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Cal MBB Preview vs. Fresno State Bulldogs

Another tough OOC match-up for our Bears.

NCAA Basketball: Legends Classic Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State Bulldogs

Record: 7-2

Points/Game: 79.2

Points Allowed/Game: 67.7

Last 5 Games

W vs. Long Beach State, 92-71

W vs. Weber State, 71-52

W vs. Cal Poly, 76-67

W vs. Pacific, 81-78 (OT)

W vs. Hawai’I , 79-64 (Neutral Location)

Projected Starters

JR G New Williams - 9.8PPG/3.6RPG/1.4APG/1.2SPG

JR G Noah Blackwell - 7.1PPG/2.2RPG/3.7APG/1.3SPH

SR G Braxton Huggins - 18.7PPG/4.1RPG/1.2APG/1.1SPG

SR F San Bittner - 7.1PPG/5.0RPG/2.7APG/1.0SPG

JR F Nate Grimes - 10.3PPG/8.4RPG/1.0APG/1.8BPG

Top Reserves

FR G/F Aguir Agau - 2.8PPG/3.0RPG/0.6APG

JR F Christian Gray - 2.3PPG/2.3RPG/0.1APG

SO F/C Lazaro Rojas - 5.0PPG/3.6RPG/0.1APG

Keys for a Cal Win

  1. Win From Downtown: Cal is a team who’s scoring can become pretty reliant on their ability to hit the three ball, as it is one of their few strengths as a team. Fresno State also relies heavily on their ability to hit threes, shooting 25 of them per game at a 38% clip. If Cal can hit their threes and play good perimeter defense, that is the first step in pulling off the upset. area that Cal has the biggest advantage over San Francisco is three-point shooting.
  2. Protect the Ball: Cal and Fresno State have had pretty even turnover numbers so far. Cal is turning it over 11.2 times per game and forcing 13.6 per game (14.9 points off turnovers), while the Dogs are turning it over 13.4 times per game and forcing 15.2 per game (15.6 points off turnovers). This should be a close battle, but I am more concerned with Cal protecting the ball rather than creating opportunities on the defensive end. This is a good Fresno State team, and Cal needs to avoid making mistakes in order to have a chance at winning.
  3. Rebound: Fresno State is not an incredible rebounding team, but they may look like it come Wednesday considering how poor Cal has been on the boards this season. However the rebounds may come, Cal needs to figure out how to pull to at least even with their opponents in the rebounding department or else they will continue to lose.

What do you think Cal fans? Can we pick up the W?