Don’t be fooled by their record, the California Golden Bears (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12) are a scary team to play in Haas Pavilion. Of their 18-8 overall record, the Bears are 14-2 at home. The No. 6 Oregon Ducks (24-4, 13-2 Pac-12) have quite the challenge in front of them tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in Berkeley.
The battle of the boards has been an issue for Oregon this season. California comes into this game as one of the top rebounding teams in the conference. In their last matchup back on January 19th, the Cal Bears out rebounded the Ducks 34 to 25. Of those 34 Bears rebounds, 19 came from the offense. However, Oregon coming off a dominant rebound performance against Colorado (another top rebounding team in the conference), proved that the Ducks can fight for boards from every position, including guard play.
Four Ducks scored in double digits back in January: Bell lead all scores (26 points), Dorsey (16 points), Benson (15 points), and Brooks (10 points). Oregon made a collective nine three’s in the first half alone. Junior forward Jordan Bell’s performance was not only dominant on the offensive end, but he held Golden Bears sophomore forward Ivan Rabb to just four points. Rabb also found himself in foul trouble finishing with four. Rabb is currently averaging a double-double. Oregon’s other main concern, besides Rabb, is Golden Bears senior guard Jabari Bird, who accounted for 21 points, 15 of which from three-point range (five-of-nine).
One other thing that has been a real challenge for Oregon this season is getting off to a good start on the road and maintaining that energy for 40 minutes. This could continue to be a concern as Oregon’s last three conference games are on the road: California, Stanford, and Oregon State.
Following the Ducks dominant performance over Colorado last Saturday, Oregon coach Dana Altman said, ”I didn't like our defensive energy early…We made a couple bad rotations which allowed them to have some good three's that they hit. So I didn't think we were very sharp to start the game... That's something that has really got to be a focus for us here going on the road, to finish three on the road."
A quick look at the game:
No. 6 Oregon at California
Where: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
When: 6:00 p.m.
Records: Ducks (24-4, 13-2 Pac-12), Golden Bears (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12).
Last outings: The Ducks dominated Colorado in their final home game of the season, 101-73, last Saturday. California lost 73-68 to Stanford at Stanford last Friday.
Coaches: UO's Dana Altman (178-68 at Oregon, 588-311 Division I). California’s Cuonzo Martin (59-34 at California, 183-116 overall).
Key Ducks: G Tyler Dorsey, 6-4, So., (13.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .388 3PT%), G Dylan Ennis, 6-2, Sr., (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, .396 3PT%), G Payton Pritchard, 6-2, Fr., (7.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg), F Jordan Bell, 6-9, Jr., (10.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg), F Dillon Brooks, 6-7, Jr., (15.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, .433 3PT%), F Chris Boucher, 6-10, Sr., (12.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg).
Key Bears: F Ivan Rabb, 6-11, So., (14.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg), G Charlie Moore, 5-11, Fr., (13.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg), G Jabari Bird, 6-6, Sr., (14.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
Notes: This week, Oregon has clinched a first round BYE for the Pac-12 tournament coming up in March…The Ducks have their final three games on the road, rounding out their home-win streak to 42…Cal is 14-2 at home this season.