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Cal MBB Preview: Second half of the mountain road trip. Utah.

Another tough location to play at.

NCAA Basketball: California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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%.

Key Players:

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.

California Love. California Rising.