Basketball: First impressions from Cal scrimmage

Notes and reflections from this evening’s intra-squad scrimmage at Haas Pavilion, attended by 400 or 500 fans:

— The Bears started PG Jerome Randle, SG Patrick Christopher, SF Theo Robertson, PF Jamal Boykin and C Max Zhang on the Blue Team, and PG Brandon Smith, SG Jorge Gutierrez, SF D.J. Seeley, PF Omondi Amoke and C Markhuri Sanders-Frison on the Gold Team. But don’t read too much into it — players were shuffled back and forth from one team to the other, with Sanders-Frison spending equal time on the Blue Team.

— As expected, PF Harper Kamp (knee) did not play. Gutierrez, who had been nursing a sore right foot, played extensively and looked fine, although he suffered a leg cramp just before the finish.

— Christopher shot the ball very well early, hitting five perimeter shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. Later, he took a 40-foot alley-oop pass from Randle and dunked it. Randle played under control and shows the confidence of a senior.

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Basketball: USC lands 7-foot JC center

USC coach Kevin O’Neill has added one more big piece to the Trojans’ puzzle for 2010-11, getting a commitment from 7-foot center DeWayne Dedmon of Antelope Valley JC. Scout.com reported that Dedmon picked the Trojans over the likes of UNLV, LSU, West Virginia, Texas and Cal.

He is a freshman — meaning he will have three years of eligibility when he arrives at USC next fall — and apparently just began playing basketball last year. Makes you wonder what a 7-footer has been doing with all his spare time in recent years.


Basketball: Rivals pegs Cal at No. 10

Rivals.com finally has reached Cal in its countdown of all 347 Division I basketball teams, and the Golden Bears check in at No. 10 on their preseason rankings.

The Web site also unveiled its Pac-10 preview today, with the Bears at the top, followed by Washington, UCLA, Washington State and Oregon State. Stanford is picked last.

You can click on the link above to see it all for yourself, but a couple of interesting tidbits:

— Cal’s Jerome Randle is picked as the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

— Arizona senior guard Nic Wise was judged the league’s most overrated player, but included on the all-conference team, anyway.

— And Washington was tagged as having the league’s best frontcourt, with the trio of Quincy Pondexter, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Darnell Gant, who combined to average 21.2 points and 13.2 rebounds a year ago. Those numbers likely will grow this season, but the selection speaks to the Pac-10’s lack of quality big men.

 Also, here’s a nice Q&A with Randle from The Sporting News.

And here’s an update on UCLA’s injury situation from the L.A. Times. 

Here’s how they see the entire Pac-10 Conference:


Basketball: Public scrimmage on Tuesday

Just a reminder that Cal will hold an open intra-squad scrimmage Tuesday at Haas Pavilion, beginning at 5 p.m.

The event is free to the public. Players will scrimmage for about an hour, followed by a half-hour autograph session.

Word from Cal is sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez, who sat out practice last week with a sore right foot, will play, at least some. Junior forward Harper Kamp, who is recovering from off-season knee surgery, is questionable, but likely would see only limited action in any case.

There will be no set teams for the scrimmage, as the coaching staff plans to mix up the roster to create different matchups. But it’s the first chance to see this team, including newcomers Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Brandon Smith and Bak Bak.

The Bears play an exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 5 at  7:30 p.m. against Chico State, then open their season at home on Monday, Nov. 9 against Murray State in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. That game tips off at 8 p.m.