Hoops Preview - California

With a huge rivalry win under their belt, the Washington Huskies will be back in action Thursday when they play host to what is considered the best team in the conference, the California Golden Bears. The tip time is set for 5:30 p.m. PT.

Cal, who doesn't really have a marquee win this year, are 15-4, with all four losses away from Berkeley to No. 21 Missouri, San Diego State, No. 23 UNLV and Oregon State.

As for their players, Allen Crabbe is commonly considered one of the best players in the conference. Averaging 15.7 points a game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 45 percent from three-point distance, the 6-foot-6 sophomore wing is only behind Jared Cunningham and Tony Wroten in scoring for the Pac-12. Although he is not much of a defensive player, Crabbe has no conscience when it comes to shooting the ball and has a huge range.

Starting alongside Crabbe in the backcourt will perhaps be the most respected player in the conference, Jorge Gutierrez. A 6-foot-3 senior guard, Gutierrez's defensive exploits have been well-chronicled throughout his time at Cal. Although he only averages 1.3 steals per game, he considered the best on-ball defensive player in the conference, and one of the best in the nation. As for offense, the Mexican national is very solid, averaging 14.3 points a game on 47 percent shooting, while dishing out 4.3 assists a game.

Also in the backcourt will be sophomore Justin Cobbs, who is averaging 12.9 points a game on 52 percent shooting in his first year with Cal since transferring from Minnesota. Mainly playing the point, the 6-foot-2 guard is averaging 4.9 assists a game.

In the front court, the Golden Bears are powered by fifth-year senior Harper Kamp. A 6-foot-8, 245 pound forward, Kamp averages 9.4 points a game on 54 percent shooting. Kamp also pulls in 5.1 rebounds a game.

With Richard Solomon ruled ineligible for the rest of the season due to grade issues, the Bears have turned to a freshman to fill out the starting five - David Kravish. So far this year, the 6-foot-9 Missouri native is averaging a solid 5.7 points a game on a team-high 57 percent shooting. The young post is also pulling in 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game.

As a team, Cal has a few things going for them. They are ranked No. 3 nationally in steals per game (4.4), No. 6 in 3-point field goal percentage (41.5 percent), No. 12 in assists to turnover ratio (1.4), No. 14 in rebounds allowed a game (29.7), No. 19 in assists per game (16.5) and No. 27 in defensive efficiency (90.1).


Dawgman.com Top Stories