Cal Basketball: Defense 'Not in the Same Galaxy of Where We Need to Be'

Cal coach Mark Fox goes celestial to note the improvement Bears need to make on defensive end
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Cal coach Mark Fox went celestial with his assessment of the Bears’ defense following Cal’s 98-75 exhibition-game victory on Wednesday over St. Martin’s, a Division II school.

“Our defense is still not anywhere near . . . it’s probably not in the same galaxy of where it needs to be to beat good teams,” Fox said after the game. “But we’ll learn a lot from tonight’s game.”

Apparently Cal’s defense is currently residing somewhere outside the Milky Way Galaxy, so it needs to pull it in a few light years to be effective against teams like Pepperdine, which will be the Bears’ first regular-season opponent on Tuesday at Haas Pavilion.

Fox has always been considered a defensive-minded coach, so when St. Martin’s shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half, he was not exactly pleased.

The Saints shot just 8-for-23 in the second half so progress was made.

“Pepperdine has a very good team, some experience coming back,” Fox said. "Coach (Lorenzo) Romar is a terrific and experienced coach. We’ll have to play a lot, lot better next week to have an opportunity to win.”

By then presumably Cal’s defense will be in the same galaxy that it needs to be to have a chance. Of course, that might still leave the Bears a moonshot away from where it needs to be to be competitive in t Pac-12.

A call to NASA may be required if the Bears steer too far off course and start  careening into the far reaches of the universe.

Presumably Lars Thiemann and Kareem South, who shared the podium with Fox for this video, will remain on Earth to help with the defensive improvement.