By Morris Phillips
BERKELEY, CA–A late announcement reveals the Cal Bears to be without their top two offensive threats.
In 2020, that’s par for the course. You must adjust.
With Matt Bradley dealing with a knee injury, and Grant Anticevich out after appendectomy surgery, the offensively-challenged Bears had few places to turn. Fortunately, two of those places were to graduate transfers Ryan Betley and Makale Foreman.
Foreman and Betley–arguably more impressive and consistent than Anticevich and Bradley thus far–answered the call. The duo combined for 42 points, making nine 3-pointers, in what was ironically Cal’s best offensive performance to date, an 87-56 rout of Cal State Northridge.
“I thought we did a lot of things that were really sound, and allowed us to build a lead, play from in front and get some young guys some experience,” coach Mark Fox said.
The Bears shot 60 percent from the field and registered their most convincing win since beating Oregon State in February 2017. Coming in, the Bears were shooting just 43 percent from the floor in averaging 65 points per game.
Joel Brown had his best game of the season with 10 points, shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field. Jarret Hyder, the Fresno State transfer, made his Cal debut with six points in 18 minutes off the bench. Lars Thiemann and Andre Kelly were Cal’s replacement starters and both registered exemplary games.
Not surprisingly, the Matadors, who agreed to play Cal earlier this week, weren’t pleased with their play. Besides their far too accomodating defense, they shot 35 percent and committed 17 turnovers.
“We’re a lot better and I believe we can be better,” coach Mark Gottfried said. “We turned the ball over a lot, we took bad shots, our shot selection was poor, I thought defensively we had a hard time containing the dribble and they blew right by us a number of times.”
TJ Starks, the Matadors leading scorer, was held to 13 points, and Atin Wright added 10.
Cal (4-4, 0-2) concludes its fluidly constructed non-conference schedule on Tuesday with a visit from Seattle U. Redhawks at 2pm.