In the latest installment of our ongoing series, today we’re visiting with . . .
Hometown: Los Angeles
Your five-man Dream Team, including yourself in the lineup: Magic Johnson at point, I’ll play the 2, Kobe Bryant at the 3, Michael Jordan at the 4 and I’ll play LeBron James at center.
Age when you first dunked: I was 14. It was in warmups before an AAU game. I was trying to see if I could dunk. I think I did it on my third or fourth try. I’d been working on it for a while.
How tall you really are, if the doctor measured you barefoot: Probably 6-2
How many pairs of basketball shoes you own: 40
Coolest place you’ve been to play basketball: I’d have to say Orlando, Florida for the 14-and-under AAU nationals. It was at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex.
Place you’ve never been that you’d love to visit: South Africa
The most daring thing you’ve ever done: I’m not a very daring person.
If you could be an Olympic athlete, other than basketball, your sport/event: I’d try to run the 100 meters against Usain Bolt. He would kill me. But I want to go up against him.
According to South Eugene High School coach Travis Johnson, four-star defensive end Gabe King is still deciding between Cal and Oregon. USC is no longer in the mix.
El Camino College wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is still considering Cal. Thompkins took a recruiting trip to Oregon last weekend and has yet to make a decision. He also still hasn’t been granted his release from Tennessee, which could complicate things past Signing Day. Thompkins has several major offers, and El Camino coach John Featherstone said Nebraska and Oklahoma have entered the mix recently.
–Syd’Quan Thompson is making an impression at the Senior Bowl.
–Another Thompson mention in this report.
AROUND THE PAC-10
– Washington 123, Seattle 76: The Huskies (13-7) jumped out to leads of 12-0, 29-2 and 49-10 in the first half and breezed to a non-conference victory, snapping a two-game losing streak and making sure the Redhawks didn’t embarrass another Pac-10 team. UW, which led 61-20 at halftime, got 27 points and 11 rebounds from Quincy Pondexter while freshman Abdul Gaddy celebrated his 18th birthday by totaling 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Seattle routed Oregon State 99-48 on Jan. 6.
THE NATIONAL SCENE
Devan Downey scored 30 points and South Carolina handed No. 1 Kentucky (19-1) its first defeat just one day after ascending to the top of the polls and hours after getting telephone congratulations from President Obama. Downey is averaging 31.3 ppg over the past six games. DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 12 rebounds for Kentucky and John Wall scored 19 . . . Kalin Lucas made the go-ahead basket with 3.5 seconds left and No. 5 Michigan State (18-3) remained unbeaten in the Big Ten with a 57-56 win at Michigan. Raymar Morgan scored 20 for the Spartans . . . No.9 West Virginia (16-3) beat DePaul 62-46 . . . Jacob Pullen scored 25 points and No. 11 Kansas State (16-3) escaped with a 76-74 road win over Baylor . . . Slumping North Carolina (13-7) got back on track with a 77-63 win at N.C. State while NCAA hopeful Northwestern (14-6) came up short 65-61 at Minnesota.
Cal coach Mike Montgomery confirmed today that junior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison will not play Thursday at Arizona State because of a sore back. No word on his availability for the Bears’ game Sunday at Arizona.
Senior forward Jamal Boykin said not having Sanders-Frison is a blow. “He brings a lot of energy, he has a lot of presence for us inside,” Boykin said. ”You can never have enough frontcourt players. We’re going to have to work hard not to get in foul trouble – that could be an issue for us –while at the same time staying aggressive.”
The Bears will have sixth-man Jorge Gutierrez, who missed five games with a sprained knee before returning for a brief stint Saturday against Oregon State. Montgomery said Gutierrez practiced hard on Monday and was exhausted but healthy. He said the sophomore guard’s conditioning was affected by his time away.
“He worked hard. It was good to see him out there,” Montgomery said.
Point guard Jerome Randle told me this afternoon that his right knee remains a bit sore, but that he plans to ignore it and expects to play better Thursday against the Sun Devils.
Asked if there are any other players battling health issues, Montgomery said, “For some reason we’ve got kids seeming to get sick all the time.” But he declined to provide specifics and did not indicate anyone else will miss the ASU game.
Former defensive end Tyson Alualu and cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson are participating in the Senior Bowl this week. The game is Saturday at Noon on the NFL Network.
Practices started yesterday. There are a few reports from Monday that include mentions of Alualu and Thompson. Read them here and here.
Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti said he won’t rush to make a decision about the future of basketball coach Ernie Kent, whose team has dropped five straight games since winning twice on the road to open the Pac-10 Conference season.
THE NATIONAL SCENE
No. 7 Georgetown (15-4) jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but No. 4 Syracuse (20-1) recovered by halftime and went on to win 73-56, sparked by 24 points from its bench . . . Center Cole Aldrich had 12 points and 16 rebounds and No. 2 Kansas (19-1) stayed perfect in the Big 12 with an 84-65 win over Missouri (15-5).
Mario Flaherty (Millbrae-Mills HS) had 17 points and 14 rebounds in Houston Baptist’s 84-73 loss to Texas-Arlington.
ESPN.com is reporting that Cal received an oral commitment from Terrance Montgomery of West Adams Prep in Los Angeles. Montgomery is certainly under the radar. West Adams is as small, new school and Montgomery doesn’t even show up when doing a recruit search on rivals.com. It looks like a page for Montgomery was just added today on scout.com.
Montgomery was on campus along with Kaelin Clay over the weekend. He didn’t have any offers before the weekend and accepted Cal’s offer immediately.
Obviously with the departures of former commits Josh Harper and Davon Dunn, the Bears were in need of receivers. Clay and Montgomery don’t come as highly regarded as Harper and Dunn, although Clay is ranked as the 53rd-best receiver in the country by rivals despite not getting any offers from major schools before Cal.