12. California Golden Bears (3-5) Last Week: 12
Last week’s home series against San Francisco and San Diego State gave coach Wyking Jones another quality measuring stick for his team. While a 19-point defeat to the Dons unhinged expectations, a comeback victory against the Aztecs resupplied optimism.
In that game, Cal used an 18-5 run in the final four minutes to secure an 89-83 victory. Sophomore forward Justice Sueing led the way, scoring seven of his 23 points down the stretch in Cal’s best offensive performance of the season.
Seeking more physicality, Jones made a key lineup change, moving 7-foot-3 freshman Connor Vanover to the starting lineup and bringing freshman guard Matt Bradley off the bench. The move worked, as Vanover and sophomore forward Grant Anticevich helped the Bears produce 13 second chance points off 10 offensive rebounds.
The extra chances gave Sueing and three other scorers an opportunity to score in double-figures. Bradley and Anticevich chipped in 13 and 11, respectively, off the bench while Paris Austin and Darius McNeill combined for 28 in the starting lineup.
The victory was a sign of the Bears’ potential – and their improvement. They’ve often been out-experienced in their five defeats, but their perseverance is something Jones hopes will stay moving forward.
Cal plays only once this week – a home matchup against Cal Poly on Saturday.