The 11-4 Stanford Cardinal will face the 11-6 Cal Bears tonight in Berkeley. Stanford has won 5 of their last 6 games while the Bears have lost 5 of their last 6 games after a strong start to the season. Stanford is slowly but surely putting together an excellent season and looking like a solid tournament contender. Cal on the other hand appears to be in freefall.
From Parker Baruh of Pacific Takes:
"For Cal, the offense was once again a major issue when they faced off with USC and UCLA. In their 71-57 loss to the Trojans, only two players were in double figures. In their 73-54 loss to UCLA, only one player was in double figures. The defense has continued to be less effective as well. The Bears are giving up 105.6 points per 100 possessions and only scoring 93.8 points per 100 possessions in conference play. Couple that with the loss of Jabari Bird, and it makes sense why Cal has plummeted in the Pac-12."
How to watch, listen and stream
Game time: 8:00 p.m. PT
Radio: KNBR 850 AM
Online Streaming: Watchespn.com
Rankings and records
Neither team is ranked nationally, but Stanford is currently a half game out of first place in the PAC 12. Only Utah, the 8th best team in the nation, sits ahead of Stanford in the conference standings. Cal on the other hand sits at 9th in the PAC 12, sorely in need of a conference win tonight at home.
Players to Watch
Again, from Parker Baruh of Pacific Takes:
"Anthony Brown came into the season as the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year in the Pac-12, and he has improved once again for Stanford. The 6-foot-6 forward scored 21 points, went 5-for-5 from three, had eight rebounds and four assists against the Bruins and had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against the Trojans. He's upped his scoring average by three points so far this season and his offensive rating and usage rate are both up from last season as well.
After playing in one game last season and missing the rest due to injury, Rosco Allen has stepped up offensively to help Stanford balance out the scoring as well. Allen's 6-foot-9 frame combined with his ability to stretch the floor has given the Cardinal another threat for opposing defenses. Allen had 14 points in the loss to the Bruins and 18 points in the win over the Trojans.
Ultimately, both Brown and Allen are critical to Stanford's hopes to stay near the top of the Pac-12 standings. Chasson Randle is one of the top scorers in the conference, but if Brown and Allen give the Cardinal the secondary scoring they need, Stanford is the easiest to defend as the frontrunner for the third spot in the Pac-12."
For more Cal coverage, visit Cal Golden Blogs and Pacific Takes.