California Golden Bears (5-17)
- Head Coach: Wyking Jones (2nd Season)
- Top Performer: Justice Sueing (14.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
- Points For: 70.0 (T-259th)
- Points Against: 79.2 (331st)
- Last Game/Streak: 62-73 Loss at Oregon (11L)
If Oregon State needs a big bounce back win after their debacle against Stanford, California presents an excellent opportunity. The Golden Bears have been hopeless in conference play for sometime, not having won a Pac-12 game since last February. Granted, that win was against the Beavers, but it is time for payback.
There’s a long list of problems the Bears are facing this season. There defense is one of the worst in the country. This is especially a problem in the paint. The Pac-12’s big men have routinely been top performers agaisnt Cal. Kylor Kelley could be in for a big game if this keeps up.
California’s rebounding woes amplify this problem. The team is one of the worst in the nation at rebounding, with a -7.1 rebounding margin good enough for 346th among Division I schools.
Justice Sueing is the team’s leading scorer, as he was last season, with 14.8 points per game. Sueing is a power forward with versatile scoring options. He has an excellent jump shot, and is an effective three point shooter, though his percentage from behind the line has dipped this season. Sueing is one of the team’s more effective defenders, with 31 steals and 8 blocks. He also leads the team in rebounding, at 6.1 rebounds per game.
For their backcourt, Cal has usually been running with three guards. Boise State transfer Paris Austin is at the point, and has performed well, with 92 assists and 12.6 points per game. The team uses Darius McNeill and Matt Bradley as shooting guards, with McNeil averaging 11.3 points per game and Bradley averaging 10.5. Bradley, one of the team’s highest rated recruits, has added some excitement to Cal’s season, even if that hasn’t translated into wins.
The frontcourt is the big problem. Freshman Andre Kelly is the team’s second starting forward, and usually their biggest man on the court. The team does have a big center they can use in 7-3 freshman Connor Vanover, but his minutes have been limited. Neither have been especially effective in the post, offensively or defensively, which has been the team’s Achilles’ Heel.
Player to Watch
Justice Sueing (Sophomore) - The team’s leading scorer (14.8 PPG) and rebounder (6.1 RPG). On a team that has possibly the worst defense among the power conferences, Sueing at least seems to be able to make big defensive plays, with 31 steals and 8 blocks. Sueing is the centerpiece of the Golden Bears, but they don’t have the talent to build around him yet.
- Date: Saturday, February 9th
- Time: 2:30 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
- Coverage: Pac-12 Network