BERKELEY – It was a weird one for California on Monday night, as the Bears and UCSB combined to go 0-for-11 from the field, and at one point, Cal freshman Ivan Rabb had 10 points without having attempted a single field goal.
But, by the end of the night, it was another going-away win for the Bears, who downed the visiting Gauchos 85-67, in front of 8,847 at Haas Pavilion.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1612760-bttv-tyrone-wallac... "That was a hard-fought game, and watching those guys on film, they have three legitimate scorers, who can make shots, make plays off the dribble, and we felt they could win this game if those guys played well," said Cuonzo Martin, citing the defense done by Stephen Domingo and freshman Jaylen Brown against UCSB's John Green as high points.
Some things, though, went like clockwork, particularly point guard Tyrone Wallace, who surpassed 20 points for the second game in a row (scoring 24 on 6-of-10 shooting), dished out a game-high six assists and continued his hot shooting at the free throw line, going 11-of-13. Wallace is now 12-of-14 from the line this season, after shooting 60.6% last season.
"Tyrone makes us go," Martin said. "When you spend four years at college, you've seen a lot. He's battle-tested, he's been in big games, and you can't hand check a guy, because he's one of the toughest guys to defend because he can make shots off the dribble, and he makes his shots at the line. You have a guy who struggled from the line a year ago, but still wanted the ball down the stretch in games. That tells you all you need to know about Tyrone."
The Bears and Gauchos combined for 21 fouls in the first 16 minutes of the game, and 43 by the time the final horn sounded.
"It's tough to play that way," UCSB head coach Bob Williams said. "It takes some rhythm out of the game, but they're also good athletes, and a half step quicker than us or a full step in some of the match ups so they got by us and created fouls. I'm not arguing with the fouls that were called. It's more, we got to learn to play better defense so we're not fouling. I mean, we're at the infant stage and kind of exploring whom we are and who we're going to be and how we're going to get there. So, we have alot of growth to go."
The normally-eagle-eyed Cal wings couldn’t do anything against a UCSB zone, shooting 1-for-7 from three during the final 10 minutes of the first half. The Gauchos played pack-line defense at times, which Martin mentioned may be a trend given the officiating points of emphasis on hand checks. Wallace, though, did manage to bust the zone with two drives to split it with about five and seven minutes left in the first stanza. Martin said the Bears didn't quite do enough of that, and settled for too many threes, with seven of the 14 shots attempted against the zone in the first half coming from beyond the arc.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1612763-bttv-cuonzo-martin... "We were a little stagnant in the beginning," Wallace said of the zone. "They played their guards higher up the floor than a normal 2-3, but as it got going, we were able to attack the forwards on the baseline and get to the foul line."
"We didn't move as well, didn't post up, weren't aggressive, and settled for quite a bit of threes," Martin said. "We felt there were seams in the defense when we watched film."
Desite that, the Bears still managed to increase their lead by 12.
In the stands were Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchack – watching his son Maxwell – as well as Cal legend Shareef Abdur-Raheem -- who went to the same Marietta, Ga., high school as Brown – and Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes.
“He told me he was coming by," Brown said of Abdur-Raheem, who contacted him via text. "He just said he was coming, and that I’d better do something."
"Any time you have your former players back with the program," Martin said, "it's always good."
In his second game, Brown was a bit wild at times, but at others, he moved with balletic grace and an easy strength. With 10:24 left in the game, Brown spanked the ball out of the hands of UCSB swing man Justin Burks with a reverberating thud, then loped down the court for a left-handed jam to give Cal a 69-47 lead.
"That was just part of the game, I was going with the game," Brown said. "I need to concentrate more on turnovers. I had four turnovers. I need to do a better job of finding my teammates and being strong with the basketball. Next game, I'm going to focus more on turnovers."
"Smart man," Martin quipped, when asked about Brown's comments. "He studies the game. He understands what he needs to do to take the next steps."
Rabb and Jabari Bird – who, as with last game, did not have bad shot selection, just rotten results – remained in the game through the final two minutes, with Bird finally making a three after missing his first five from beyond the arc. That gave the junior wing 10 points, and giving Cal five players in double figures scoring for the second game in a row (Rabb – 12, Bird – 10, Brown – 17, Wallace – 24, Jordan Mathews - 16).
Rabb’s day didn’t end on much of an encouraging note, save for his performance at the free throw line. He had difficulty posting up inside, preferring to pass the ball out, and looked passive at times.
"I think it's a matter of being consistency, our guys keeping guards out of the lane so you can protect him," Martin said of Rabb. "He's a talented player. He's very coachable, very unselfish. What's not to like?"
Cal came back from a scintillating 9-of-13 three-point shooting performance in the season opener to hit just 6-of-20 from three-point land, led by Mathews, who broke the scoring drought with a three with 15:58 left in the first half. Mathews quickly hit another three just 20 seconds later, and quickly had nine points in the first 6:18 of the game, while the Gauchos had just two as a team.
“Got to be ready to shoot, and he’s one of the better three-point shooters in all of college basketball," Martin said. "His job is to be ready to shoot, and you don't have to tell him twice.”