California 88, Washington 85 (3OT)

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

(Torrent is here; highlights of the final minutes of regulation and overtime are here, here, here & here; video tribute by danzig is here)

Only watched the game on my Blackberry last Saturday, so didn’t get time to see it until an hour or so ago. Here are the notes I typed up while watching.

Jerome Randle: Thomas’s play got a little bit in his head and he tried to outduel him a little too much early on as Cal fell behind. I’d say he was bothered a lot by players switching on him. Far more effective on the fast break but in the half court he struggled to do anything. He didn’t get much help from his teammates early on though, who sort of stagnated off the ball. He ended up playing much better late when he switched to the 2 and extended the game to the third overtime before fouling out.

Jordan Wilkes: He sets good picks. Mostly a finisher of plays, but the defense I’ve seen from him so far is basically putting his hands up in the air.

Jamal Boykin: Him and Wilkes can drive me crazy. For all the good things they do on defense they often get lost on offense. Too many times they got in the way of the scorers and crowded the shots of Robertson and Christopher or weren’t in position for Randle. I guess they’ll be more useful when the zone offense is moving more crisply.

Theo Robertson: Struggled creating his own shot early; was much more prolific with the catch-and-shoot. He didn’t look comfortable dribbling around the perimeter, but did finish the game with the go-ahead drive. Can go inside and shoot outside though, and that was all they needed in the third OT.

Patrick Christopher: The most complete player on our team. Can shoot the 3 ball, creates his own shot, moves well off the ball, has the speed to grab his missed shots. Still not sure about his defense though. Played like a man possessed in the second half and the third overtime. This could partly be due to the fact that no one on Washington could really guard him one-on-one. Also played great defense on Dentmon on the last crucial possession without getting called for the foul.

Harper Kamp: He’s very good at those backdoor passes, and has excellent defensive skills that make him valuable down the stretch. He breaks up passes in the paint, can bother his man in the post, etc.

D.J. Seeley: Might end up eating into Knezevic’s minutes down the road, simply because he plays better defense and can shoot the 3. His fast break defense was especially notable. Oh, and let’s not forget the clutchness.

Jorge Gutierrez: Strong defender (really bothered Thomas in the last few minutes) and plays well in the system on offense, had a crucial drive to the lane in the third OT, even has a nice pass; Montgomery allowed him to ball handle at times, showing how much confidence he has in him playing spot point. All you ask for off the bench. He’s the kind of player the fans of opposing teams will love to hate. That swipe across the face of Thomas is a perfect example.

Didn’t pay as much attention to Washington, but here are my quick (and probably biased) notes.

Isiah Thomas: Very strong point guard, and does remind me of the real Isiah at least in terms of the way he attacks the basket. I love aggressive point guard play, and off the dribble he was unstoppable much of the game. Cal really doesn’t have anyone who can guard him–their point guards are too small and their big men aren’t quick enough. It’s going to be interesting when the Bears face good point guards down the road and how they deal with him; my thoughts are zone-zone-zone. Of course, I don’t know what the hell he was doing reaching in on Seeley on that final shot.

Jon Brockman: Another big awkward white dude. Of course he has that hustle and rebounding that most journalists drool over in college, but has too much Hansbrough in him (and even Tyler can make his free throws).¬† A good eleventh man on an NBA team before people realize he’s kind of useless.

Justin Dentmon: Made some absurd shots. Also works well off the ball and had some good rebounds off his own shot (Randle was switched onto him after Guiterrez took over defensive responsibilities). The senior dominated the second and third overtimes and nearly took them home. Got Randle fouled out too drawing the charge.

Venoy Overton: Great penetrator to the inside.

Justin Holliday: Nice block.

Quincy Pondexter: Lives up to his name. Did a lot of quizzical things in this one (not closing out on his man, not finishing his shot, travelling trying to turn around in the paint, etc.)

Matthew Bryan-Amaning: Like every Euro player, can’t believe he’s ever committed a foul in his life.

Buy tickets for Montgomery’s return to Maples, or get ready for the first home games of the spring semester at Haas against Oregon State and Oregon!

Add your thoughts of Cal’s dramatic triple overtime win in the comments.

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