Cal (13-6, 3-3 in Pac-12) vs. Arizona (16-3, 4-2)
When: 5:30 p.m. Pacific, Sat., Jan. 23
Where: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton)
Radio: KGO 810 AM - Todd McKim, Jay John
Overall: Arizona leads 59-30
In Berkeley: Arizona leads 22-17
Current Streak: Arizona won 4
Last Meeting: Arizona won 73-51 in Las Vegas (3-12-15)
Sean Miller vs. California: 8-3
Notes: Cal is unbeaten (12-0) at home this season ... Senior point guard Tyrone Wallace broke a bone his right hand in practice Jan. 16 and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action for the Golden Bears. Cal’s most experienced player, he has 119 games and 108 starts to his credit. Wallace leads Cal in scoring with 15.4 ppg and in assists with 4.6 per game while also pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game ... Arizona’s current four-game winning streak against the Bears is tied for the program’s best streak against Cal since the Wildcats won 10 in a row against the Bears from 2000 to 2004 ... A win over Arizona would give the Bears their best to start a season at home since the 2011-12 campaign when Cal won its first 14 games in Berkeley en route to a 17-1 record.
"We're ready to rumble," He said.
Fresh off of a 75-70 win over Arizona State on Thursday, and fresh back on Joe Lunardi's Bracketology (at No. 35), the Golden Bears (13-6, 3-3 in Pac-12) host the Wildcats at Haas Pavilion at 6:30 p.m., Saturday night, on ESPN, in front of a national audience, as well as 19 Cal football official visitors.
The Wildcats (16-3, 4-2) are coming off of a second-half surge that put away Stanford, and despite being picked to once again win the Pac-12 (the Bears were picked second), they now sit at second, while Cal is seventh.
"There's a sense of urgency to win, because you want to win," said Martin, after Cal snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory over the Sun Devils. "You're hungry to win. You want to be successful. You feel like you let some games slip. But, I don't think the guys in the locker room are saying, 'These guys might go on the draft, so let's get 'em,' I don't think they think like that, at all. In Jaylen [Brown] and Ivan [Rabb]'s case, they don't talk like that. They really don't. They don't get consumed with that. All they want to do is get better and try to work hard."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1635274-bt-special-get-9-m... Rabb, who was guarded in the second half on Thursday by Eric Jacobsen, limiting his touches particularly on the low block, will have to contend with more tough defense in the person of Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot, 250-pounder.
"That kind of slowed him up," Martin said. "When he wasn't defending Ivan, he could post up and go over the top of the smaller guys. But, they put the big fella on Ivan, so we have to make the adjustment with Kam and King (Kameron Rooks and Kingsley Okoroh), to be able to go down and score against a wing or a forward. We've got to go to those guys and force them to make plays."
Rooks and Okoroh have committed one foul every five minutes, 45 seconds on the floor, and when they exit, the pressure falls on Rabb, who's fouled out five times this year. On the subject of fouls, the Bears have given up 82 points at the charity stripe in their last four games. Arizona comes into the game with its five starters shooting at a 72% clip from the line, and Tarczewski himself hitting 84%. The Wildcats, as a team, are fourth in the conference at the line, hitting 71.6%, while the Bears are dead last, shooting 66.3%.
Cal will have a tough time keeping its hands to itself against Tarczewski, who has been a man on a mission since returning from a six-game stint on the bench due to a foot injury, suffered against Santa Clara. In his six games back, Tarczewski is averaging 12.2 points and 9.5 rebounds, with three double-doubles. The Wildcats have gone 4-2 since his return, including a 103-101 four-overtime loss to first-place USC.
6-foot-9, 235-pound senior Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson has made an immediate impact, leading the Wildcats in scoring (15.0 ppg), and he's second in the Pac-12 in defensive rebounds (7.1 per game), and third in offensive rebounds (3.1 per game), coming in at second in the conference overall in rebounding (10.2), while Rabb is seventh (8.6).
Anderson -- who went 7-of-7 from the field against Stanford -- and Tarczewski, though, aren't the only sizeable assets that the Wildcats can bring to bear. 7-foot sophomore Dusan Ristic is going to provide a challenge for Rabb, Okoroh and Rooks, as he is fourth in the conference in shooting percentage -- one of four Arizona players in the conference's top 15 shooters, including University of San Francisco transfer Mark Tollefsen, who's 15th in the conference in three-point shooting (39.6%) and eighth in field goal percentage (54.4%).
"They're the team to beat, since they won the league last year," Martin said. "I think when you have that level of experience -- when you have Tarczewski, a four-year guy, and two transfers that are fifth-year guys, in Anderson and Tollefson -- and they have a starting point guard, Allen, who's a fourth-year guy, even though he's a junior, when you have that level of experience, that means you're battle-tested at some level. I think for us, it's playing as hard as we can play and executing our game plan."
Since returning to the starting lineup thanks to an injury to Allonzo Trier -- Arizona's second-leading scorer -- Tollefson has scored ten or more points in three consecutive games for the first time this season. Tollefsen is shooting 68.8 percent from the field, 75.0 percent from beyond the arc and 80.0 percent from the free throw line in those three games.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1634931-rabb-singer-sew-up... Tollefson isn't the only sniper Arizona is armed with. Gabe York is shooting 44% from beyond the arc (seventh in the Pac-12), and while the Bear lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense (allowing 66.2 points per game) and field goal percentage defense (37.8%), they aer 10th in the league in three-point defense, allowing opposing teams to shoot at a 35.8% clip from long distance. Arizona, on the other hand, is the best three-point defender in the league, meaning that Cal's 7-of-15 mark against the Sun Devils likely won't hold up to closer scrutiny, unless Jordan Mathews (who went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc against Arizona State, and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage at 44%) and Jabari Bird (1-for-5 from three on Thursday, and 2-of-8 shooting) can get going.
Arizona lost its four leading scorers from last season to graduation or the NBA Draft -- senior point guard T.J. McConnell, junior forward Brandon Ashley, sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (23rd pick overall) and frosh forward Stanley Johnson (8th overall pick) -- but despite losing all of that production (a combined 47.6 points per game), the Wildcats still came into this week tops in the Pac-12 in scoring margin (+15.8), and third in scoring offense (83.0 ppg), while also leading the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (49.2%).
That's a far cry from the Sun Devils, who came into their game at Haas Pavilion as the worst shooters in the conference, and went 23-for-61 against the Bears.
"They're obviously a really good team, and Sean [Miller] does a great job," Martin said. "I know they're talented."
Sam Singer -- who notched a career-high eight assists in a career-high 35 minutes against the Sun Devils in his first collegiate start, in place of the injured Wallace -- will be going nose-to-nose with point guard Kadeem Allen, the junior college transfer who came to Tucson as a combo guard, before taking over the reins for McConnell and pacing Arizona with 3.8 assists per game -- good for ninth in the Pac-12 -- and his 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is seventh in the league.
"Our guys will be ready to go," Martin said, after Singer held Arizona State's Tra Holder to 2-of-11 shooting on Thursday. "I think there are 50 tickets left. We need to buy those up quick, so nobody in red can get those."