San Francisco vs. Cal Poly Preview


USF Dons (5-4) vs. Cal Poly (3-4)

Date and Time: Monday, December 15, 2014 at 7:00 PST

Location: University of San Francisco Campus – War Memorial Gymnasium



Meet the Teams

San Francisco

Now that the Pineapple Express is finished rolling through town, it is time for, as Dick Vitale puts it, “a cupcake game” for USF. But it might not be a spongy, fresh and easy cupcake to devour. With final exams and academic demands completed for the semester, it is time for the Dons to focus on basketball and maybe having a little bit of fun outside of the gym too. Just wondering what makes Coach Rex Walters smile, besides winning games, of course.

No personnel changes in the USF line up to speak of, the core being Kruize Pinkins, Tim Derksen and Mark Tollefson. What will provide more interest are the rotations and contributions from Matt Christiansen, Matt Glover, Chris Adams and Corey Hilliard.

Cal Poly

Nov 15, 2014; Reno, NV, USA; Cal Poly Mustangs forward David Nwaba (0) drives past Nevada Wolf Pack Tyron Criswell (2) in the first half of their game at Lawlor Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Driving around California and leaving California too for a seven game, 12 day road trip, the Mustangs will arrive in San Francisco to take on the Dons. Cal Poly were the 2014 Big West Conference champions and made it to the second round of the 2014 NCAA tourn winning their First Four game then losing to #1 seed Wichita State. The Mustangs results so far this season are not to their liking, losing to Nevada, Delaware, Cal and Saint Mary’s. The Dons will be the second WCC tune-up game before Cal Poly  faces Gonzaga on Dec 22nd at the Battle in Seattle, Gonzaga’s annual trip across the Cascade Mountains from Spokane to thrill the Western Washington live audience.   After the USF game but before the Gonzaga game, Cal Poly will travel to Santa Clara University to play in the 48th Annual Cable Car Classic and are matched up against Northeastern.  How is it possible to have the Cable Car Classic outside of the streets of San Francisco?

Key contributors for Cal Poly include Junior Wing David Nwaba, Junior Forward from Romeoville, IL Brian Bennett, Junior Forward Joel Awich, Junior Guard Reese Morgan and the lone Sophomore in the group, Guard Ridge Shipley.   Last year’s Cal Poly team were ranked 5th nationally for having the lowest turnover percentage with 8.9 turnovers per game.   Their dominant defensive style have led the Big West conference for the past four years in fewest points allowed per game, so expect this game to be a grinder.  Coach Joe Callero has been exceptional in orchestrating the teams movements and directing traffic on the basketball floor, skills no doubt acquired during his growing up years as one of 16 children.  He might be able to singlehandedly carry the post game press conference from both his point of view as the Head Coach of Cal Poly and from Rex Walters’ point of view as the Head Coach of USF.