Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The Bears look to open the season this Tuesday against cross-town opponent SF State. Although the Gators had a tough go last season, they do have a few scorers who could pose some problems if the Bears don't come to play.
This preview is really a no-brainer. Big time D1 school with big, strong, athletic players, versus small D2 school with smaller, less athletic players. The Bears should easily take care of business in Haas Pavilion if everything goes according to plan. The Gators did not have a great season last year, posting a dismal 9-19 record, and were only 2-10 on the road. I expect the Bears to use their superior size and athleticism to run the court and easily handle SF State.
The Gators will be led by Head coach Trevor Paul (former Cal grad/player Alex Pribble is also one of the assistant coaches). Based on last season’s stats, the Gators seem to have several clear go to players on offense.
As of now, it's hard to say who will exactly be their starting line up. But their rotation will likely consist of:
Nefi Perdomo- G
James Albright- F
Max Fodor- C
Robbie Herndon- G
Andre Jones- G
Rico Matheney- G
There will likely be a couple new faces out on the floor for the Gators, since they graduated multiple seniors who saw significant minutes last year. However, their best players are just now entering their senior seasons.
To start with, senior guard Nefi Perdomo seems to be the Gator’s go to man. Standing only at 6’1, Perdomo is undersized, but is clearly capable of scoring the basketball, averaging 17.00 points per game last season. Because of his standout play in 2011-2012, Perdomo earned himself second team all-CCAA.
Senior forward and transfer from Cal State Bakersfield, James Albright is the Gator's other best scorer, averaging 12.00 points a game last season. At 6'6, Albright is one of the tallest players on the Gator's roster, and he seems to be able to play both outside and in. He does not grab a lot of boards despite his length (only averaged 4.4 a game).Look for Albright to have a tough time playing inside against Cal's bigs.
Overall, the Gators are an undersized group who seem to get fairly equal production from all of their players outside of their two studs. The rest of the team averaged less than 10 points per game. The Gators are a sub-par shooting team, with most players shooting under 50 percent last season.
Look for the Bears to dominate the glass on Tuesday night due to their superior size. Additionally, the Bears will should also have a significant athletic advantage. If the Bear's play sound, man to man defense, Perdomo and Albright will have a very tough time scoring the basketball. Justin Cobbs, Allen Crabbe, and the rest of the Cal guards should be able to defend the perimeter fairly well, while the Cal bigs should be able to use their superior size to protect the rim.
On offense, look for Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe to penetrate the middle at will, which should lead to a lot of easy lay ups for the bigs and wide open shots on the perimeter.
If the bears take this game seriously and come to play, it should be an easy win.