Damn, we could finish in third place in this tourney? Who would've thought?
To get you prepared for our opponent, the Boston College Eagles, we did a quick Q&A with our SBN brothers in Boston, BC Interruption. Kodiak answered their questions about our California Golden Bears too; you can see his answers over at their site.
Check out our questions (in bold) and their answers here and after the jump!
1. What is your #1 player on offense Cal fans should worry about?
Through the first five games of the season, the BC offense has run through junior guard Reggie Jackson. He’s leading the team with 19.3 points a game and is taking charge while the Eagles are on offense. He’s scored 32 points in the two games of the Old Spice Classic, nearly 32 percent of BC’s offensive output.
Jackson got off to a fast start in our 65-55 loss to Wisconsin, scoring 10 points in the first half. In the second half, however, Wisconsin made a few adjustments and was able to limit his impact on the game. If Jackson is shooting poorly from the floor, BC will be faced with an uphill battle to win the game.
2. What is your #1 player on defense Cal fans should worry about?
To be honest, I’m not sure I can point to a #1 player on defense for the Eagles at this point in the season. Defense was a big issue for the Eagles last year under Al Skinner, and first year coach Steve Donahue is in the process of installing a brand new system on defense. BC has shown opponents a lot of zone defense early on – lots of 2-3 and 1-3-1 looks and breaks out of the zone only on occasion.
While I can’t quite point to a #1 player on defense, BC’s weakness on defense has been down low. The Eagles just don’t have the bodies to bang with taller, more athletic forwards and centers. Josh Southern is BC’s tallest player at 6’10," and has 6’8" Cortney Dunn backing him up. 6’8" Joe Trapani is more of a wing player with a decent outside shot, so the Eagles severely lack tall bodies down low.
3. How far do you see your team going this year?
BC was picked to finish 10th in the preseason media poll. I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen, and the Eagles will finish somewhere in the middle of the pack this year in the ACC. Call me crazy, but I'm feeling a 7-9 or 8-8 season in conference, and a 16-18 win season overall. Georgia Tech and Wake Forest have staked early claims to the bottom two spots in the conference, and the Eagles are going to win some games this year and won't finish 10th. There's too much talent returning for Donahue and the Eagles not to surprise some teams this year.
The win over A&M was a surprise and showed that if BC’s shooters can get hot, that they can hang with most teams on their schedule.
4. How would you attack your team's defense?
Test BC inside. Be patient and get the ball down in the low post. If the BC zone defense collapses on the Cal players in the post, kick the ball back out for a look from the perimeter. BC is short on bodies coming off the bench, so getting one of BC’s 3 key players in foul trouble early – Reggie Jackson, Joe Trapani or Corey Raji – wouldn’t be a bad plan of attack either.
5. How would you stop your team's offense?
Much the same way I would attack BC’s defense. Play good, solid defense on the perimeter and don’t give up the clean look from 3-point range. BC will take the shot if given, and while BC doesn’t have nearly the talent required to maximize Steve Donahue’s offensive philosophy, if 1-2 players get hot, they can burn you.
Press a bit and make the Eagles uncomfortable bringing the ball up the court.
Don’t collapse the defense on Josh Southern or Cortney Dunn down low. If you double those guys in the paint, they will simply kick it out to an open guard from a shot from the perimeter. Those guys really aren’t a threat to score down low and are usually thinking pass-first anyway.