The Pac-10’s two Washington teams were in action tonight, with predictably favorably results . . .
— Washington: The No. 23 Huskies (4-2), coming off losses to top-10 teams Kentucky and Michigan State at the Maui Invitational, got six 3-pointers and a career-high 20 points from redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox to rout Long Beach State 102-75. Isaiah Thomas added 19 points.
— Washington State: The Cougars (5-0) mauled Sacramento State 84-36, jumping out to a 27-0 lead after 10 minutes. The bigger news is that sophomore PG Reggie Moore, who has missed the first five games with a left wrist injury, got his cast off and is scheduled to play wearing a splint on Friday when WSU faces No. 5 Kansas State. Junior PF DeAngelo Casto, who sat out his second straight game with a right foot injury, is day to day.
Jeff Tedford made his final appearance on the weekly Pac-10 media teleconference today (I don’t cover these during the season because they take place at the same time practice is wrapping up on Tuesdays and then we move on to the weekly press conference). A couple of highlights:
Here is a story I wrote for today’s paper, looking at what’s happened to Cal’s program in recent years and where they go from here. Later this week, I will have a more thorough season review and look ahead to the future.
Today we chat with . . .
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
If you could play 1-on-1 with any player in basketball history, who would you choose? Kobe Bryant.
Hypothetically, I have $10 to bet on who wins. Tell me why I should consider you: Because I’m probably going to take it a lot more seriously than Kobe Bryant playing me.
What’s your basketball career highlight so far? Getting to have a workout with Jason Kidd.
Who’s the best dunker on the Cal team? Richard Solomon.
What’s the most consecutive free throws you’ve ever made? I hit 59 with my dad out on the driveway. I was 16. We’d shoot until we miss. I at least wanted to get to 60.
Here’s a partial transcription of what was said after Saturday’s game.
Now, here’s more:
COACH JEFF TEDFORD
On the quarterback position:
“The slate will be completely clean. It’s going to be competitive with all those guys. That’s obviously a focal point, no doubt about it. Your offense revolves around your quarterback and so we have a lot of work to do there. Brock has gained some experience obviously with the games that he’s played in, but it will be an open competition at the quarterback position from now until I assume fall.”
Here are remarks from coach Mike Montgomery after Cal’s loss to Boston College:
“We already knew we were young when we came here. I think we were probably reminded of the fact. It’s a pretty tough situation for us coming in here with the caliber of teams in this tournament given where we are just in terms of our whole developmental process.
“Beating Temple was fabulous but we got exposed a little bit (today), lost our confidence a little bit. We started not making plays that were there to be made and then that just kind of started to wear on us. We never could get anything to really give us a lift.
“We’d make a really good play for a layup and then we’d bumble it out of bounds, we’d get a wide-open three and off of a good kick and we’d miss it.
“This a (Boston College) team with four seniors coming back and starters off an ACC schedule that know how to play.They’ve played against good teams, they know how to hang in there and I just think we lost our confidence a little bit.
“We didn’t have anybody that we could go to and say, `Ah, we’re OK.’ We just didn’t make anything happen and it took a toll on us.”
The second-half numbers were gruesome, but it was a one statistic from the first half that foreshadowed Cal’s 68-46 loss to Boston College today in the fifth-place game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
At halftime, the Bears (3-2) were shooting 6 for 7 from the 3-point line . . . and trailed 35-31.
Shots don’t go in forever, and when they stopped falling in the second half, Cal had no chance.
The Eagles outscored Cal 33-15 over the final 20 minutes, with the Bears converting just 1 of 13 from beyond the 3-point arc, just 5 for 24 overall.
Certainly the Bears had a more encouraging start to the game than two days earlier, when they scored just five first-half points in a stunningly bad loss to Notre Dame.
The moral of the story here is clear: Winning is dictated by much more than merely shooting the ball. And the Bears did little to compensate for their poor second-half accuracy.
B.C. (4-2) not only shot the ball better, but won the rebounding battle (28-24), had fewer turnovers (15 to 11) more assists (15 to 10) and got to the FT line more (15 attempts to 10).
The Bears return home to face U.C. Davis on Wednesday needing a shot of homecooking and a boost to their confidence.
Here’s the statement from Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott regarding Cal’s suspension of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.
“The Pac-10 takes the integrity of the game very seriously. Instructing a
student-athlete to feign an injury is an unethical and unsportsmanlike practice in violation of coaching ethics as outlined in the NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations. This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Conference. Nothing is more important than the integrity of our programs and the role our coaches play in building good character in our student-athletes. We commend California’s Coach Jeff Tedford and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour for the forthright manner in which they have addressed this issue and for the positive example they are setting by
reinforcing the importance of the principles at stake.”
Kind of a surreal scene in the press room after the game. Not only did Jeff Tedford have to answer questions about the season coming to an abrupt end, his first losing season, not going to a bowl game, etc, he suddenly was also answering questions about the suspension of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.
Needless to say, this wasn’t one of Tedford’s better days.
Apparently, the blatant nature of the now-infamous Aaron Tipoti video is what prompted an investigation by athletic director Sandy Barbour and the Pac-10. Tedford said he had no knowledge of players faking injuries until he approached the coaching staff about it and Lupoi admitted it.
As for the game, the season, and the future, I will be doing a handful of blog posts and stories summarizing things in the coming days. Obviously, Cal’s seniors were very disappointed after the game. Key juniors pledged to lead the way to get the program back on track. Tedford talked about how disappointed he was for the players, fans and alumni, and how much he loved Cal. There will be much more to come on these topics.
Shane Vereen said he had no timetable for his decision whether to leave for the NFL.
Tedford said the quarterback position would have a clean slate moving forward.