Basketball: ASU game thread

FINAL SCORE: Arizona State 78, Cal 60. The Bears (18-11, 9-7) fall out of a tie for third place after being routed in Tempe. Bears now tied for fifth place with Colorado and just one game ahead of Oregon, Utah and Washington, all 8-8. Cal has now lost 3 of its past 4 games, by a combined margin of 68 points.

The Bears struggled at both ends of the court in this one. ASU, after making just 4 of its first 17 shots, converted 25 of its final 39 (including some garbage time with the walkons). Jermaine Marshall scored 22 points, including 6 for 8 from the 3-point arc, to lead the Sun Devils (21-8, 10-6), who swept the Bay Area schools at home this week after losing to Utah and Colorado on the road a week ago. Jonathan Gilling added 15 points for ASU, including four baskets from inside the 3-point arc. He had made just 4 2-pointers throughout the entire Pac-12 schedule, according to Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic.

Cal got 15 points from Justin Cobbs, 12 points and eight rebounds from David Kravish and 14 points off the bench from Jordan Mathews. But the Bears shot just 41.5 percent and once more got almost no offensive contribution from Richard Solomon. Solid most of this season, the senior forward is shooting 6 for 24 and averaging just 5.5 points the past four games.

Cal returns home to face Utah on Wednesday, then Colorado on Saturday. To earn that top-4 finish and a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament and to fan their NCAA tournament hopes, the Bears may have to win both. 

HALFTIME: Arizona State 29, Cal 24. The Sun Devils outscored the Bears 11-2 over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the half to go ahead. ASU leads despite shooting just 33 percent (9 for 27) in the half. The Bears, who shot well early, cooled to 35.7 percent (10 for 28). ASU has a 21-17 rebounding edge. Justin Cobbs (nine points), David Kravish (eight) and Jordan Mathews (seven) have combined for all of Cal’s points. Tyrone Wallace and Richard Solomon are scoreless. Jermaine Marshall has 10 for ASU.

WELCOME: As was the case Wednesday when Cal played at Arizona, I am not in Tempe today for the Bears’ game vs. Arizona State. But I will provide updates at halftime and postgame.

Cal will play today without freshman backup center Kameron Rooks, who is out for the season with a left foot injury.

Better news for the Bears: Colorado already has lost 75-64 at Utah, so the logjam for third place now is just three teams. Cal, Arizona State and Stanford all are 9-5 in the Pac-12. CU dropped to 9-6.

A Cal win today and a Stanford loss on Sunday at Arizona would give the Bears third place by themselves, no worse than one game behind second-place UCLA.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 1brsfan

    Need a strong 2nd half! Go Bears!

  • 1brsfan

    So much for that. We need to sweep at home to have a descent shot.

  • Juancho

    What a weird team, year in and year out. It seems that we have a great coach with Monty, yet our typical year is being a bubble team that plays inconsistently. I just wonder how much gas he has left in the tank and whether despite his excellent coaching acumen, if he is no longer the most impactful coach Cal could hire for the basketball team.

  • Wehofx

    We stopped playing D in 2 half. Offense can be tough to get going esp on the road but there is NO excuse for the lack of D intensity. No heart.

    This team has become my least fav of Monty era. However, being the dumbass that I am, I remain hopeful our Bears will find themselves next week.

    Juancho, welcome back. What’s her name?

  • Steve Fischer

    Another important game another blowout! Go Monty – Go far away. When he started many of you said just give him a few years… Even though Cal has advantage of its location, academics and major conf. status- Monty is mediocre. Retire him at the end of the season.

  • Juancho

    Haha, Wehofx, that obvious huh?

  • 1brsfan

    I stand by my comments after the Zona game. We’re a 19-20 win (10 in P12) team with the talent we have. We’re exactly were most expected, including myself. Bubble tourney team that needs two more wins over last 2 home games and P12 tourney to have a chance. We have too many young players to have any consistency -although I’d hope that would be getting better instead of worse.

  • 707 Bear

    Juancho, welcome back.

    House of Cards review? The hoops team and Netflix.

  • GoBears49

    Cal needs to sweep the final two at home, PLUS win their first game in the Pac -12 tourney, to get in, and that may not be enough if Stanford wins its final two and also gets at least one Pac – 12 tourney win. The way Cal is now playing, that may be too much to expect.

    We are going downhill, fast, and will have less talent next year. Look at how much we now depend on Cobbs. And he won’t be around next year.

    After years of being an optimist, I am now being a realist. The team needs a big spark, and probably not just from one person, or we’ll be talking very soon about how our chances are in the NIT. Might be good for Cal fans who like to watch the team in person, which the NIT route might allow. But we’d be lucky to fill half the house for an NIT game.

  • Juancho

    707. I am one of the few whos has not seen house of cards. Is it good ?

    I today did enjoy the movie leap of faith. And am currently savouring worlds greatest dad starting robin williams.

  • 707 Bear

    House of Cards–like the Bears–is capable of some fine moments, but ultimately is only above average.

    It’s like the Las Vegas Bowl.

    Just finished Breaking Bad which is the Rose Bowl on a sunny day.

  • 1brsfan

    I disagree. If they win next two they’re in. If they win at least one in tourney it’s gravy. If you were a realist you would realize that this team was never going to be top 3 in the conference because all we have is Cobbs and young players with potential. We’re not going downhill,
    we’re right where we should be. We were teased by the 5-0 start but we were out kicking our coverage. I do agree that next year looks like a rebuilding year but maybe the young guys will be more consistent and keep us in the upper half of the conference.

  • Juancho

    No spoilers. But breaking bad easily my favorite show since seinfeld.

  • AztecDan

    Hey brother Juancho- long time, hope all is well.

    As much as it pains me to say it, I dont think Monty is a great coach anymore. I have a couple thoughts of why I think that might be. I’ll spare everyone from my tired ramblings on that topic for now, as …

    I’m beat, just got back from Fresneck watching my Aztecs move to 25-3 & 14-2. 2 biggest games of the season coming up for all the marbles and hopefully a #2 or #3 seed … OUT WEST.

    Fresno the city is kinda dismal, nice arena tho, serve beer (!) best crowd of the year for them by far, they gave away a couple thousand tickets to try and fill the place up- 16,000 plus are a lot of seats to fill. Best crowd prior was 6700. still tons of empties.

    Tark was honored at halftime, very nice ceremony, he’s is now very old and weak. He tried to speak but was unable. Kinda sad.

  • Steve Fischer

    Oh another “rebuilding” year. That term is usually used for teams that go far in the NCAA’s. Rebuilding from what? If after Monty has been coach 4-5 years and we can stop using the excuse that his players were inherited from Braun, we still can win in a league with only a few decent teams, where are we?

  • GoBears49

    Responding to Ibrsfan below, I totally disagree with him. Though I can’t prove it, the NCAA selections are primarily based upon RPI standings, though other factors do come in, like how a team has performed in the last few weeks of the season (a big negative for Cal so far). If you assume that only six teams from the Pac – 12 will get in, which I think is an extremely fair assumption (and maybe a little too generous), then Cal has to finish sixth in the conference in RPI. Right now they are a very poor seventh behind Stanford at #6. See below (RPI rankings are in brackets).

    Even if Cal sweeps its last two conference games, it probably would not pass Stanford for the sixth league spot in RPI if Stanford wins its last two (and note that, in the ninth statistical column, it is shown that Stanford is 8 -4 in its last 12 games, probably 7 – 5 after tonight’s Arizona game, but Cal is only 5 – 7). Cal might not even pass Stanford in RPI if Cal sweeps next weekend and Stanford only wins one of its two games, though I think it’s likely that Cal would pass Stanford in that instance.

    Even if Cal passes Stanford next weekend in the RPI, Stanford could come out higher than Cal in RPI at the end of the season if Cal loses its first Pac – 12 tourney and Stanford wins it.

    A few asides. I think the RPI rankings may be wrong in that Utah is now 19 – 9, not 17 – 9, as listed below, so Utah should be ranked higher. If Utah sweeps this weekend and Cal and Stanford both loses two, Utah would probably be sixth in the league in RPI and the best Cal could do is remain at the seventh spot, and thus not get into the dance.

    Finally, and a bit ironically, though Cal has a very decent opportunity to come in fourth in the league and thus get a first round bye in the league tourney, they might be better off not coming in the top four. That way, they would, technically at least, face an “easier” team in their first round game in the league tourney, and get a win they need to finish sixth in the league in RPI and have a chance to get into the NCAA’s. Cal would probably play USC or Washington St. Cal split with USC and swept WSU, but it recently took overtime at Cal for them to beat WSU. But a win over a team with a lousy record probably would not help Cal much in its RPI ranking. And if Stanford finished sixth before the tourney, they probably would have to lose its first round game for Cal to get in. So, on second thought, maybe its better for Cal to finish fourth and play someone better than USC or WSU in its first round tourney game, so they can beat someone who is good and thus get more of an upward spike to its RPI.

    1 (1)Arizona.678726-281401224-05-16-110-214.715.119.92 (22)UCLA.615621-7151210715120-25-33-28-42512.41.914.33 (29)Arizona State.603821-844112241951-33-25-28-4236.34.410.84 (30)Colorado.602120-912263749421-42-35-26-6504.13.87.85 (32)Oregon.599920-84965572841-21-37-37-53012.9-1.511.46 (43)Stanford.588618-945686439771-33-32-38-4426.13.69.77 (51)California.579018-11416211836391-52-44-05-7263.92.46.38 (77)Washington.555216-13359815041230-24-43-45-7624.7-1.92.89 (78)Utah.553117-9119934863371-33-32-27-5453.76.810.410 (99)Oregon State.539615-12978724681761-12-32-46-6864.9-1.83.011 (168)USC.49969-19143120118710-42-71-51-111170.5-3.1-2.612 (196)Washington State.48618-19489526718680-10-92-61-11137-9.75.9-3.8

  • GoBears49

    The stat chart above got garbled when it was copied and pasted. Here’s the link to it so you can see it clearly.


  • AztecDan

    Who’s gonna retire him? Sandy Barbour?

    Barbour let Braun fester here way too long, Tedford WAY too long thanks to her cluelessness and bungling re the Tedford life sentence (contract), and, and being the sports and football visionary she is, hired Sonny Delusional (“Andy Buh is a great D Coordinator” mixed in with a little “we’re going to have a top 3 recruiting class in the P12”).

    Monty will leave when Monty wants too, and when he leaves you can bet Barbour will screw up the next hiring.

  • Juancho

    Welcome back brother dan. Looks like the aztecs will be the only team ill be rooting for this tourney unless cal wins the conference tournament.

  • 1brsfan

    RPI is used but it’s not the only tool. As you mentioned there are many other factors. I have seen many teams with RPI’s in 30-45 range get left out of the dance due to those other factors. For that reason Oregon, with a much higher RPI than Cal, was one of the first four out while Cal was in according to the “experts”.

  • AztecDan

    Thanks Juancho. You’re more than welcome on the Aztecs train. Would love to have you aboard. We will take all positive thoughts and people pulling for us.

    Were at UNLV on Wednesday, and then host New Mexico on Saturday- that game should be #10 vs #18-20-ish. Very very tough finish to the season.

    I always tell anyone that loves college hoops that when any of those 3 MWC teams play, it’s must see TV in 3 of the best and most raucous home courts in the country. I wish the P12 had more really good home courts like those. Other than Arizona, and MAYBE UW, the P12, while having many nice facilities, are pretty weak crowd and atmosphere wise. I’ve been to most.

    About the GBears… Man, I just don’t known what to say. It’s extremely frustrating. Monty is still a “good” coach, much better than Braun, but I’m afraid Cal’s ceiling isn’t going to be that high with him here. Can they get the S16 or E8? I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see that happening.

    Contrast that with Steve Fisher, who will look anyone right in the eye and tell you the program’s goal is to win the National Chaampionship- and you believe him, and believe that it is possible. And that is at little ol’ San Diego State, that has a fraction of the athletic gold reserve that Cal and other P12 schools do.

  • 707 Bear

    If Breaking Bad is the Rose Bowl on a sunny day,

    Mad Men is a Cal victory on a sunny day at the Rose Bowl. (Just watched season 5 final, “The Phantom.”)

    Mad Men is TV as art.

  • GoBears49

    Response to Ibrsfan post of a few hours ago —

    We agree that the RPI is not the only tool the NCAA uses, but I think it is the favored tool. Here’s a comment from an article I found, published in Feb. 2013, which says the RPI is “still the official and favored ranking system of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee” —

    Despite taking quite the beating recently, the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is still the official and favored ranking system of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee. The RPI does not take into account margin of victory, making its predictive accuracy dubious at best when compared to rankings like Ken Pomeroy’s or Jeff Sagarin’s, which do include MOV. That is why I was stunned to hear Mike Bobinski, chair of the Selection Committee, say this last week:

    “Interestingly, last week we asked a statistician that works with the NCAA who is really, really sharp, to sort of do a comparison of all the major different rankings that exist, including the RPI and others that you can all probably certainly come up with who they are, and compare those evaluations systems with performance in the tournament.

    Interestingly, if we went through that, we were all surprised to see that the RPI actually did end up with the highest level of predictive value and the highest correlation with ultimately success in the tournament. That doesn’t mean we’re going to use it more or less this year. It’s just a very interesting piece of information.”

  • GoBears49

    Here’s another interesting comment from an ESPN blog from 2011 — says the RPI is the NCAA’s “dominant statistical formula” but that other factors can come into play. However, Cal really can’t point to anything that stands out in their record this season, except for a win over Arizona. But, if that win was truly analyzed using subjective factors, it should be given less weight because Zona’s #2 scorer was out almost the whole game. However, the win over Oregon is starting to have some significance.

    In other words, the NCAA’s official stance is that the Ratings Percentage Index is, as I wrote above, “supplemental data.” According to the NCAA’s own prescriptions, RPI shouldn’t be determinative. Rather, it should be used to challenge or buttress perceptions about teams based on a whole host of other factors, including and up to the “eyeball test.” In reality, as I observed at the mock bracket selection exercise last year, the RPI is all over the selection committee’s information. Official NCAA nitty-gritty sheets are organized the same way as the ones at ESPN.com are organized — by columns based on top 50 wins, top 100 losses, and so on. There’s no question the RPI is the NCAA’s dominant statistical formula. That, as Jeff writes, is a bit of a problem.

  • Rollonubears

    I don’t think we were teased by the 5-0 start. We have played really well at times, but unlike other teams, we didn’t get better as the year went on. We have the talent to beat just about any team outside of the top10, when we get up for games. We just don’t get up for the games.

    This is the same story, every year. And even if we do win the last 2, and make a run in the pac12 tourney, as we’ve done in the past, instead of building on the momentum and surprising everyone with a nice little tourney run, we’ll get humiliated in the first game and then blame it on being tired from all those pac12 tournament games we wish we hadn’t played because “we lack depth.” I’m tired of the excuses. If we don’t make the tourney and win at least one game, Monty needs to go. We can “rebuild” with a new coach.