CAL (2-1) vs. No. 25 ARIZONA STATE (2-1)
WHERE: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley
WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks/810-AM
CAL-ARIZONA STATE HISTORY: Arizona State leads 45-41 and has won the past five meetings. The Sun Devils beat Cal 80-75 in Berkeley in their only meeting last season, led by 22 points from Remy Martin. Matt Bradley led the Bears with 22 points and Grant Anticevich scored 18, the second-highest point total of his career.
CAL STORYLINES: The Bears begin Pac-12 play after posting their first win over a Division I opponent on Monday, when they beat Nicholls State 60-49. This game will be substantially more challenging . . . Junior Matt Bradley, coming off a 26-point performance Monday against Nicholls State, is averaging 19.3 points per game to rank third in the Pac-12 . . . No other Cal player is averaging double figures through three games. Grad transfer guards Ryan Betley (9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds) and Makale Foreman (8.7 points, 4.0 assists) and junior forward Andre Kelly (8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds) are the team’s next leading scorers . . . A focus for coach Mark Fox is tightening the Bears’ defense and through three games they are allowing just 60.3 points per game, fifth-best in the Pac-12. But they rank 159th nationally in offensive efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy, scoring just 99.2 points per 100 possessions . . . Freshman forward Monty Bowser, who took a hard fall Monday night during the Nicholls State game, was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was checked and released.
ARIZONA STATE STORYLINES: The Sun Devils split two games in Connecticut last week to open the season, beating Rhode Island and losing to Villanova. They crushed Houston Baptist 100-77 in their home opener Sunday . . . ASU was picked second behind UCLA in the Pac-12 preseason media poll and is averaging 89.3 points through its first three games. The Sun Devils are 31st in Pomeroy’s national efficiency rankings, thanks to scoring 111.5 points per 100 possessions to rank No. 7 nationally . . . Senior PG Remy Martin was named a preseason first-team AP All-American after averaging 19.4 points last season and bypassing the chance to enter the NBA draft. Martin has averaged 14.2 points in five career games against the Bears . . . Freshman Josh Christopher, a 2020 McDonald’s All-American and the younger brother of former Cal star Patrick Christopher, leads the Sun Devils in scoring at 18.7 points and posted 28 points against Villanova. Christopher, who averaged 39.4 points last season at Mayfair High in Lakewood, Calif., was rated as the nation’s No. 10 prospect by both ESPN and 247Sports. The 6-foot-5 wing earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors on Monday . . . . Fellow freshman Marcus Bagley, a 6-8 forward, is producing 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds through three games. The younger brother of former No. 2 overall NBA draft pick Marvin Bagley III, Marcus Bagley was a top-30 national prospect at Sheldon High in Sacramento.
CAL GAME NOTES: Click here
ARIZONA STATE GAME NOTES: Click here
*** Coach Mark Fox, after the Nicholls State game on Monday, talks about the play of point guards Joel Brown and Makale Foreman:
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo