Discover more from Write For California
Men's Basketball: Cal Blown Out in Oregon
The Bears are easily controlled on both ends in 84-51 defeat
This is, I believe, the last time I will recap a Cal game coached by Mark Fox. Barring something quite unlikely, Cal’s season will end at the hands of the 5 seed in the Pac-12 tournament next week, and the Mark Fox era will end with a 3-29 season.
The Bears need a new head coach for many reasons, least of all because I have utterly run out of anything remotely new or interesting to say about the 2022-23 Bears, or the Mark Fox era generally.
You get the sense that everybody associated with the team recognizes that this season (and coaching tenure) is well and truly over. I’ve talked about how Cal has, against all odds, managed to maintain some level of effort and competitiveness. That, frankly, didn’t seem to be in evidence against the Ducks, particularly in the second half. I don’t think “playing out the string” would be an unfair characterization of where we are right now.
This was Cal’s 3rd 30+ point defeat in their last 6 games. Oregon made 66% of their 2 point shots, rebounded half of their missed shots, and rarely turned the ball over. This was never going to be a close contest, but for most of the game it felt like the Ducks were toying with the Bears.
For a better representation of what this season has meant, let’s take a look at some history. Here are the 10 worst single game offensive performances Cal has managed in the Kenpom era (01/02 season to the present):
And the 10 worst single game defensive performances:
Four different games from this season are featured; two each on offense and defense. You might note that SIX of Cal’s worst 10 offensive performances and three of Cal’s 10 worst defensive performances in the last 22 seasons have come under Mark Fox. Obviously, Cal’s record tells a story all by itself, but it’s worth noting that the magnitude of defeat is record breaking in a variety of ways.
Watching these games is an exercise in despair - we are LONG past learning anything new about Mark Fox, and there has never been the slightest hint that he or his coaching staff would attempt to change anything about their approach as this season spiraled out of control. We learn very little about Cal’s younger players, as they are trapped in broken systems on a team with no direction beyond vague platitudes about ‘focus’ and ‘compete.’
By next Wednesday night the season will mercifully end, and everybody involved can do their best to move on.