San Francisco vs Cal Preview and Prediction
San Francisco vs Cal Preview
The University of San Francisco men’s basketball team (7-1) looks to get back into the win column on Wednesday when they travel across the Bay Bridge to take on the California Golden Bears (2-4) at 11:00 p.m. ET at Haas Pavilion.
The game against Cal is the 77th in the history of the series, Cal owns a 46-30 advantage in the series that has been dormant for a decade. The Dons are 11-9 at home all-time against the Bears.
San Francisco fell to 7-1 following an 85-81 loss in the championship game of the Belfast classic to No. 21 Buffalo last Saturday. The 7-1 start is tied for the best start under third year head coach Kyle Smith who began the 2016-17 season 7-1 as well.
The Dons Well-Rounded Attack
Four players are averaging 10 or more points.
Charles Minlend (So.): 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Matt McCarthy (Sr.): 12.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 70 percent from the field
Jordan Ratinho (Jr.): 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 42 percent from 3-point land
Frankie Ferrari (Sr.): 12.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists
As you can see, the Dons pose an experienced group of players who will not be afraid to take on this Cal team.
Cal enters the contest — its third with a Bay area foe — after falling at Saint Mary’s on Saturday in a game that saw the Gaels shoot 60.0 percent to defeat the Bears, 84-71. Cal is 1-1 against its Bay Area brethren, taking a decisive 78-66 victory over Santa Clara on Nov. 26. Meanwhile, it’s been more than a decade since the Bears last faced San Francisco, topping the Dons in Nov. 2008.
Cal’s Starting Five
All five of the Bears starters average double-figures, but outside of this group they get very little help off the bench. If Cal wants to upset USF, these five players will need to produce at a great clip.
Paris Austin (Jr.): 15 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Justice Sueing (So.): 12.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 43 percent 3-point land
Matt Bradley (Fr.): 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 49 percent from the field, 72 percent from 3-point land
Darius McNeil (So.): 10.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals
Andre Kelly (Fr.): 10.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 63 percent from the field
The Cal Bears have a talented starting unit, who is young and inexperienced at this level. They do not get help from their bench-mates and are relied upon for all of the offensive and defensive firepower. One reason they have struggled to start the year.
Wednesday’s game against the Golden Bears will be the 77th matchup in a series that unofficially for USF dates back to the 1913-14 season. The first official game between the Dons and Golden Bears took place in the 1924-25 season when Cal defeated The Grey Fog 21-11. All-time the Dons are 46-30 against the Bears. Their largest win against Cal took place on Dec. 3, 1976 when No. 10 USF defeated Cal 93-70 (+23). The worst loss took place on the road when the Bears defeated the Dons 93-59 (-34) on Dec. 5, 1994.
LINE: -6 San Francisco
This is considered a home game for the Bears, but USF travels well and is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the Bears arena. Cal has beaten bad mid-majors this season and lost to everyone else.
San Francisco gave a now Top 20-ranked UB Bulls team a run for their money in Ireland. They will look to beat their ‘bigger brother’ by more than double-digits.
San Francisco 76 Cal 60