Thursday, January 17 at 10:00 PM ET
Coverage: Pac-12 Network
Two struggling teams clash on Thursday when the California Golden Bears visit the Washington State Cougars. Cal has lost five straight games and they're 0-4 in Pac-12 play while Washington State has lost six in a row and they're 0-3 against conference opponents.
Paris Austin struggles in his return
California shot just 34.5 percent (20-for-58) from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc (8-for-23) in last Saturday's 87-65 home loss against Arizona, they were out rebounded 38-28 and they turned the ball over 12 times.
Justice Sueing tied his career-high with 27 points to lead the Golden Bears, who were expecting a boost from the return of their leading scorer Paris Austin entered the game as their leading scorer but he was held to just eight points and two assists on 2-for-8 shooting. Cal has to rework Austin into their offense and find an interior presence if they want to have a chance against Washington State.
Washington State falls in Utah
C.J. Elleby had 21 points and Isaiah Wade finished with 12 but Washington State lost 88-70 against Utah and the Cougars are now 0-8 in games played outside Pullman this season.
Turnovers and poor perimeter shooting doomed Washington State on offense for the second straight game. The Cougars had 13 turnovers, leading to 21 points for the Utes and they averaged 12.5 turnovers per game on their three-game road trip last week. Washington State also shot just 5-for-24 from 3-point range after going 2-for-18 against Colorado.
Leading scorer and rebounder Robert Franks (22.1 points on 52.4 percent shooting and 7.9 rebounds) missed his fourth consecutive game while recovering from a hip contusion and Washington State has looked lost on offense without him in the lineup and they're 0-5 when he doesn't play but he is expected to return against California and he will make a difference.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
California Golden Bears are:
1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall
1-5 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss
1-5 ATS in their last six road games
1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss
Washington State Cougars are:
15-5 ATS in their last 20 home games against a team with a road winning percentage below .400
8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400
12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a losing straight up record
16-7 ATS in their last 23 home games against a team with a losing road record
Cal ranks last in the Pac-12-- and 333rd in the nation -- in scoring defense at 80.1 points per game, they already let nine opponents reach 80 points this season, including their last seven and they've surrendered 80 points or more 11 times all last season. Washington State is not playing well but they have a much better offense than California and they have a significant edge in rebounding and distributing the ball. I like their chances at home if Robert Franks returns.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Washington State at Jazz Sports if Robert Franks plays
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA