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Archive for December, 2008

Basketball: Pac-10 honors Randle

Cal junior Jerome Randle has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week.

Posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2008
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Football: Bowl week begins

As we speak, Cal is in transit to the San Francisco Marriott, where it will spend the week for the Emerald Bowl. The Bears will bus back to Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for practice.

After the Bears check in, they will go to a welcome dinner along with the Hurricanes. That’s all that’s on the schedule for today’s first day of the week.

Tomorrow, Cal will practice in the late morning then there will be a press conference at AT&T Park at 2 p.m. Then the Bears and Hurricanes will take part in a bay cruise and Alcatraz tour.

To kick off bowl week, some reading:

–The Hurricanes acknowledge they have to be careful because of the Bears’ ability to intercept passes.

–Here’s a guy that Cal receiver Sean Young can relate to: A Miami player making the most of his sixth year of eligibility.

–Cal received an oral commitment who could ease the loss of fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou.

Posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2008
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Basketball: Colgate scouting report

Even before Saturday’s game against Nevada, when the issue was highlighted, Cal coach Mike Montgomery said developing a low-post scoring game is a priority for the Golden Bears.

Cal survived the Wolf Pack by unleashing their 3-point shooting game late in the second half, hitting five straight to fuel a 75-66 victory.

But the Bears (8-2) still didn’t show much ability to score around the basket.

“I think we need to establish an inside game,” Montgomery said on Friday. “Hopefully, we’ll figure out if people are going to really defend us on the perimeter, we have to have the ability to go in and create something inside. We’re still working on that.”

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Posted on Sunday, December 21st, 2008
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Football: One week to go

One week until the Emerald Bowl…

Cal practiced this morning and it seemed to be an energetic, focused two-hour session. Several recruits were on hand, including giant offensive lineman Charles Ragland from Colorado. Ragland was wearing a tank top and shorts in the frigid weather, but somehow he really didn’t appear to be too cold.

Speaking of recruiting, Cal reportedly has picked up another top prospect, offensive lineman Charles Siddoway of Eugene, Oregon. Both scout.com and rivals.com are reporting he has given the Bears an oral commitment. Siddoway is the No. 19 offensive tackle in the country, according to scout.com. He passed on schools such as hometown Oregon and Alabama to come to Berkeley. Apparently, the departure of offensive line coach Jim Michalczik didn’t bother Siddoway too much.

Back at practice, Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley split first team reps. The team won’t practice again until Tuesday, and coach Jeff Tedford said that’s when he’ll likely make his decision.

The Bears will check into the San Francisco Marriott late in the afternoon on Monday, shortly after Miami arrives at the Hyatt Regency. Cal will bus back to Memorial Stadium for practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In other news, Miami coach Randy Shannon has suspended three more players for the Emerald Bowl, but none of them figured to make a significant impact. Junior tight ends Richard Gordon and Tervaris Johnson and freshman linebacker Jordan Futch will each miss the game for violating a team rule. Gordon has three catches this season, Johnson plays on special teams and Futch was going to miss the game anyway because of a concussion.

Meanwhile, Tedford announced his own suspension today — backup running back and special teams player Tracy Slocum has been suspended for the game for violating team rules. Tedford wouldn’t expand on Slocum’s transgression.

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2008
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Basketball: Nevada game string

FINAL: Cal wins 75-66. Randle finished with 23 points, 12 of them in the final 3:30. Christopher scored 16 points, Robertson and Boykin 10 apiece. Cal improved to 8-2. Nevada, now 6-5, got 33 points from Armon Johnson, 13 of them in the final 2:24. Luke Babbitt, the freshman forward, had 14 points and seven rebounds.

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1:19 2nd H: Randle just scored on a drive and free throw and the lead is 70-59.

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1:48 2nd H: Well, maybe it’s not quite over, yet. Randle is going to the foul line for the Bears, but Nevada’s Armon Johnson, who has 26 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the 14-point margin to 65-57. Stay tuned.

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2:39 2nd H: This game may be over. Cal leads 65-51 after scoring 11 straight points in a blur of 1:15. After the previous timeout, Robertson swished another 3-pointer, then Christopher dunked a 40-foot alley-oop pass from Ranndle on the break, and Mark Fox was forced to use another timeout.

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3:29 2nd H: Christopher and Randle just hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a span of 24 seconds and Cal has opened a 60-51 lead, its biggest of the game. Robertson, who came off the bench at the previous timeout without having scored, now has seven points, including a 3-pointer of his own.

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7:53 2nd H: Kamp came out of the game at the last timeout and Nevada immediately got the ball inside to freshman Luke Babbitt, who scored twice, closing the margin to 47-44. Kamp is returning to the court after this timeout. So is Theo Robertson, who still hasn’t scored today.

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9:49 2nd H: Cal’s offense finally is loosening up. The Bears have scored on six straight possessions and have their biggest lead, 44-38, after a 3-pointer by Randle.

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11:33 2nd H: Timeout on the court and Cal leads 39-36 after a shot from the key by freshman Jorge Gutierrez. Cal still is struggling to stop Nevada penetration. But the Bears’ offense, at least, is functioning better. They’ve scored on their past four possessions.

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12:54 2nd H: Cal just re-took the lead 35-34 on a layup by Christopher off a nice feed to the rim by Randle. Nevada has missed its past four shots. Neither team is north of 36 percent from the field.

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15:24 2nd H: Nevada leads 34-31. Bears have just 10 field goals for the game. Their shooting percentage has dipped to 32.3 percent and the nation’s most efficient 3-point shooting team is just 2-for-7 from beyond the arc. Cal seems tentative and has little rhythm to its offensive game.

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17:58 2nd H: Not a good start to the second half for the Bears. Nevada point guard Armon Johnson has a personal 7-0 scoring run going, and the Wolf Pack has zoomed into a 32-29 lead. The Bears have missed their first three shots, all from the perimeter, and Nevada is looking confident. Montgomery just replaced Wilkes and Kamp during the timeout.

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HALFTIME: Cal leads 29-25. The Bears’ biggest lead was five points, their biggest deficit two. Cal shot 36 percent in the half, Nevada 35.7 percent. Rebounds wound up about even. The difference: Cal outscored the Wolf Pack 9-4 at the free throw line. Patrick Christopher’s nine points are the most by anyone on either team. This is a game the Bears can lose. Nevada’s quickness is an issue at both ends of the floor. The Wolf Pack has scored five first-half baskets on dribble-drives to the basket. In the locker room, Mike Montgomery is sure to be talking about defense at the point of attack, one of his favorite phrases.

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3:43 1st H: Bears’ lead is 21-20.  Jamal Boykin hit a 3-pointer a few moments ago, and is now 3-for-3 for the season. Neither team is shooting well: Cal is 7-for-20 (35 percent), Nevada 9-for-25 (36 percent). Cal has a one-point lead, but the pace definitely belongs to Nevada.

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7:52 1st H: Cal went 7-0 on the Wolf Pack, with Patrick Christopher hitting a 3-pointer, for a 15-10 lead. The Bears are now up 17-14. Omondi Amoke has come off the bench and contributed four points.

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11:15 1st H: Nevada leads 10-8. Center  Jordan Wilkes went out with his second foul at 14:19. With or without him, the Bears haven’t rebounded well. They’re shooting 3-for-13 and, aside from Jerome Randle, they’re 1-for-10. Some of it may be rust from the 10-day layoff, some of it may be Nevada’s good defensive quickness.

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15:59 1st H: It’s 2-2. Honest. Cal is shooting 1-for-6, Nevada 1-for-5. Not much more to tell.

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LINEUPS: No changes in the Bears’ starting five: Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson,  Jamal Boykin and Jordan Wilkes. Nevada also is going with its usual starting five.

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RECORDS: Cal is 7-2, Nevada 6-4.

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2008
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Basketball: Picking the best Bears of all-time

As part of our recognition of Cal’s 100th season, here’s my story from this morning’s editions on the greatest Cal players of all-time.

You’ll probably agree with some of them, argue over others. Let me know who your picks would be.

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2008
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Basketball: Cal’s greatest teams — No. 1

In the 100th season of Cal basketball, we continue our countdown of the greatest teams in school history. Today: No. 1. 

1. 1958-59.
   Team’s record: 25-4.
   Achievements: NCAA champion. PCC champion. Leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing 51 ppg. Wins final 16 games of the season.
   Record vs. Stanford: 1-1.
   Record vs. UCLA: 2-0.
   Coach: Pete Newell.
   Top players: C Darrall Imhoff (11.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg), G Al Buch (9.2 ppg), G Denny Fitzpatrick (13.3 ppg).
   Bottom line: Yeah, this is a tough choice, Cal’s only NCAA basketball champion doesn’t go through the backdoor. The underdog Bears, displaying teamwork and suffocating defense, beat Oscar Robertson and Cincinnati in the national semifinals, then Jerry West and West Virginia in the title game.

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   News of the world: Charles De Gaulle is elected president of France; Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500; Fidel Castro takes over as premier of Cuba.
   U.S. president: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
   U.S. population: 177 million.
   Elvis sighting: Stationed in Germany while in the army, Elvis meets Priscilla for the first time at a party. He’s 24, she’s 14. They marry eight years later.
   AP Athletes of the Year: Ingemar Johansson (boxing) and Maria Bueno (tennis).
   Elsewhere in Bay Area sports: Led by quarterback Joe Kapp, Cal makes its most recent appearance in the Rose Bowl, losing 38-12 to Iowa; Willie McCovey wins the 1959 National League Rookie of the Year award after going 4-for-4 with two triples against future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts in his MLB debut; Rickey Henderson is born on Christmas Day 1958.

Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008
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Basketball: Nevada scouting report

Final exams are over, and the Golden Bears (7-2) can’t wait for Saturday’s game against Nevada (6-4) at Haas Pavilion.

“Seems like three weeks, man,” point guard Jerome Randle said, reflecting on the Bears’ most recent game, 10 days ago. “Seems like a long time.”

“It happened very fast,” countered forward Jamal Boykin. “I don’t know if it was because of finals, but it seems like we were just on the court.”

The Bears hope to have their story — or at least their game plan — straight by the time they tip off with the Wolf Pack.

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Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008
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Basketball: Harrison gets some practice time

Mike Montgomery said during his press conference Friday that sophomore center Taylor Harrison practiced three times this week, but remains far from being game ready.

Sidelined since the 2006-07 season because of two knee surgeries, Harrison was on the floor Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. He had practiced very little this season until now.

“He probably did more than he or anyone else anticipated him being able to do,” Montgomery said. The knee “started to swell a little bit. So we’ll see how it is (Friday), but he was out there running and playing.”

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Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008
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Reminder: Live football chat today at 1 p.m. with Jonathan

Our Cal football beat writer Jonathan Okanes will be online today from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. taking questions from Bear fans here:

Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008
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