Basketball: De La Salle’s Smith to get scholarship

De La Salle High coach Frank Allocco told our office Friday that point guard Brandon Smith, who was scheduled to come to Cal next season as a recruited walk-on, has signed a letter-of-intent and will receive a scholarship.

Smith fills the Bears’ 13th and final scholarship on next year’s roster. Coach Mike Montgomery picked up one more when sophomore center Taylor Harrison retired for medical reasons.

A first-team all-state selection, Smith averaged 12.1 points, 6.8 assists and 3.1 steals as a senior. He was a four-year varsity player for the Spartans.

Smith will be part of a three-man class of newcomers next season, alongside JC post player Markhuri Sanders-Frison and freshman center/forward Bak Bak.


Basketball: USC’s Johnson gets year back

For all the defections USC recently has experienced, the Trojans got some good news Thursday when the NCAA granted swingman Marcus Johnson an additional year of eligibility.

The 6-foot-6 graduate of Westchester High in Los Angeles began his college career at Connecticut. He left UConn after playing just one exhibition game at the start of the 2007-08 season, and becomes eligible next season after sitting out the Trojans’ first two games.

Johnson played in 16 games last season, averaging 3.1 points. Probably his most spectacular moment of the season came at the expense of Cal freshman Jorge Gutierrez. Johnson leaped over Gutierrez on a fastbreak and dunked, drawing a foul when his knee hit Gutierrez in the chin.


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Cal football: Talking quarterbacks, recruiting

Here’s a story I wrote for today’s paper about the logjam at quarterback Cal might have in the next couple of years. With Austin Hinder’s oral commitment, the Bears will have several quarterbacks in the program that have come to Berkeley with major accolades. Of course, high school recognition doesn’t always translate into college success, but it is notable that Cal is stockpiling the position with players regarded to be among the best at the position.

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Basketball: More fallout at USC?

Small forward Noel Johnson, a top-100 prospect from Fayetteville, Ga., who signed with USC last November, has received a release from his scholarship, according to both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Johnson reportedly said he was uncomfortable with the controversy surrounding USC athletics, with the NCAA poking around on former football star Reggie Bush and would-be basketball recruit Renardo Sydney. Sydney committed to USC this spring, then changed his mind and signed with Mississippi State.

Johnson is rated as the nation’s No. 53 prospect by Rivals.com and No. 56 by Scout.com.

Meanwhile, Oregon State has a commitment for 2011 from point guard Jahii Carson of Phoenix-Mountain Pointe High, according to Rivals.com.


Cal football: Noteworthy commitment

Cal coach Jeff Tedford continues to stockpile his program with highly regarded quarterback prospects after the Bears received an oral commitment from Steamboat Springs, Colorado’s Austin Hinder last night. Hinder is ranked as the No. 2 high school quarterback in the country by rivals.com. Assuming everybody stays in the program, in 2010 Cal will have Kevin Riley, Brock Mansion, Beau Sweeney, Allan Bridgford and Hinder all on the roster.