The feisty Weber State Wildcats(6-2) come roaring into town carrying the banner of the Big Sky conference. Boasting the nation's leading scorer and Bay Area transplant, Damian Lillard, the Wildcats' offense can't be taken lightly. Weber State has played the role of giant-killer before when they rode Harold "The Show" Arceneaux's brilliance to a Big Dance upset over the North Carolina Tarheels.
On the other hand, this particular Wildcats squad needed overtime to squeak by San Jose State at home, 91-89. In their only two games against sterner competition, Weber State was decisively beaten by St. Mary's and was blown off the court by BYU. After the jump, starting lineups and key matchups:
C Kyle Tresnak(So), 6'10, 255 lbs, 10 ppg, 3.2 rpg
F Frank Otis(Jr), 6'6, 220 lbs, 5.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
SF Kyle Bullinger(Sr), 6'6, 215 lbs, 7.2 ppg, 9 rpg
SG Scott Bamforth(Jr), 6'2, 190 lbs, 15.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 46.5% 3PG
PG Damian Lillard(Jr), 6'3, 195 lbs, 26.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 2.9 apg, 42.6% 3PG, 49% FG, 88% FT
It says a lot for Oakland native Damian Lillard that he could miss an entire year due to injury and still be projected as the Big Sky Player of the Year. Many pundits have him pegged as an NBA-level talent who can score from all over the court. Bullinger was an All-Conference 1st teamer last year and lead the Wildcats in rebounding while also providing steady 3-point shooting. Fulton is another inside/outside dual-threat forward and Bamforth is their designated sniper. (48.8% 3PG last year)
1) Jorge vs. Lillard
Lillard is a multi-dimenstional scoring machine. He leads the nation in points per game, free throw attempts, free throws made, and made field goals. Jorge has been making life miserable for opposing guards all year. If Jorge gets in foul trouble, Cobbs is the next likely candidate to try to check Lillard. Let's not think about what happens if both Jorge and Cobbs have to sit.
Cal's man defense has steadily improved during the early part of the season. Besides Lillard, Weber State has a number of guys who can stick the 3. Our guys will need to be prepared to fight through screens and get to open shooters.
On offense, we need to avoid falling in love with the early shot. The more we can work it inside to Kamp, Solo, and Kravish for easier shots, the better we'll all feel about our chances in conference play.
Tip- Off: 7:30pm, PST
Radio: KNEW 910
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