Game Preview: CAL

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by Craig Yamada

Who: #18 UW (12-4, 4-1) vs. Cal (9-7, 2-2)

When: Sunday, 7 PM

Where: Berkeley, CA

TV: FSN

Short memory. That spells the mantra of the Dawgs if they are to salvage a split at Cal on Sunday. Thursday has come and gone and the Huskies will have to endure an extra day until they play on Sunday night in Berkeley. Lorenzo Romar has not been shy in voicing his opinion about playing on Sunday. He believes the home team has an advatage when the visiting team has to be on the road for that extra day. Perhaps its a mental thing? If anything, it just gives the Huskies an extra day to get prepared and re-focused for their game against Cal.

The Huskies will need to get their ducks in a row quickly as Cal has been playing some of their best basketball as of late. They pushed Arizona to the end of the game at Tucson and even upset Washington State  in OT on Thursday. The Huskies will be looking to avenge their last loss in Berkeley last year.

The Numbers:

Players to Watch:

  • Jorge Gutierrez = The lone starter from last year is not only Monty’s best defensive player, but he has really developed his offensive game this year. He currently is averaging over 12 points per game and will have to be kept off the glass as he is scrappy in grabbing offensive rebounds.
  • Allen Crabbe = Following the transfer of freshman PG, Gary Franklin, many thought this team was bound for the Pac-10 cellar. Allen Crabbe has been able to shift expectations as he has played lights out basketball for Montgomery’s squad during Pac-1o play. During the last four games, Crabbe is averaging over 17 points per game and has assumed the lion’s share of minutes at the guard position. If Cal was looking for a replacement for Patrick Christopher, they have found it in Crabbe. At 6’4″ he is dual threat as he exhibits a solid jump shot and a the ability to showcase his athleticism in transition. He is Cal’s best shooter from beyond the arc at 36%.  Crabbe seems like the front runner for Pac-10 freshman of the year at this time.
  • Markhuri Sanders-Frison = Sanders-Frison is stepping into a starting role this year and has played very well to start the Pac-10 season. At 6’7″ and weighing in at 265, he will prove to be a load for UW’s front court on Sunday. Sanders-Frison is averaging over 10 points and a team leading 8 rebounds per game. UW will need to keep his wide body out of the lane for second chance opportunities
  • Harper Kamp = Kamp helps round out Cal’s front court at PF. Kamp was a face UW did not see last year due to injury. However, Kamp has really started the Pac-10 season with a bang, averaging a team high 13.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Kamp is a crafty post presence and a tough defensive assignment.

Dawgs win if:

  • They get Cal in foul trouble = For the most part, Franklin’s departure has really hurt Cal’s depth. Most of their starting five average 30+ minutes and do not receive much production from their bench. If UW can get Sanders-Frison to the bench early, they will have a great opportunity to run the table against the Bears.
  • Rebounding: Same old story, different game.
  • Feed MBA: If Stanford taught us anything, it was that we can’t win unless MBA gets his share of touches. After shooting just five shots on Thursday, UW will need to establish their big man early and often to get a much needed win on the road.

Prediction: Cal will keep it close in the first half of this game. UW pulls away early in the second half and doesn’t look back. UW wins 89-77.