Cal Men's Basketball Opponent: Stanford Preview - The Trees Round 2
The Bears will migrate down to Palo Alto to take on Stanford
Opponent: Stanford Cardinal (#105 in Kenpom as of 1/26/23)
8-12, 2-7 Pac 12
67.7 PPG/34.6 RPG/12 APG/11.4 TOPG
31.4 3 PT%
70.7 FT %
Jones is the leading scorer for Stanford at 12.8 PPG. Jones shoots 39.8% from the floor and 33% from three. Stanford will use Jones in a lot of off ball action, using curl screens to get him open on the wing. Jones also has a knack for using baseline cuts to reposition in the corners for three, so Cal’s off ball defense will be key in stifling him. He has 23 TO’s as opposed to 13 assists in 20 games, so forcing Jones into the midrange or into decision making will be key for the Bears.
Ingram was flirting with the NBA draft waters after the last season but elected to return to school. The fruits of that decision haven’t been realized yet, as he’s taken a bit of a step back, only averaging 9.2 PPG on 38% shooting and 28% from 3. Critics of Ingram have lamented that he hasn’t been aggressive enough in his second season on the farm. The Bears will need to contain him at the point of attack with hedging, because once he gets going downhill, he’s hard to stop.
So far, the glue of this Stanford team to me is Maxime Raynaud. The prototypical hustling big man, there’s quite a bit to like about Raynaud. Raynaud had 12 points and 8 rebounds in the first contest, grabbing a few offensive rebounds in the first half to keep the Cardinal in it for the time being. He hustles, is a thorn in the side of teams who want to get out and run, and even stretches the floor from time to time. Now he’s not going to light you up from deep (he shoots 29% from 3), but he’s capable. If Cal is going to win this game, they will need to out hustle Raynaud because he will be crashing the glass.
Now outside of a terrible game against Chicago State (of which they were losing at half), Stanford has won two straight conference games agains the Oregon schools. However, let’s not beat around the bush. Cal and Stanford are in the same tier of the Pac 12 this year and that’s no accident. Jerod Haase is on the hot seat (Mark Fox has a 5-4 record against him!!!) and the talent hasn’t developed. Nevertheless, the Cardinal will have a lot to prove after getting punched in the mouth in a 92-70 beatdown earlier in the season.
Cal will need to move the ball with a purpose in order to generate similar looks as they did in Berkeley. However in addition to that, I would like to see that final swing pass head into the midrange for guys like Grant Newell, because I foresee Stanford overcompensating for a prior outlier shooting night for the Bears. Mark Fox hasn’t won at the Farm, but now is as good of a time as any.
Bold Prediction: Cal 62 Stanford 61
Programming info: Sat, 1/28, 7PM on ESPNU
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