California’s men’s basketball team hopes to rebound from its worst start in 25 years when it hosts Texas State in a nonconference affair Monday night in Berkeley, Calif.
The Golden Bears (0-4) got 21 points from Kentucky/Texas transfer Devin Askew, but it wasn’t nearly enough in a 74-66 home loss to Southern on Friday night.
Having already lost at home to UC Davis and Kansas State and at UC San Diego, Cal remained winless in a season through four games for the first time since 1997.
That team vented its frustration on Portland State in its fifth game, something the Golden Bears hope to do to the Bobcats (2-2), whose two losses this season include a 22-pointer in the opener at Washington State.
Cal coach Mark Fox, who refused the media access to his players after Friday’s debacle in an effort to focus the criticism on himself, realizes his club is going to need to give Askew help if it plans to avoid 0-5.
“I’m asking Devin Askew to do everything. He’s having to do too much,” Fox observed of his leading scorer at 17.5 points per game. “I think when we get a traditional lineup eventually put back together, that should help us on the offensive end.”
That won’t happen against Texas State. Top 2022 scorer Jalen Celestine remains out following offseason knee surgery, while high-scoring Coppin State/Hartford transfer DeJuan Clayton has yet to play for Cal due to a hamstring injury.
The Bobcats saw a two-game winning streak come to an end Thursday night in a 61-56 loss at UTSA.
After watching his team held to a season-low point total after averaging 67.3 points in its first three games, Texas State coach Terrence Johnson looked forward to upcoming games at Cal and Friday against Southern Utah in hopes of regaining an offensive rhythm.
“We have to do a better job of executing our game plans throughout,” Johnson observed. “Thought we got caught up a little bit in (UTSA’s slow) pace and allowed them to dictate a little bit too much of the action. We have to regroup.”
Mason Harrell, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week after a 26-point night in a win at Rhode Island, leads the Bobcats at 19 points per game.
–Field Level Media