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California Golden Bears Open Thread

Washington hopes to both rebound and avenge an ugly loss in Berkeley from last season

NCAA Basketball: St. Mary’s at California D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 1/11/19

Tip-Off Time: 5:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000


Location: Berkeley, California

Betting line: Washington -7

California 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 7-8 (1-1)

Points For per Game: 65.4 ppg (283rd)

Points Against per Game: 69.4 ppg (166th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 99.7 (190th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 101.5 (189th)

Strength of Schedule: 85th overall

California Key Players:

C- Andre Kelly, So. 6’8, 255: 7.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.3 bpg, 49.0% FG, 42.9% 3pt, 77.8% FT

He’s a Andre Kelly is shall we say sturdily built. For someone of Kelly’s size he’s unsurprisingly a solid rebounder and should have the size to keep from being bullied by Isaiah Stewart down low. Kelly will occasionally step out to take a jump shot but generally stays in the paint.

F- Grant Anticevich, Jr. 6’8, 230: 9.1 ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.1 apg, 44.8% FG, 50.0% 3pt, 73.7% FT

The stretch 4 for Cal is shooting 16/26 on 3-pointers from either straight away or the right wing so the Huskies will have to mark him extra closely if he wanders to those spots. Even though he only takes about three 3-pointers per game he’s much more efficient as a shooter than as a low post player and only a so-so rebounder for someone at 6’8.

G- Matt Bradley, So. 6’4, 220: 17.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 45,9% FG, 36.1% 3pt, 85.7% FT

Bradley is one of the best shooters in the conference and had fantastic numbers before the past 4 games when he is in a 4/22 slump from 3-point range. The flip side is that Bradley has terrible foot speed and is one of the worst defensive players in the Pac-12. Expect Naz Carter to take him off the dribble whenever Bradley is matched up on him.

G- Kareem South, Sr. 6’3, 185: 10.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 41.9% FG, 36.5% 3pt, 83.8% FT

South grad transferred in from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and has been a steady guard putting up almost identical rate stats to his time at TA&MCC. He’s an above average shooter and has made between 35.2% and 37.4% from deep in all 4 seasons in college. South is not a passer though and while he won’t turn it over very often he also won’t create for others.

G- Paris Austin, Sr. 6’0, 190: 6.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 41.2% FG, 16.7% 3pt, 83.8% FT

Somehow Cal’s point guard is the only one of their starters not shooting at least 36% from beyond the arc and he only has one made 3-pointer all season. Austin’s assist rate has plummeted while his turnover rate has skyrocketed and he has been a clear minus which is not what you want to see out of your senior point guard. He’s not afraid to penetrate and pull up for a midrange jumper against UW’s zone.

2019-20 California Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

Cal has been terrible shooting deep on the left side of the court and great on the right side which seems odd but will definitely be on the scouting report for UW. California’s lack of size means they aren’t very efficient scoring around the rim and also haven’t been great shooting around the foul line either.

The Outlook

It’s been a weird start to the Mark Fox era in Berkeley. It briefly looked like the Bears might be vastly improved despite a depleted roster as they got off to a 4-0 start including wins over UNLV and Pepperdine (baby steps) but then the wheels fell off as they lost 8 of their next 11. In Cal’s defense it’s been a pretty brutal schedule. They are 0-7 against teams in the top-134 at KenPom and 7-1 against teams worse than that. Washington at #42 should be ok, right?

The Huskies looked completely lost in the closing minutes without Quade Green a point guard but Stanford has been one of the best defensive teams in the country this year. Cal is most certainly not that. They are 2nd to last in the country in defensive steal percentage which means that any miscues by Washington are likely to be self inflicted rather than forced.

Somehow Cal is the exact opposite on offense. They are 11th in steal percentage so they rarely give up live ball fast break opportunities but are 347th in non-steal turnover percentage. With Washington’s length the hope is that they can continue to have Cal beat itself while also forcing a few extra steals.

4 of Cal’s starters are plus shooters from the outside but despite shooting 37% as a team they almost never take shots from deep. Cal is 347th in the country in the % of their shots coming from 3-point range so expect them to try to bludgeon it inside against Washington’s zone. They’re also 343rd in the country in assist rate which is usually a death knell against the Husky defense which requires opponents to move the ball from side to side multiple times.

Washington lost in Berkeley last season as the best team in the Pac-12 when Cal was the worst power conference team in the country. Without Quade Green this is probably a worse UW team against probably a better Cal team. This time around there’s no 7’3 Connor Vanover to kill the Dawgs with midrange jumpers or Justice Sueing who finished with 14 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Nonetheless this is an incredibly good matchup and it’s tough to imagine Cal finishing with more than 60 points as long as UW doesn’t give them an infinite number of second chances. Even without Green I think that’s good enough for Washington to get the win. And if they don’t you can officially stick a fork in the hopes of making the NCAA tournament.


Washington Huskies- 66, California Golden Bears- 59


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