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Why has Cal basketball struggled the last few weeks?

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Cal hasn't played solid 40 minute basketball in awhile. What are the main factors for these struggles and how do the Bears need to adjust?

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KWBears: Poor defense and in-game coaching. At this point, I'm not sure how Martin fixes both things. You can't teach defense overnight. And, you can't be a better coach overnight. Maybe go to a zone like boomtho suggests? That's a lot easier to install than teaching guys in the middle of a season how to D-up one-on-one. Thank goodness we have such superior offensive talent in Rabb and Brown to (partially) overshadow our many other deficiencies.

boomtho: We can't defend anyone, full stop. Outside the burst at the end of the Seattle game, I really don't think we've defended even close to our potential (or what Cuonzo has been selling) all season. Our perimeter defenders can't keep anyone out of the lane (even WITH fouling), Rabb is forced to clean up far too many mistakes, and the result is a lot of sad expressions from Rabb and Brown on the bench while the team struggles. I don't know what the solution is, beyond Cuonzo saying "eff it" and going zone for large stretches. It's not like we have some hyperaggressive, Miami Heat 2011-2014 scheme that we can dial back to a more conservative one easily. At some point, our defenders have to be able to square up and defend an opponent 1 on 1, or basically any scheme will break down.

Second, I don't think Cuonzo has found a way to get Brown and Rabb into the offensive flow at all. Brown is being forced (or choosing) to push the issue outside the flow of the offense. I like the idea to get him in the ball in the post and let him work, and wouldn't mind seeing more of that. The Rabb question is more interesting. Our guards aren't great at entry passes and Rabb isn't great at sealing and establishing post position, so Cuonzo is going to have to be a bit more creative in finding ways to get him the ball. Maybe it's high-low, maybe it's baseline cross-screens (hellllooooo SDSU!) to get him a step - but Rabb is such a good passer and such a force on offense that we almost should be force feeding the ball to build that habit into our team early.

Ruey Yen: Oh boy, our defense has been so lackluster at time that I am not even sure we are a NCAA tournament caliber team. While our offense is comparatively better, we have been stalled way too often by just a mediocre zone. The San Diego State game showed that either Cuonzo Martin or our team is incapable of making mid-game adjustments.

Nevertheless, the talent is obvious there with 3 NBA caliber players in Tyrone Wallace, Ivan Rabb, and Jaylen Brown; 2 streaky shooters in Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews; and 2 really tall guys in Kameron Rooks and Kingsley Okoroh. The personnel is there to possibly make a run at the Pac-12 title, but Cal still got a long way to go to play at that kind of level consistently.

I'm still optimistic about my expectation for Cal Men's Basketball in 2015-16.