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Basketball: Five keys to a Cal victory

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 9:23 am in Basketball, NCAA Tournament.

Five keys to a Cal victory over South Florida:

Start strong. Cal has won just once in its past four games. The Bears need some early positive feedback to provide confidence and momentum.

Follow the leaders. Seniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp know this could be their final game. They looked at peace with things Tuesday and will be ready to play tonight. Freshman David Kravish has never been on a stage like this. He needs to keep an eye on Kamp.

Get a good perimeter game from Allen Crabbe. The Bears won’t easily score inside or in transition against this team. They need to make some 3-pointers. If Crabbe hits three or more, the Bears have a chance.

Do not fall behind by double digits. Because of the pace USF plays, a 10-point deficit feels like 20 or 25, according to Villanova coach Jay Wright.

Score at least 65 points. The Bears are 21-5 when they reach 65; the Bulls 3-5 when they allow that many.

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  • Kevin

    It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve started a game strong. We’ve battled from behind in at least our last four games, so a quick start for the Bears would be huge. Rebounding against their size is also a big key. And no foul trouble…

  • Esquire Joe

    I would add PATIENCE. As Cal has stumbled down the stretch, they have fallen into those deficits by making poor decisions and not waiting for good looks. Whether it’s because fatigue has clouded their decision-making or because they’re trying to do too much and make up a 10 point deficit on one possession, they just haven’t allowed their looks to develop.

    Which has led to turnovers, which has led to more deficits.

    Let’s hope they take care of the ball and run their offense with confidence tonight. GO BEARS!

  • http://thewisdomcow.blogspot.com/ The Wisdom Cow

    Well, offensive production will obviously be a key, but I know one thing Cal will need to do for any real chance, rebound.

    USF is bigger, much bigger all around. That may bode well for some turnovers, but it does not towards stopping their offensive rebounds. It may become a battle of futility, which team does less worse offensively wins, and in that case, Cal cannot afford to give USF multiple opportunities each time down the court.

    A hope is that we can get to the line. Harper may not be able to score much down low, but he should be able to pass. Getting people in good positions to get fouled, even if the shots get blocked, would be a nice change. Refs have been “letting them play” most games when others play physical against us. I’m hoping that changes a little. I’m not hoping for ticky tack fouls, but when a legitimate foul down low goes uncalled while you play against a bigger team, then you are screwed.

  • Juancho

    My five keys are:

    1. For me to not watch bc they always lose when i view on tv
    2. Listen to mariachi music in honour of jorge
    3. Have a drink as soon as i can after work
    4. For me to anticipate Cal losing
    5. To reminesce on ben brauns recruiting prowess
    6. To wish eveybody a happy pi day on this most holy of days in the mathematics calendar

    3.14159………

  • Juancho

    South florida is a sliw you down defensive team like colorado. We’ll lose handily.

  • covinared

    Key#6- brandon smith does not try to score.

  • joey

    I think we should start Thurman and bring Kravish off the bench.

  • http://capitolgoldbuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Cobbs, Jorge and Crabbe need to drive it at the center of the defense and then find open men, either 3′s or dumpoffs for dunks, and NOT try to score over/through big defenders.

    This Bear team is at its absolute best when efficiently sharing the ball, obviously. And we’ve seen some crazy stats this year like 21 assists on 26 fgs or something like that in one game. Drive and dish, drive and dish. Sounds simple, and it is. That and rebounding will be key.

    I am getting excited, almost game time! Got my Negra Modelo, got my Cazadores. Got my half-mexican fiance by my side (she’s never seen the Bears lose in person). Viva los Osos Dorados! Go Bears!