Game of the Night
California Golden Bears vs. Davidson Wildcats – 9:00 ET
The Wildcats (8-2) close out the non-conference slate Monday night when they take on the Golden Bears (9-3) in Berkley, California. Davidson is fresh off a win last week against Morehead State and will attempt to enter conference play with just two losses on their resume.
As always, the Davidson player to watch in this game will be Jack Gibbs. The junior is coming off a 41 point performance against Morehead State and will look to continue his red-hot start to the season. As of right now, Gibbs is matching Steph Curry’s numbers from his fabled 2007-2008 season. Yeah, he’s been that good.
However, Jordan Barham has been key in each Davidson win, and will need to play well against Cal for the Wildcats to stay in this one. Barham is averaging 13.0 PPG this year, but scored 17 against Morehead State last week. The senior is also second on the team in rebounds with 5.5 per contest.
Cal is led by a trio of talented guards: Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Matthews and freshman phenom Jaylen Brown. The Golden Bears have been less than impressive thus far but are coming off a near upset over #5 Virginia, falling 63-62 in overtime last week. They have yet to log a quality win thus far, their most impressive victory coming against UC Santa Barbara. Beating Davidson would be a very solid addition to their NCAA tournament resume.
As far as overall talent goes, California has the edge. Jaylen Brown should be a member of the 2016 NBA draft class, and Wallace has an outside chance to play professionally. Davidson will need to get secondary contributions outside of Gibbs in order to come away with a victory:
Prediction: Davidson 80, California 78
This one will be close either way, however Davidson is the better overall team based on experience and aptitude for big wins. I think the Cats steal one on the road and enter A10 play at 9-2.