“Secret” scrimmages in college basketball are common, and BYU will play one later this month versus Cal, multiple sources confirmed to me. The game will be at Cal in Berkeley. Dates are still being finalized, but is expected to be towards the end of October. BYU was supposed to play them last year at Cal but it was cancelled due to COVID.
NCAA rules allow preseason “secret” scrimmages between Division One teams, but they must be closed to the public and the two participating schools are not allowed to publicize them, meaning no fans or media will be allowed.
Cal Head Coach Mark Fox was the head coach at Georgia when Mark Pope was an assistant there and is a mentor for BYU’s head coach. The two teams played an October closed-door scrimmage before the 2019 season in Provo, with both coaches sarcastically saying that the game ended in a tie.
Mark Fox and Mark Pope both told me that Cal and BYU tied in a scrimmage today.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) October 26, 2019
I don’t believe them.
Cal finished the season at 9-20 and was one of the worst teams in the Pac-12. Their top player and leading scorer, Matt Bradley, transferred to San Diego State. BYU will host the Aztecs in Provo November 12.
Cal likely won’t be a great team again, but it’s a solid test versus a Pac-12 opponent and beats playing two Division two/three teams in exhibitions. Teams can play up to two preseason exhibitions, and this scrimmage took the place of one of those games. BYU will play an exhibition versus Colorado Christian on November 4 before tipping off the regular season versus Cleveland State November 9.