Here’s a link to Cal’s Web site with information related to Saturday’s visit by the ESPN “Game Day” crew.
Zack Follett recorded a vertical jump of 37 inches at the NFL combine today, which was tied for the best mark among linebackers. Follett matched the jumps of Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry and Ohio State’s Marcus Freeman.
Cal’s Worrell Williams did well in the vertical jump as well, leaping 35 inches to tie for seventh overall among linebackers.
Defensive end Rulon Davis hasn’t shown up among the leaders in any drill.
Zack Follett posted the 9th-best 40-time among linebackers today at the NFL combine. No Cal linebackers showed up in the top 10 for the broad jump. The defensive linemen have completed six of the seven drills and Rulon Davis hasn’t shown up in the top 10 in any of them.
ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s NCAA Tournament projections on Monday have Cal as a No. 8 seed, matched against Tennessee in a first-round game at Dayton, Ohio. That would mean a No. 1 seed looms in the second round, and Lunaradi is suggesting it would be Pitt.
Lunardi still has five Pac-10 teams in his field, topped by Washington and Arizona State, both as No. 5 seeds.
Greetings! I’m back from my one-week economy-prompted furlough, just in time for the ESPN “Game Day” crew’s stop in Berkeley on Saturday. Thanks to those who wrote, pretending to miss me.
Anyway, a few impressions from afar between getting the oil changed in my ’95 Odyssey van, pruning my backyard trees and balancing my checkbook:
— Oregon State, again. Cal owns two wins over Pac-10 leader Washington, but has whiffed against the team that went 0-18 just a year ago. If the Bears doesn’t reach the NCAA tournament, blame it on 32.7-percent shooting in Corvallis.
— No one in Berkeley is likely to say it this week, but Thursday’s game against USC at Haas Pavilion is the Bears’ biggest of the season. The rest of the regular-season schedule is even more daunting: vs. UCLA, at Arizona, at ASU. And it’s also huge for the fading Trojans, who probably must win out to have a shot at the NCAAs.
— There was some good news for USC last weekend, amid reported player squabbles and other distractions: The Trojans got a commitment Sunday from Los Angeles-Fairfax HS star Renardo Sydney, a top-10 national prospect. He’s probably a one-and-done recruit at 6-foot-10, but that’s never bothered Tim Floyd.
— It’s starting to look like there’s some hardwood destiny involved with the Huskies, who are seeking their first outright conference title since 1953. They lose at UCLA last Thursday, and still return home from L.A. alone in first place.
— Too easy to suggest that Thursday’s Arizona State vs. Washington game in Seattle is winner-take-all. I still won’t be surprised if the eventual Pac-10 champion has five defeats. That hasn’t happened since 1984-85, when the Huskies and USC shared the crown at 13-5.
— If the Sun Devils expect to win on Thursday, they’re going to have to do a little better job defensively against the UW backcourt duo of Justin Dentmon and Isaiah Thomas, who combined for 55 points when the teams met last month in Tempe. Yes, UW won.
— What’s going on with UCLA’s once-mighty defense? Through 23 games, UCLA was 19-4 and allowing just 60.6 points per game. Over the past four, the Bruins are 1-3 and giving up 79 per.
— But 82 points by a Washington State team that had failed to reach 60 in 15 of its previous 25 games? It was an orgy of offense, the most points the Cougars ever have scored in a regulation game at Pauley Pavilion.
— Not entirely sure what this means, but it’s one of my favorite quotes of the year. “He’s gone from Bruce Wayne to Batman.” — Oregon State coach Craig Robinson on center Roeland Schaftenaar.
— Is it possible that Stanford’s next victory won’t come until November 2009? The Cardinal, coming off a loss to previously helpless Oregon, will be a clearcut underdog in its final four regular-season games, then likely will open the Pac-10 tournament against Washington State. A 15-15 record (after a 10-0 start) sounds entirely possible.
Believe it or not, spring practice begins two weeks from today. In a few days, I will begin daily positional previews, beginning with everybody’s favorite topic, the quarterbacks.
Jeff is back tomorrow, but thought some of you would like to read about the antics of Cal’s next opponent, the USC Trojans. Seems the Trojans, who visit Haas on Thursday night, took their home loss to Washington on Saturday a little hard. Trojan teammates Daniel Hackett and Dwight Lewis got into a shoving match after the game, apparently while still on the court. Here is a story by the L.A. Daily News with the details. According to the L.A. Times, the tension carried into the USC locker room, and the media was asked to leave.
Former Cal’s Cameron Morrah had a pretty good showing at the NFL combine yesterday, finishing third among tight ends in the 40 and tied for fourth in the bench press. Quartebacks, running backs and wide receivers work out today, so there will be no Cal representation. But tomorrow will be a big day for the Cal contingent because linebackers and defensive linemen will be in action. That means it will be audition time for Zack Follett, Anthony Felder, Worrell Williams and Rulon Davis.
Thanks to Lya Wodraska, Utah beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, for passing along this story about Andy Ludwig before last year’s spring practice: