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Bears Start Slow, Pull Away from Saint Martin’s in Exhibition

October 30, 2019
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For the first half, it looked like some new players but the same defensive product. The Bears gave up 41 points to Division II Saint Martin’s and clung to a three-point lead at halftime. But a 13-4 run to begin the second half gave the Bears some breathing room and it never got close again as Cal rolled to a 98-75 win in Mark Fox’s first game on the sidelines at Haas Pavillion Wednesday night. 

“It was great to finally play a game,” Fox said after the exhibition game. “It’s why we all fell in love with the game, it’s a chance to compete and to play. So it was really good for our team to have a chance to play.” 

Graduate transfer Kareem South led all scorers with 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field. Sophomore guard Matt Bradley chipped in 18 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the three-point line. And junior forward Grant Anticevich showed the improvement we’ve seen and heard about in the off-season, going for 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field. Overall, the Bears shot 54.4% from the field, including 40.7% from the three-point line.

But perhaps the most impressive stat of the game was the team going for a combined 26 assists and just six turnovers. Senior point guard Paris Austin led the team with seven assists and zero turnovers. Freshman guard Joel Brown added six assists and zero turnovers in 14 minutes. And Bradley chipped in another five assists with just one turnover.

“The thing I like about our team is we tend to practice unselfishly,” Fox said. “I don’t think we have anyone that’s a ball-stopper. And I think they enjoyed helping each other get better.” 

Ball movement was key as the Saint Martin’s Saints used a zone the entire game, attempting to mask the talent and size deficiencies. South said the team leaned on the coach’s designed plays to get guys open. “We were very unselfish and we got guys open,” he said.

Cal went up 34-19 with 8:15 to go in the first half after a Bradley three. But the Bears would score just 10 points over the next eight minutes while Saint Martin’s went on a 22-10 run to close Cal’s lead to three at halftime. But some halftime defensive adjustments proved to work as Cal opened the second half on a 15-4 run in the first five minutes to go up 59- 45. The lead wouldn’t drop below double digits the rest of the game and Cal would use another 13-2 run to take a 21-point lead and put the game out of reach.

“There’s one thing we hadn’t even talked about in practice yet,” Fox said of one defensive scheme they implemented in the second half. “We just haven’t had a chance to get to it. It’s one scheme we haven’t taught our team yet. We just kinda taught it — really we just taught it during a timeout — and it slowed them down a bit.”

After the Saints went 7-for-14 from three in the first half, Cal’s defensive adjustments and energy held the Saints to just 4-for-12 from long-range in the second half. 

“Obviously an excellent three-point shooting team, which that’s all we really knew about them coming in — no game film, nothing to prepare on,” Fox said. “But credit to them for shooting the three-point shot well.”

Fox wasn’t impressed with Cal’s defense overall on the night.

“Our defense probably isn’t in the same galaxy that it takes to beat good teams,” he said. “But we’ll learn a lot from tonight’s game.

“We’ll have to play a lot, lot better next week to have opportunities to win.”

Besides South, many other newcomers looked solid. In addition to the assists, Brown’s defensive presence and energy were impressive. Seven-foot freshman, Lars Thiemann got the start and shined at moments, showing a good ability to follow missed shots, smooth footwork, and a deft shot-blocking ability. The German greenhorn finished with nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field and grabbed five rebounds. He also had four of the team’s six blocks and altered many shots in the paint.

“Lars has an unbelievable demeanor,” Fox said.. “I mean, it’s hard to rattle Lars. He’s very poised. He’s not wise beyond his years, but he’s very poised.”

Other freshmen, D.J. Thorpe and Dimitrios Klonaras also added three points each and looked good in limited action with Klonaras logging 10 minutes and Thorpe just six.

However, highly anticipated freshman forward Kuany Kuany was sidelined with a knee brace. Junior wing Juhwan Harris-Dyson also didn’t suit up for the Bears or go through any warmup drills. Fox said he expects both of them back at some point but didn’t give a timetable. 

The Bears return to action for their official season-opener against Pepperdine  Nov. 5. Pepperdine returns a veteran core and is led by former Washington coach, Lorenzo Romar.

Discussion from...

Bears Start Slow, Pull Away from Saint Martin’s in Exhibition

2,254 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by UrsaMajor
concordtom
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Thanks for writing this up, and posting free!
concordtom
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Sports fans could be forgiven for missing. Game7 of the WS was pretty damn good.
concordtom
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Last thing Coach Fox said was "Blake Welle will redshirt".
FYI.
concordtom
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Article listed only one starter: Lars.
But on the mentions, I figure the others were South, Austin, Bradley, and Anticevich.

No mention of Kelly, who some thought would start.

JHD injured.
oskidunker
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Kelley played back up center. Looked ok
Last year is over,” Fox said. “Today we start to fight forward. We build for greater days.”
bearchamp
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Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
UrsaMajor
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bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
R90
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UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.
calumnus
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R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
UrsaMajor
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calumnus said:

R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
Absolutely true. However, I thought he was moving better Wednesday night than last year, and he definitely looked less flabby.
bearmanpg
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calumnus said:

R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
I would guess that can be said about most any player.....Wilt Chamberlain was probably more effective against smaller teams....Bill Russell was probably more effective against smaller teams.....Shaquille O'Neal....etc. etc.

Since Kelly is an undersized 5, it would make sense that he would be better against smaller teams...
Big C
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bearmanpg said:

calumnus said:

R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
I would guess that can be said about most any player.....Wilt Chamberlain was probably more effective against smaller teams....Bill Russell was probably more effective against smaller teams.....Shaquille O'Neal....etc. etc.

Since Kelly is an undersized 5, it would make sense that he would be better against smaller teams...

Sure, but Kelly's drop-off in conference play was very significant. I thought part of it was that he was frustrated in the Wyking Jones "system" (such as it was). Seemed like he was miffed that he was being ignored on offense, which caused him to lose some tenacity on defense. Especially with his lack of length, on defense he needs to beat his man to that post-up spot on the floor. Draymond Green needs to be his role model. Though he'll probably never be able to guard as many positions as Draymond, he can try and emulate his post defense. Otherwise, he has a smooth athleticism that is rare for a guy his size. He lacks "explosion", but some of that could come as he remakes his body (if he does).

I wonder if he's 100% bought in to the new staff. Hope so.
calumnus
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bearmanpg said:

calumnus said:

R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
I would guess that can be said about most any player.....Wilt Chamberlain was probably more effective against smaller teams....Bill Russell was probably more effective against smaller teams.....Shaquille O'Neal....etc. etc.

Since Kelly is an undersized 5, it would make sense that he would be better against smaller teams...



You see it all the time in high school. A 6'5" center may be able to dominate inside with his strength and athleticism against smaller competition tall enough to block shots against most players while the 7' center is still awkward, his additional height providing little additional benefit. However, the 7' center in college is far better at defending players that are 6'8 and above.

Kelly and Vanover on the court together was a nice combination, but we did not have the front court depth to do that enough. Anderson and Hardin would have been a good combination too for the same reason, and that team had tons of front court depth, but Braun preferred to go small despite our lack of backcourt depth and we came i. Second to last as a result.
oskidunker
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Kelly made about 6 threes in a row in pregame warmups. He is a center who can stretch the defense. We may see this
Last year is over,” Fox said. “Today we start to fight forward. We build for greater days.”
SFCityBear
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oskidunker said:

Kelly made about 6 threes in a row in pregame warmups. He is a center who can stretch the defense. We may see this
He needs the ball to do this. Last year, he didn't see the ball very often. Whether that was Jones' idea, or not, I don't know. I'll be happy if he scores in the post, gets his rebounds and plays good D. We have enough three point shooters without him wandering away from the post area. But if he is shooting threes in warmups, it is likely the coach wants him to take some. For many players, making threes in warmups also raises the confidence level for shooting mid range and shorter jumpers.
south bender
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Big C said:

bearmanpg said:

calumnus said:

R90 said:

UrsaMajor said:

bearchamp said:

Kelly showed no improvement since last year; limited minutes though.
Disagree entirely--with the caveat that this is a small D2 school. Andre looked slimmer than last year, and he went for 9 points and 6 boards in only 15 minutes (he shot 3-4 and 3-5 from the line). I'll take that from a backup center every day of the week.
On the whole, Andre looked more effective to me last night than Lars. In practice, and in the future, Lars may be better, thus his starting role.



Last year Andre was most effective against smaller teams.
I would guess that can be said about most any player.....Wilt Chamberlain was probably more effective against smaller teams....Bill Russell was probably more effective against smaller teams.....Shaquille O'Neal....etc. etc.

Since Kelly is an undersized 5, it would make sense that he would be better against smaller teams...

Sure, but Kelly's drop-off in conference play was very significant. I thought part of it was that he was frustrated in the Wyking Jones "system" (such as it was). Seemed like he was miffed that he was being ignored on offense, which caused him to lose some tenacity on defense. Especially with his lack of length, on defense he needs to beat his man to that post-up spot on the floor. Draymond Green needs to be his role model. Though he'll probably never be able to guard as many positions as Draymond, he can try and emulate his post defense. Otherwise, he has a smooth athleticism that is rare for a guy his size. He lacks "explosion", but some of that could come as he remakes his body (if he does).

I wonder if he's 100% bought in to the new staff. Hope so.
I agree 100% that Kelly appeared--for good reason--to be adversely affected by Wyking's total inability to see that he got the ball in scoring position.

Hopefully Fox will correct this. After all, in his early games, when he did get the ball, he appeared to be the best scorer on the team.
bluesaxe
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SFCityBear said:

oskidunker said:

Kelly made about 6 threes in a row in pregame warmups. He is a center who can stretch the defense. We may see this
He needs the ball to do this. Last year, he didn't see the ball very often. Whether that was Jones' idea, or not, I don't know. I'll be happy if he scores in the post, gets his rebounds and plays good D. We have enough three point shooters without him wandering away from the post area. But if he is shooting threes in warmups, it is likely the coach wants him to take some. For many players, making threes in warmups also raises the confidence level for shooting mid range and shorter jumpers.
A big who can hit threes opens up the middle for others and pushes the defense where it doesn't want to go. A guy Kelly's height can use that kind of advantage.
SFCityBear
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bluesaxe said:

SFCityBear said:

oskidunker said:

Kelly made about 6 threes in a row in pregame warmups. He is a center who can stretch the defense. We may see this
He needs the ball to do this. Last year, he didn't see the ball very often. Whether that was Jones' idea, or not, I don't know. I'll be happy if he scores in the post, gets his rebounds and plays good D. We have enough three point shooters without him wandering away from the post area. But if he is shooting threes in warmups, it is likely the coach wants him to take some. For many players, making threes in warmups also raises the confidence level for shooting mid range and shorter jumpers.
A big who can hit threes opens up the middle for others and pushes the defense where it doesn't want to go. A guy Kelly's height can use that kind of advantage.
What you say is true, but realize that when you move Kelly outside, you can make Cal less effective in other areas. Kelly is one of our best rebounders, and If you move him outside, that will affect Cal's ability to get offensive rebounds. Cal was the absolute worst rebounding team in the PAC12 last season. We got killed on the boards, and we will not become a winning team until we improve our rebounding.

Second, Kelly is a wide body, and wide bodies make great screens, hard for a defender to get around. Move him out to the perimeter, and that will limit the time he will be available to set screens, for players driving to the basket.

Third, having Kelly on the perimeter means that is one less player who will be available to run pick and roll plays, which is one of the few plays used by teams these days, but a very effective play with the right big man.

Of these three, the most important is number one, the negative effect moving Kelly outside would have on offensive rebounding.
UrsaMajor
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SFCityBear said:

bluesaxe said:

SFCityBear said:

oskidunker said:

Kelly made about 6 threes in a row in pregame warmups. He is a center who can stretch the defense. We may see this
He needs the ball to do this. Last year, he didn't see the ball very often. Whether that was Jones' idea, or not, I don't know. I'll be happy if he scores in the post, gets his rebounds and plays good D. We have enough three point shooters without him wandering away from the post area. But if he is shooting threes in warmups, it is likely the coach wants him to take some. For many players, making threes in warmups also raises the confidence level for shooting mid range and shorter jumpers.
A big who can hit threes opens up the middle for others and pushes the defense where it doesn't want to go. A guy Kelly's height can use that kind of advantage.
What you say is true, but realize that when you move Kelly outside, you can make Cal less effective in other areas. Kelly is one of our best rebounders, and If you move him outside, that will affect Cal's ability to get offensive rebounds. Cal was the absolute worst rebounding team in the PAC12 last season. We got killed on the boards, and we will not become a winning team until we improve our rebounding.

Second, Kelly is a wide body, and wide bodies make great screens, hard for a defender to get around. Move him out to the perimeter, and that will limit the time he will be available to set screens, for players driving to the basket.

Third, having Kelly on the perimeter means that is one less player who will be available to run pick and roll plays, which is one of the few plays used by teams these days, but a very effective play with the right big man.

Of these three, the most important is number one, the negative effect moving Kelly outside would have on offensive rebounding.
IMO, you don't move Kelly outside, but you can have him cut to the wing occasionally through a back screen. This can work especially if he's in the game along with Thiemann.
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