Cal Men's Basketball Preview: Bears close out first road trip of 2022 against Washington State
Can the Bears stop the skid?
Date: Saturday January 15th, 2022 (1PM Pac-12 Networks)
Opponent: Washington State Cougars
Record: 9-7 (Conference: 2-3)
Standings: 8th in Pac-12
KenPom Ranking: #50
Opponent Team Stats: 74.8PPG/38.7RPG/10.9APG/6.3SPG/12.4TPG
Expected Starting 5
Guard Michael Flowers
Guard Tyrell Robert
Forward TJ Bamba
Forward Andrej Jakimovski
Forward Efe Abogidi
Another tough opponent to try and snap a losing streak against. The Bears travel to Pullman to take on a formidable Cougar squad under third-year Head Coach Kyle Smith. A top 100 efficient offense and top 30 efficient defense, according to KenPom, won’t be an easy task. Though, they did endure a 20-point swing loss against the Stanford Cardinal to go from being up 10 to being down 10 in just 7 minutes. The Cougs have struggled to score the ball as a team, especially since their team is based around the 3PT game with 43.6% of their total shots coming from beyond the arc. That bodes well for the Bears, who have run their opponents off the 3PT line and have a top 35 3PT% defense. The toughest matchup will be between the Bears 2PT scoring and the Cougs 2PT defense. It basically stands as a push with the Bears scoring 48.9% of their shots inside the arc while the Cougs allow 45.6%. Can the Bears do enough damage in the paint and mid-range game with the slow tempo? Will the Cougs turn the corner for their 3PT shooting to start falling again?
Cal’s Win Probability and Score according to KenPom: 23% (60-67 Loss)