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Cal Basketball

Bears Hold Off Huskies for First Pac-12 Win

January 9, 2021
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In a game that almost got away from them more than once, the Cal men’s basketball team held off the stubborn Washington Huskies, 84-78,, at Haas Pavilion Saturday afternoon for its first Pac-12 win of the year.

Beating the disappointing Huskies (1-9, 0-5 Pac-12) might not be considered much of an accomplishment to some teams. But the Bears (6-7, 1-5) will take anything they can get.

For the second straight game, the Bears were without leading scorer Matt Bradley and before tip-off they announced that reserve forward Kuany Kuany was also injured and unavailable. Nothing is easy for the Bears these days.

“It was a hard-fought game,” coach Mark Fox said after the game. “Washington has had a tough start to the year, but they obviously have a talented team and that zone (defense)... they are so well-coached in it. They are a hard team to play. We were fortunate to get off to a good start in the first half,

“And in the second half, I was really proud of our team for responding when Washington came back and took the lead on us.”

Riding Andre Kelly’s inside work the Bears led by as many as 13 points early in the second half. But the Huskies tightened the screws on Kelly and began getting open looks against a suddenly porous Cal defense. They put together some runs, including an 11-0 spurt, caught the Bears, 50-50 at 12:59, and 30 seconds later Erik Stevenson hit a 3-pointer to put the Huskies ahead. 

It went to-and-fro from there. This time firing from the outside, Cal got up by 9 with 6:25 left, Washington came back to pull even a couple of times the last at 75-75 with 2:18 left. That set up the deciding sequence. Freshman Joel Brown, who is not the Bears’ best long-range shooter, found himself at the top of the key, ignored by the UW defenders. Brown, who is becoming known for late-game exploits, knocked down a trey. 

“In the limited offseason we had Joel worked very hard on his shooting,” Fox said. “It has paid dividends for us late in games. Teams guard our other 3-point shooters, but you can’t not guard him. If you don’t guard him he can make you pay.”

Chris Brown- USA Today
Andre Kelly scores
 

But Brown wasn’t done being a hero. On the other end Quade Green thought he had an open look, but Ryan Betley, better known for 3-point shooting than his defense, blocked the shot from behind, Brown picked up the loose ball and scurried toward the other end, He was fouled just as he made the layup. He missed the free throw but no matter. The Huskies got no closer than 3 in the remaining 90 seconds. 

Washington coach Mike Hopkins came to Seattle four years ago from Syracuse and brought with him that zone that Jim Boeheim has been using for years to reach the NCAA Tournament. It’s an unusual look that’s not easy to prepare for. 

In the first half the Bears were able to sneak the ball inside to Kelly, who baffled the Huskies front-liners with some nifty moves around the hoop. He made his first eight shots and finished the first period with 14 points as the Bears built a 40-32 lead at intermission. That margin grew to 13 when Kelly hit a short jumper, but the Bears couldn’t stand prosperity and this one went to the wire. 

Whereas Kelly, who finished with 22 points, was the catalyst in the first half, the Bears attacked from the outside in the second. Betley (4-for-7) and Makale Foreman (4-for-9)  kept the Bears alive with their 3-point shooting., They finished with 18 and 14 points respectively. 

Grant Anticevich, in his second game since his appendectomy, was forced to play 29 minutes because of Kuany’s absence.

“I was really concerned about Grant today because he was really exhausted after that little bit he played the last game,” Fox said. “He showed a little bit of fatigue.”

Chris Brown- USA Today
Brown goes up for two

Although he scored just four points he grabbed six rebounds and was a solid defender.

The Husky who gave the Bears the most trouble was Stevenson, the transfer from Wichita State, who had been MIA thus far with a 3.8 points per game average. He exploded for 27 and was 6-for-9 from 3-point range

‘The Huskies came into the game averaging just 38 percent from the floor and 25 percent from long distance. Saturday they were 52.0 and 50.0 respectively.

Cal does seem to bring out the best in opposing shooters. 

Fox had no update on when Bradley might be ready to play again. He was on the sidelines without crutches or a walking boot, so he is improving.  

 

Discussion from...

Bears Hold Off Huskies for First Pac-12 Win

1,080 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by Jeff82
HoopDreams
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There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Civil Bear
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HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Brown's (and Kelly's) issue at the line is between his ears. God's honest truth, I dreamt of Brown last night barely making a pair of free-throws with his eyes squinched shut and his head turned to the side. He had a third free-throw coming, but I mercifully woke up.
BeachedBear
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HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Totally agree! Those that claim you can't improve have either never tried, given up too soon or are thinking of how to improve FT% by 15 percent when you are already at 90%.
calumnus
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BeachedBear said:

HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Totally agree! Those that claim you can't improve have either never tried, given up too soon or are thinking of how to improve FT% by 15 percent when you are already at 90%.


Agree 100% There would not be shooting coaches otherwise. Jason Kidd became a prolific 3 pt shooter in the NBA which you would never have guessed at Cal.

I was going to comment on it earlier, but Brown's improvement has been impressive.

However, In fairness to whoever said it, I believe the context of the statement was recruiting. Better to recruit kids that are already natural, confident shooters by the time they are 18 than have to rely on teaching or self-improvement while they are in college. This is even more true at Cal where we do not have a dedicated practice facility for thousands of reps and where the kids have a serious academic time commitment.
HoopDreams
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True, I still remember a reporter asking Monty how do you improve the teams shooters

He replied, "recruit better shooters"

Such a Monty type of answer and of course that is true, especially if you talk about elite shooters that many think, including myself, are born, not made

But if are trying to get a poor shooter to become a solid shooter over a period of time, especially when that period includes the off season with a shooting coach I think it can be done if the player puts in the work and puts up the reps

Especially true at the FT line

calumnus said:

BeachedBear said:

HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Totally agree! Those that claim you can't improve have either never tried, given up too soon or are thinking of how to improve FT% by 15 percent when you are already at 90%.


Agree 100% There would not be shooting coaches otherwise. Jason Kidd became a prolific 3 pt shooter in the NBA which you would never have guessed at Cal.

I was going to comment on it earlier, but Brown's improvement has been impressive.

However, In fairness to whoever said it, I believe the context of the statement was recruiting. Better to recruit kids that are already natural, confident shooters by the time they are 18 than have to rely on teaching or self-improvement while they are in college. This is even more true at Cal where we do not have a dedicated practice facility for thousands of reps and where the kids have a serious academic time commitment.
KoreAmBear
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HoopDreams said:

True, I still remember a reporter asking Monty how do you improve the teams shooters

He replied, "recruit better shooters"

Such a Monty type of answer and of course that is true, especially if you talk about elite shooters that many including myself are born, not made

But if are trying to get a poor shooter to become a solid shooter over a period of time, especially when that period includes the off season with a shooting coach I think it can be done if the player puts in the work and puts up the reps

Especially true at the FT line

calumnus said:

BeachedBear said:

HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Totally agree! Those that claim you can't improve have either never tried, given up too soon or are thinking of how to improve FT% by 15 percent when you are already at 90%.


Agree 100% There would not be shooting coaches otherwise. Jason Kidd became a prolific 3 pt shooter in the NBA which you would never have guessed at Cal.

I was going to comment on it earlier, but Brown's improvement has been impressive.

However, In fairness to whoever said it, I believe the context of the statement was recruiting. Better to recruit kids that are already natural, confident shooters by the time they are 18 than have to rely on teaching or self-improvement while they are in college. This is even more true at Cal where we do not have a dedicated practice facility for thousands of reps and where the kids have a serious academic time commitment.

Jaylen also wasn't a great shooter at Cal. He is now with the Celtics.
Big C
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HoopDreams said:

True, I still remember a reporter asking Monty how do you improve the teams shooters

He replied, "recruit better shooters"


Such a Monty type of answer and of course that is true, especially if you talk about elite shooters that many including myself are born, not made

But if are trying to get a poor shooter to become a solid shooter over a period of time, especially when that period includes the off season with a shooting coach I think it can be done if the player puts in the work and puts up the reps

Especially true at the FT line

calumnus said:

BeachedBear said:

HoopDreams said:

There was a discussion that you can't improve a players shooting

I don't understand that view, but Browns 3 point shooting is just another example of how players do improve their shooting

I'll have to watch his FT shooting form more closely (sometimes it's hard to tell because you usually have limited angles), but I probably mostly needs to get a lot of reps to improve his FTs to at least something respectable
Totally agree! Those that claim you can't improve have either never tried, given up too soon or are thinking of how to improve FT% by 15 percent when you are already at 90%.


Agree 100% There would not be shooting coaches otherwise. Jason Kidd became a prolific 3 pt shooter in the NBA which you would never have guessed at Cal.

I was going to comment on it earlier, but Brown's improvement has been impressive.

However, In fairness to whoever said it, I believe the context of the statement was recruiting. Better to recruit kids that are already natural, confident shooters by the time they are 18 than have to rely on teaching or self-improvement while they are in college. This is even more true at Cal where we do not have a dedicated practice facility for thousands of reps and where the kids have a serious academic time commitment.


I remember when Sonny Dykes tried a similar response (was it about tackling?) and caught unending crap for it...

... proving that, if you're winning, your remarks to the media usually sound witty, but, if you're losing not so much.
HoopDreams
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by the way, I made a MAJOR typo in my post.

I said (now edited): Such a Monty type of answer and of course that is true, especially if you talk about elite shooters that many including myself are born, not made


I am certainly NOT an elite shooter. I mean't:
if you talk about elite shooters that many think, including myself, are born, not made


I'm also not an elite writer. Not sure how to make that sentence clearer
helltopay1
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dear Hoop; 99% of elite shooters are born. or, if you really want to get creative.......there is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig.
helltopay1
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speaking of Monty, I first met him at Stanford one fine day. I said, "actually, I'm a Cal fan." He said, without missing a beat, 'well---we all lose our way." if Monty ran for President, or the Pope, I would move heaven & earth to get him elected.
Jeff82
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A big part of college basketball is players' ability to add dimensions to their games in the off season. Monty's players often did that, I suspect because he told them exactly what to work on. Fox will hopefully do the same. I don't think Cuonzo Martin did that much, given his basic approach to simply out-athletic the opposition. Also, it doesn't always work. Jaylen Brown was not going to be a gym rat during the year he was here. That's not what he came for, and he knew it wouldn't significantly change his future income prospects to do so.
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