- Created: February 25th, 2016
- sports betting
College Hoops | UCLA @ California
By Don Phillips
UCLA Bruins at California Golden Bears
9:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 25, 2016
Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California
TV: ESPN2 – Dave Pasch (PxP)/Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio: KSFO 560 AM – Todd McKim (PxP)/Jay John (analyst)
Sirius/XM Radio: 145/197
Live Stats: CalBears.com
Cal is coming off a road sweep of Washington and Washington State that moved the Bears up to 19th in the latest NCAA RPI standings. At home, Cal sports a 16-0 record and with two more wins, the Bears would post their first undefeated season on campus since going 11-0 in old Harmon Gym in 1996-97.
Overall, Cal continues to pace the Pac-12 in both scoring defense (allowing 66.9 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (38.8%). The Bears are also No. 1 in the country in terms of 2-point field goal percentage defense at 40.4 percent. Inside Haas Pavilion, the numbers are more impressive: 62.6 ppg allowed and 37.3 percent opponent field goal shooting.
Freshman forward Jaylen Brown paces the offense with 15.7 ppg, with senior guard Tyrone Wallace right behind at 15.5 ppg. Junior guard Jordan Mathews has tied his career high with 70 3-pointers made during the year, while junior guard Jabari Bird has drained 15 of his last 25 attempts behind the arc. Freshman forward Ivan Rabb leads on the glass with 8.3 rpg.
Cal enters Thursday’s game vs. UCLA having won five games in a row. During the stretch, the Bears have posted several impressive numbers; 49.3 percent field-gold shooting, 45.3 percent shooting from 3-point range, a +14.0 rebounding margin and a +13.6 scoring margin. The results mean that Cal has had at least a five-game winning streak in Pac-12 play each of the last five years. The Bears’ last string of more than five conference wins was a seven-game streak in 2013.
As of Feb. 22, Cal is tied with Indiana and Oregon for most home wins this season without a loss. All three teams sport 16-0 records. Louisville is first nationally in overall home wins with a 17-1 mark. With so many good teams, how awesome is March Madness going to be this year?
Cal’s two freshman forwards, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, are combining to average 27.7 ppg and 13.8 ppg, all while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor. They are striving to become the top scoring freshman tandem in school history, a mark currently held by Leon Powe and Marquise Kately, who contributed 25.6 ppg in 2003-04.
Other notable rookie combos for the Bears have been: Lamond Murray and Alfred Grigsby in 1991-92 (24.0 ppg); Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Kenyon Jones in 1995-96 (23.8 ppg); and Ryan Anderson and Jerome Randle in 2006-07 (22.8 ppg).
Isaac Hamilton leads five Bruins averaging in double figures with 17.0 ppg. The others are Bryce Alford (16.1), Tony Parker (12.7), Thomas Welsh (11.5) and Aaron Holiday (10.7).
Hamilton and Alford have combined to make 110 3-pointers this season. UCLA is coming off a 77-53 victory at home over Colorado.
UCLA is 4-8 away from Pauley Pavilion this year, including 2-5 in Pac-12 road games with wins over Oregon State and Arizona State.
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