Game 11: @ Cal

Tip-off: Saturday, 6PM

TV: Pac-12 Network

Line: essentially pick-em on Torvik; ESPN 57% win probability for Cal, no line yet.

5-5 on the season, coming off a win over a bad Idaho St. team. They are ranked #120 on Torvik, a byproduct of a pretty good schedule to date. They have a solid win over Fresno St., ‘good’ losses to Utah, Seton Hall, and Florida but also a bad loss to UC San Diego. Cal has improved a bit under Mark Fox but hasn’t yet finished at or above .500 under him and their best player the past few seasons, Matt Bradley, transferred to San Diego St. Cal does have some size in the frontcourt and gets good production from them. 6-9, 255 Andre Kelly averages 15 pts, 9 rebounds and 6-9 Grant Anticevich averages 11.5 pts and 6.6 rebounds and is Cal’s top 3pt shooter. 6-4 super senior transfer Jordan Shepherd averages 14pts/game.

This will be the 1st real road game for the Broncos playing in an opponent’s arena though it’s an easy day trip up the Bay to Berkeley.
Assuming Bediako and Vrankic are still out, it will be interesting to see who starts. Tomley got the nod vs. the Mount after a good 12pt performance vs. LA Tech but both Giordan and Stewart had very good games off the bench vs. the Mount so I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them gets the start vs. Cal; that said, I think Sendek likes Tomley’s steady and generally mistake free play so who knows. Braun will have his hands full vs. Andre Kelly; we’re probably going to need some minutes from Holt and Tongue in this one to help vs. Cal’s bigs. Need Pipes to continue the bounce back we saw vs. the Mount.

Prediction: Broncos prevail 72-70.

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Thanks for posting.
Would be great to get Vrankic back for next Tuesday’s game vs. Boise St. even if it’s for 15-20 mins off the bench as he works his way back and regains strength and conditioning.

I’ve watched the Cal team a lot, so looking forward to this game. Saw almost all their games last year, not as much this year.

The season started horrendously for Cal with the UCSD loss. Play has improved recently, but this team is not good. I think they could still cause some problems for SCU with the front court though. I should post a chart later from the Bear Insider message board on player efficiency because it basically shows how poorly the guard play has been. The front court definitely carries the load for this team. Kelley has gotten better and better and Anticevich has a good stroke. Lars Thiemann is another big body, but he’s pretty clunky. With smaller opponents, he can make some noise. The way to beat Cal is to make them shoot from the outside. I feel like I watched them miss around 10-15 times without a single make when being defended with a zone against Southern Utah. It was painful. (That game was crazy, btw, because Cal won due to a scoring error that ultimately sent the game to OT.)

Their offensive pace is super slow and plodding. Honestly painful to watch at times. Will remind you of a KK feel where it’s a hoist it up with no time left from deep approach, which doesn’t make any sense with the lack of shooters. The team can be turnover prone despite the slow pace. Joel Brown usually handles the ball and is a good athlete, but he can be reluctant to shoot, so the ball sort of just floats around at the top. The best athlete is Kuany Kuany and the energy guy is Frosh Alijiki. They need to be kept in check. In general, the issues will be inside, which may be problematic with Vrankic and Bediako out.

I’ve seen Cal a few times this year, and not impressed. If Herb pushes pace with his smaller lineup SCU will win going away.

Slow down game likely won’t yield a W as it will expose SCU’s thin interior without vrankic and Bediako.

Would love to see something different from Sendek. I just don’t think he’s capable of adjusting.

Just saw this post-game breakdown of Cal’s recent win over Idaho State. Really impressed with the headiness of Cal’s Joel Brown, who Belluomini interviewed in this segment.

Given Cal’s interior is their strength this is another game that calls for some zone D, even if it’s just Plan B or for limited stretches. Unfortunately, Sendek has played zone for like a dozen possessions in 6 seasons so I’m not counting on it. We’ll have to hope Braun can hold up inside against Andre Kelly and/or we get a few quality minutes from Holt or Tongue off the bench. I suspect we may help Braun by doubling Kelly on post touches but we tried that vs. Lofton and LA Tech without much success.
As Betterer mentioned…our guards are superior, need them to dominate in this one, get out and run and get good looks early in the shot clock.

Nice drive and step through move by Tongue. The kid has some skills and I like his athleticism.

Tongue with a great move!

Broncos are getting good looks, just need to keep hitting open shots

Jacob Holt in the game, it looks like this is only his second game this season

Brutal run to end the half here

offense is out of ideas

Does Sendek realize that he has the things called timeouts?

when your team is spazzing out, let em figure it out, no biggie

This game has turned into a bricklayers’ convention

Did we quit or just die? Outscored like 50-27 after a good start. We sure need too get Vranic and Bedako back or it will be a long season. I thought we were pretty good and improving but after this game I think we are reverting back to mediocrity.

I wish you wouldn’t have deleted this post. You are spot on.

Agreed… there’s no shame in the truth.

Ultimately, you have to be honest about the coach. On court success is his responsibility.

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Hi Buckels, you can read more of my comments at The Bucking Bronco blog.

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