Photo by Santa Clara Athletics
Cal Basketball

Bears Begin Three Games Vs. WCC Against Santa Clara

November 25, 2018
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Cal’s basketball team is about to become very familiar with the local teams in the West Coast Conference. The Bears next three games are against Santa Clara (at home Monday night), St. Mary’s (in Moraga Saturday night) and USF (at home, Dec. 5).

“These games are great games for the fans,” said Cal coach Wyking Jones in a conference call Sunday with Bay Area media members. “The opposing teams’ fans as well as ours. For us to be able to come back home and play some games against quality opponents, get some folks in the building their fans as well as ours. These are quality programs and good games.”

First up are the Broncos (1-4) who got their first win of the season Saturday night at San Jose State, 71-63.

They were not expected to have much of an impact in the WCC when the season began. But least they had a quality point guard in KJ Feagin, who averaged 17.5 points and 4.0 assists last season, and is a two-time All-WCC selection. However he broke his thumb against UC Irvine on Nov. 15 and is out indefinitely.

That continues a disturbing trend at SCU. The Broncos had already lost senior guard Matt Hauser (foot), who is taking a year off to heal,  and freshman forward Juan Ducasse (knee) for the season.

That leaves much of the scoring load to Tahj Eaddy (above) a transfer from Southwest Missouri,  who leads the team in scoring at 16.2 ppg. He had his best game at San Jose, scoring 23 points, including shooting 6-for-9 from beyond the three-point line. He has hit 10-of-17 from 3-point range in the last two games.  

“He’s a dangerous scorer, he hit six threes against San Jose State,” Jones said. “He is shootiing the ball very well. We are going to have to key in on him and do our best to slow him down.

“That has kind of been the theme.. You talk about Shamorie Ponds, (St. Johns), (SHizz) Alston at Temple, we’ve seen some really good guards. We’ve seen this before, hopefully we can come out tomorrow night and contain him and not let him go off.”

Jones pointed out that the Broncos got a boost Saturday night from a surprising source.  Henrik Jadersten, a 6-11 senior from Sweden, whose role this year had been reduced because of a stress fracture in his foot,  came off the bench at San Jose to score 17points , hitting 7-for-9 from the field, including both his three-point attempts.He had managed to score all of three points total in his first four games.

In Feagin’s absence, freshman Trey Wertz assumed the point against San Jose and dished out ten assists, while committing just two turnovers.

“When they shoot the ball and don’t turn it over they are very dangerous,” Jones said. “They took care of the ball against San Jose much better than they have been, and now they are starting to shoot the ball better (45 per cent in the last three games, 33 per cent in the first two).. The most important thing tomorrow is just do a really good job defensively,”

 

Notes: Cal leads the overall series 44-28. ...Once a regular entry in the local hoops calendar, Santa Clara and Cal last played in 2001, Cal winning, 67-60,... Herb Sendek, who had lengthy head coaching stints at North Carolina State and Arizona State, is in his third year at Santa Clara...His record with the Broncos is 28-40 ... Eight of the ten Santa Clara players who took the court in the season opener were making their Bronco debuts. ...The Bears, who traveled to China and then Brooklyn during their early season, don’t leave the state for the next 12 games. 

St.Mary’s

The Gaels, who host UC Irvine Wednesday, are a relatively disappointing 3-3. They have lost three straight, the first two, Utah State and No. 15 Mississippi State were understandable, if a bit surprising. But the Gaels lost to Harvard at home and that was atypical of a Randy Bennett tea,.

Junior guard Jordan Ford leads the Gaels in scoring at 22.0 points per game. He is hitting 43.6 per cent from the floor, but is just 8-for-28 (28.6 per cent) from 3-point range,

The Gaels won last year’s game in Berkeley, 74-63, in the first meeting between the two in 12 years. Ford had 17 in that one.

USF

The Dons arfe 6-0 for the first time since going 10-0 in 1981-82. Before facing Cal they travel across the Atlantic to Ireland for the Belfast Classic. They play Stephen F. Austin on Friday, then either Buffalo or Milwaukee,

Five Dons average in double figure scoring, led by Charles Midlend at 14.0.

 

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Bears Begin Three Games Vs. WCC Against Santa Clara

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