Basketball: How to have fun in Pullman, WA on New Year’s Eve . . . if you’re a Duck

Happy New Year all!


— Oregon 91, WSU 89, 2 OT: What a start for the Ducks (9-4, 1-0), who got 33 points from TaJuan Porter (including two FTs with no time left in the first OT) and 22 points/12 rebounds/5 blocks from Michael Dunigan (19.5 ppg past 4 games) to win on the road. Malcolm Armstead made the winning basket with 3 seconds left in the second OT, and finished with 16 points and seven assists. WSU’s Klay Thompson went for 33 points, thanks to a 19-for-21 effort from the FT line, the last three of them with 1:02 left in regulation, forcing the first extra period. Teammate DeAngelo Casto had 15 points/12 rebounds.

— UCLA 72, ASU 70: Apparently Nikola Dragovic isn’t sulking over his pending assault case anymore. The junior from Belgrade, Serbia, made six 3-pointers and scored 23 points — equaling career-bests in both — and UCLA (6-7, 1-0) opened the Pac-10 by beating Arizona State (10-4, 0-1) at Pauley Pavilion.  The Bruins blew most of a 16-point lead, but held on when ASU’s Jerren Shipp had his shot blocked at the buzzer. Derek Glasser scored seven of his 12 points in the final 1:03, nearly rallying the Sun Devils to victory. All five starters scored in double figures for the Bruins, including Malcolm Lee, who had 16. UCLA shot 63 percent from the field.

— USC 56, Arizona 50: It was defense not new point guard Mike Gerrity that got the Trojans (9-4, 1-0) their fifth straight victory. Arizona (6-7, 0-1) shot just 30 percent — including 2-for-10 by senior guard Nic Wise, who had just seven points. Dwight Lewis and Marcus Johnson each scored 14 points for the Trojans. Gerrity, the midseason transfer from Charlotte who sparked four straight wins, shot just 1-for-5 and had five turnovers. Freshman Derrick Williams led UA with 15 points.

–WASHINGTON 76,OSU 70: The No. 16 Huskies (10-2, 1-0) survived the Beavers (6-6, 0-1) as Quincy Pondexter had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Isaiah Thomas chipped in 19 points. Roeland Schaftenaar had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Beavers and Calvin Haynes scored 15.


No. 15 Ohio State ( 10-3, 0-1) got thumped 65-43 by No. 23 Wicsonsin (11-2, 1-0) in the Big Ten opener for both teams. It was the Badgers’ eighth straight home win over the Buckeyes, who shot 33 percent . . . No. 7 Duke (11-1) beat winless Penn 114-55, but the Blue Devils could have won with merely the scoring contributions of  Nolan Smith (23 points), Kyle Singler (20) and Jon Scheyer (19) . . . Chris Wright scored 21 points and No. 13 Georgetown (10-1) topped  St. John’s 66-59.



Basketball: My All-Decade Golden Bears team

OK, here’s an argument-starter for your New Year’s Eve party . . . actually, I hope you’re having such a good time there’s no need to drag this topic into it.

But just in case . . .

My 2000-09 Cal Bears Team of the Decade:


— LEON POWE, forward: A beast with a huge heart. Powe’s passion for the game was a kick to watch, and he’s one of the great guys to ever play at Cal. When he got the ball on the low post, you could not budge him. The last Cal player to score 40 in a game, and the last to grab 20 rebounds . . . that one may stand a while. Two inches taller and with cooperative knees, he’d be an all-NBA player.

— RYAN ANDERSON, forward: As skilled an inside-outside player as Cal has had. Better range than Shareef Abdur-Rahim. A better rebounder than it looked like he’d be. If he had played four seasons, would have obliterated Ca’s career scoring record.

— SEAN LAMPLEY, forward: One of Ben Braun’s better coaching efforts — turned Lampley into a versatile scorer-rebounder-creator and finally even convinced him to try to play defense. A little, anyway. And no small thing: Cal’s career scoring leader.

— JOE SHIPP, guard: What a beautiful shot. When he learned how to put the ball on the floor and drive his 220-pound body to the hole, he was a fairly complete offensive player for the college level.  He is No. 3 on Cal’s all-time scoring chart. Would have enjoyed watching a long-distance shooting contest between Shipp and . . .

— JEROME RANDLE, point guard: There are still “Jerome Randle moments” now and then, but at 5-8 he is a force with the ball in his hands. Shooting range to Telegraph Ave., has learned how to use his quickness and a fiercely competitive guy.


— DeVON HARDIN, center: Spectacular guy in pregame warmups. And yes, we all wondered why he couldn’t transform that magnificent body into a more productive player. My theory, too nice a guy, which isn’t the worst thing you can say about someone. Never consistent, but at his best, Hardin was an impressive player.

— AMIT TAMIR, forward: Maybe this pick surprises you, but Tamir was a skilled and versatile offensive player. Anyone else remember that 39-point performance in the double-OT vs. Oregon in 2002? Seemed like he could not miss.

— PATRICK CHRISTOPHER, guard: Best-dressed player in Cal history? Is becoming an excellent all-around player, but you’ve got to love two parts of his offensive repertoire: The step-back jumper that barely ruffles the net, and the alley-oop dunks he delivers with such joy. 

— BRIAN WETHERS, guard: Shipp’s sidekick on the teams of the early part of the decade, Wethers became a hard-nosed perimeter player who still ranks among the top-20 scorers in Cal history.

— AYINDE UBAKA, point guard:  I remember the first time I saw Ubaka play — I had driven out to Modesto Christian to see Richard Midgley and David Paris, and this junior guard from Oakland HS completely dominated the game. He didn’t really become that player at Cal, I think, because he never could get his confidence in the right place. Until that night he performed a self-cleansing with 29 points in a win over UCLA at the 2007 Pac-10 tournament.


— RICHARD MIDGLEY, guard: Who can forget Midgley twice scored 96 points in an age-group game growing up in the UK. OK, so you forgot that. But I bet you remember that game-winning shot he made in OT against N.C. State as a freshman in the 2003 NCAAs at Oklahoma City. Cal’s most recent NCAA victory.  

— THEO ROBERTSON, forward: Robertson earns a spot here based on his versatility — the guy has played power forward at 6-5 — his professionalism and perseverence through injury and the dignity with which he’s always conducted himself. Plus, he’s now just 17 points shy of 1,000 for his career.


Basketball: Pac-10 tips off in L.A., Washington

The year ends, but the Pac-10 gets started tonight . . .


— Arizona State (10-3) at UCLA (5-7), 1:30 p.m. Will ASU’s senior PG Derek Glasser exploit the Bruins’ Jerime Anderson?

— Oregon (8-4) at Washington State (10-2), 3:30 p.m. WSU is 7-0 at home, Ducks are 0-2 on the road. Don’t see the trend changing here.

— Arizona (6-6) at USC (8-4), 4 p.m. Visiting Wildcats face old interim coach Kevin O’Neill, now leading the Trojans.

— Oregon State (6-5) at No. 16 Washington (9-2), 7 p.m. Can you believe the Huskies already have played nine home games. Won ’em all.


No. 9 North Carolina (11-3) got 18 points from Ed Davis to beat Albany 87-70 . . . Freshman Lance Stephenson made two FTs with less than one second left, capping a 21-point performance that lifted Cincinnati (9-3) to a 71-69 upset of No. 10 UConn (9-3) . . . Kalin Lucas, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, climbed out of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s doghouse, scoring 16 points to lead the No. Spartans (11-3) to an 87-68 win over Texas-Arlington.


Kevin Laue (Amador Valley HS), the one-handed freshman center who had played just 13 minutes in 11 previous games, got 17 minutes in Manhattan’s  86-48 loss at Vanderbilt, scoring his first college point, blocking two shots and grabbing eight rebounds . . . Omar Samhan (San Ramon Valley HS) missed a triple-double by just one blocked shot, totaling 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocks in 20 minutes as Saint Mary’s hunbled Howard 94-46 . . .  Dan Mavraides (Serra HS) scored  a season-high 21 points to help Princeton to a 45-42 win over Wagner . . . Kyle Roemer (De La Salle HS) had 13 points and seven rebounds in Colgate’s 63-55 loss to New Hampshire . . . Dominic Calegari (Berkeley-St. Mary’s HS) had 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks as UC Davis whipped Whittier 89-53.


Basketball: 20 Questions with Jerome Randle

We resume our series of quizzing Cal players with 20 questions:


YEAR: Senior
POSITION: Point guard
HEIGHT: 5-10

 Your five-man Dream Team, including yourself in the lineup: Me at point guard. I’ll pick Kobe (Bryant) at the 2. I’ll take LeBron (James) at the 3 . . . No, M.J. (Michael Jordan) at the 2, LeBron, me, I’ll pick Wilt Chamberlain at the 5 and Kevin Garnett.

Age when you first dunked: I actually have dunked. I dunked my sophomore year in high school. There was this guy called Jumping Jack from Chicago. He was about an inch shorter than me, and he jumps out of the gym. He showed me where he jumps from, how to extend my hands and stuff. He threw the ball up and I dunked it in. I’ve never dunked (in a game at Cal).

How tall you really are, if the doctor measured you barefoot: Probably 5-8.

How many pairs of basketball shoes you own: Maybe 50.

Coolest place you’ve been to play basketball: I liked Vegas. I enjoyed going there with my AAU teammates. We just had a great time. It’s a different world.

Unusual place you’ve never been that you’d love to visit: Amsterdam. My uncle passed away when I was really young. He was a good guitarist over there. I’ve always wanted to go see it.

Besides Cal, the Pac-10 school with the best basketball fans: I love Washington’s fans. They’re really live.

The worst: Oregon State . . . they’re horrible.

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Football: Allan Bridgford note

This is one of those nuggets that falls through the crack, especially when your ability to watch practice is limited:

Freshman quarterback Allan Bridgford suffered a shoulder injury while lifting weights around the third week of the season and has been shut down ever since. Bridgford, like most incoming freshman, began the season as the scout team quarterback but that was cut short because of the injury. Bridgford should be ready to return by the beginning of spring practice, but it is unclear how viable he will be if Jeff Tedford opens the quarterback position back up.


Basketball: Links and dinks on a Wednesday

Various odds ‘n ends on the day before the start of the Pac-10 season . . .

— My Pac-10 preview from this morning’s editions — first time I can remember picking the Bears to win it.

 — My Bay Area News Group colleague Jon Wilner’s picks from the San Jose Merecury News.

Vic Tafur’s Pac-10 predictions from the SF Chron.

— And Percy Allen’s picks in the Seattle Times.

— My game story on Cal’s win over UC Santa Barbara in the championship game of the Golden Bear Classic.

— A blog item by Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic on the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hayward HS’s Eddie House scoring 61 points for ASU against Cal. A remarkable game.

— Finally, a belated Happy Birthday to Cal sophomore Jorge Gutierrez, who turned 21 on Sunday. On the same subject, today is one of the best days of the year for sports birthdays. Try this Big 3: Sandy Koufax (74 years old), Tiger Woods (34 years old and getting older fast) and LeBron James (25 years old — the guy looked 25 when he was 18).


Basketball: Cardinal gets to .500 before Haas visit

 The conference schedule begins Thursday . . .


— Stanford (6-6) tuned up for Cal on Saturday by beating James Madison 80-76 at Maples Pavilion. Landry Fields had 24 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists, and Jeremy Green scored 15 points, all in the second half. Andrew Zimmerman equaled his career-high with 14 points. Stanford shot just 40 percent, but forced 26 JMU turnovers.


Freshman guard John Wall set a Kentucky single-game record with 16 assists and the No. 3 Wildcats (14-0) scored a 104-61 victory over Hartford. Wall, who also had nine points, broke the 16-year-old record held by Travis Ford. DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 12 rebounds . . . No. 1 Kansas (12-0) got 14 points from Marcus Morris in an 81-51 win over Belmont . . .  Wesley Johnson scored 20 points and No. 5 Syracuse (13-0) rallied to beat Seton Hall 80-73 in Big East play . . . Damion James had 14 points and 13 rebounds — his 43rd career double-double — and No. 2 Texas (12-0) trounced Gardner-Webb 95-63 . . . . No. 4 Purdue (12-0) won its Big Ten opener, beating Uowa 67-56 behind 21 points from E’Twaun Moore . . . Da’Sean Butler made a 20-foot shot with 2 seconds left and No. 6 West Virginia (11-0) survived Marquette 63-62. The Mountaineers are off to their best start since Jerry West led them to a 14-0 record in 1957-58 . . .  Guards Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith combined for 41 points and 14 assists and No. 7 Duke (10-1) beat Long Beach State 84-63 . . . Darington Hobson had 23 points and 12 rebounds and No. 19 New Mexico (13-1) beat Texas Tech 90-75.


Cory Higgins (Monte Vista HS) scored 23 points and Colorado beat Yale 70-59 . . . Omar Samham (San Ramon Valley HS) had 15 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in Saint Mary’s 85-57 rout of Binghamton.


Basketball: UC Santa Barbara game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 87, UC Santa Barbara 66. Christopher had 25 points was named MVP.  Randle scored 23. Randle moved past Keith Smith and Rickey Hawthorne into ninth place on Cal’s career scoring list with 1,415 points. Robertson added 10 points and joined Randle on the all-tournament team. Sanders-Frison had career-best totals of seven points and 10 rebounds, an encouraging performance with the start of Pac-10 play just four days away.

MIDWAY THROUGH THE SECOND HALF: Been gone for a bit, trying to think of how to explain this in the print edition. It’s 70-50 and it’s gotten no closer than 14 points. Christopher has 25 points and Randle just hit another 3-pointer — he has five of them — and has 20 points. I’ll return when it’s over, but trust me, you’re not missing a thing. Oops, another Randle 3, and it’s 73-50.

HALFTIME: Cal 49, UCSB 32. The Gauchos outscored Cal 8-2 over the final 1:53, with Will Brew (Berkeley-St. Mary’s HS) hitting a pair of 3-pointers. But Cal has complete control. The Bears shot 60 percent in the half, getting 19 points from Christopher, 10 from Robertson and nine from Randle, who has moved past Keith Smith (1987-90) into 10th on Cal’s career scoring list. Randle currently has 1,401 points. Brew has nine points for the Gauchos and freshman brother Chris Brew has five. The two are a combined 5-for-5 from the floor — everyone else in a UCSB uniform is 8-for-26.

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