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Cal Basketball

Bears' Three-Game Winning Streak Ends With A Thud

December 21, 2017
3,163

"Mama said there'll be days like this."

Unfortunately for the Cal basketball team, there have been too many.

The Bears suffered yet another embarrassing loss Thursday night at Haas Pavilion, getting demolished by Portland State, 106-81. Cal (6-7) has now lost convincingly to Portland State, Central Arkansas, UC Riverside, and Division II Chaminade.

"I just think we weren't focused," admitted junior guard Don Coleman, who led the Bears with 19 points, but also committed a game-high six turnovers. "We had won three straight and kind of got big-headed, and thought we were going to come in and blow them out, and you see the outcome. We can't do that."

"I'd just like to see more fight at this point," added head coach Wyking Jones. "I thought we had made tremendous strides in those areas - in fighting, executing, and staying focused. We just took a step in the wrong direction tonight."

Take nothing away from Portland State (10-3). The Vikings are a talented team, with wins over Stanford and Cal, and competitive losses to Duke, Oregon, and Butler.

But for the Bears, it's back to the drawing board, their recent three-game winning streak now a distant memory. It really felt like Cal had turned a corner. The road wins over San Diego State and Seattle were particularly impressive.

"We're a young team, and some games we come in not focused like we should be," Coleman assessed. "When we played San Diego State, we were focused and locked in. When we played Portland State, we weren't locked in and thought we were just going to come in, go past them and win, which was not the case."

Added Jones: "I think we have the type of team that can be upset by anybody on any given night, or we can upset anybody on any given night. As a coach, that's a hard place to be because it's both sides of the spectrum. But we've got good kids. Hopefully they learn from this situation and they're ready to play on the 30th (at Stanford)."

Perhaps we should have seen this coming - Portland State thrives on forcing turnovers and speeding up the tempo, and Cal has shown an inability to break a full-court press. Thursday night, the Bears committed a season-high 26 turnovers, leading to 40 Vikings points.

Portland State finished with six players in double figures. The Vikings recorded 26 assists, 13 coming from freshman guard Holland Woods. As a team, Cal had just six assists.

The Bears now have eight days to regroup before their conference opener at Stanford. They responded to the Central Arkansas debacle with three straight wins. We'll see if they can do it again.

Notes

  • Cal allowed 100 points for the first time since a 109-77 loss at Washington on Feb. 10, 2011
  • Kingsley Okoroh blocked seven shots to tie the school record
  • Deschon Winston scored a career-high 10 points
  • Nick Hamilton recorded a career-high five rebounds
Discussion from...

Three-Game Winning Streak Ends With A Thud

oskidunker
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No offensive plan. No screens. One on one or throw it in the middle. Jones is a diaster. I better not ssy anymore.
The Bear will not Quit. The Bear will not die but Bart will continue to lie.
Fyght4Cal
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I am most impressed by the inability to run the break. I want to be the first in this thread to say htp1had a point. We needed more time to prepare.
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The Rotterdam Dutch and Tim DeRuyter 🎶
Golden One
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Very ugly game. Bears made 26 turnovers, resulting in 40 points for Portland State. And it didn't help that they made eleven 3-point baskets and we made none.
Yogi Bear
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This quote does not please me.
EricBear
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Staff
Nope.

Young teams will do that. Crazy game.
TheSouseFamily
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Hats off to Barret Peery, the PSU Coach. He's a first time D1 coach who took over a lousy 13-18 PSU team about a month after Wyking took over at Cal. He installed a totally new system that his guys execute with energy, confidence and focus. They all play with massive chips on their shoulders. It was obvious from the opening tip that we were just unprepared for and overwhelmed by their physicality, pace and effort. For two first year programs, PSU looked clearly like the better prepared and coached team. Of course, having older and more experienced players matters but the turn around in PSU's play from last year to this is pretty remarkable. You have match PSU's energy and we weren't even close to doing that. TV kept showing Wyking on the sideline, silent and with his hands in his pockets. I get that this is his style, but what we needed last night was a kick in the arse and some fire. That's what the PSU coach was bringing from the other bench.

Peery has done a really nice job changing that program for the better, all in less than a year. Excellent hire.
EricBear
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Staff
Souse, how would you compare first half of Duke-Portland St. (Portland St. controlled) to first half last night? I believe you watched both. Interested in your perspective.

Thanks.
TheSouseFamily
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It felt very similar in a lot of ways. PSU led that game 49-45 at the half so they scored a lot of points (I think they were 50% from 3 and took a ton of them). Like with Cal, PSU came out and put Duke on its heels with their energy, speed and physicality. Duke wasn't ready for it and it didn't seem like we were either. PSU just plays very confidently. You can see it in the way the run the court but also in how they step into their jumpers and move the ball. No hesitation, no reluctance. I'm sure it's largely youth-related but we lack that confidence and often play hesitantly (and shoot, for that matter). Except for DC of course. Hard to break a press playing hesitantly and hard to make tougher shots that way. PSU took us totally out of our element, imposed their will/pace on us and it was basically the same in the 1H against Duke too. Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the 2H for us. I think the 2H score in the Duke game was 54-32 because Duke came out full of energy and matched PSU's intensity and let the talent take over. This loss, to me, was more about energy (or focus, like DC said) than the x's and o's

Credit though to PSU. They're doing something different, executing it well and it's working for them.
TheSouseFamily
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Another similarity to the Duke game: it was also very chippy. Deonte North got booted from the game after picking up two technicals. That just seems to be PSU's style. Totally unintimidated by an ACC or P5 team and ready to get in your face. I think PSU is Top 10 nationally in fouls so they clearly want to be physical and it comes through big time in their mindset and how they play.
Big C
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My favorite (maybe I should say "least favorite"?) statistic from last night...

One Portland St player -- a freshman -- had MORE THAN TWICE AS MANY assists as our entire team.

Ouch.
EricBear
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Staff
TheSouseFamily said:

It felt very similar in a lot of ways. PSU led that game 49-45 at the half so they scored a lot of points (I think they were 50% from 3 and took a ton of them). Like with Cal, PSU came out and put Duke on its heels with their energy, speed and physicality. Duke wasn't ready for it and it didn't seem like we were either. PSU just plays very confidently. You can see it in the way the run the court but also in how they step into their jumpers and move the ball. No hesitation, no reluctance. I'm sure it's largely youth-related but we lack that confidence and often play hesitantly (and shoot, for that matter). Except for DC of course. Hard to break a press playing hesitantly and hard to make tougher shots that way. PSU took us totally out of our element, imposed their will/pace on us and it was basically the same in the 1H against Duke too. Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the 2H for us. I think the 2H score in the Duke game was 54-32 because Duke came out full of energy and matched PSU's intensity and let the talent take over. This loss, to me, was more about energy (or focus, like DC said) than the x's and o's

Credit though to PSU. They're doing something different, executing it well and it's working for them.
Good thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

Interesting that PSU put Duke on their heels with their style of play. Clearly it is difficult to replicate in practice and prepare for. Lack of any real time for Cal to do so, in light of return from Seattle, not helpful but can't be used as an excuse for how we came out.

Wyking made an interesting comment on the postgame show, that our lack of depth also hurts in preparing for a game like Portland St., since our bench players can't realistically mimic Portland St.'s style of play. Inability to practice against real competition is a real issue for this team. Can lead to complacency, as perhaps evidenced last night.

The 2H score of our game was 50-44 PSU, which suggests we adapted, to some degree. Can take some comfort in that.

Agreed that Coach Peery has them playing well. Their guys are a little more prepared for the fast style, having averaged 85 ppg last season, but Peery has obviously turned it up a notch. Well-coached team, for sure.

ncbears
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I only saw the second half - but what was frustrating was that Cal was breaking the press, but not converting. PSU usually had one person back to interfere/foul/disrupt. I didn't count the number of 2on1 and 3on1 breaks where points were not scored. There probably weren't enough points lost to make up the full deficit - but it certainly didn't help. The most disconcerting moment was Baby Huey's follow up dunk, right before he fouled out.
Bearprof
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EricBear said:

TheSouseFamily said:

It felt very similar in a lot of ways. PSU led that game 49-45 at the half so they scored a lot of points (I think they were 50% from 3 and took a ton of them). Like with Cal, PSU came out and put Duke on its heels with their energy, speed and physicality. Duke wasn't ready for it and it didn't seem like we were either. PSU just plays very confidently. You can see it in the way the run the court but also in how they step into their jumpers and move the ball. No hesitation, no reluctance. I'm sure it's largely youth-related but we lack that confidence and often play hesitantly (and shoot, for that matter). Except for DC of course. Hard to break a press playing hesitantly and hard to make tougher shots that way. PSU took us totally out of our element, imposed their will/pace on us and it was basically the same in the 1H against Duke too. Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the 2H for us. I think the 2H score in the Duke game was 54-32 because Duke came out full of energy and matched PSU's intensity and let the talent take over. This loss, to me, was more about energy (or focus, like DC said) than the x's and o's

Credit though to PSU. They're doing something different, executing it well and it's working for them.
Good thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

Interesting that PSU put Duke on their heels with their style of play. Clearly it is difficult to replicate in practice and prepare for. Lack of any real time for Cal to do so, in light of return from Seattle, not helpful but can't be used as an excuse for how we came out.

Wyking made an interesting comment on the postgame show, that our lack of depth also hurts in preparing for a game like Portland St., since our bench players can't realistically mimic Portland St.'s style of play. Inability to practice against real competition is a real issue for this team. Can lead to complacency, as perhaps evidenced last night.

The 2H score of our game was 50-44 PSU, which suggests we adapted, to some degree. Can take some comfort in that.

Agreed that Coach Peery has them playing well. Their guys are a little more prepared for the fast style, having averaged 85 ppg last season, but Peery has obviously turned it up a notch. Well-coached team, for sure.




We actually scored a lot of points in this game, which is remarkable in light of the huge number of turnovers and the fact we did not make a single three. I guess there must have been a ton of possessions, which happens when they score a lot of points on run outs or turnovers we made under their basket.
helltopay1
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Dear fyght--HTP1 is pleased and humbled that you remembered his warning concerning the scheduling of this game . Todd McKim mentioned to WJ in the post-game radio show. I can say with 1000% confidence that if the game had been played on wed, thurs, or friday ( preferably Friday) thge Cal players would not have played like they were deceased. cal might have still lost, but the game would have been exciting and competitive down to the final bell. HTP1 woulds not be surprised if Cal beats Stanford down on the farm. The players will play with anger and fury, and, they will be rested. stanford will be favored. Take Cal and the points. We must save our analysis of WJ until he completes this entire year.We must also see who commits in the spring, and, what attrition occurs, if any. In other words, at this point, we are not operating with actionable information. Talk to me next May or so. Then, we will have the information necessary to make a proper evaluation.
Fyght4Cal
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helltopay1 said:

Dear fyght--HTP1 is pleased and humbled that you remembered his warning concerning the scheduling of this game . Todd McKim mentioned to WJ in the post-game radio show. I can say with 1000% confidence that if the game had been played on wed, thurs, or friday ( preferably Friday) thge Cal players would not have played like they were deceased. cal might have still lost, but the game would have been exciting and competitive down to the final bell. HTP1 woulds not be surprised if Cal beats Stanford down on the farm. The players will play with anger and fury, and, they will be rested. stanford will be favored. Take Cal and the points. We must save our analysis of WJ until he completes this entire year.We must also see who commits in the spring, and, what attrition occurs, if any. In other words, at this point, we are not operating with actionable information. Talk to me next May or so. Then, we will have the information necessary to make a proper evaluation.
It was immediately evident that you were right. The Bears' inability to handle the press smacked of a lack of practice. I sat the whole game thinking about apologizing for doubting your observation.

Your thoughts about Coach Jones deserve thoughtful consideration. Unless one has an axe to grind, it's way too early to evaluate the job he's doing. As an alum and a fan, I see my job as supporting the young men who chose to be one of us, to the utmost of my abilities. Which means showing up and loudly root for them, win or lose, and encourage others to do the same.
🎵There’s the Highland Dutch and the Lowland Dutch
The Rotterdam Dutch and Tim DeRuyter 🎶
smokeyrover
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EricBear said:

TheSouseFamily said:

It felt very similar in a lot of ways. PSU led that game 49-45 at the half so they scored a lot of points (I think they were 50% from 3 and took a ton of them). Like with Cal, PSU came out and put Duke on its heels with their energy, speed and physicality. Duke wasn't ready for it and it didn't seem like we were either. PSU just plays very confidently. You can see it in the way the run the court but also in how they step into their jumpers and move the ball. No hesitation, no reluctance. I'm sure it's largely youth-related but we lack that confidence and often play hesitantly (and shoot, for that matter). Except for DC of course. Hard to break a press playing hesitantly and hard to make tougher shots that way. PSU took us totally out of our element, imposed their will/pace on us and it was basically the same in the 1H against Duke too. Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the 2H for us. I think the 2H score in the Duke game was 54-32 because Duke came out full of energy and matched PSU's intensity and let the talent take over. This loss, to me, was more about energy (or focus, like DC said) than the x's and o's

Credit though to PSU. They're doing something different, executing it well and it's working for them.
Good thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

Interesting that PSU put Duke on their heels with their style of play. Clearly it is difficult to replicate in practice and prepare for. Lack of any real time for Cal to do so, in light of return from Seattle, not helpful but can't be used as an excuse for how we came out.

Wyking made an interesting comment on the postgame show, that our lack of depth also hurts in preparing for a game like Portland St., since our bench players can't realistically mimic Portland St.'s style of play. Inability to practice against real competition is a real issue for this team. Can lead to complacency, as perhaps evidenced last night.

The 2H score of our game was 50-44 PSU, which suggests we adapted, to some degree. Can take some comfort in that.

Agreed that Coach Peery has them playing well. Their guys are a little more prepared for the fast style, having averaged 85 ppg last season, but Peery has obviously turned it up a notch. Well-coached team, for sure.


Peery is a guy to keep an eye on. First year head coach, but has been an assistant at Utah and ASU, assoc HC under Sendek at Santa Clara, PSU was picked 8th in the preseason Big Sky poll.

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