Rob's Bear Log: Was this UW football game the season-defining loss?

Here’s the low down.

This loss probably cements our position as the worst team in the conference this season, even if we were to win one of the upcoming final 2 games Washington would have the tiebreaker. We still would hold the 11th seed in the Pac-12 tournament because Arizona has a self-imposed post-season ban. So, the game in summary?

Cal’s offense was good JUST enough and Washington’s defense was bad JUST enough to keep the game within striking defense for Cal. They got within 4.

Washington’s offense was JUST good enough and Cal’s defense was bad JUST enough to maintain the lead for Washington. Their lead never exceeded 14.

I don’t want to go into a depressive rant about the game as a vessel about the entirity of the season.

  1. I feel like we’ve already done that enough this season.

  2. I feel like we’ll be doing that as we look back at the season as a whole this off-season.

Instead, we’ll take a brief look at the key aspect of the game in a relatively short recap piece tonight.

Shooting. There’s no other way to say it. This is what it came down to. We committed only 10 turnovers the whole game, gave up only 4 offensive rebounds, and defended a good balance between 2s and 3s.

The Bears were abysmal shooting the ball tonight. Inside and Outside. 26.7% from the field. 17.6% from beyond the arc. Despite taking 11 more shots than Washington, on 11 more offensive rebounds. Every single Bear struggled to knock down any shot with any consistency against the worst defensive team in conference play. In a way, it’s kind of poetic for this season, that the Bears would have its worst offensive performance against the conference’s worst defense. If Matt wasn’t getting his shot to go down from the perimeter, this would have been a tough game to break that UW Zone. He started the game 1-10 and ended the game without a single made 3. And despite getting to the line 11 times, it never got the rest of his game going. Grant also could not make a single 3.

The issues also stemmed from the Bears’ inability to deal with the zone offense. There was no real zone breaker plays designed. We planted Grant at the free-throw line and gave him looks, we tried to post up off the wing, and we tried to stretch the zone with deep 3s. None of those options were efficient. The key aspect of running a high-post offense against the zone is maximizing the collapsing defense against the short corner or a baseline cut from the weakside. The issue without offense was we would get a good look into the high post but have no action beyond that and have to pass back out to reset. With the post-up option, you need to isolate the center and the short corner defender and work quick decisions, but most of our post players are traditional post players that take a longer time to develop their plays. This descended the bears into heavy isolation plays on the wings against the zone trying to break it from distance.

Nothing went right for the Bears on offense.

I’ll leave it at that today. The Oregon schools in Berkeley are up next.

California Rising.

Two things of note from Mark Fox and the postgame:

  • Matt Bradley had been dealing with an upset stomach and was apprently using the trash can at various times during the game.

  • Joel Brown had swelling around his Achilles and was held out for that reason. Was not a DNP-CD.