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Archive for February 28th, 2008

That was impressive

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 28, 2008

I’ll have a full breakdown tomorrow morning, but man was that spectacular. There was a lot more to that win than just great shooting in the second half. To prove it, I’ll leave you with this until tomorrow.

Cal did not score a point in the last five minutes and nine seconds of that game.

Domination.

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Posted in Game Analysis | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

GAME THREAD: No. 22 WSU at Cal

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 28, 2008

Cougars (21-6 overall, 9-6 Pac-10) at Bears (15-10, 6-8)

Haas Pavilion (Berkley, Calif.), 8 p.m. PT
TV: FSN

Well, folks, it’s go time. Three games to go in the regular season; three games to prove to the NCAA committee we deserve a 3-5 seed and not a 7-10 seed.

You know, coming up with new and original things in these game thread previews is becoming more difficult the deeper we get into the season — especially with the Pac-10’s round-robin format — so I’m going to keep it simple tonight by just giving you one offensive and one defensive key for the Cougs that if they succeed in executing they likely will succeed.

Offensive key: Get to the free throw line. There’s a pretty good correlation between opponents free throw rate — free throws attempted divided by field goals attmepted — and Cal’s defensive efficiency, which is flat-out the worst in the conference this side of Corvallis. When Cal’s opponents have exceeded 33 percent in free throw rate, the Bears are 1-8. Less than 33 percent? 14-2, including the victory in Pullman when the Cougs posted a 32.1.

This is something the Cougs have been rather good at over the past few weeks, and if they can keep it up tonight it bodes well for their chances. All the guards will need to be aggressive to the basket and bail out Cal’s porous penetration defense by just chucking up 3s.

Defensive key: Keep Cal from lighting it up. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Like most offenses, Cal’s offensive efficiency is pretty much directly tied to its effective field goal percentage, but the Bears’ correlation is stronger than most. If they’re hitting their 3s and getting easy buckets in transition, it relegates Cal opponents to simply trying to outscore the Bears. That’s not where the Cougs want to be tonight.

Since the last game wasn’t on TV, I can’t specifically address what the problem was, but I can guess based off what was going on at that point in the season. We weren’t getting out on shooters, something that had been dramatically improved until the last 10 minutes of the Arizona game. As long as Saturday wasn’t a case of tired legs, I expect us to get back to the defense we played during the winning streak, which should result in a win tonight.

Oh, yeah — and stop this guy. That will help, too.

Posted in Game Threads | Tagged: , , | 15 Comments »