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Talkin’ Tall Firs: California and Stanford

The Bay Area Teams Are Coming to Eugene

California Golden Bears

This should be the easiest home stand for the Ducks in conference play but then again, nothing has been easy for Oregon this season. The Golden Bears aren’t playing good basketball at all. Cal has no wins against teams in the PAC-12 and their best win of the season came at home against San Diego State (KenPom Ranking is #148). Out of the 353 NCAA Division 1 teams, California ranks 335th in points allowed per game at 79.5. That is the worst defense in the PAC-12 and one of the worst in the nation.

Wins - Hampton, Santa Clara, San Diego State, Cal Poly, San Jose State

Losses - Yale, St. John’s, Temple, @ Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, @ Fresno State, Seattle, @ USC, @ UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, @ Washington State, @ Washington, Colorado, Utah, Stanford

KenPom Ranking - #282

Game Time:

California (5-16, 0-9) @ Oregon (13-9, 4-5) 9:30 PM ET, FS1 on Wednesday, February 6th

Key Numbers:

  • 70.4 Points Per Game
  • 28.4 Rebounds Per Game
  • 10.6 Assists Per Game
  • 6.5 Steals Per Game
  • 2.8 Blocks Per Game
  • 79.5 Points Allowed Per Game
  • 43.6 Field Goal Percentage

Player to Watch For:

Paris Austin, Junior - 12.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.2 SPG

The transfer from Boise State decided to play closer to his hometown of Oakland. Paris is a talented point guard who has a lot of swagger and doesn’t back down from a challenge. He could go off for 20+ in any game if he wanted to but Austin facilitates and gets his teammates open looks.

Score Prediction: Ducks over Golden Bears, 82-64

California’s losing streak will continue to 11 in a row after this one. That would break the school’s record for the longest losing streak. Their defense will just be no match for Oregon’s average offense.

Stanford Cardinal

This team has had a lot of opportunities to be considered for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament but couldn’t capitalize in the big games. Stanford went to OT at Kansas and was close to upsetting the #2 team in the nation at the time. The Cardinals just couldn’t hit three-pointers near the end and they shot a lot of them against the Jayhawks. 12 for 34 3PT (35.3%).

Wins - Seattle, @ UNC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee State, Portland State, Eastern Washington, San Jose State, Long Beach State, Arizona State, @ Washington State, Colorado, @ California

Losses - @ #7 UNC, #25 Wisconsin, Florida, @ #2 Kansas, @ San Francisco, @ UCLA, @ USC, Arizona, @ Washington, Utah

KenPom Ranking - #129

Game Time:

Stanford (11-10, 4-5) @ Oregon (13-9, 4-5) 8:00 PM ET, ESPN2 on Sunday, February 10th

Key Numbers:

  • 73.2 Points Per Game
  • 35.0 Rebounds Per Game
  • 12.5 Assists Per Game
  • 6.1 Steals Per Game
  • 4.9 Blocks Per Game (Tied for 23rd in the Nation)
  • 73.2 Points Allowed Per Game
  • 46.5 Field Goal Percentage

Player to Watch For:

KZ Okpala, Sophomore - 18.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG

This 6’9” forward is a very consistent scorer from anywhere on the court. He had 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks at #2 Kansas in early December. It was quite the performance.

Score Prediction: 75-71, Cardinal over Ducks

I’m just looking forward to the matchup between KZ Okpala and Louis King. Should be entertaining and whoever produces more out of those two will lead their team to victory. In this case, I’m going with Okpala who has more experience than King.

*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho