Rankings.

Media coverage:

Caltech Today
LA Times
Business Week
Washington Post
Pasadena Star-News

Click here for the full list of rankings.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tech Trails: Summer 2011

Tech Trails tracks summer plans of Caltech basketball players -- from SURFs (summer undergraduate research fellowships) to related work in the fields of math, science, and engineering.

Ethan Boroson '13: Intern, GLHN Architects and Engineers, Tucson, Ariz. -- "working on a combined heat and power system".

Arjun Chandar '13: Solutions Expert, Cramster, Miami, Fla. -- "writing a solutions manual for a mechanical engineering textbook".

Todd Cramer '14: Intern, Imagine Games Network (IGN), San Fransciso -- "media software engineering".

Christophe Kunesh '13: Intern, Flight Software Applications, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena -- "performing enhancements to the built-in validation capability of a tool for automatic validation of Soil Moisture Active-Passive Flight Software MagicDraw SysML and UML models".

Marcus Lucas '13: Intern, Fox Studios Digital Television Lab, Century City -- "research related to video image capture and signal processing".

Brian Okoro '14: SURF, Greer Group, Caltech Steele Lab -- "developing a super strong metal from nanoscale properties".

Alex Runkel '13: Researcher, Perception, Cognition, and Action in Humans, Caltech labs -- "remote stimulation of the brain using tDCS to induce increased performance and the encoding of reference dependent utility during effortful tasks".

Mike Paluchniak '14: Intern, Caltech Investment Office -- "compilation and analysis of financial and market data".

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Named to SCIAC All-Academic Team

For the second straight season, five men's basketball players were named Academic All-Conference. To qualify for the SCIAC honor, one must be at least a second-year varsity player and have a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.4.

This year, four sophomores and one senior qualified:

(pictured above, left to right)

Pan Wang '13 -- computer science

Arjun Chandar '13 -- mechanical engineering

Ryan Elmquist '11 -- computer science

Christophe Kunesh '13 -- computer science

Alex Runkel '13 -- mechanical engineering

Congratulations to the Beavers!

(official release here)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Team Awards Banquet

In March, The Beavers wrapped up their season with a formal and festive basketball banquet hosted by Caltech President Chameau and his wife Dr. Carmichael. Sixty supporters were in attendance to celebrate the many accomplishments of the team this past season including various faculty, staff, and alumni. Director of Executive Communications Matt Lockwood served as the evening's emcee. Coach Eslinger spoke about the development of the program, read a touching e-mail from a recent alum, and thanked all the attendees for their ongoing support. After a delicious meal prepared by Tom Mannion and poignant speech by Dr. Chameau, the coaches presented the annual team awards. All awards are voted on by members of the team.

Dr. Chameau
Longstanding awards displayed in the Braun Gym lobby:

For the third year in row, Ryan Elmquist '11 received the H.G. Vesper Trophy for ability, improvement, performance, and sportsmanship.

Todd Cramer '14 earned the Carl Shy Freshman of the Year.
Murphy organizes his horde of awards

Other award winners:

Collin Murphy '13: Leader of the Year, Mr. Glue, Mr. Hustle, and the Construction Award

Mike Paluchniak '14: Lockdown Award and Coaches' Award

Potts presents Paluchniak with one of his awards
Arjun Chandar '13: Citizen of the Year

Marcus Lucas '13: Most Improved

Mike Edwards '13: Slam Bam Jam Award

Alex Runkel '13: Best Dressed

Coach Potts: Best Quote

photo credit louisfelix.com

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Best of College Basketball

Seth Davis mentions Caltech's historic win on CBS special: Best of College Basketball 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Elmquist Named to Men's All-West Region Team

Senior Ryan Elmquist has just been named to the D3hoops.com All-West Region Team.

This is the first time any Caltech player has been awarded this honor.

According to the website:
Players were nominated for these awards by the Sports Information Directors at the various schools, who were contacted multiple times as the season wound down to remind them to make their players eligible. There were 680 players nominated nationwide, a new high. The ballot was then made available to SIDs, who voted for a predetermined number of players in their region.
Elmquist will graduate this spring as the program's 2nd all-time leading scorer, leading shot blocker, and leading free throw maker. Last month, he was awarded the SCIAC Ted Ducey Award and named Academic All-District. He is a 2-time SCIAC Athlete of the Week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What They Are Saying

David Aldridge (NBA.com Feb. 28)
Team of the Week
Caltech (1-0): The Beavers defeated Occidental 46-45 on Tuesday to finish their regular season with a 1-13 record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Oh, and the win snapped a 310-game losing streak in SCIAC play going back 26 years, to 1985. (The SCIAC, a Division III conference, features Pomona-Pitzer, the school where Gregg Popovich got his coaching start.) And Caltech is getting better at this basketball thing, having broken a 207-game overall losing streak in 2007. On the other hand, Kentucky doesn't have 31 alumni who have won the Nobel Prize, or 67 alums who have won the National Medal of Science or Technology.

The Vancouver Sun (Feb. 26)
Rolfsen, on the Caltech men's basketball team snapping a 26-year, 310-game conference losing streak: "The only people who can comprehend the magnitude of those numbers are Caltech students.''

Phil Jackson (LA Times, Feb. 24)

The first question Jackson faced during his pregame session with reporters was not about the Lakers or the trade deadline. It was about Caltech ending a 26-year losing streak in conference games Tuesday.

"Congratulations," Jackson said, smiling. "About time too."

Henry Abbott (TrueHoop, Feb. 23)
Caltech won a league game for the first time in 26 years. (Via College Basketball Nation Blog.) Great stuff. Couldn't be happier for Caltech coach Oliver Eslinger, who has been a friend of TrueHoop since he was back at M.I.T. (you may recall my linking several times to his blog "Doc's head games" -- he has a Ph.D. in counseling and sports psychology). A footnote (literally) to that game: Click that link above, and look for #22, a guard with his back to the camera as the final free throw is attempted. That's Collin Murphy. Met him on Sunday morning, and he's an Alaskan Packer fan, and as nice as can be. And here's the funniest damn thing: Look at his shoes. They're outrageous yellow Adidas. Now, in yesterday's bullets I linked to some video from a blogger game early Sunday morning. Look what I'm wearing: Outrageous yellow Adidas. Same exact pair! ESPN has restrictions on the kinds of gifts journalists can accept, and I take it seriously. When I happen into free sneakers -- even though the vast majority are below the value outlined by the policy -- I give them away. In this case, Adidas offered me some shoes. I had two pickup games to play in and no shoes. So I accepted them, knowing I'd use them for just a morning before finding somebody who'd want them. I wrapped up the final run of the morning in Caltech's gym, as Murphy walked in, and he just happened to be size 11.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

SCIAC Honors

Congratulations to Caltech and two of its players for being recognized by the SCIAC for the 2011 conference season.

Ryan Elmquist received the Ducey Award, the prestigious honor granted to a senior each season who truly exemplifies the term student-athlete. Besides hitting the game clinching, streak busting, out-of-this-world free throw in last Tuesday's season finale, Elmquist made his mark(s) on the basketball program. He'll graduate as the 2nd all-time leading scorer, leading shot blocker, and leading free throw maker in Tech history.

For a Q & A with Elmquist from TwinCities.com, click here. Other articles featuring the senior headed to Google are the StarTribune.com and Rivals.com.

Todd Cramer was named 2nd team all-conference. He is the only freshman on the all-SCIAC teams and the first all-conference Caltech player since Bryan Hires in 2007-08. Cramer led the league in assists and was second in assist to turnover ratio. He was the only player to be ranked in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and free throw percentage. He also eclipsed the Institute record for assists.

For Cramer quotes, check out Rick Reilly's latest column and NBC Sports.

Update (3.2.11) From Philly.com:


The California Institute of Technology has produced 31 Nobel Prize winners. (Caltech) had also lost 207 consecutive basketball games until a huge win in 2007. The team had lost 310 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games until beating Occidental in the final regular-season game, 46-45, last week. (Caltech) finished 5-20.

The second leading scorer in the Occidental game was freshman Todd Cramer of Blue Bell. He went to Chestnut Hill Academy and is a two-time Philly Maccabi gold-medal winner. Next season, (Caltech) needs to play at the Palestra. And bring Occidental along.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Moment

If you haven't heard by now, Caltech did it and the entire Institute is proud.

For lots and lots of links, consult the Facebook Fan Page and GoCaltech.com.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Third Annual Alumni Event Recap

This past Saturday, basketball players from the past enjoyed another successful alumni event. Twenty-one alums laced up their sneakers for an intense alumni versus alumni game. This year, alums from Page House (the white shirts team) took on alums from all other houses (the black shirts team).

Yang Yang '09 got the black team off to a strong start as he scored seven points in a tightly contested first half. Ben Turk '98 aided the black attack with six points in the stanza while Scott Davies '06 led Page with seven points. Page Boys Paxon Frady '08 and Mike Underhill '08 supplied five points a piece in the first 20 minutes. Black led 29-27 at halftime.

As the second half became more heated, black shirts heated up. Wei Li '09 and Jon Bird '03 supplied strong offense while Matt Mayernik '03 hit two clutch jumpers to spark a black team run.

Bryan Hires '08 did his best to keep Page close as he erupted for a 9-point second half. Davies added five more points and Travis Haussler '09 had four.

In the end, the mixed house representatives took down Page in an action-packed contest, 63-57.

Black was led by its co-players of the game, Turk and Bird. Turk added to his already hefty career with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Bird scored 12 points, hauled in 10 boards, and dished out 5 assists. Li had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal.

Page co-players of the game were Hires and Davies. Hires scored 13 points and added 3 steals, 2 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot. Davies had 12 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Underhill helped Page with 8 points, 7 boards, and 3 steals.

After the alumni game, past and current players enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Alumni House prior to the varsity game. During halftime of the varsity game, Paxon Frady hit a half court shot that won him the Nobel Ball (a basketball signed by the five Nobel Laureates on campus).

Alumni Game Stats

Page Boys

Scott Davies: 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Paxon Frady: 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Travis Haussler: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 block
Bryan Hires: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block
Don Keenan: 1 rebound, 1 steal
Jeremy Leibowitz: 3 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Dennis McCreary: 2 assists
Dean Reich: 4 points, 1 rebound
Eric Stout: 4 points
Steve Tsai: 2 points, 1 steal
Mike Underhill: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Paul Updike: 6 rebounds

Black Team

Jon Bird: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists
Dan Kollmorgen: 3 rebounds
Jeff Lamb: 2 points, 2 rebounds
Wei Li: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Matt Mayernik: 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
Peter Plavchan: 6 points, 2 rebounds
Ben Turk: 13 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks
Jay Turner: 4 points, 1 rebound
Yang Yang: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals

Stay connected and see more pictures on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caltechbasketball

Monday, February 7, 2011

Big News for Beavers

Beaver Basketball continues to develop. Some big-news items:

Senior Ryan Elmquist was recently named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. This honor qualifies him for the national ballot for Academic All-American. Elmquist has played in every game since his freshman year and is the program's all-time leader in blocked shots. Already a 1,000 point scorer, he continues to move up the top 10 scoring list. He needs just four more rebounds to make the 500 rebound club.

In Saturday's close contest with Redlands, freshman Todd Cramer collected 11 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. The array of assists moves Cramer into program lore as he is now the record holder for assists in one season (103).

And on Monday, in a grand demonstration of support, Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau highlighted the efforts of the team in his periodic message to the community.

I would first like to applaud Coach Eslinger and his players for their hard-fought game against La Verne Wednesday night, and I know I'm not alone. The Beavers have played great team basketball and have been very competitive all season. I believe that our first conference win is coming soon, with many more to follow.

It will be a proud day, of course, when the Beavers get that victory, but on Wednesday I was excited just to see Braun gym full of students, faculty, and staff cheering in support of Caltech student-athletes.

Go Beavers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Close Conference Calls

What a stretch of games for the Beavers.

Last Wednesday, they played a close one at Occidental. Down 10 points with 3:42 left in the game, they cut it to five as Mike Edwards hit a jumper, a layup, and a free throw, but couldn't close the gap. Edwards finished with 11 points while Todd Cramer and Mike Paluchniak each had 12. Cramer, the SCIAC leader in assists, had four helpers.

Official Game Recap
Pasadena Star-News

On Saturday, Caltech traveled to Whittier and played its closest conference road game in 50 years. The Beavers again found themselves down 10 points in the second stanza (at the 13:21 mark) but chipped away and pulled within two points on a Paluchniak 3-pointer with 9:56 on the clock. From there, Whittier responded and grabbed a brief 8-point lead only to see Caltech fend off the Poets and climb to within two points again, this time on a free throw by Ryan Elmquist. A Whittier layup was the last field goal for the home team at the 2:31 mark. Elmquist responded with a driving layup of his own 23 seconds later to make the score 70-68, which ended up being the final. Caltech prevented Whittier from scoring on its next three tries and the Beavers had possession with 8 seconds, but weren't able to convert.

Cramer set a Caltech record with 11 assists. He added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Elmquist had 16 and 7 while Edwards added 11 and 7. Paluchniak scored eight points and Will Dooris and Ethan Boroson came off the bench to combine for 14 points with a combined 6 of 12 field goal effort. Caltech won the battle of the boards.

Official Game Recap
Whittier Daily News

Last night, in front of another huge crowd in Caltech's Braun Athletic Center, the Beavers battled La Verne for the second time this season (La Verne, who is now tied for second place in the SCIAC standings, won the first meeting 76-70). Once again, Caltech was down 10 in the second half, 48-38, with 12:57 remaining in the game. Over the next 11 minutes, the Beavers cut into the deficit and grabbed the lead, 58-57, with 1:03 left. La Verne took a 1-point lead a half minute later but Cramer made a contested layup to give the Beavers a 60-59 lead. With 12 seconds left La Verne drove the lane but Elmquist blocked the shot attempt and the ball was deflected out of bounds. The Leopards managed to get the ball to their best shooter who hit a contested jumper in the corner. Caltech's last second shot attempt missed and La Verne clung to a 61-60 final.

Caltech held the visitors to a 2 of 14 clip from behind the arc. The Beavers shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and again outrebounded their opponent. Edwards scored a game-high 18 points. Elmquist had 17. Cramer turned in another all-around performance with 14 points, 5 boards, and 6 assists. Paluchniak had five points, three assists, and a steal. Collin Murphy played a tremendous game with four points, two steals, and a game-high seven rebounds.

Official Game Recap
Pasadena Star-News

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Juarez is a Champion

Congratulations to Caltech's Teri Juarez, a standout student-athlete at Caltech, who was recently the cover person for Champion...check out the article here and view the publication here. Juarez is an important part - a champion - of the Caltech community as she represents two varsity teams, works in admissions, and has much academic and research experience.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Searching for Victory, Beavers set more Records

Caltech's comeback wasn't quite enough on Saturday against La Verne. The Beavers, after being down 13 at halftime saw the spread briefly swell to 20 with just more than six minutes to play (67-47), but they battled back with great defense and scoring punch to finish the game on a 23-9 run. Final score: 76-70.

(Recaps from GoCaltech.com and Pasadena Star-News)

The team continues to set program records as it looks for its next win. On Saturday, Caltech set the mark for the most 3-pointers made in a game as four players combined for a 12 for 22 night from behind the arc. Sophomore Mike Edwards tied his own Caltech record (in an NCAA game) with seven made treys on his way to a career-best 35 points. The 35-point effort ties Travis Haussler's school record for the most points against an NCAA opponent. Freshman Mike Paluchniak poured in a career-high 16 points. In addition, the 6-point margin of defeat is the closest Caltech has come on the road to a SCIAC or NCAA opponent since the 1995-96 season when the Beavers lost by three points at Redlands.

Caltech plays its next two games at home this coming Wednesday and Saturday.

Friday, January 14, 2011


In Wednesday's overtime thriller, Todd Cramer was one assist away from the program's first triple-double. Cramer produced 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. The nine dimes tied a school record for helpers and set a Caltech record for most assists in an NCAA game.

Mike Edwards lit up the scoreboard with a season-high 28 points while Ryan Elmquist and Mike Paluchniak also scored in double figures, with 13 points and 11 points, respectively.

The Redlands' site notes just how close the game was while the Pasadena Star-News was also on hand to witness the tight contest.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The New Year

After opening the new year in a tough game against Eastern Connecticut, the Beavers got back on the winning track with a solid victory over Wisconsin Lutheran last Monday. The fourth win of the season was seized in the second half of the game as the Beavers outscored their opponent 44-31. Mike Edwards poured in 26 points while Todd Cramer and Ryan Elmquist scored 19 and 14, respectively. Cramer also tallied seven assists and six rebounds.

Caltech next opened SCIAC play with a much anticipated home game after a nice preview in the Pasadena Star-News. Hosting Pomona-Pitzer in front of a packed Braun Gym, the Beavers held a 7-point lead early in the second half but were unable to extend it. The Sagehens continued to pull closer and eventually took the lead, one that it managed to secure, 46-41, despite Caltech holding them to 29.5 percent shooting. Edwards was the game-high scorer as he went 6 of 12 from the field for 15 points. The Star-News and KCAL9 were there to cover the event.