Cal Basketball: Imagine This -- Bears Shooting for Three in a Row

Cal freshman Matt Bradley (20) lets loose a shot in the first Stanford game.Photo by Al Sermeno, KLC fotos

Bears hoping to make their 16-game losing streak a distance memory in regular-season finale

CAL (7-22, 2-15 Pac-12) vs. STANFORD (15-14, 8-9)

WHERE: Maples Pavilion, Stanford

WHEN: Thursday, 8 p.m.


CAL-STANFORD HISTORY: Cal leads 149-125. Stanford has won the past 3 meetings, including 84-81 at Berkeley on Feb. 3, and has won 8 of the past 11.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears are trying to win a third straight Pac-12 game for the first time since February 2017. Cal lost an all-time program-worst 16 straight games before posting wins over then-No. 25 Washington and Washington State last week. … While eight teams still are solidifying their seedings this weekend for the Pac-12 tournament, Cal is locked into the No. 12 seed. The Bears will play the No. 5 seed at 2:30 p.m. next Wednesday in Las Vegas. … Although the Bears continue to rank last nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.496), they are making things happen by stealing the ball. They are third in the conference and in the top-100 nationally with 7.2 steals per game and three Cal players — Justice Sueing (third, 1.66 steals), Darius McNeill (ninth, 1.45) and Paris Austin (10th, 1.41) are among the Pac-12’s top-10. … Sueing leads the Bears and is 12th in the Pac-12 at 14.7 points per game. McNeill (11.6 PPG) averaged 18 points in the two wins last week. … Connor Vanover, the Bears’ 7-foot-3 freshman center, is averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds the past nine games. He had a career-best 18 points in the win over Washington.

STANFORD STORYLINES: Sophomore forward KZ Okpala is fifth in the Pac-12 at 17.0 points per game. He scored a career-high 30 points in Stanford’s win at Cal and has 14 games of at least 20 points. Okpala is projected as a top-10 NBA draft, but has not announced his plans. … Sophomore point guard Daejon Davis (11.6 PPG, 4.6 APG) remains questionable due to injury. He played just nine minutes vs. Washington State last week, then sat out the Cardinal’s 62-61 loss to UW. … Senior center Josh Sharma (9.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG) is one of the Pac-12’ most-improved players. He scored double figures just three times in his first 95 career games, but has twice been Pac-12 Player of the Week this season and is averaging 14.5 points and 9.9 rebounds the past eight games. … The Cardinal’s biggest weakness is turnovers. They cough up 15.2 per game to rank last in the Pac-12 and 312th in the country, and if Davis cannot play the team loses its primary ballhandler (although Davis leads the Pac-12 with 3.2 turnovers per game). … Stanford shoots just 32.7 percent from the 3-point arc to rank 10th in the conference but is efficient otherwise, converting nearly 54 percent on 2-point attempts.

CAL GAME NOTES: Click here