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Cal MBB Preview vs. Oregon State

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NCAA Basketball: California at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State Beavers

Record: 14-8 (6-4)

Points/Game: 74.0

Points Allowed/Game: 69.5

Last 5 Games

L vs. Stanford, 83-60

W @ Utah, 81-72

W @ Colorado, 76-74

L vs. Washington, 79-69

W vs. Washington State, 90-77

Projected Starters

SR G Stephen Thompson Jr. - 15.8PPG/4.7RPG/3.6APG/1.6SPG

SO G Ethan Thompson - 13.5PPG/5.0RPG/3.0APG/1.1SPG

SO G Zach Reichle - 3.4PPG/2.0RPG/1.7APG

JR F Tres Tinkle - 20.5PPG/7.9RPG/4.0APG/1.7SPG

JR F Kylor Kelley - 7.5PPG/5.5RPG/0.5APG/3.6BPG

Top Reserves

FR G Antoine Vernon - 1.9PPG/0.8RPG/1.0APG

SO F Alfred Hollins - 5.9PPG/4.0RPG/1.3APG

FR F Warren Washington - 1.7PPG/1.6RPG/0.3APG

SR C Gligorije Rakocevic - 5.8PPG/3.1RPG/0.1APG

Preview

Our Bears face a tough away match-up against an Oregon State team is currently in a giant tie for second place in the Pac-12 Conference with a 6-4 record in conference play so far on the season. This is a good team, but certainly not one without weaknesses. Let’s take a quick look at our next opponent.

The first thing that stands out to me is that Oregon State is a very tall team. Their smallest starting player is 6’4” (Stephen Thompson Jr.) have a 7-footer defending the basket in Kylor Kelley. Furthermore, two of their top players off the bench (Warren Washington and Gligorije Rakocevic) are over 6’10”. This height advantage both in their starting lineup and on their bench gives them an advantage when it comes to rebounding, especially against a poor rebounding team like Cal.

The next thing to notice is that they are a solid shooting team from inside. They have shot 54% from 2-point range this season, and certainly won’t face much trouble from a Cal defense that allows opponents to convert from a 58% clip.

As far as weaknesses go, it is worth mentioning that they have a negative turnover margin where Cal’s is positive. However, this has been the case many times this season and hasn’t really mattered just yet in terms of affecting outputs of games.

The main weakness that I can see is Oregon State’s outside shooting, which is to be expected of a taller team. They are shooting 32% from three this season, and even Cal is managing to knock down 35% of their triples. This particular weakness is what really stands out to me. Against Stanford, a team that Cal only lost to by three points, they shot 1-12 from three in a 23-point loss. They also got heavily out-rebounded, which is something that I am sure will not happen against Cal, but we could (maybe) have a glimmer of hope in winning this game if we can shut down their outside shot.

What do you think Cal fans? Can we pick finally get our first conference W?