Bears Take On TCU At Emerald Coast Classic
BERKELEY – California will face TCU in the semifinal round of the 2022 Emerald Coast Classic on Friday night at Raider Arena in Niceville, Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT and the contest will be televised on the CBS Sports Network with Brad Johansen and Steve Lappas on the call.
Clemson and No. 25 Iowa will clash on the other side of the tournament bracket at 4 p.m. PT Friday; the semifinal winners will play in the championship game at 4 p.m. PT Saturday, while the losers will meet in the third-place game at 1 p.m. PT. It will be the third all-time meeting between the Golden Bears (0-5) and TCU (3-1) on Friday.
- Date & Time: Friday, Nov. 25 | 6:30 p.m. PT
- Location: Niceville, Fla. | Raider Arena
- Watch: CBS Sports Network | Brad Johansen (PxP) & Steve Lappas (Analyst)
- Listen: 810 AM & The Varsity App | Rich Cellini (PxP)
- Live Stats: StatBroadcast
- The Bears are a combined 7-6 all-time against the Emerald Coast Classic field, including a 2-0 record when facing TCU. Both previous meetings with the Horned Frogs came at neutral sites in Hawaii (1971) and Alaska (1999). Cal is 1-0 against Clemson – the win was in the 1999 NIT championship game – and 4-6 against Iowa.
- Junior guard Devin Askew is third in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.4 PPG) and is one of two conference players averaging at least 17 points, four rebounds and three assists at this point in the season. He's led Cal in scoring in all five games while playing an average of 34.2 minutes per game.
- Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (75.8) and has got to the line an average of 19 times per game. The Bears are the only Pac-12 team with three players – Kuany Kuany (85 percent), Devin Askew (82.6) and Lars Thiemann (82.6) – shooting 80 percent or better at the line.
- The Bears have had to overcome halftime deficits in all five games this season, including double-figure holes of 15, 10 and 12. Cal has battled back consistently in the second half of the past four games by shooting 47 percent (48-102), but has managed only a 35.8-percent clip in the first half of those same contests.
- Senior center Lars Thiemann is Cal's leading rebounder (6.8 RPG). He recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 boards against Texas State on Monday and has scored double figures in four of Cal's five games.
- Sophomore forward Sam Alajiki has gained momentum the past two games, averaging 9.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.5 APG.
- It is the second consecutive season that Cal has traveled to the Sunshine State for a multi-team event; it played at the 2021 Fort Myers Tip-Off.
- Cal's backcourt has been plagued with early-season injuries, as guards DeJuan Clayton and Jarred Hyder have not yet played. The Bears continue to be without junior guard Jalen Celestine – the team's top returning scorer (7.5 PPG in 2021-22) – who is working his way back to full speed following an offseason knee procedure. A timetable for Celestine's return has not yet been determined.
Cal will face Clemson or No. 25 Iowa on Saturday in the third-place game (1 p.m. PT) or the championship game (4 p.m. PT) of the Emerald Coast Classic. The third-place game will be streamed via FloSports while the championship game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
For further coverage of Cal men's basketball, follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMBBall), Instagram (@CalMBBball) and Facebook (/CalMBBall/).