Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PREVIEW - CALIFORNIA v FURMAN

Cal takes on Furman tonight at Haas in a tuneup for Saturday's much bigger challenge against the DePaul Blue Demons in Chicago. Finals are over, and now the Bears can focus on regaining some semblance of consistency on both ends of the floor.

Furman shouldn't pose much of a problem (but then again, USD should have been a W). Saturday night they hung with USD in San Diego for a half, but then wilted and lost by 11. They come in at 5-5 against mediocre competition, and don't figure to challenge for a post-season bid. In their only competition with a major, they made a good showing but lost at 11-0 Clemson by nine points.

The Paladins are neither deep nor big; their tallest starter is 6'9" sophomore center Stanley Jones, and no one is averaging more than 4 ppg off their bench. Guard-driven, their top scorers are senior PG Eric Webb and senior SG Robby Bostain. Bostain actually presents something of a matchup problem at 6'6", and he leads the Paladins in rebounding at 7.6 a game. PF Moussa Diagne adds some scoring punch up front.

Furman has problems taking care of the basketball; they average nearly 16 turnovers a game. To us, this game is a test of the Golden Bears' defensive reputation. Cal should beat Furman, but we want to see them suffocate the Paladins and generate ~20 turnovers. Under Braun, Cal has a well-deserved reputation for defensive efficiency, but this year's team has occasionally coasted. Their efforts against USD, Marshall and Chicago State have been notable for their lack of intensity and poor communication.

Offensively, we'll look for Hardin and Anderson to establish a consistent post presence off of motion, and for our guards to find them with clean entry passes. This is a game for Cal to reclaim those basic fundamentals that have eluded them against beatable teams this year. DePaul is another matter, and we'll have a preview of the Blue Demons up later in the week.

California 75 Furman 59

4 Comments:

At 1:22 PM, Blogger T. said...

I didn't see the San Diego game, but my friend said the San Diego run was made right when DeVon went to the bench with foul trouble (although he was puzzled that Harrison and his 5 fouls weren't brought in and instead we went small) - but it's everything we knew about before the season. If Anderson or Hardin get in foul trouble, we're in for a long night.

I'd really like to see a lot of zone to protect the big 2. Jordan Wilkes getting hurt looks like it matters a lot more than just in a talent level.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Tightwad said...

I think we'll look vanilla tonight, but I expect to see some more zone against DePaul

 
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