Last night at the Staples Center the California Bears beat Oregon State and earned the right to play #1 seed UCLA in the quarter-finals of the Pac-10 Tournament. Cal hit 12 threes in that game, something it probably won't be able to do against the much stingier Bruins, who have a great deal on the line...
UCLA plays California tonight in the
quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament at the
Center in Los
Bruins are playing this game knowing that a successful run over the next three
days will almost certainly cement their status as the #1 overall seed for the
NCAA Tournament going into Selection Sunday.
Cal is playing this game to
keep its season alive, as a loss will end their season with an overall
record of 15-17, which makes them ineligible for post-season selection.
opened their Pac-10 Tournament with a 70-51 victory over
Oregon State Wednesday
Cal used a 34-2 first-half
run to effectively decide the game.
OSU opened the second half on an 18-8 run to whittle a Cal lead down to
eight, but the Beavers couldn't get no closer. UCLA fans might be disturbed by some
trends that Cal showed last night,
particularly the 12 three-point shots that the Bears made. Further cause for concern was seeing
Bear freshman Ryan Anderson go off for a career-high 27 points, including
hitting 6 threess. Here is the
line-up for the Bears:
Ryan Anderson Freshman
Theo Robertson Sophomore
G/F Patrick Christopher
Eric Vierneisel Junior
Taylor Harrison Freshman
will certainly try and control the pace of the game by working the shot clock
and by switching defenses. They
will employ a zone at times to try and take advantage of what has been, from
time to time, UCLA's offensive weakness.
Offensively, Cal will try to create mis-matches with
Anderson on Lorenzo Mata or Alfred Aboya (who will play, after missing the Washington game with a knee contusion)
outside of the low post. Mata has
had issues guarding players like Anderson
(inside/out players) this season but he has been much
better lately. Randle gave them a
dose of offensive pep and quickness last night but he was ineffective in his
minutes against the Bruins earlier this season. Christopher is the wild card. He is very athletic and can go off for
20+ points, but he only played 13 minutes last night. If he is on then this will be a more
The key to this game for UCLA is to
simply bring the focus and energy that was missing at
Washington last week. I personally wouldn't read too much into
Cal's dominance last night.
State was a team clearly looking
forward to the end of the season.
They apparently quit on Coach Jay John several weeks ago (he may be fired
shortly). OSU didn't close out well
on shooters and weren't efficient on offense. The Beavers only attempted 48 shots to
Cal's 63, a sign of a team that
doesn't really care anymore. In
short, the Beavers were everything that UCLA is not.
Cal found it difficult to
score on UCLA in their first meeting and they couldn't take advantage of Darren Collison having a poor game at Pauley two weeks ago.
Cal would really have to
shoot like they did last night from behind the arc (12-29), and have UCLA shoot
like OSU did from the same area (4-25), for
Cal to have a real chance of
Cal also dominated the
boards last night, 43-31, something that has little chance of happening against
the Bruins. This is a very good match-up for the Bruins. But just to be sure, here are the
- Collison; even a decent game from
the Bruins PG will be enough for the victory
- Intensity on defense; fight through
screens and close out on shooters.
Do that and Cal won't hit
- No looking ahead to Friday; this
would be a focus issue.
This really shows how much this
game depends on UCLA; all of the keys relate to the Bruins. That's how much of a mismatch
this should be…and it will be.