Tonight, the 2-1 Cardinal travel to McKeon Pavilion seeking redemption after a lackluster defeat at the hands of the Larry Brown-free SMU Mustangs, 85-70. There, they will take on the 2-0 Saint Mary's Gaels. On that side of things, watch out for the team's two Aussies, second-year PG Emmett Naar (a WCC All-Freshman last year, averaging 21 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds) and 6'9" junior forward Dane Pineau (10.5 points, 10 boards and 1 dime). The Gaels in their first two games have been scoring like gangbusters, notching an Offensive Rating of 131 points per 100 possessions, good for 4th in the entire NCAA (their 2-point field goal percentage of an unsustainable 74% currently leads the NCAA, and their overall field goal percentage is 13th).
The Cardinal have to be careful about protecting the ball, after turning the ball over 12 times (10 in the first half alone) against SMU, you don't want a team as efficient as Saint Mary's getting extra opportunities to make buckets. Look, too, for the continued improvement of Marcus Allen, in just his second game back from a stress fracture. He poured in 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field (and converting 9 of 13 charity stripe chances) off the bench, in a scant 24 minutes. He may be ready to supplant 6'5" sophomore Dorian Pickens at the starting 2-guard slot (who himself replaced Marcus Sheffield). Allen has a better handle and is a more efficient scorer, and Pickens went just 1-for-7 from the field against SMU. Here's hoping, too, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey continue to showcase their strength and mobility (and curb their fouling) against Pineau.
Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, California
Time: 8 p.m. PST
Watch: ESPN U, ESPN 3
Listen: KNBR 680 AM