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UW Basketball: What Has Cal Been Doing So Much Better Lately?

The folks at SBN's California Golden Blogs have taken a much more humble approach to this game with the Washington Huskies than they did in the previous one, which is perhaps ironic given how the Huskies are playing lately.

But with the last three games having been "sheer carnage" - in the words of CGB writer Kodiak - and UW possessing a massive home court advantage, caution is appropriate.

All that said, there is something to be said for the fact that Cal is playing quite well and Kodiak also points out how one of the more subtle things they're doing lately could be a key to their hopes of ending the Huskies' home magic.

Roll On: Previewing Cal Men's Basketball Against the Washington Huskies - California Golden Blogs
3) Offensive Execution - Perhaps the biggest improvement with the Cal team is their ball movement on offense. Instead of a disjointed, confused effort, we more often get a crisply-run symphony of five players moving together with confidence. When we lose confidence and start settling for early shots, our offense stagnates and tends to lead to transition baskets for the other team. Considering the Huskies' collective shooting slump, we need to avoid jump-starting them with anything easy.

The type of offensive execution described there is not always something that shows up clearly in the numbers, but the numbers for Cal show dramatic improvement, particularly in the cozy confines of Haas Pavilion over the last four games.

Cal's percentage of assisted field goals - a reasonable barometer of execution, with exceptions - has been consistently above average over the last four games after being below average in their previous two losses (vs UW and at UCLA). Their assist to turnover ratio - again not a perfect metric, but good for this sort of thing - has been well above average as well: they've posted their three best assist to turnover ratio games of the season in the last four games with their best coming in their tough triple overtime loss to Arizona.