Ah the mountain road trip. It is arguably the toughest roadtrip in conference play due to the long travel time and turnaround. Saturday does not get any easier. Let’s take a look at some bullet points for the Cal-Utah series.
- Over the last few seasons the Bears have played in Utah three times.
- The Bears lost all three of those visits.
- 2017: 44-74.
- 2016: 64-73.
- 2015: 61-76.
- Cal has beaten the Running Utes, though, at home and at the Pac-12 Tournament.
- This isn’t a game at a neutral court or at home.
The Bears are struggling to create consistent offense and it doesnt look like that will change barring a miracle. Do you believe in miracles?
Those are the number for Utah. Not the greatest. Their offense is smack dab in the middle of the Pac-12. Utah does not attack the offensive glass, they do not turn the ball over on offense, they shoot from beyond the arc at a rate of 37.6% which is good for 5th in the Pac-12, and they make 76% of their free throws. Their defense is in the bottom three or four in the Pac-12. The most notable exploits are that they give up 39.4% from beyond the arc, allow offensive rebounding at a rate of 32.2%, and only force turnovers at a low rate of 16.8%. Perfect! So all we need is to shoot 3s, either make them or grab the offensive rebound and shoot 3s again! We can’t go inside since they only allow 48.8% from inside the arc. We can’t rely on free throws since they only allow free throws at a rate of 30.1%.
So the TL;DR?
We have to make as many 3s as we are given looks. Force them to go inside on offense where our bigs will have a field day swatting shots taken by David Collette and Chris Seely.