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Cal Basketball

Bears Pull it Together Late in 60-49 Win Over Nicholls State

November 30, 2020
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It wasn’t always pretty but the Bears (2-1) did what they needed to do to pull away from a pesky Nicholls State (2-2) team late to come away with a 60-49 victory this evening at Haas Pavilion in their last tuneup and first game at Haas before league play opens Thursday vs. ASU.

Wing Matt Bradley put the team on his back with a 26-point, six rebound performance, going 3-for-5 from three.

Aside from Bradley, the team went just 12-37 from the field (32%) and an ugly 20 turnovers, of which Bradley was the culprit for a game-leading seven.

“I’d just like to say that it’s good to play a hard-fought game,” said Cal head coach Mark Fox. “And as strange as it sounds, it’s good to make mistakes. It’s what you need to grow and learn.

“I thought our defense was really good and gave us a chance to win. We sustained it through pretty much most of the night (except for a late flurry of three treys from Nicholls State that kept the game at least semi-competitive as the Bears were attempting to close it out.

“With the limited practice time we’ve had, the offense is going to take a while. And we were sloppy and didn’t finish some plays and turned it over too much. But let’s give Nichols some credit. They’ve had some good wins in the last year (21-10 in 2019-20, returning all five top scorers from last season) and I think they have a quality club.”

Bear Insider
Cal SF Monty Bowser goes up for bucket before falling to injury in first half of Bears’ victory

The Bears had a bit of a scare early, with frosh small forward Monty Bowser going down hard on his back after a putback bucket gave the Bears an 11-4 lead eight minutes into the game. Bowser left with assistance and was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons. Fox believes he’s doing okay.

The Bears went into the locker room with a 23-18 lead at the half on the  strength of a flurry of four early three’s, including a pair from transfer guard Makale Foreman, who went cold after the quick early start, finishing with six points on just 2-of-10 shooting.

As noted by Fox, the Bears played solid defense till the final minutes, denying the Colonels good looks and forcing 18 turnovers of their own. The Bears outrebounded Nicholls State by a slim 38-37 margin, with forward Andre Kelly leading the Bears with nine on the night.

Though the Bears aren’t ready for prime time by any means, they’ll need to get sharper in a hurry with a talented ASU squad coming to Berkeley Thursday followed by two more of the teams picked atop the Pac-12 conference this season in UCLA and Oregon.

“I think we start off with the top three,” said Fox. “Do I think we’re ready? No, we’re not. We’re going to have to overachieve. We had an eight or nine day shutdown that we’re still trying to overcome. 

“Arizona State’s got a great team. Coach Hurley’s done a great job. So we’ll have to play great to give ourselves a chance.

“The thing we talk to with our team is, ‘Listen, you were off for a long time. Maybe it’s going to take some time to get back in synch offensively,’ but they’ll grind their way forward.”

F/C Grant Anticevich tallied 11 for the Bears, scoring all off his points in the field from behind the arc, going 3-for-6 from deep along with five rebounds on the night. 

“I thought we played better today than we did the past two games,” said Anticevich. “We’re just looking forward to continue to build and break through that barrier each and every day and gradually get to the point where we want to get to as a team.”

Thursday night’s game will tip off at 7 pm at Haas Pavilion.

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Discussion from...

Bears Pull it Together Late in 60-49 Win Over Nicholls State

1,594 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Big C
HoopDreams
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01Bear
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Wow! Cal defeated that perennial mighty basketball powerhouse (*checks notes*) Nicholls State.

If Cal is going to struggle with the likes of Nicholls State, then Cal will be pretty much dead in the water this season. Aside from the fact that we're Cal alumni and fans (who perhaps care more about Cal athletics than we should), there will be little reason to pay attention to the games. Cal won't be making any post-season tournaments, let alone deep runs in the NCAA tourney.

Cal Mens Basketball is in bad shape if a victory over the likes of a Nicholls State is considered anything less than meeting expectations.
joe amos yaks
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F Monty Bowser's condition report?
BeachedBear
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Strange year - strange season. Every team is going to have its unique challenges - and it seems pointless to debate who is having it worse - might as well assume everyone is screwed. This year seems all about improving during the season. But right now, this looks like a sub P5 team that won't content for even the middle of the P12.

However . . .

I like our pieces (roster). I think the balance and talent is better than the last few years. Betley, Freeman and Bowser seem like slight upgrades already over Austin, South, Tyson and Gordon. (Not expecting much from Celestine). The continuing players haven't shown me anything to get excited about - so I will be looking to see how they improve over the season.

I like our attitude. Hard to measure objectively - but they are sticking to their roles and playing through their many mistakes. Some of this will clean itself up over time - particularly timing and spacing on both ends of the floor. I don't see any panic or frustration yet.

I like what the staff is trying to do. Or seems to be doing. That is keeping it simple on both sides of the ball until execution catches up. I have to admit it is frustrating to see lack of screening and motion on offense during December, but I get it. At least they are passing the ball and attacking the basket. Defensively - I expect to see more as the pieces gel. When is the big issue. If it take 4 months to catch up - that will be too late.

Honestly, I'm expecting to get blow out by ASU on Thursday. I just don't think this team can get ready in time. But we'll see how they compete and deal with frustration. (I really hope I'm reflecting how ASU is dealing with those issues on Friday).

Go Bears


Bottom line for me after 3 games: Practice is important. Both individually and as a group. This could be like last season in that this team may lose games it shouldn't early and may win games they shouldn't late.
MoragaBear
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Staff
01Bear said:

Wow! Cal defeated that perennial mighty basketball powerhouse (*checks notes*) Nicholls State.

If Cal is going to struggle with the likes of Nicholls State, then Cal will be pretty much dead in the water this season. Aside from the fact that we're Cal alumni and fans (who perhaps care more about Cal athletics than we should), there will be little reason to pay attention to the games. Cal won't be making any post-season tournaments, let alone deep runs in the NCAA tourney.

Cal Mens Basketball is in bad shape if a victory over the likes of a Nicholls State is considered anything less than meeting expectations.
It's the start of the season. Cal's starting like a ton of other programs who had a lot more time together than they did.

ASU beat URI by 5. WSU beat TXSO by 4 and EWU by 3. UCLA beat Pepperdine by 9 and lost to SDSU by 15. UW got hammered by a good Baylor team by 24. USC had to rally to beat Cal Baptist in OT and beat Montana by a comparable margin to Cal's win over a decent mid-major Nicholls State, who beat Pitt last year and won 21 games and returned all 5 of their top scorers.

Cal had a long layoff where they couldn't practice then another more recent period where they couldn't practice for another week. They're not in synch yet.

I don't think even the most optimistic Cal fan had them with much of a chance to hope for more than a midrange Pac-12 finish (if that) in year two of the Fox rebuild. We'll see if they can get there with this roster and their other limitations.

Not many predicted a 14 win season last year, either, nor a tourney knockout win over tourney bubble team Stanford.
Uthaithani
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01Bear said:

Wow! Cal defeated that perennial mighty basketball powerhouse (*checks notes*) Nicholls State.

If Cal is going to struggle with the likes of Nicholls State, then Cal will be pretty much dead in the water this season. Aside from the fact that we're Cal alumni and fans (who perhaps care more about Cal athletics than we should), there will be little reason to pay attention to the games. Cal won't be making any post-season tournaments, let alone deep runs in the NCAA tourney.

Cal Mens Basketball is in bad shape if a victory over the likes of a Nicholls State is considered anything less than meeting expectations.
I don't think anyone had high hopes for this season.

I'm interested to see if Fox's new recruits can develop into something promising by the end of the season. In the end, Fox's ability to find good players and get them to play well will determine if the team has any hope of being better than middle of the Pac at best.

But the team is still in bad shape. Not as atrocious as last season, but the talent gap is still very large compared to the Pac 12 average. Looks like a slow rebuild. Not sure this season will tell us much, it's basically extended practices. If I see progress in the new players, I'll call that a win.
KoreAmBear
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Well Riverside just whacked UW 57-42.
Big C
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MoragaBear said:

01Bear said:

Wow! Cal defeated that perennial mighty basketball powerhouse (*checks notes*) Nicholls State.

If Cal is going to struggle with the likes of Nicholls State, then Cal will be pretty much dead in the water this season. Aside from the fact that we're Cal alumni and fans (who perhaps care more about Cal athletics than we should), there will be little reason to pay attention to the games. Cal won't be making any post-season tournaments, let alone deep runs in the NCAA tourney.

Cal Mens Basketball is in bad shape if a victory over the likes of a Nicholls State is considered anything less than meeting expectations.
It's the start of the season. Cal's starting like a ton of other programs who had a lot more time together than they did.

ASU beat URI by 5. WSU beat TXSO by 4 and EWU by 3. UCLA beat Pepperdine by 9 and lost to SDSU by 15. UW got hammered by a good Baylor team by 24. USC had to rally to beat Cal Baptist in OT and beat Montana by a comparable margin to Cal's win over a decent mid-major Nicholls State, who beat Pitt last year and won 21 games and returned all 5 of their top scorers.

Cal had a long layoff where they couldn't practice then another more recent period where they couldn't practice for another week. They're not in synch yet.

I don't think even the most optimistic Cal fan had them with much of a chance to hope for more than a midrange Pac-12 finish (if that) in year two of the Fox rebuild. We'll see if they can get there with this roster and their other limitations.

Not many predicted a 14 win season last year, either, nor a tourney knockout win over tourney bubble team Stanford.

Yeah, the program is on an upward trajectory. Sure, that is not saying a lot because, three years ago, we were at absolute bottom. But we're headed in the right direction. 2021 recruits figure in there, too. We need to keep improving, in all respects.
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