Cal Men's Basketball vs. Oregon Ducks Preview

Up next are the mighty breadcrumb-eaters from the north.(18-7, 9-4 Pac-12) All kidding aside, this Ducks team is no joke. Coach Dana Altman knows his stuff, and has a deep rotation dominated by upper classmen.

It's a good thing for Cal that this one is at home. Although the Golden Bears won decisively (77-60) at Eyesore Matt Arena earlier in the year, Oregon doesn't look like the same team. They're 7-2 since our last meeting including a 1-point road loss to fellow contender Colorado, and a 2-point road win over Arizona.

Oregon likes to play fast, get to the line, and shoot it from deep. When they're at their best, they'll break down the defense to free up one of their many 3-point shooters and send waves of athletic bigs crashing the offensive glass.

Fortunately, the Ducks are also prone to turnovers and aren't one of the tougher defensive teams in the league. Although they're 2nd in the conference for offensive rebounding percentage, they're 10th in the same metric for defensive rebounding.

Keep in mind that it's the last home stand for Golden Bear stalwarts and fan favorites Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp. If you're not at Haas or tuning in, you will regret it forever. No pressure.


After the jump, more on personnel and matchups:


Projected Starters:

C Tony Woods(Jr), 6'11, 250 lbs, 6.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg
F E.J. Singler(Jr), 6'6, 215 lbs, 13.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 apg
F Jeremy Jacob(Sr), 6'8, 230 lbs, 4.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
G Devoe Joseph(Sr), 6'4, 180 lbs, 15.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.9 apg
G Garrett Sim(Sr), 6'2, 185 lbs, 12 ppg, 2.7 apg

Bench:

F Carlos Emery(Jr), 6'6, 225 lbs, 5.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Olu Ashaolu(Sr), 6'7, 220 lbs, 8.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg
G Johnathan Loyd(So), 5'8, 165 lbs, 3.7ppg, 3.2 apg
F Tyrone Nared(Sr), 6'8, 220 lbs, 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Overview:

For all the gleeful armchair crowing over how Garrett Sim's defection brought us The Jorge, Mr. Sim has turned himself into a solid player. He's lead the Ducks in scoring several times this year, and is shooting it very well.(49% FG) Devoe Joseph is the guy who has really emerged as their most dynamic scorer. He's dangerous from deep, but will also put it on the floor to get himself to the line. Singler is one of those sneaky-good, gritty players that have to dislike out of respect for his game. Versatile, smart, tough...their version of Harper with a little less size and more of a perimeter game. Starting bigs Jacob and Woods are unremarkable on their own, but can hurt you with dunks and putbacks if given the chance. Their forwards off the bench might be more of an issue. Olu Ashalou might be their most skilled post scorer, and is very tough inside. Carlos Emery is another guy who has really picked up his game during the later part of the schedule. Loyd isn't much of a shooter, but he's very quick and will set guys up with his penetration and passing.

Keys:

1) Keep our starters out of foul trouble.

2) Keep our starters out of foul trouble.

3) See #1 and #2.

Oregon likes to draw fouls. We're highly vulnerable when any of our key guys goes out for an extended amount of time. This is most of the ball game right here.

4) Battle of the benches.

The Ducks go 9-10 deep and get a lot of production out of their reserve bigs. Lately, we've been getting better play out of Smith and Thurman, and even sneaking a few minutes from Bak and Behrens. We'll need to remain competitive when we lean on our bench, particularly if the Pac-12 refs keep up their "proud" tradition of dubious officiating.

5) Know your scouting report.

Sims shoots 50% of his shoots from 3. Singler shoots 40% of his shots from 3. Joseph and Loyd are their dribble-penetration guys. Most of their bigs have no moves at all besides lay-ups and dunks. I'd expect Jorge to be assigned to lock-down Joseph. Cobbs/Smith will have to stay home on Sims. Crabbe has the tough job of staying on Singler while also helping on the boards.

Every game is a must-win from here on out. With three tough road contests looming in the distance, we've got to protect our home court. Go Bears!

Tip-Off: 7:30 PST

TV: CSNBA

Radio: KNEW 910

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