C&R;popped in with their analysis of the first edition of the Battle of the Bay and made an important observation about the California Golden Bears’ defensive approach against the Stanford Cardinal in the first game of the Battle of the Bay on Tuesday night.
Things Cal should have done well:
So Cal breaks out their new and improved vaulted press. They get a steal and a basket, and then don’t try it again for 10 whole minutes (Not sure how many minutes between, but why not press every time?) Well, when they did press again, Stanford easily passed to the half court line, and unlike the UConn game, they took the ball straight to the basket without waiting for the defense to catch up. The result an easy lay up. Now Cal is 1-1 on the press. But they stop trying it until the final minute. C and R are still scratching their heads about that decision. And will Gottleib rethink that for Sunday?
I was wondering the same thing and in fact, I’d add even add something: when Cal pressed late in the second half and Stanford broke it, one of the major reasons they broke it so easily was that Reshanda Gray fell down while trying to rotate to guard the rim. Not to say that she alone would’ve stopped Stanford from scoring had she been able to stay on her feet, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy.
Then, as C&R;point out, we didn’t see the press that much after that.
Given the results, it seems that going back to the press more often and giving it a few more possessions tries would’ve been worthwhile with Cal struggling to score. Then again, it’s much easier to press a team like Stanford when you are scoring points, as Cal found out last year at the end of regulation at Maples Pavilion last season.