With the opening weekend of Pac-12 conference play upon us, it only seems right to take a look at each of our upcoming opponents out of conference records as we prepare for our matchups.
STANFORD (0-1, 6-8)
Stanford entered conference play with the same record as Cal. Despite the “trees” of Furd, i.e., Reed Travis, Michael Humphrey and Josh Sharma; the Cardinal’s entered the beginning of conference place as the only other team with a losing record. Notable wins for Stanford include Cal Poly Pomona, Pacific, San Francisco. Likewise, they suffered a blowout by Kansas, Florida, and UNC. And in our single meeting this season we added to their L column with a 17 point comeback victory.
USC (1-1, 10-5)
In what was supposed to be the season the Trojan’s make it back to the Big Dance, they started off a little all over the place. Against KenPom top 50 teams the Trojans are 1-3 (Cal is 1-2), and already lost to Washington to start Pac-12 play. If there is any lurking metaphor’s for how USC’s season has begun, it is definitely this clip of Chimezie Metu from the other night.
UCLA (2-0, 11-3)
Despite the loss of the lesser of the prodigal Ball brothers, UCLA looks to continue what it started last season. While the departure of Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf certainly hurt the Bruins, their 5-Star recruit, Jaylen Hands, has more than made up for it. Currently shooting 46% from the floor, Hands looks like he is ready to be a difficult matchup for just about anyone. And although UCLA lost to 3 of 4 top 50 teams in OOC play, they managed to upset Kentucky right before the start of Pac-12 play and look to carry that momentum throughout the rest of their season.
Washington (1-1, 11-4)
After a pretty devastating offseason, the Huskies look poised to add to their successful OOC start. After losing their coach and top recruit Michael Porter Jr., Washington has put together a solid season thus far. While they’ve struggled against top-50 teams, they have cleaned up against pretty much all others, with Jaylen Nowell leading them with an average of 16 points per game.
Washington State (0-2, 8-6)
One of three Pac-12 teams Kenpom has predicted Cal will beat this season, the Cougars have struggled recently to get anything going after a 6-0 start. Led by forward Robert Franks, the Cougars have won just 2 games since the end of November. Although we first face them on the road, Cal should be able to add a road win to their resume when we meet up next week.
Arizona (1-0, 11-3)
Deandre Ayton. That’s all that really needs to be said about Arizona. After a rocky start in which the Wildcats lost all three games of Battle 4 Atlantis, Arizona hasn’t lost. They managed to snap Arizona State’s undefeated streak as well. Along with Ayton, the Wildcats has Allonzo Trier, Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright to contend with. This is a pretty stacked Wildcat team that will look to go deep into March.
Arizona State (0-1, 12-0)
After an amazing start and much deserved #3 ranking, the Sun Devils lost to Arizona to start conference play. This is nothing more than a blip on Arizona St.’s fantastic beginning, as Tra Holder, Shannon Evans, and Romello White are definitely fine-tuned to do some damage in the Pac-12. The Sun Devil’s are certainly going to be the team to watch throughout conference play, and if Cal manages to snag a win against them in either of our meetings it would be a huge statement to the growth of the program.
Oregon (1-1, 11-4)
The Duck’s record is a little misleading. Yes, 10 wins is 10 wins, however, only one was against a top 100 team. Yes, I know we lost to an unranked team, but we also beat a top 100 team as well. That said, Payton Pritchard has done a pretty good job leading the Duck’s despite being the only returning starter from last season. Pritchard is averaging 15.4 points to go along with his 4.5 assists per game.
Oregon St. (1-1, 9-5)
After already winning more games than they did all of last season in which they went 5-27, the Beavers managed to stay competitive through the OOC play. Led by Tres Tinkle and Stephen Thompson Jr., Oregon State looks to quickly forget last season and gain some momentum heading into Pac-12 play.
Colorado (0-2, 8-6)
Again, Colorado is a team whose OOC play only includes match ups against 2 top 100 teams, both of which they lost. Despite padding their record a little bit the Buffs look to be a team Cal should excel against. Averaging 74 points a game, the Buffs are currently ranked 138 by Kenpom, with their leading scorer, McKinley Wright, only managing 16 points per game.
Utah (2-0, 10-3)
Without new found Lakers superstar, Kyle Kuzma, the Utes quietly put together a solid OOC record and are tied for first in the Pac-12 with UCLA. David Collette and Justin Bibbins look to fill the void left by Kuzma, averaging a little over 13 points per game each. However, freshman Donnie Tillman has managed to assert himself, averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds per game. As usual, the Utes look to be a difficult matchup, not just for Cal, but for the Pac-12 in general.
Alright Cal fan’s, who are you most looking forward to seeing Cal play?