The Bears are in Las Vegas enjoying their post-finals break in style. No, I’m not jealous, why do you ask?
Anyway, the Bears have three games in Sin City. Games 1 and 3 should be relatively routine, but they sandwich a critical game against Oklahoma that will determine whether Cal’s pre-Pac-12 season is flawless or merely solid. But first things first - we’ve got the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, a solid mascot choice but clearly less golden than the sheer mass of an Ursus Arctos Californicus.
Southern Miss has done reasonably well against a truly creampuff schedule - they have only faced two top 100ish opponents and lost by 20 in both games. Cal should handle them in much the same fashion that Tulane and Mississippi St. did.
G Brittany Dinkins, 5’7’’ Sr.
G Megan Brown, 5’10’’ Jr.
G Shonte Hailes, 5’6’’ Fr.
G Keri Jewett-Giles, 5’6’’ So.
G/F Jayla King, 5’9’’ Jr.
G Brittny Norris, 5’9’’ Sr.
F Lashyra Cotton, 5’11’’ Sr.
F Respect Leaphart 6’0’’ Fr.
G Tajanay Veiga, 5’6’’ Sr.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you - Southern Miss does not have a player taller than 6’0’’ as part of their regular rotation. Yet amazingly, they have generally been winning the rebounding battle so far this year. I’m going to assume that’s more a function of their woeful schedule strength (343 by Sagarin, 261 by RPI) than anything else.
Brittany Dinkins is their engine - she leads the team in scoring and assists and shoots the ball well from pretty much any spot on the court. Jayla King is their secondary option, although I’ll be interested to see how she deals with being defended by a player that has 7 inches on her.
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Sagarin Predictor: Cal by 16
Southern Miss is roughly as good as Nebraska or Duquesne, which is to say that they are a decent team that Cal should also beat without much drama. So far the Bears have been very consistent with their team performances and have not let anybody play them close - more of the same will net them another comfortable win.