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California Golden Bears vs. Cal Poly-SLO Mustangs

Time: 2 PM PT/5 PM ET
Watch Online: Cal All-Access ($)
Additional streams: Post links in comments
Mike Montgomery press conference:
Click here.
Injury report: Markhuri Sanders-Frison continues to struggle with his lateral movement due to plantar fascitis. Allen Crabbe is dealing with tendinitis in his knee, but he's fighting through it.

News update: Jeff Powers could be available for this game. Whether he'll play meaningful minutes is another matter altogether. Also, check out this nice feature on Nigel Carter from the Chronicle.

I'm not one to be cocky. But if we don't win this one, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

After the jump, a Cal Poly primer.

Cal Poly Primer:

Current Record: 3-6
Signature Games: Lost to San Diego State, but only by a score of 51-45. Battled UCLA for quite awhile before succumbing 72-61.

All numbers courtesy of Pomeroy. Numbers indicate national rank in D-I. (Black numbers next to Red Numbers indicate national rank.

Category Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 93.5 270 101.2 194 100.1
Adj. Tempo: 65.4 290 67.9
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 43.4 305 47.0 120 48.6
Turnover %: 22.4 230 24.9 40 21.1
Off. Reb. %: 28.2 286 34.2 218 32.8
FTA/FGA: 37.6 188 46.9 292 38.0

The Mustangs are a very small team, so they'll generally tend to zone up to crowd the inside. Cal will have the size advantage though and they're a pretty decent halfcourt passing team, so they should be able to pass well enough to break that zone all the time with Harper Kamp and Markhuri Sanders-Frison. They'll need to take control with that high-low offense they've run pretty effectively, and make sure the guards are cutting off the ball to attack holes the zone should create.

Cal Poly play teams tough by slowing the pace of the game and lowering the overall possessions; this allows them to compete against better teams (although they're rarely able to close it out). And as indicated by the above stats, while they're not very good at doing any one thing in particular, they're pretty adept at forcing turnovers. The Golden Bears aren't a great fastcourt team this year, but they do have a lot of youth and athleticism, so if they can take advantage of Cal Poly turnovers and score some easy buckets, it'll go a long way to victory.

It's a small lineup, so we might see a lot more of Bak Bak and Richard Solomon who can use their length and athleticism to bother the Mustangs, rather than us going with our conventional bigs.

Alpha dog

Shawn Lewis (6'4", 210 lb): 76.3% of minutes played (409th), 30.5% of possessions involved (41st), 33.7% of shots taken (35th), 21.6 defensive rebound rate (149th), 21.7 assist rate (413th), 5.0 fouls drawn/per 40 minutes (479th)--not a high offensive rating or shooting percentage, definitely

Likely defensive assignment: Jorge Gutierrez

Second banana

David Hanson (6'5", 195 lb): 92.8% of minutes played (15th), 27.2% of shots taken (282nd)

Likely defensive assignment: Allen Crabbe

Role players

Will Donahue (6'8", 265 lb): 80.0% of minutes played (244th), 52.4% eFG% (487th), 57.0 true shooting % (443rd), 10.1 offensive rebound % (349th), 21.1 defensive rebound % (173rd), 92.9 free throw rate (22nd)

Likely defensive assignment: Markhuri Sanders-Frison/Harper Kamp. Expect MSF to start on him, but then Kamp will probably switch off if Sanders-Frison gets in foul trouble.

Maliik Love (6'3", 205 lb): 20.0 assist rate (496th), 51.2 free throw rate (298th)

Likely defensive assignment: Gary Franklin