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Cal Basketball vs. McNeese State Preview + Gamethread

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When: 7:30 PT
TV: None
Radio: KNEW 910
Streams: Cal Bears All-Access, check comments for free streams
Gametracker

Here’s your quickie preview: Last year the McNeese State Cowboys rode five seniors all the way to a Southland Conference regular season title and tournament championship appearance, where they lost to UT San Antonio. Even then they weren’t great last year – losing by 54 to Washington, 15 to Southern Miss and 18 to Boston College.

They did bring in a couple of transfers this year to replace the veteran departures, but so far it has resulted in two losses to mediocre teams that weren’t particularly close, along with a win over Sacramento State. Patrick Richard and Jeremie Mitchell have been doing the scoring, though neither have been shooting particularly well. Rudy Turner, one of the transfers from New Mexico, has been a monster on the boards in limited minutes and at 6'9'' he is the one player that makes me just a bit nervous.

This game is almost guaranteed to be win, likely by a huge margin. With that in mind, I’ll be looking for two things that we didn’t see against Missouri and have seen only intermittently this year:

1) Don’t allow frequent open looks. Cal just isn’t a team that will force a ton of turnovers. Monty doesn’t run a defense that does that. So if the opponent will be getting off a shot on ~80% of their possessions, Cal must make those shots as difficult as possible. It didn’t happen against Missouri and at times it seems Cal’s opponents have helped out by missing open shots. Let’s not give them the opportunity tonight

2) Ball control. By the same token, Monty’s teams usually take amazing care of the ball. Maybe the Missouri game was an anomaly but I’d be comforted if the Bears could hold the turnovers under 10 for the night. It’s a high bar, but this team should be aiming high anyway.

After the jump: Our computer overlords offer their perspective, plus GAMETHREAD!

Kenpom says: Cal 84, McNeese St. 60, 97% confidence.

Absurdly premature tempo free chart (Concept borrowed from MGoBlog).

Category

Cal Rank

McN Rank

Advantage

Cal eFG% v. McN Def eFG%

66

221

CC

Cal Def eFG% v. McN eFG%

123

306

CC

Cal TO% v. McN Def TO%

217

229

C

Cal Def TO% v. McN TO%

224

110

MM

Cal OReb% v. McN DReb%

46

142

C

Cal DReb% v. McN OReb%

10

337

CCC

Cal FTR v. McN Opp FTR

146

115

M

Cal Opp FTR v. McN FTR

6

307

CCC

Cal AdjO v. McN AdjD

23

296

CC

Cal AdjD v. McN AdjO

41

242

CC

That’s a whole bunch of Cs for Cal. McNeese St. doesn’t turn the ball over much, and they don’t foul a ton. In every other way Cal is a vastly superior team. We already knew that, but it least now you know the specifics. Goal for the game: Allow zero McNeese St. offensive rebounds!