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Basketball: Does schedule give Bears an edge?

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 11:40 pm in Basketball, Pac-12 news, Pre-season, Scheduling.

The Pac-12 has posted its basketball pre-season prospectus and one of the tidbits included is a chart showing which opponents each school will “miss” during the conference schedule.

With two extra teams in the league this season, playing an 18-game conference schedule will require each school to miss two opponents at home and two on the road.

Looks to me like the schedule is favorable to the Bears.

Here’s why: Cal will miss playing the Arizona schools on the road and the Washington schools at home. If you consider Arizona, Washington and UCLA the three chief threats to Cal for the Pac-12 title, the schedule allows the Bears to miss playing two of the six matchups against those teams.

None of the other three schools misses more than one of the lead contenders.

The Pac-12 prospectus tells that us Cal returns 76.5 percent of its scoring from a year ago, tops in the conference.

There are no 1,000-point career scorers returning, but Cal senior Jorge Gutierrez ranks No. 2 among returnees in scoring (803 points), assists (287) and steals (109) while teammate Harper Kamp is fourth in scoring (740) and second in rebounds (373).

 

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  • Rollonubears

    What about the fact that they don’t have to play us?

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Definitely nice to not have to play on Bobbi & Lute Olson court this year. And isn’t that hilarious: they named the court after Lute and his wife who died of cancer and while less than 2 years later he marries this much younger and richer woman. How does she feel when she she’s the ex’s name on the court? Lute, not exactly the patient type I guess.

    Go Bears!

  • jim crow

    Who knows? This may be just the year to play at AZ. Also, missing Washington at Cal and playing them up there does not sound so good.

    Still, Jeff, your point is well taken.

    As for BlakeStreetBear’s criticism of Lute, I can’t buy it. None of us can walk in the shoes of another person, so to take someone to task (in this case, Lute for an apparent lack of patience) is something we all should avoid. If Lute married the day after his wife died, so be it. There is no “sin” here and anyway we are all sinners!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    I remember good Cal teams played very well at the Arizona schools but I suppose its best not to play them there.

    I’m not sure about the logic behind not wanting the Washington schools at home however. If we are in contention for the Pac 12 title than playing WA at home should be considered a great opportunity.

  • milo

    Agree with Rollon…UW doesn’t have to play Cal as well. Cal plays UW very tough at Haas, so UW gets a break as well. Not playing at UA is a break but UA is tougher as road team.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Jim Crow, I was just being facetious regarding Lute and Bobbi. It is ironic that they named the court after him AND his wife, and then he turns around and remarries very quickly someone younger and richer. Not judging at all, Lute is probably a very standup guy, just think its funny, that’s all. Was I taking him to task? I don’t think so. Anyway, Go Bears!!

  • Uh Huh!

    Blake:
    Have you ever lost a spouse and been lonely?
    It’s actually quite normal for people to remarry, you know.
    The fact that the woman is younger and wealthier is inconsequential as far as we are concerned.
    Just because your partner dies, it doesn’t mean you have to live the rest of your life alone, or in mourning. There is life after death, and grasping it doesn’t mean you are disrespecting the memory of another. In fact, what a wonderful way to remember her and who she was than by having her name be on the court with his.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    The main point of my post was not to suggest the Bears should be or will be afraid of playing at Arizona or at home vs. UW. It’s simply that those two (along with Cal & UCLA) are regarded as the league’s uppercrust this season and none of the other three has the advantage of missing two of those six potential matchups.

    As far as Cal being competitive in Tucson, it’s true they lost by just two points last season, by four in 2010 and won at McKale in 2009. It’s also true the Bears have lost 15 of their past 16 games at Arizona.

    Washington has been Cal’s most difficult matchup the past couple seasons, given the Huskies’ depth and athleticism. Obviously, playing them at Haas is substantially easier than facing them in Seattle, but it did Cal little good last year in a 21-point home loss.

    Finally, how about we stay above criticizing a former coach for remarrying after the death of his wife.

  • jim crow

    Jeff,

    As usual, an excellent and intelligent post.

    My only comment is that Monty was not the coach in 13 of the 15 losses.

    Although it remains a puzzle to me why Monty is such a great coach, in contrast to, say, Braun and Campanelli, I can see clearly that this is the case.

    So the 13 straight losses before Monty probably should be discounted in assessing the chances of Monty’s Bears in future games at U of A.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Geez, i am not criticizing Lute, I don’t care if he re-married the day of his ex’s funeral. All I am saying is that it is ironic and funny (imho) that the court is named after him and his ex while he sits in the stands and watches the games with his current wife, who is not named Bobbi. Will they rename the court Lute, Bobbi, and (new wife’s name here) Court if the new wife dies of cancer?? just saying… :)

    And yah, I wish there were actually games to talk about.

  • Uh Huh!

    Blake:
    There was much discussion back then about how much Bobbi meant to the AU team. It wasn’t named after her just b/c she was Lute’s wife. It was b/c she had added to the team in her own right. At least that’s the way I understood it.

    I imagine Lute’s wife is mature enough to understand all this without feeling diminished. I bet she even cheers on Bobbi’s legacy, too.

  • discdude

    BSB, the fact that you have to explain it in 3 posts means that no one “gets” what you are saying or rather, why it even needs to be said…just sayin’.

    Agree, this is favorable scheduling, and frankly I don’t care if it means playing them or not. The point is to compile wins, build a resume, and get to the NCAA tourney. Will this help toward that goal? Probably. I think they’ll have plenty of other tough games to challenge them.