by Michael Duca
BERKELEY–The Cal Bears (10-4) next game coming up in Eugene against Oregon (13-1) is a very ranked team and they seemed to conserve every bit of it. I was up there when Cal was up there a few years back.Oregon has built this team up to be a successful club but dont look no further than Arizona (15-0) who is number one in most poll ratings in the country and they could be the Pac 12’s top winner this season.
UCLA (12-2) has an extremely good team this year, USC (9-5) were beat by UCLA 107-73 last Sunday and UCLA’s total score is like the combined score of some NCAA games. The Bears who beat Stanford (9-4) last Thursday 69-62 is always a good thing coming away from Maples Pavilion to come back with a W. Maples is a tough, tough place to play.
If its not your band being shouted down by one that doesn’t seem to actually be playing beautiful notes but still manages to make a lot of noise or your tiny contigent of fans tucked up in a corner completely outnumbered by the Stanford fans. Stanford is a hostile place for Cal to go play even though its their shortest road trip.
Its their tougest game and its a very positive thing to come out with that win at Stanford last Thursday going into this game. Two years when I was up in Oregon they had a enthusiastic crowd with a maybe a half built arena. No matter how good basketball gets in Oregon it’s never going to beat football and football is the sport they live and die for.
You can’t buy a football ticket ten years out but basketball tickets you can walk up and get, if they don’t sell out they never will because Oregon has an awfully good team. The best thing about Cal’s offense is balance lately Tyrone Wallace has been the guy whose been doing the scoring and led the team last Thursday with 20 points.
Nobody at Cal is upset to see that, there going to be a better team and they can develop a lane based offense and get some outside shooting. They have the big guys inside, they can go inside but their going to open up the floor a lot more and turn it into an inside out game taking a low post pass and repeating out to an open man once the defense starts to collapse towards them.
For Cal in this game scoring is not going to be the issue as getting stopped by the Ducks. Oregon is a team that you don’t want to try and catch when your ten or 15 points behind.
Michael Duca and Morris Phillips cover Cal Basketball for Sportstalk Radio