This is going to be a quickie preview because I'm emotionally hung over from Big Game (I did well to get home at 1:15 last night!)
Last year Cal Poly was a solid Big West program, but lost three starters, most prominently their only double digit scorer in point guard Ariana Elegado. The result has been a shaky start to the season. The Mustangs barely escaped USF, then lost to the University of Texas Rio Grande, which is a school I had never heard of until today.
The Mustangs are led by senior point guard Lisa Marie Sanchez, who has played all but six available minutes over three games. She's a solid jump shooter and a threat from 3. Oddly, the Mustangs are shooting better from 3 (37.7%) than 2 (35.4%) indicating that the Mustangs really struggle to get decent looks inside.
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Sagarin Predictor: Cal by 14.7
Key to the Game
Ball movement and cohesion on offense: This is my only key because it's all about what Cal does. The Bear defense will do what it needs to do (physically overwhelm a smaller, less athletic team) so it's going to be a matter of how much the Bears score. Do players know where they want to go with the ball? Will they be driving with a purpose? Can they avoid bad turnovers? Consistent execution on offense is going to be the biggest point of development early in the year, and the biggest factor that will determine what the ceiling is for this team.