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Cal Basketball

Bears Topped By No. 7 Bruins

January 27, 2022
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The California men's basketball team fell to No. 7 UCLA, 81-57, in a Pac-12 contest at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night.
 
With its sixth straight loss, Cal fell to 9-11 overall and 2-7 in conference action. UCLA (15-2, 7-1) moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 with their fifth straight win. The Bruins led by as many as 18 points in the first half and had runs of 10-0, 8-0 and 6-0 while the Golden Bears committed nine of their 17 turnovers before halftime.
 
Cal was led by Sam Alajiki, who scored a career-best 11 points on 4-6 shooting (3-5 from 3-point range) in his second start of the season. Kuany Kuany and Jordan Shepherd had nine points each. Andre Kelly (six points, team-high seven rebounds) and Jalen Celestine (seven points) were in foul trouble early in the second half and played 25 and 19 minutes, respectively.


 
The Bears led 11-9 after four minutes and made their first three 3-point attempts before UCLA took control. Cal shot 52 percent (11-21) and was 5-9 from behind the arc in the first half, but allowed the Bruins to connect for 56 percent (18-32) from the floor over the same span. Cal was just 1-12 from 3-point range over the final 20 minutes.
 
"Our defense, we have to find it. We have to find some answers there," Cal head coach Mark Fox said. "We allowed greater than 50 percent shooting from the field in the first half, and from (3-point range). And we got out-rebounded. We've got to be able to roll our sleeves up and do the dirty work on the defensive end first, which will help us on the offensive end."
 
The Bruins went to the line on four straight possessions in the second half, making 6-8 free throws for a 65-45 lead.


 
Jake Kyman and Watson combined to score 14 of UCLA's final 17 points. The Bruins ended the game with three straight 3-pointers, two in a row
by Kyman and one by Russell Stong. The Bruins have lost just once – at Oregon – since returning from a 25-day layoff due to COVID-19 issues in the program.
 
UP NEXT
The Bears will face No. 15 USC at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Discussion from...

Bears Topped By No. 7 Bruins

1,724 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by calumnus
calumnus
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Sure coach, the players didn't play good enough defense, If only they played harder.
KoreAmBear
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calumnus said:

Sure coach, the players didn't play good enough defense, If only they played harder.
Must we endure another year of Fox? We don't have to right?
sluggo
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calumnus said:

Sure coach, the players didn't play good enough defense, If only they played harder.
That bugs me too. Losses are only explained by not playing hard enough. But would else could he say? That Cronin is a better coach in every dimension? That he recruits worse than any Cal coach going back to at least Campanelli?
HearstMining
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Look, Fox was not a particularly talented player based on his history (JC, then Eastern New Mexico) and achieved what he did based on working hard. He believes that's the answer to every problem. Not a better offensive scheme, not better talent, not a better defensive scheme - just outwork the opponent. Remember his disastrous intro speech to the team? He basically accused them of not working hard enough.

But as we've said, recruiting is a huge part of the game and a part where Fox's approach of pure effort doesn't work - at least based on the results we've seen.

Interestingly, I think Cuonzo Martin had the same basic philosophy - you don't need an offensive scheme, just take it to the rim and other front-line players, crash the boards. On defense, relentless man-to-man - crush the opponent's will. That's how Big10 hoops was played in Cuonzo's era and that's the way he coaches.
BearoutEast67
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I liked seeing athletic freshman Alajiki starting. Needs to work on his shooting touch and game flow, but playing minutes will help do that. Loved seeing Lars get a fierce block with defensive hustle.
KoreAmBear
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BearoutEast67 said:

I liked seeing athletic freshman Alajiki starting. Needs to work on his shooting touch and game flow, but playing minutes will help do that. Loved seeing Lars get a fierce block with defensive hustle.
Alajiki, Roberson and Obinna all look good. And then Alajiki's friend is coming. The recruiting has picked up a little. Still so many misses including a PG like Mahaney.
Big C
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KoreAmBear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

I liked seeing athletic freshman Alajiki starting. Needs to work on his shooting touch and game flow, but playing minutes will help do that. Loved seeing Lars get a fierce block with defensive hustle.
Alajiki, Roberson and Obinna all look good. And then Alajiki's friend is coming. The recruiting has picked up a little. Still so many misses including a PG like Mahaney.

Yes, we are one Mahaney (or the other PG we whiffed on right after) from almost having the feeling that there might be some hope for the future.
HoopDreams
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Way too early to say much about the other two freshman, except to say neither jump out as a strong rotation player next year

Maybe Roberson as he's a guard and he may get Foreman's minutes, but we need shooters and he doesn't look like one (or have the HS stats as one)

There is also hope that Monty can contribute. He got minutes as a freshman and showed flashes with his length. He also might be a solid shooter. If he's healthy, can shoot and play some D, I think he can contribute


KoreAmBear said:

BearoutEast67 said:

I liked seeing athletic freshman Alajiki starting. Needs to work on his shooting touch and game flow, but playing minutes will help do that. Loved seeing Lars get a fierce block with defensive hustle.
Alajiki, Roberson and Obinna all look good. And then Alajiki's friend is coming. The recruiting has picked up a little. Still so many misses including a PG like Mahaney.
calumnus
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HearstMining said:

Look, Fox was not a particularly talented player based on his history (JC, then Eastern New Mexico) and achieved what he did based on working hard. He believes that's the answer to every problem. Not a better offensive scheme, not better talent, not a better defensive scheme - just outwork the opponent. Remember his disastrous intro speech to the team? He basically accused them of not working hard enough.

But as we've said, recruiting is a huge part of the game and a part where Fox's approach of pure effort doesn't work - at least based on the results we've seen.

Interestingly, I think Cuonzo Martin had the same basic philosophy - you don't need an offensive scheme, just take it to the rim and other front-line players, crash the boards. On defense, relentless man-to-man - crush the opponent's will. That's how Big10 hoops was played in Cuonzo's era and that's the way he coaches.


Yes, Martin is similar in basketball style but is a better with people, he is a better recruiter and leader. He has no problem with star players. Players play hard for him because they want to. Fox takes a more old school, authoritarian approach. Play hard, or feel the wrath. Also, because Martin is a better recruiter, he had MCDonald's All Americans free lancing on offense as opposed to a grad transfer.
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