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Cal Basketball

Bears Bounce Back Against Fresno State

December 11, 2019
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After a two-game skid, losing by double digits at San Francisco and at Santa Clara, the Bears (6-4) were back home in the comfy confines of Haas Pavilion and came out with a win, downing Fresno State 69-63. It was a back-and-forth affair the entire game with neither team leading by more than eight. But the Bears pulled away late and were lead by Matt Bradley who poured in 24 points to lead all scorers. Kareem South added 17 and Andre Kelly also scored 10. Cal is now 6-0 in Berkeley and 0-4 away from Berkeley.

“I thought this was a hard-fought game,” Head Coach Mark Fox said after the game. “And, really, a fun game to coach. And hopefully, a fun game for everybody to play in.”

On both road games, Cal suffered from poor three-point shooting and high amounts of turnovers. But against Fresno State (2-7), the Bears shot 43% (6-of-14) from three and only turned it over six times while converting on nine assists. The only issue for the Bears was rebounding as they were out-rebounded by the Bulldogs 38-28. Fresno State snatched 15 offensive rebounds.

“It was a really good feeling to come back home after two losses,” Bradley said after the game.

“I think we had a great week of practice coming into the game,” he added.

South agreed, adding, “I think we did a good job of trusting our system.”

Cal lost by 12 to San Francisco and then by 19 to Santa Clara. Bradley, in particular, struggled, scoring just 11 against San Francisco and 14 against Santa Clara. Heading into those games, the sophomore was averaging close to 20 points per game.

“Matt had a bad week last week. He had a tough week last week,” Fox said. “But Matt Bradley had a great approach and response to it. And give him credit. He really grew up and I thought he practiced really well the past two days.”

Throughout the game, the Bears built five to eight-point leads but were never able to pull away more than that. With 3:38 in the game, Fresno State had a chance to tie the game at 59 when New Williams was fouled on a made layup. Williams missed the layup but Cal knocked the rebound out of bounds and Fresno had another chance to take the lead. Mustafa Lawrence missed a running layup and the Bulldogs never got closer.

On the ensuing possession, South was fouled. He missed the front-end of the one-and-one, but Kelly scooped up the offensive board and did a baby-hook to put it back in. Kelly led the Bears in rebounding with six rebounds including four on the offensive side. The Bears rattled off seven straight points before Fresno would score again, pushing the lead to 66-58 with 34 seconds to go and pretty much ending the game.

“I thought we managed the last part of the game very much like we wanted to,” Fox said. “We didn’t make all of our free-throws, but we made a lot of them. So this was a good experience for us.”

Bradley added that he thought the team’s confidence in the last four or five minutes was at an “all-time high.”

Williams led the Bulldogs with 21 points. Fresno State’s leading scorer and rebounder, Nate Grimes was kept in check in scoring, only putting up seven points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field. He did, however, lead all rebounders with 14 including seven offensive rebounds. Cal had five total offensive rebounds.

Fox said the difference in playing at home versus away from Haas Pavilion could be inexperience with the system and coaches.

“I think that our team has a comfort level at home,” Fox said. “We have not played well outside of this building. And part of that is it’s not their fault they’re inexperienced in our offensive system and inexperienced in our defensive system. When you get away from home, those things kind of show up. You can’t blame them for that.”

Fox also said the energy fans can bring at Haas Pavilion could also propel the team. “We’re going to need our fans to break a sweat and fight with us,” he said. At one point, Fox even started looking into the stands and waving his hands and arms in the air, motioning for the crowd to get up and make noise. 

“We need their energy. We have to create the energy in this building where when teams leave here, they say, “whoa, they’re ready to fight for their team,’” Fox said.

“I just tried to rally them a bit. I don’t do that often,” he later added.

The Bears return to action on Saturday night when Saint Mary’s comes to Berkeley. According to KenPom, Saint Mary’s the No. 46 team in the country and the best team Cal has played since Texas, which was ranked No. 45 in KenPom when the Bears played them in New York City.

While the Bears have yet to win away from Berkeley, Fox believes his team is showing progress.

“We were disappointed in how we played over the weekend,” he said. “And we practiced hard for a couple days. And we showed some progress tonight in several areas.

“We’ve got to go through the fire. And when you go through the fire, you’re going to get burned a few times. But you have to do that in order to grow.”

https://youtu.be/Cx-LIz0bxfc

Discussion from...

Bears Bounce Back Against Fresno State

2,259 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Civil Bear
R90
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Back from the game...

Anticevich impressed me with his defense tonight, staying in front of his man and helping at good times.
JHD had a couple errors, but played well, IMO.
Bradley was our leader out there, especially on defense.
South and Bradley made offense happen.
We played short a good amount, as did Fresno St. JHD played about 15 minutes as the 4.

We were much better than Fresno St. tonight, but the refs (especially the shorter, fatter one) worked really hard to keep the game close for TV. Fox spent a lot of time complaining about BS calls. Our players weren't happy with the refs either.
It's all just entertainment, so find a way to enjoy it.
The refs are there to feed your hatred addiction and keep the games close.
Big C
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Me too...

Good points, especially about Anticevich's defense.
HoopDreams
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I seem to be the only one on this board who thinks JHD is a good player and a key player for us

this year he is really starting to understand defense, and is tenacious
he is also playing extremely hard on defense. watch him fight through screens
(by the way, I was going to say this earlier, but has anyone noticed that Fox's defense rarely uses switches? That's a departure from the last 5 years of MBB)

but Dyson also played well offensively, not trying to do too much, and making the prettiest pocket pass of any cal guard I've seen this year. He also played more under control, and the fouls he did commit were good ones (not lazy or silly reach fouls)

Especially for this team, we need his defense, athleticism, length, rebounding and now defensive experience

I also really like Kelly (I liked him last year too, until coach marginalized him last year). Kelly obviously got his weight down in the off season, and I still think he is a very skilled post scorer

I am always harping on our guards should use floaters. Last game, Paris tried two. This game Matt tried two. Combined they are 0-4, but as I've said, floaters are difficult to master, and I'm hopefully this will be a good shot for both this season. I speculate that the coaches are working with our guards on this shot.

Actually Brown looked like he took a long floater. It wasn't how floaters are typically shot, but it went in the basket

5 floaters from 3 guards one the last 2 games, when I saw virtually none from any of them before. Sounds like coaches are working on this shot in practice.

Next area to work on is hesi moves

Rebounding is my biggest concern for this team
Big C
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Yes, JHD gives us some fast-twitch athleticism that we don't otherwise have. Fantasy Land here, but could you imagine if he were 3-4 inches taller, what that might provide for us?

Kelly had a good game and a nice post-game interview on the radio, too. ("Thank you, thank you... ")
R90
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HoopDreams said:

I seem to be the only one on this board who thinks JHD is a good player and a key player for us

this year he is really starting to understand defense, and is tenacious
he is also playing extremely hard on defense. watch him fight through screens
(by the way, I was going to say this earlier, but has anyone noticed that Fox's defense rarely uses switches? That's a departure from the last 5 years of MBB)

but Dyson also played well offensively, not trying to do too much, and making the prettiest pocket pass of any cal guard I've seen this year. He also played more under control, and the fouls he did commit were good ones (not lazy or silly reach fouls)

Especially for this team, we need his defense, athleticism, length, rebounding and now defensive experience
I've been a big fan of JHD since I met his dad in the stands freshman year. I really like who he is as a person and and what he can become as a player.

His athletic ability is far several notches above most of the team. Brown is maybe just a notch below.

Watching Kuany in the lay-up line, he's a couple notches higher than JHD. Very impressive elevation and body control. He could contend for a dunk title in the Pac-12 if they had one. He needs to learn to play basketball Fox's way and then he'll be great for us.
It's all just entertainment, so find a way to enjoy it.
The refs are there to feed your hatred addiction and keep the games close.
RedlessWardrobe
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HoopDreams said:

I seem to be the only one on this board who thinks JHD is a good player and a key player for us

this year he is really starting to understand defense, and is tenacious
he is also playing extremely hard on defense. watch him fight through screens
(by the way, I was going to say this earlier, but has anyone noticed that Fox's defense rarely uses switches? That's a departure from the last 5 years of MBB)

but Dyson also played well offensively, not trying to do too much, and making the prettiest pocket pass of any cal guard I've seen this year. He also played more under control, and the fouls he did commit were good ones (not lazy or silly reach fouls)

Especially for this team, we need his defense, athleticism, length, rebounding and now defensive experience


For JHD to be a "good player" he needs to do the things you saw him do last night consistently. (i.e. several games consecutively.)

I think most on this board love his energy and effort. He is in his junior year. He has to consistently play within himself and to his strengths (exactly what Monty was referring in general to last night on the broadcast).

Play within control and limit turnovers. Do this and he can be a positive factor.
south bender
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HoopDreams said:

I seem to be the only one on this board who thinks JHD is a good player and a key player for us

this year he is really starting to understand defense, and is tenacious
he is also playing extremely hard on defense. watch him fight through screens
(by the way, I was going to say this earlier, but has anyone noticed that Fox's defense rarely uses switches? That's a departure from the last 5 years of MBB)

but Dyson also played well offensively, not trying to do too much, and making the prettiest pocket pass of any cal guard I've seen this year. He also played more under control, and the fouls he did commit were good ones (not lazy or silly reach fouls)

Especially for this team, we need his defense, athleticism, length, rebounding and now defensive experience


JHD has to limit his offensive errors and bad shots to be more than a good defensive player. Offensively he made more than one bad play in this game; maybe he is slowly improving at the offensive end of the court, but he still misses almost point blank shots either by a bad shot or loss of the ball under the basket. Am not sure what prior game it was, but I remember his trying to dunk/not scoring when he should have gently put the ball off the backboard for a certain score. (In contrast, a really smart player like Jason Kidd (iirc) never missed a dunk in his two years at Cal, because he went for the score, rather than for the theatrics of a vicious slam.) JHD should do the same.

That is not to say I don't like his energy and tenacity. I hope he continues to improve. There is reason to believe that he will.
BeachedBear
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south bender said:

HoopDreams said:

I seem to be the only one on this board who thinks JHD is a good player and a key player for us

this year he is really starting to understand defense, and is tenacious
he is also playing extremely hard on defense. watch him fight through screens
(by the way, I was going to say this earlier, but has anyone noticed that Fox's defense rarely uses switches? That's a departure from the last 5 years of MBB)

but Dyson also played well offensively, not trying to do too much, and making the prettiest pocket pass of any cal guard I've seen this year. He also played more under control, and the fouls he did commit were good ones (not lazy or silly reach fouls)

Especially for this team, we need his defense, athleticism, length, rebounding and now defensive experience


JHD has to limit his offensive errors and bad shots to be more than a good defensive player. Offensively he made more than one bad play in this game; maybe he is slowly improving at the offensive end of the court, but he still misses almost point blank shots either by a bad shot or loss of the ball under the basket. Am not sure what prior game it was, but I remember his trying to dunk/not scoring when he should have gently put the ball off the backboard for a certain score. (In contrast, a really smart player like Jason Kidd (iirc) never missed a dunk in his two years at Cal, because he went for the score, rather than for the theatrics of a vicious slam.) JHD should do the same.

That is not to say I don't like his energy and tenacity. I hope he continues to improve. There is reason to believe that he will.
Yes! Yes. Probably not that much. Should have seen more improvement last season and some this season. Just not seeing enough evidence to garner anything more than hope.
Civil Bear
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Big C said:

Yes, JHD gives us some fast-twitch athleticism that we don't otherwise have. Fantasy Land here, but could you imagine if he were 3-4 inches taller, what that might provide for us?

Kelly had a good game and a nice post-game interview on the radio, too. ("Thank you, thank you... ")
I'd settle for better hands.
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