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California Golden Bears Game Preview & How to Watch

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The best chance Washington will have for the rest of the season to win a game. Can they take advantage?

NCAA Basketball: Washington at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 2/22/20

Tip-Off Time: 3:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington -9

California 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 11-15 (5-8)

Points For per Game: 62.8 ppg (330th)

Points Against per Game: 68.0 ppg (128th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 100.2 (207th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 99.9 (131st)

Strength of Schedule: 51st overall

California Key Players:

C- Andre Kelly, So. 6’8, 255: 7.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 54.2% FG, 69.0% FT

F- Grant Anticevich, Jr. 6’8, 230: 8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 41.7% FG, 41.5% 3pt, 74.1% FT

G- Matt Bradley, So. 6’4, 220: 17.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 45,9% FG, 36.1% 3pt, 85.7% FT

G- Kareem South, Sr. 6’3, 185: 9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 35.2% FG, 31.3% 3pt, 84.0% FT

G- Paris Austin, Sr. 6’0, 190: 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 38.9% FG, 26.3% 3pt, 84.9% FT

2019-20 California Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

Cal has been either average or below average almost everywhere on the court except for left long 2’s by Grant Anticevich and right corner 3’s by Kareem South. There’s a reason this is one of the worst offenses in the country.

The Outlook

This game should come with an NC-17 rating. Children, avert your eyes. What do you get when you mix the two worst offenses in the Pac-12? Whatever the heck this game is going to be. Round one was tied at 49 at the end of regulation and we may see a similar rock fight on Saturday.

California is last in Pac-12 play in effective field goal percentage on offense and plays at the slowest tempo. Playing slowly when you aren’t very good is a good strategy since the fewer possessions there are in the game the higher the chance that one lucky bank shot steals you the game (looking at you Matt Bradley).

Washington fans may complain about the Huskies’ ball movement but they’ve been a slightly below average team in terms of assists per made basket. Cal is an abysmal 345/353 which makes it very difficult to beat a zone. Opponents get an assist on 60% of made shots against Washington (one of the highest marks in the country) because the nature of the zone makes it difficult to go one on one and take people off the dribble. Cal assisted on 54% of makes in the first meeting but overall for the season are at just 41%. The zone makes them change their ways which may actually be a good thing for them.

If the Golden Bears are going to eclipse 60 points it will likely be due to the combination of Matt Bradley and Grant Anticevich. Bradley is one of the better shooters in the conference and has made 41.6% of 3-pointers in his college career so far. There are limitations to his game but if he gets hot from deep it’s trouble for UW. Anticevich has the size to shoot over the zone and Cal will work to get him in the high post or on the baseline where he is comfortable knocking down jumpers. He was 50% on 2-point jumpers in the first game and Washington needs to at least provide a little pressure when he catches the ball from 12 feet away.

The Bears have at least been somewhat competitive in Pac-12 play despite their putrid offense because the defense has grown to be pretty solid. They really struggle to force turnovers but there is a committed emphasis to stop opponents from getting the ball at the rim and it has led to decent results for them. They’re most vulnerable being beat off the dribble by opposing point guards who can pull up or kick it out but without Quade Green the Huskies don’t have the prototypical player that they really struggle against.

Cal has only one win away from home this season and it came on Wednesday night against Wazzu when CJ Elleby had an off night going 4/18 from the floor (must be nice). If the Huskies are going to win another game this season it absolutely has to come tonight. Even though Cal is 5-7 in their last 12 games and UW is 1-11 (blech) the Huskies actually have a better point differential. Cal has a pair of 2 point wins and a 3-point OT win over Washington in that stretch. They’re 3-0 in conference play in games decided by 4 points or fewer while UW is 0-6 in those games. Once again you’d think that things have to revert to the mean eventually. But this isn’t stats class and I’ll believe it when I see it.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 53, California Golden Bears- 56

*****

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