Huskies sophomore Dalayah Daniels will compete against her former team for the first time — the 6’4″ Seattle native transferred from Cal last year after two seasons with the Golden Bears, where she endured team win-loss records of 1-16 and 11-10.
This season, the California Golden Bears’ aspirations are similar to those of the Washington Huskies — a former “cellar dweller” looking to demonstrate the program’s improvement in Pac-12 play this season.
California even recently beat Oregon State, overcoming an 8-point fourth quarter deficit to win a close contest — similar to Washington’s recent close victory over OSU.
California allows conference opponents to average 72.4 points per game, which ranks 11th in the Pac-12 — UW’s defense allows 61.7 points per Pac-12 game (3rd best).
The Golden Bears rank in the Top 30% nationally in defending these play types: (1)transition offense; (2)players cutting and (3)putbacks from offensive rebounds.
Per Synergy, the Golden Bears rank in the Bottom 15% of all Division teams in defending these play types: (1) pick-and-roll ballhandlers; (2) spot-up jumpers; and (3)isolation plays.
Unfortunately, the Huskies only have one player that is an efficient scorer as pick and roll ballhandlers — Trinity Oliver ranks in the Top 48% of pick-and-roll ballhandlers nationwide.
However, Washington has only one highly rated isolation offensive player on the roster to take the most advantage of that weakness of Cal’s defense — Dalayah Daniels ranks in the Top 36% of all isolation players nationwide for efficiency.
California alsoranks in the Bottom 45% of all Division teams in defending these play types: (1)handoffs; (2)players coming off screens; (3)pick-and-roll rollman(roller); and (4)post-ups.
The Huskies’ standard offense relies heavily on handoffs and screens at the elbow of the free throw line – California is ineffective defensively as a team against these plays, so expect Washington’s backdoor screens and handoffs to lead to good shots.
Washington should also incorporate more set plays involving pick-and-roll action to take advantage of California’s biggest weaknesses.
Fortunately for the Huskies, Dalayah Daniels also ranks in the Top 23% nationwide in points per possession (ppp) efficiency as the pick-and-roll rollman (roller).
As for post-up offense, the Huskies’ most efficient post-up scorer is Darcy Rees (1.00 points per possession) but she has had very limited opportunities to demonstrate this skill set this season. Washington should take advantage of Cal’s defense by looking for Rees in the post when she is in the game.
California Players Overview
California’s sophomore 5’6″ guard Jayda Curry #30 averages a team-leading 13.5 points in Pac-12 play, along with 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 34.4 minutes.
Cal’s third-leading scoring combinations features Curry as the scorer:
4. Leilani McIntosh (assister) to Jayda Curry (scorer).
However, Cal’s second and third-leading scoring combinations feature Curry as the assister:
2. Jayda Curry (assister) to Evelien Lutje Schipholt (scorer); and
3. Jayda Curry (assister) to Kemery Martin (scorer).
Leilani McIntosh #1 averages 11.9 points in Pac-12 play, along with a team-leading 4.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 35.9 minutes.
McIntosh is one of the Pac-12’s leading three-point sharpshooters — averaging 41.4% from beyond the arc in conference play — she hit the game-winning shot in California’s road upset of the USC Trojans.
Cal’s seventh-leading scoring combination features Tuitele as the scorer:
Jayda Curry (assister) to Peanut Tuitele (scorer).
Offensively, Cal averages 63.3 points per game versus PAC-12 opponents (9th best in Pac-12); UW averages 59.9 points (12th).
Per Synergy, the Golden Bears offense ranks in the Top 20% nationally(based on average points per play type) for these offensive play types: (1) spot-up jump shots (Top 10%); post-ups(Top 18%); and (2) pick and roll – where ballhandler keeps the ball (Top 10%).
Cal’s most efficient post-up player on offense is Peanut Tuitele (Top 14% nationally).
California’s most frequent offensive play types (regardless of efficiency) are: (1) spot-up jumpers and (2) transition offense(rated Top 41% nationally), therefore the Huskies transition defense must be very aware of Cal’s transition jump shooters, i.e., spot-up shooters when Cal is running its fastbreak offense.
Two Golden Bears guards take the most 3-pointers in transition: Jayda Curry (shooting 30% on fastbreak threes) and Kemery Martin (36.4% shooting).
On the other hand, the Golden Bears (as a team) rank in the Bottom 30% nationally in isolation plays — surprisingly, their two most frequent ballhandlers, Jayda Curry and Leilani McIntosh, both rank in the Bottom 40% nationwide for scoring from isolation plays.
The Washington Huskies should win this game, if:
1. Washington’s transition defense limits Cal’s opportunities for transition three-pointers;
2. UW utilizes pick-and-roll actions on offense to take advantage of Cal’s very poor performance in defending pick-and-roll, particularly using Dalayah Daniels as the roller;
3.Washington focuses on getting Dalayah Daniels isolation plays at the free-throw line area to attack the basket and score or draw fouls;
4. the Huskies generate offense inside the lane, preferably around 30 points in-the-paint — including using Darcy Rees for post-up offense in the low post;
5. UW attacks the offensive boards to get put-backs and second chance opportunities; and
6. the Dawgs limit their turnovers to 10 or less to avoid sparking Cal’s transition offense — Washington leads the PAC-12 in turnovers (17.4 per game),