Cal basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin talks about Cal's press, the Bears' attack against the zone and the challenge of Virginia

BERKELEY -- Cal cruised to a 33-point win over Coppin State at home on Saturday, and afterwards, head coach Cuonzo Martin talked about how the win prepares the Bears for No. 8 Virginia, plus. We also empty the notebook, and you'll want to see just what Jabari Bird has done for the Bears recently ...

Select Quotes from Cuonzo Martin

Opening Statement:
“Obviously, the goal was to play well. I thought defensively we did a good job on our field-goal percentage, defense and holding them to 24 percent. In the first half, we shot the free throws very well. We didn’t shoot as well in the second half. I think we did a solid job, especially coming off of final exams. I want to continue getting better against the zone. I thought our guys did a solid job moving. We have got to continue to keep moving past fake direction and just be aggressive within that zone. Overall a good effort.”

On freshman Jaylen Brown's performance:
“The thing about Jaylen for me is that I want him to stay aggressive. He’s a very unselfish player and sometimes I really want him to attack more. I want him to really look to the rim more to score the basketball and just play. But he’s one of the best in transition when he gets the ball, especially in the team press. We want to get him at the top of the half court area to go over the top and let him play because he can make decisions, he can finish strong, and he can make the shots and do a lot of things for us. He can find the shooters, but I think he played a lot better. Again, he’s a talented basketball player and he continues to get better with his overall floor game, but he’s a guy that impacts a game with rebounds, free throws, making shots, big plays, assists and steals. He does a lot of things because you have to identify him because he’s a physical presence when he’s attacking the rim. Two guys on him, and he makes the right decisions. I thought he played well.

On Cal's game plan:
“To just defend. There’s not really a game plan, but to just defend. To guard your guy and put pressure on the ball. They were shooting a lot of three’s and they made some tonight. Again, contesting the three-point line and to contain was our goal. Contest, contain and keep your guy in front of you, and I thought we did a solid job.”

Notebook

  • With Saturday's 84-51 California victory over Coppin State, the Golden Bears improved to 8-0 at Haas Pavilion this season. The Bears are now 4-0 all-time against the Eagles. Today’s meeting was the first since an 83-64 Cal win in 2013-14.
  • The 33-point win was Cal’s largest margin of victory this season. Cal entered today’s contest outscoring opponents on the home court by an average of 16 points per game. Cal’s previous largest margin of victory was 32 against Rice (97-65).
  • Four Bears hit double figures in scoring, led by 13 from Ivan Rabb and Jordan Mathews, who went 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace also finished with 12 and Brown with 10.
  • Wallace is now one point shy of 16th place on Cal’s career scoring list, which is currently held by Roy Fisher (1988-91 – 1,382).  
  • Cal enjoyed a 12-0 run in the game’s opening minutes to jump out to an early 12-3 lead. After the Eagles fought back to tie the contest at 12, the Bears went on another 12-0 run to take a 24-12 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half to take control of the game.
  • Rabb shot 3-for-4 from the field and was 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Rabb entered the game shooting 65.8 percent from the floor.
  • Mathews has made at least one three-pointer in each of his last 18 games and in 32 of his past 33. Before going 3-of-7 from long distance against Coppin State, he'd gone 5-of-12 from three in the previous two games. Before that, Mathews went through a three-game slump during which he hit 3-of-14 three-pointers.
  • Entering the game with 50 blocks, the Bears registered nine against the Eagles, including a season-high two blocks from Brown and two from Kameron Rooks.
  • Brown had a career-high five assists.
  • Junior Jabari Bird set a career high in rebounds with nine today. He and Rabb led all players with nine boards.
  • Bird finished with 10 points, two assists and a block. Over the past three games, Bird is 14-of-27 from the field (51.9%), and is averaging 12.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. Coming into that stretch, Bird had averaged 3.75 rebounds and 8.75 points, and shot 43.4% from the field.
  • In Cal’s eight home wins this year, the Bears have outrebounded opponents by an average of +13.0 margin. Today, Cal outrebounded Coppin State, 50-33.
  • Eight minutes into the game, Cal had already made nine of 11 shots from the free throw line. The Bears ended the day shooting 22-of-33 from the charity stripe, while Coppin State shot 16-for-21. 

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