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Football: Live chat

Our weekly live chat returns Thursday, 1-2 p.m. We had a great turnout last week, one of the best attended chats since we started doing this. Let’s get even more this week!

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Football: Tuesday night update

Thanks to the enterprising Anton Malko of Cal’s media relations department, here are the transcriptions from today’s first weekly press conference.

As I posted earlier, the weekly press conference is a bit different this year. There will be only two players each week, and one of them will always be quarterback Kevin Riley. So I have no further transcriptions to add.

I did do my usual interviews after practice for upcoming stories I am working on, and I will always try to share complete transcriptions of those. I do usually wait until the stories run in the paper before I print all the leftover quotes.

Speaking of that, I will try to get all the transcriptions from my interviews for today’s Shane Vereen feature up here tomorrow.

Here is Cal’s first weekly release of the season.

Here is the weekly release for UC Davis.

Much more to come throughout the day tomorrow….

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Basketball: No, Larry Legend isn’t coming, either

In the wake of Kyle Wiltjer’s surprise commitment to Kentucky on Saturday, it’s worth keeping in mind Rick Pitino’s sentiment when he was hired as Boston Celtics coach and told fans, “Larry Bird’s not walking through that door.”

Wiltjer, the talented and versatile 6-foot-9 power forward from Portland, Ore., would have been a terrific pickup for the Bears. But he made his decision, and there’s no reason to expect him to ever walk through the front doors at Haas Pavilion.

With the possible exception of John Calipari, who seems to land every potential one-and-done talent in the country, most coaches experience more recruiting failures than successes. It’s the nature of the math involved: There are lots of programs pulling at every good recruit, and you don’t win ‘em all.

So where to the Bears go from here in their search for a good big man?

Continue Reading

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Football: Press conference quick hitters

  • Jeff Tedford said Matt Summers-Gavin took reps today and could be available for Saturday’s game. But he won’t start. Tedford said Summers-Gavin probably will play right tackle.
  • Linebacker Dave Wilkerson isn’t quite cleared yet. He is cleared to practice, but not to play in games. The team is still waiting to hear if Wilkerson can play on Saturday.
  • On an updated depth chart, Michael Calvin is now listed as a backup wide receiver rather than Coleman Edmond.

More to come…

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Basketball: Cal recruiting target Brandon Ashley rated No. 6 on latest Rivals list of 2012 prospects

Bishop O’Dowd HS junior forward Brandon Ashley, being recruiting recruited by the Golden Bears, has been rated the No. 6 overall prospect in the country in the class of 2012 in new rankings releasaed by Rivals.com.

Ashley, who had a strong summer playing with the Drew Gooden Soldiers out of Oakland, has a long list of  suitors, including every Pac-10 program. Also interested are Georgetown, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

And Ashley, a 6-8, 225-pounder, still has 15 months before he can sign with a school.

Ashley is the highest-rated California player on the Rivals list, which is topped by Andre Drummond, a 6-9, 250-pound center from St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn.

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Football: Game week

Tomorrow will be the first tangible indication that the season has arrived. Although Fan Appreciation Day kind of wraps up the offseason for me, nothing tells me the beginning of the season is more imminent than the first weekly press conference of the season.

Things will work a little different this year. Since practices are in the morning, it might be more difficult to get players to attend. One of the reasons Jeff Tedford switched to morning practices is to open up more of the day for his players. Many players are taking advantage of the new schedule by getting right to their classes as soon as possible after practice. That may pose conflicts with the press conference.

As of now, Tedford and quarterback Kevin Riley will appear each week. The media relations department will then get at least one other player to attend. That’s different than years past, when on average about five players would come by in addition to Tedford.

On the good side, players will still be available to the media after practice, like any other day, so it shouldn’t put the squeeze too badly on access.

Even though there was no game last weekend, the Bears still held a shorter practice today, like they will do on Mondays during the season. I was unable to attend as I worked on our season preview package which will appear in tomorrow’s paper. But I’m told, as expected, there were no real developments.

Tomorrow could be a big day for offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin. If he is able to do a lot in practice, he may be on pace to play Saturday. But if he is still pretty limited, it would seem his chances of returning for the game are not good. Throw in the fact that Summers-Gavin is supposed to move to right tackle when he returns and hasn’t taken any reps there, it seems the best he coudl do would be to return in a backup role, if he is able to come back at all.

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Football: Lingering questions

Just finished up some season preview work which will appear in tomorrow’s paper. One of the entries in a big preview box we are doing is titled “Lingering questions.” I came up with a few, which you will see in the paper tomorrow. What do you think? If you had to pick one lingering question, the answer to which could make a big difference in the season, what would it be?