Sports

Brooks named Pac-12 player of the year

Brooks named Pac-12 player of the year”

OR has a first-round bye for the tournament at the T-Mobile Arena before opening against either Arizona State or Stanford at noon on Thursday.

"We knew it would be tough", said Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin. On Wednesday, ASU used a 3-point barrage in overtime and a big effort from Obinna Oleka to claim a 98-88 win over Stanford.

Coming off back-to-back ugly losses to end the regular season, the Bears needed to regain their confidence. "But in addition to our 27 wins, you look at those types of losses as opportunities to learn and grow which we certainly have". He averaged 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during the tournament and was arguably the Ducks' best player down the stretch. "I think we're 5-0". On a neutral court, they will have beaten USC (still probably a Tournament team, and one which already beat UCLA once), Arizona (a top ten RPI team that also beat UCLA once), and OR (bordering on a top 5 RPI team that also beat UCLA once). The Beavers kept it close the entire contest, with Cal failing to extend its lead to double digits at any point.

The Bruins are 28-3, ranked No. 3 in the country and leading the nation in scoring at 91.3 points a game.

"He's as smart of a player I've played with", Bryce Alford said. "I ran out, he made a great play to throw to me, and I finished the play strong". They played against a team on the road, in a hostile environment and they made 16 3-point shots, the odds were not in their favor.

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Despite the victory, Cal still struggled to find its rhythm offensively. But the Beavers shot just 32 percent for the game, made one shot in the fourth quarter, were held to a season low in points and lost for the first time since February 10. Give me Arizona State. "But he has to shoot those balls". He's a model of consistency who is going to get his 15 points and 10 rebounds, win or lose.

"I just trust my team".

Added Martin: "Not surprised, because his preparation and his energy have paid off for him in practice, and it carried over into the game".

As a team, the Bears dominated the boards, outrebounding Oregon State 40-27, including a 14-6 margin on the offensive glass. "We respect him, and we will watch film and see how we can correct our mistakes to have a better chance to win". "We have a lot of size down low, but we also have our guards who rebound well, like Grant (Mullins) and Jabari (Bird)". So those guys have bought in and done a good job.

Oregon State's Stephen Thompson Jr. led all scorers with 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a blazing 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Which was actually a higher percentage than from the free-throw line (58.3%). Leaf should play or sit out, depending on exactly how healthy he is, with the context being that the conference tournament is little more than a formality at this point.

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Holder would personally account for the next five points to put ASU back up by six, 81-75.

Now Cal turns its attention to Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against Utah. His.743 winning percentage in league games (107-37) is third only to legends John Wooden (.810) and Olson (.764) among those to reach 100 wins.

"It was our worst game all season", said Martin.

Of the three heavyweights, the Wildcats would be the easiest sell, so to speak: Six top-50 wins, a challenging non-conference schedule ... and look at how well they're playing with a fully-loaded roster.

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