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California Golden Bears Men's Basketball At Iowa State Cyclones

The Golden Bears head for their only true road game of the non-conference season in Ames, Iowa. Will our inexperienced team be ready for a truly hostile environment? While Iowa St. no longer has Craig Brackins, home-court advantage can mean a lot at this early juncture for two teams riding the youth movement. Click here to discuss today's football games. GO BEARS!

Time: 11 AM PST/2 PM PST
TV: Fox Sports Net HD/CSN Bay Area (click here to see if your regional affiliates are covering the game)
Radio: KNEW 910 AM
Stream: Post links in comments

We sat down with the fine people at Clone Chronicles to talk (you can see our answers to their questions over at their site) about today's game. Their blogfather Mark Kieffer was quite happy to answer our questions.

1. What is your #1 player on offense Cal fans should worry about?

I can't see there is one player to be especially worried about. Iowa State's starters all average double figures, and they are all pretty balanced. The team plays well when Diante Garrett takes matters into his own hands and makes shots, but he hasn't shown he is able to do it consistently. He's been finding ways to get open looks, but having issues knocking open shots down and finishing at the rim consistently.

2. What is your #1 player on defense Cal fans should worry about?

Defensively, I don't know if there is one guy. Jamie Vanderbeken is averaging about 2 blocks/game but struggles not fouling guys who have a size advantage on him. Diante Garrett leads the team in steals at 2/game. I would say Iowa State's perimeter defense is much better than post defense overall, as the guards do a good job of at least putting a hand in the face when a guy shoots.

3. How far do you see your team going this year?

Expectations are low... At least for me. I see this team winning 14-16 games this season, with anywhere from 2-6 conference wins. Iowa State has what is being called by national pundits as "the best scout team in America" with some fantastic transfers sitting out. This is the first year of a new coach, new direction of the program, with this being a rebuilding year. 10 guys are eligible, 4 of which are freshman. This is a chance to get the younger guys some experience so when the experienced transfers come in (Royce White, Chris Allen, Chris Babb, Anthony Booker), the team will be able to have a special season.

4. How would you attack your team's defense?

To attack the D, I would say having a post presence is key. If there isn't one, having guys with the ability to create off the dribble is huge. If they are not a particularly good shooting team, having the ability to get offensive rebounds is big, as Iowa State is not a good rebounding team.

5. How would you stop your team's offense?

Iowa State has struggled with the match-up zone this year. I also think pressing would give the team fits as well. Iowa State wants to shoot outside, so having a team that will defend out to the 3 point line would be important. If Cal leaves ISU players open around the 3 point line and doesn't really contest shots, they can get burned, as Iowa State has had some great 3 point shooting performances this year. But in short, play some zone, defend the 3, and put yourself in position to get the defensive rebound. Iowa State is not built to win games on low scoring. They want to score in transition, on their offense is predicated on having high possession games. Actually, if Cal plays a slower tempo on offense and is committed to getting back on D to avoid transition baskets, that's probably the best defensive gameplan (even though it's coming from your offense).