Game 9: @ Cal

Tip-off: Saturday, 4pm @ Haas Pavilion
TV: Pac-12 Network
Line: Torvik- Bears -3.5, 63% win probability; ESPN- Bears 53% win prob, no line yet.

The Bears are 2-5 on the season with no quality wins (wins are vs. St. Thomas and Bakersfield, both sub-250 teams) and have bad losses to UOP and Montana St. That said, they are coming off on OT loss to a good San Diego St. squad preceded by a narrow loss to an OK Tulane team.
Mark Fox is out after a terrible 3-29 2022/23 season and no winning seasons in his 4 year tenure. Mark Madsen was hired after a solid 4 years at Utah Valley; kind of strange for a Stanford alum to land at Cal but probably speaks to the relatively cordial rivalry (it is not Duke vs. UNC).
Madsen has brought in some talented transfers but it hasn’t resulted in an actual improvement in results, at least not yet.
Top players for Cal:

  • 6-7 wing Jalon Tyson - 20pts, 8rebs, 3.3assists (transfer from Texas Tech)
  • 6-11 center Fardaws Aimaq - 16.7pts, 10.9rebs (transfer from Texas Tech and Utah Valley prior to that).
  • 5-11 guard Jalen Cone - 14.9pts, leads them in made 3’s (transfer from NAU and Virginia Tech)
  • 6-9 forward Grant Newell - 6pts, 4rebs, 41% from 3.

Two rotation guys and past starters, forward Jalen Celestine and guard Devin Askew have not played the past several games; I don’t know their status for our game.

Cal has not defended (#199 on Torvik) nor shot it well from 3 (32%) but they do rebound very well at both ends of the floor.
Rebounding will be something to keep an eye on. It’s critical and should be a strength for the Broncos given our front court size plus length & athleticism in the backcourt. While our rebounding stats have been solid on paper, they should have been even better IMO and there are times when we simply haven’t been as tough or physical as we need and should be. We’re wasting and negating our size advantage if we don’t truly dominate the glass consistently.

The Broncos shot it very well from 3 vs. Menlo but I’m hoping we don’t fall in love with the 3 too much and settle for those shots. I want to see us have a balanced offense of 3pt shooting, attacking the basket and scoring through the post. Relying too much on the 3 can be a feast or famine affair and we can dig ourselves a whole especially against decent teams.

While the results for Cal so far have been unimpressive, there is clearly some talent and potential evidenced by their OT game vs. SDSU. The Broncos need to show up.

Prediction: Broncos prevail, 80-76.


I agree that SCU needs to be prepared. Of note: Cal hasn’t played all week (and it’s not finals season yet). They’ll be well rested and prepared for Santa Clara. Cal’s Torvik chart shows a team that has been getting better each game, albeit from a low starting point.

Santa Clara can win this game by double digits but only if they play smart and determined. Haas isn’t going to be rocking, so the home court advantage for Cal will be pretty minimal. Like at Stanford, I expect the crowd to be 30% Santa Clara fans and maybe more than that.

76-69 Santa Clara in a game that’s tight up until the last few minutes. Bal has the hot hand and goes for 25, but everyone remembers a thunderous dunk from Bryan that puts SCU ahead for good.

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I’m hoping we have the second half effort of the Stanford game but start in the first half and make this one a rout.

Broncos 78-60.

Anyone else in attendance tomorrow?


I’ll be there, MW. Pretty sure I saw you at Stanford in a JW jersey? Will you be wearing a Podz jersey this time?

I just don’t see how we can lose this game if we play similar to how we did versus Stanford. Despite the OT loss to SDSU, this Cal team is terrible if you look at their body of work this season.

I just placed a bet getting SCU +1


SCU 77 - Cal 68

Edit to clarify: I placed a teaser bet, teasing the +1 line to SCU +6.5 and teasing the over from 145 down to 139.5. I felt I had to give myself some breathing room, as this is another stupid mid-afternoon game time where we have had several letdowns over the years.

We opened a 1pt favorite, but Cal currently favored by 1 in Vegas.

Not I, but wouldn’t mind adding those to my repertoire!

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January 20th vs Portland is Brandin Podz night. Hopefully they’re handing out jerseys!

There’s also another Jalen Williams night on Feb 22nd vs LMU.


Going to be a fun one in Berkeley today, KSCU will be there! Jaylon Tyson vs Adama Bal, Fardaws Aimaq vs Christoph Tilly, and Carlos Marshall Jr vs Jalen Cone yes sign me up

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Reminder on the early 4pm start.

Current line on ESPN is Broncos -2.5.

WOW! That line steamed hard toward SCU. Thankfully I got SCU with points yesterday.

Carlos Marshall Jr not warming up and OUT with an undisclosed injury

No bueno.

Others are going to have to step up. Will be interesting to see how rotation changes, may see a little of O’Neil and Ensminger at the 3.

Ugh, no Marshall…the first REAL test of our “success-through-depth” hypothesis

Horrible start. Missing shots and lousy defense.

Off to a bad start. Down 25-12. It is time for the bench and strength in numbers to show up. We look lost so far.


Poor shooting to start, have to feel some of those are going to start to fall

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Benjamin continues to really struggle. He’s always going to be a defensive liability, so if he isn’t scoring or assisting at a high level, we’ve gotta look elsewhere.


this is heinous abhorrent basketball from everyone, full stop. I will always say as much on air too


Wow…I don’t know what to say about first half so far…Offensively…putrid!

C’mon Broncos…Let’s go!!