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Cal Baptist Game Preview & How to Watch

The 3-0 Huskies close out their season opening 4-game homestand against the Lancers

NCAA Basketball: California Baptist at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Thursday, 11/17/22

Tip-Off Time: 8:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Washington


Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies -9.5


Cal Baptist Lancers 2022-23 Statistics:

Record: 2-1

Points For per Game: 61.7 (286th)

Points Against per Game: 59.0 (44th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 99.2 (194th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 99.9 (152nd)

Strength of Schedule: 331st


Cal Baptist Key Players:

G- Taran Armstrong, So. 6’6, 190: 12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.7 apg, 48.0% FG, 57.1% 3pt, 62.5% FT

If you had to pick one star on this team it would be Armstrong who finished 4th in the country last year in assist rate as a true freshman and averaged 6.3 dimes per game. Last year he shot 30% from 3-pt range so he’s off to an uncharacteristic hot start from deep on a small sample size. He’s got great size for a point guard and has the capacity to cause a lot of trouble for the Husky defense passing it, shooting it, or driving to the basket.

G- Joe Quintana, Sr. 6’2, 175: 13.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 28.0% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 87.5% FT

Quintana missed their first game but now leads the team in points per game on incredibly inefficient shooting after transferring in from Loyola Marymount. He’s a 39% shooter from 3-pt range for his career so there’s definitely the potential to improve in that regard. Over 2/3rds of his career shots are from behind the arc so that’s where he’ll spend the vast majority of his time on offense.

G- Reed Nottage, Jr. 6’7, 215: 7.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 38.1% FG, 36.8% 3pt

It’s almost impressive that Nottage has attempted 21 shots so far this year and hasn’t made it to the free throw line. That’s because 19 of his 21 attempts have been 3-pointers. Things weren’t quite this lopsided in year’s past but so far Nottage has done nothing but launch 3’s. There’s a little bit of Jamal Bey in his stats because he shot 40% from deep 2 years ago and 29% last year. So far this year though so good.

F- Hunter Goodrick, So. 6’7, 225: 8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 47.1% FG, 0.0% 3pt, 50.0% FT

Goodrick transferred in during the offseason from South Dakota where he averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds per game. He’s capable of stepping out and hitting a 3 but for the most part his damage is going to come closer to the basket where he’s also an above average rebounder. Don’t expect much in the way of rim protection though.

F- Riley Battin, Sr. 6’9, 240: 11.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 36.7% FG, 23.1% 3pt, 100.0% FT

Here’s a familiar face for Husky fans after Battin played the last 4 seasons at Utah. He certainly has had his moments against the Dawgs with a 15 point effort in 2021 and 17 points back in 2020. Battin has played more center for a mid-major after mainly serving as a PF for Utah and has certainly taken advantage with elite rebounding numbers against sub-standard competition. He was a capable passer with the Utes but that hasn’t carried over to the Cal Baptist offense so far with just 1 assist through 3 games after averaging better than 1 assist per game every year of his career with Utah.


The Outlook

This is just Cal Baptist’s 5th season as a Division 1 program but it looks to be the best one so far under head coach Rick Croy. He comes from the Saint Mary’s coaching tree and has certainly done what you’d expect a coach from Saint Mary’s to do: recruit a bunch of Australian players. 3 starters are Aussies including star point guard Taran Armstrong plus there’s a Canadian and Nigerian in the rotation.

When you’re a program that is facing a talent deficit you typically want to do two things: slow down the pace and shoot a bunch of 3-pointers. By slowing down the game you limit the total possessions and limit the opponents’ chances to show off their talent advantage. Shooting a bunch of 3’s is higher variance than trying to beat an athletically superior team inside and having a hot night from deep can turn the tides in an otherwise unwinnable game.

That combination is why I’m sure Mike Hopkins has had some nightmares about this matchup. So far this season Cal Baptist plays at the 334th fastest pace in the country as it takes opponents almost 20 seconds into the shot clock to end the possession. They also take the 28th most 3’s per field goal attempt of any team in the country and while they haven’t been very good at it so far, you only have to be great for one night to win a game when you get up that many long range shots.

So far this year Cal Baptist hasn’t made more than 8 threes in a game but if that gets up beyond 10 the Huskies could suddenly find themselves in an uncomfortably tight game. The SG/SF duo of Quintana and Nottage are each averaging north of 6 long range attempts per game on 33.3% or better shooting. Cal Baptist is a well above average team in their assists to field goals made ratio so they aren’t going to be baited into playing 1v1 and will instead move the ball until a shooter is open on the perimeter.

On the defensive end the Lancers will make teams work but have been prone to being beat on the interior. Georgetown transfer Tim Ighoefe is a 7’0 center averaging 2.0 blocks per game in limited minutes but also averages 7+ fouls per 40 minutes so UW has a good shot of getting him stuck on the bench with foul trouble. He’s the only rim protection Cal Baptist has at all since the rest of the team has 2 blocks combined over 4 games. If Ighoefe is on the bench then Meah and Kepnang should dominate at the rim on offense.

I’m expecting Keion Brooks Jr. to be out again for the Huskies but he practiced at least a little this week and so could potentially return. If he is out again it means Keyon Menifield Jr. will once again have to drive the offense and while he has been spectacular it’s also tough to trust a true freshman to play 38+ minutes per game like he did over the last 2 contests.

This Cal Baptist team is well coached and will almost certainly be able to force another 5+ minute scoreless drought upon the Huskies at some point. If the refs don’t force Hop to go to his bench early by calling ridiculous touch fouls for the first 10 minutes of the game only for the 4th straight game then the Huskies should still be in great shape. If we see more of Langston Wilson at center or if Cal Baptist is shooting 45%+ from deep well into the game then things have gone awry.

I’ll pick the Dawgs to pull it out in a lower scoring affair as they hope to get healthy before leaving the friendly confines of Hec Ed next Wednesday.


Washington Huskies- 66, Cal Baptist Lancers- 59