CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
The California Golden Bears travel to Tucson today to take on the Cats at McKale Center at 8:30 p.m. MST. California is 10-6 in conference and 21-8 overall. They are sporting Jerome Randle who averages 17.8 ppg. The dude drops bombs and scored 15 and 20 against USC and UCLA. He can be stopped though. He has had two games this year in the single digits and they were both on the road. He scored 8 @ Washington State, shooting 3-9 and scored only 3 @ Oregon State, shooting 1-7.
The last time these guys met Arizona came up on the short end of the stick losing 69-55. Patrick Christopher scored 23 and had 4 assists while shutting down Chase Budinger, who shot 16 times and only hit 4. Jordan Hill had 18 and Nic had 16.
The Golden Bears have won 5 of their last 7 but have lost to Oregon State on the road and UCLA at home. The Bears are a lock for the Tournament and have had a solid season. They are going to have to come out strong against the Cats at McKale if they are going to pull off the win. The Wildcats have won their last 5 at home. Let's take a look at the Bears stats:
The Cats are on a 3 game slide after winning 7 in a row. They are on the bubble of making the Tourney and need a win so bad right now it's not even funny. Jordan Hill is day to day after a high ankle sprain at Washington. Arizona has not been hitting on all cylinders as of late and are going to have their hands full with Cal. Jamelle Horne put in 25 minutes and Lavender had 12 minutes against Washington. Even Jacobson got some minutes last week. Unfortunately, these minutes were unproductive and showed the Cats weakness stemming from our bench play. This is what happens when we get into foul trouble and/or we have a player go down. Let's hope that Jordan's ankle can hold up for the rest of the season.
I think that the Cats need at least one win this week against either Cal or Stanford. to make the Tourney. A win against Cal would be much better for our resume than beating only Stanford. Cal has put together quite a season and will be a tough team to beat come tournament time. They are currently projected to be a 7 seed in the Big Dance.
This will probably be the last weekend in Tucson for Chase and Jordan and possibly Nic. We really need a win tomorrow to seal up our spot in the Tournament. Let's hope that Jamelle can put together some more meaningful minutes than those against Washington. He was 1-7 from the field and had 5 fouls. Lute Olsen will be honored at halftime. Olson, his family, former players and members of the Pac-10 community will be on hand to honor the coach both in person and on video. Get to the game and salute the man. Let's take a look at the Cats' stats so far this season:
Keys to the Game:
- Shot Selection - Chase shot 4-16 the last time these two met. That is unbelievable. 16 attempts while only making 4? I think we have come a long way since those days and better play from Nic, Jordan, and Kyle have created better opportunities for our team to avoid another poor performance like the one Chase put out last time.
Ankle Brace. Let's be honest. We are nothing without Jordan. Let's hope he has had some serious physical therapy in the last two weeks and the ankle is ready to go. Without him, we would be smaller on the floor and try to exploit a bigger lineup from Cal. Fendi Onobun would have to come in and Jamelle Horne would need to play more than 25 minutes. Lord help us.
McKale Crowd. There is a reason that we play so well at home. We have a great crowd and the guys are much more confident in their game at home. The way we played against UCLA and Washington at home last month was incredible. If we put together another performance like that, we are going to win. There are tickets still available for the game so if you aren't doing, go snatch them up. Let's get'em Cats!