If you're a Cal fan, this was about what you'd want from the Bears after the tough loss in Seattle. Both Cal and Oregon couldn't hit their shots early, but then Patrick Christopher took over the final ten minutes of the first half and the Bears were off and running. Great play from the starting five and poor shooting from Oregon led to a blowout by halftime, and the bench took us home. No starter played more than 30 minutes, leading you to think there should be no repeat of what happened last week when the seniors wore out after going wire-to-wire in Pullman.
Player-wise, Randle is clearly not playing at 100% (that knee is probably more banged up than he lets on), but he played a pretty good role in facilitating the offense and didn't make too many mistakes. 4 assists (although he had more dishes that turned into free throw attempts) 2 turnovers, and a lot of shots that came close to going in. Christopher is playing his best basketball of the season (21 points, 6 boards, 3 on the offensive glass). He did really well on the Washington roadtrip and is starting to shoulder the burden with Randle banged up.
Other big contributors included Theo Robertson did all the usual underrated stuff (18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 threes), providing the other part of the first half knockout punch along with PC. Jamal Boykin got the Bears rolling, Omondi Amoke crashed the boards again (11 this time), and D.J. Seeley provided the bench spark (11 points, 4 rebounds).
Oregon looked exactly like what they are--a young team with a long way to go. They've got a lot of raw athletic talent with Michael Dunigan and Armstead, but they also look like a team that just hasn't played enough together and isn't quite coalescing as a team. We should blowout these Ducks at home 95% of the time.
Now comes the crucial game against Oregon State, who just got cratered by the Cardinal. There's really no excuse for losing this game either--the Beavers are destined for the bottom of the conference and have marginal talent. However, they swept the Bears last season and have a zone defense that seems to give our playmakers fits. If they can execute it as well as they did last season there could be all sorts of mayhem Saturday morning. Without Jorge (questionable) and MSF (who played tonight but was limited), this could be an ugly one, but Cal needs to find a way to slog through like they did against USC. Home losses at this juncture would be devastating; hopefully we can show fortitude if this one stays close.
PS: Oh, by the way, Cal fans, show up to the games. I know you all hate getting your feet wet, and that most of you who read our site would rather complain about how your football team left you feeling self-loathing after winning a mere eight games (HOW DARE THEY!), but I know we have some readers out there who care about hoops. Wear some boots, slog through the rain, and support your seniors in their last few games (hell, it's supposed to be sunny on Saturday too). It's a little depressing to see all the empty seats at Haas for a team that's still in the hunt for the first conference title in fifty years, and even more depressing at how sedate most of the fans in the stands can be (outside the student section, everyone else was loud for a total of two minutes during that crazy first half run). The Harmon Gym crowds appear to be long gone.
After the jump, check out the Four Factors and stat distribution (i.e. colorful graphs!).