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Cal Basketball vs. Coppin State Preview

If there ever was an occasion to win free food or to place prop bets on Nick Kerr hitting a career high, time to seize the day, Cal fans. Our sturdy Golden Bears are playing host to the endangered Coppin State Eagles.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the venerable Fang Mitchell is off sucking eggs in retirement, it's not certain whether 2nd-year Coach Michael Grant has earned a trendy nickname yet. If so, the safe bets are on "Dentures," "Flappy," or "Gummy Bear" because his offense is more toothless than the birthing wing of your local hospital. Once in a very rare while, an infant is born with a tooth already present. This is called a "Natal tooth." And now you know what to chant as a battle cry if the Eagles make a basket. Prospective mothers, should this happen to your child, please do not abandon them on a hillside nor make any attempts at exorcism. Simply consult your local toothwrangler, and for the love of Oski, don't name your child "Trey."

Coppin State is quite simply the worst team that we will face all year. I didn't know that offensive ratings got any worse than 320ish...and I was wrong. There is now a level zero. Even if our not-so-bright friends from San Diego State are decidedly below average offensively, they would still be hailed as Aztec gods if they walked into the Coppin State gym. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed jump shooter is king. Should the Eagles take the floor with their shoelaces tied properly, by all means politely applaud.

In a stroke of computerized irony, Kenpom describes their defensive footprint as "inconclusive" as in no one knows what they're actually trying to achieve while on the court. Their inability to stop anyone with a pulse (302nd eFG% defense) is only exceeded by their complete ineptitude at clearing the glass. (308th allowed Off. Reb %)

It's obvious we have carefully prepared all year for this very moment. Here is that golden goose - a team where we want them to take open jumpers. Losing guys on screens? Stategery! Missed rotations on the perimeter? Brilliant!

We've got this!

Projected Starters:
C Terry Harris Jr., 11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
F Joshua Treadwell, 9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
G Keith Shivers, 8.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.2 apg
G Christian Kessee, 11.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 apg
G Trevon Seymore, 7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.2 apg

G James Sylvester, 10.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
G Lucian Brownlee, 5.5 ppg,

Key Players:
Terry Harris is a legend in his own mind. He is absolutely unstoppable having maxed out all of his stats and abilities on the Xbox. However, when he's on a real basketball court, that darn turbo button doesn't seem to have nearly the same effect. For a center to shoot an eFG% of 30.7% and _still_ feel like hoisting 20 three point attempts (at 15%) goes beyond Confidence, borders on Insanity, and ends up in a land called Honalee. Joshua Treadwell is their best shooter. Which is kind of like saying "least obnoxious Furd." He's not awful from inside the arc (48%), but his addiction to threes (6 of 30) is like trying to make a living playing roulette. Christian Kessee, on the other hand, is the guy from the halftime contest who can't make a layup if his life depended on it. Lucky for him, he takes over half of his attempts from deep. Luckier for him, they occasionally fall through at a blistering 27%. Keith Shivers' favorite dish is "Steph Curry's Swishball Shrimp." It has not stopped him from shooting 1-15 from deep. He apparently does not dig. How Trevon Seymore averages 3.2 assists per game with this gang of misfit toys is a minor miracle. Let's just nominate him for sainthood now.

Keys to the Game:

1) Show up.

Dear Cal Players, should you walk onto the court and find a bunch of vaguely athletic guys who can't shoot, please examine how they're dressed. If they don't match, you're in the RSF and are needed next door. If they do match, you're in the right place. Proceed to warm up.

2) Run our offense.

It's quite possible that we could score a billion points on offensive boards and putbacks. As fun as it might be to watch Rabb and Brown screaming, "DIE OOMPA LOOMPA! DIE!" while dunking on undersized opposition, it really doesn't get us ready for the buzz saw that awaits. Very quickly, we're going to face an endless onslaught of foes where we simply can't skate by on sheer athleticism. CGB Hoops experts Reef and LeonPowe have mentioned that we're continuing to add elements to our motion offense. However, we need to do less thinking and more flowing.

3) Focus on defensive fundamentals.

Until the refs either figure out "freedom of movement" or it dies an ugly death, we need to adapt. Move those feet without fouling.

Go Bears!

Tip-Off: Sat, Dec 19 - 4pm
TV: Pac-12 Networks

*Food trucks!

***Filipino Heritage Night!