The (#4) Arizona Wildcats (21-3) will head to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears (3-20) on Thursday night. Arizona has won six straight since being embarrassed by Oregon in mid-January. However, they trail UCLA by one game for the top spot in the conference standings as the two powerhouses continue to duke it out for a potential one-seed in the upcoming NCAA tourney. Cal may be the worst Power Six team in the country, losing seven straight games as they head towards their worst season since starting in 1907.
Arizona vs. California
|California Golden Bears||+19.5||u141.5||+1050|
Arizona vs. California Match Details
Fixture: Arizona Wildcats at Cal Golden Bears
Date and Time: Thursday, February 9th at 11:00 PM ET
Venue: Haas Pavilion
ShotQuality Tale of the Tape
Below, we will highlight essential ShotQuality data for this matchup, including Adjusted Offensive and Defensive SQ, strengths, weaknesses, and frequency. SQppp is a player’s average ShotQuality points per possession.
Thus, SQppp = Total SQpoints/Total No. of Possessions.
The Arizona Wildcats own a 1.15 AdjOFF SQ this season, suitable for 21st in the nation. On the other hand, Cal has the 123rd-best AdjDEF SQ at 0.99. does well in all key stats but the open three rate metric, where they are 350th in the country. Conversely, the Golden Bears are 36th in the nation in the defensive open three rate metric. In addition, they are average in defensive shot-making and shot selection, strengths of the Wildcats.
The Wildcats own high-frequency numbers in catch & shoot three-point, cut, P&R, and transition shot types. They are in the top 125 in all those shot types, excelling on catch & shoot three-pointers (12th in SQ PPP) and in the P&R (57th in SQ PPP). Conversely, the Golden Bears are outside the top 200 in defending all those shot types except cut, where they own a 1.01 SQ PPP (11th in the country)
The Golden Bears have a 0.99 AdjOFF SQ, the 215th-best mark in the country. Arizona has posted a 0.94 AdjDEF SQ this season, clocking in at 37th in the country. The Golden Bears have been awful in all key categories this season except free throw rate (FTR), where they rank 178th. Arizona is 44th in the nation in defensive FTR.
Cal is in the country’s top half in frequency regarding the following shot types: cut, half-court, isolation, midrange, off-screen, P&R, and post-up. However, they are just inside the top 100 in cut SQ PPP while being putrid in the other shot types. On the other hand, Arizona has been masterful in defending all those shot types except off-screen, where they rank 20th in the country (1.00 SQ PPP).
Arizona vs. California Prediction
As bad as Cal has been this year, they were worse at “full strength.” They remained winless when leading scorer Devin Askew suited up, as the former blue-chip prospect had one of the country’s highest usage ratings (USG%) despite shooting 37% from the field. When he is out, as he will be for the remainder of the season, the team has won three games and has covered the spread every once in a while. I like them tonight, with nearly 20 points on their home court.