5 Things to Know About: California

Syracuse is one game away from gaining a spot in the nation's final 16, familiar ground attained by last season's team. Standing in their way is California. Scout the Golden Bears with CuseNation.com inside.

The Syracuse Orange had no trouble moving past the Montana Grizzlies in their first match, controlling the entire game and winning by 47, 81-34.

Before their victory, Syracuse's opponent had already advanced to the round of 32.

The California Golden Bears come out of the Pac-12 Conference and into this match-up with the Orange after defeating the UNLV Rebels, 64-61, in the 5-vs-12 contest as the lower seed.

As both the Orange and the Golden Bears stand in each other's way of a spot in the Sweet 16, here is what you need to know about California heading into the game:

1. Top performers: Junior guards Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs

Playing in a little over 36 of the 40 allotted minutes on average per game, Crabbe is the team's leading scorer with 18.7 points per game. Cobbs follows with 15.4, playing in almost 36 minutes per contest.

Crabbe and Cobbs connect on more than 45% of their attempts from the field.

Both guards are the team's best options at the charity stripe, each making better than 81% of their free throw attempts.

No one finds their teammates for California better than Cobbs, who averages just under five assists per game.

2. Focused on the interior:

Of the 1,819 attempts the Golden Bears have taken this season from the field, 1,397 have been from inside the arc, with a 422 coming from long distance. In short, California's first line of offense is closer to the basket.

Taking a look at their success from both areas provides ample proof of why the Golden Bears favor their inside play. California has made a little over 76% of their attempts from inside the arc.

From three-point range, the Golden Bears make just under 31% of their tries, making them over 40% less effective outside than they are on the inside.

3. On the broads:

Three members of the Golden Bears average at least six rebounds per game. Forwards, junior Richard Solomon and sophomore David Kravish, are the top two options for rebounding, with Kravish grabbing seven per game, Solomon with 6.6.

In the backcourt, Crabbe also provides aid on the boards, getting a little more than six per game himself.

With such an emphasis on inside play, along with their high-percentage of success from two-point range, tenacity on the glass becomes imperative for California.

4. Sub to look out for:

Senior forward Robert Thurman provides aid to the California squad that cannot go unnoticed. Despite playing in less than half of the match in 24 of the team's 32 games, his minutes have resulted in positive play for the Golden Bears.

Thurman has made at least 60% of his attempts in 18 games this season where he took at least three attempts from the field.

He has been perfect from the field in four of those outings, including California's last victory where he made all six of his tries from the field to help the Golden Bears advance past UNLV.

5. In their previous match:

Keeping with their inside focus, California had 10 dunks in their NCAA Tournament win over UNLV.

Thurman had half of the Golden Bears' slams in the second half alone, with five to close. He had one in the opening half.

California was successful in transition, getting behind UNLV numerous times for these high-percentage attempts.

Though the Golden Bears dominate more on the inside than from three-point range as previously stated, they became even more dangerous against the Rebels when they connected on five of their 11 attempts from distance.

Crabbe and Cobbs provide California with the best opportunity to connect from long range, with each making at least 34% of their attempts.

Defensively, the Golden Bears allowed a mere three points, all from the free throw line, versus UNLV within a four-minute span in which their offense did not score, keeping an advantage despite their drought.

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