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Cal MBB Preview vs. San Francisco Dons

Yeah, this could be a tough one.

NCAA Basketball: Legends Classic Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Dons

Record: 7-1

Points/Game: 80.4

Points Allowed/Game: 57.9

Last 5 Games

W vs. LIU, 84-52

W vs. Harvard, 61-57

W vs. Dartmouth, 84-65

W @ Stephen F. Austin, 76-58

L vs. #17 Buffalo , 85-81

Projected Starters

SR G Frankie Ferrari - 12.3PPG/2.6RPG/6.5APG/1.8SPG

SO G Charles Minlend - 14.1PPG/4.9RPG/1.5APG

JR G Jordan Ratinho - 12.4PPG/3.1RPG/1.5APG/1.1SPG

SRR F Nate Renfro - 5.5PPG/5.8RPG/1.3APG/1.4SPG/1.4BPG

JR C Jimbo Lull - 6.5PPG/5.6RPG/0.8APG

Key Reserves

SR F Matt McCarthy - 12.9PPG/8.3RPG/0.4APG

SO G Jamaree Bouyea - 7.5PPG/4.8RPG/1.5APG

Keys for a Cal Win

  1. Hit the 3-Ball: The area that Cal has the biggest advantage over San Francisco is three-point shooting. San Francisco doesn’t shoot it very well at all (32.6%) and Cal is actually pretty good (42.9%) from downtown. We need to recognize this advantage and exploit it in order to have a chance at winning, as San Francisco possesses advantages in most other aspects of the game on paper.
  2. Win the Turnover Battle: Cal and San Francisco have been pretty even turnover-wise this season. Cal is turning it over 11.7 times per game and forcing 14.2 per game, while the Dons are turning it over 11.5 times per game and forcing 13.1 per game. This should be a close battle, but one that Cal definitely has to win in order to win the game.
  3. Rebound: This San Francisco team is a stellar rebounding team, having out-rebounded their opponents by 12.5 rebounds/game. To make matters worse, rebounding hasn’t been one of Cal’s strengths this season, as they have been out-rebounded by 6.3 rebounds/game. We need to step up on the boards in order to win this game. With much of the Dons rebounding advantage coming from their deep bench, Cal will need some big performances from Connor Vanover and Jacobi Gordon.
  4. Watch For Matt McCarthy: McCarthy has been one of the most efficient players in the nation this year, hitting 70% of his shots and posting a near double-double average (12.9PPG/8.3RPG) in just 19.5 minutes/game off the bench for the Dons. Cal needs to find their own bench player that will be able to contain him. I think that Juhwan Harris-Dyson may be the man for the job (he would need help on the boards with McCarthy being 4” taller), but we will see what Wyking Jones does.

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