It was difficult to draw any truly meaningful conclusions at Hass Pavilion on Monday night as the California Golden Bears routed Carroll College 93-58 in an exhibition game. The visitors were undersized, and under-talented trying to match-up to the highly touted home team. Exhibition games are designed to get your team on the floor and get a win, and that was accomplished.
Five Bears scored in double figures, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with 17. Brown commented, "I was excited to see the fans, also to start our collegiate career. I know I had a great time."
Tyrone Wallace scored 15 and recorded 6 assists, while Ivan Rabb notched a double-double in his college debut with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Cal did not shoot it well from outside the arc in the first half, but they heated up after the intermission. The Bears were a solid 9 for 16 from distance in the second half, with Jordan Mathews and Stephen Domingo getting hot. Domingo came off the bench to score 13 points.
For the game, Cal converted 53.1% from the field (34 of 64). They finished 13 of 29 from three-point territory, a solid 44.8%.
Cuonzo Martin elected to play the "small lineup" to start with Rabb at the five spot. "I think this lineup was suitable for a game like this," he said. "I had a chance to play quite a few guys and I thought that part was good. I thought we got off to a good start on both ends of the floor.
Both Kameron Rooks and Kingsley Okoroh struggled a bit, but Martin noted that the matchups were really difficult for his big guys against the smaller Fighting Saints. Rooks played just six minutes, and Okoroh was on the floor for nine minutes.
Sam Singer came off the bench to register 9 assists, and he had no turnovers. "I thought he was aggressive. Sam's a sound basketball player," said the coach. "I thought he really set the tone when he came in the game."
There were some team breakdowns on the defensive end, as forward Oliver Carr led Carroll with a game high 21 points. "I thought we could have done a better job on the defensive end," said Wallace. Coach Martin seconded that opinion in his post game remarks. The issue on several occasions was a lack of communication.
Cal got what they wanted out of this game, and will now prepare for the opener on Friday night against Conference USA opponent Rice. "Maybe the competition may be a little bit tougher but I don't expect it to be too much different," said a confident Brown. "I expect us to dominate the game."
There is certainly a lot of reason for optimism. As Brown said, "We're a young team, we have a lot of athleticism, but a lot of young guys so we have time to grow." The Bears will face Rice on Friday night at 8:30 PM at Haas.