Football: Cal lands JC running back

The Bears have received an oral commitment from Laney College running back C.J. Anderson. This gives the Bears four running backs in their 2011 class. With returners Isi Sofele, Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, Dasarte Yarnway and Trajuan Briggs alrleady in the mix, Cal certainly has a huge logjam at tailback.

According to rivals.com, Anderson is a three-star prospect who also had offers from Memphis, Nevada, Washington State, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Scout.com has Anderson as a two-star prospect.


Basketball: Oregon game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 85, Oregon 77. The Bears lost their way for a while there, but were very good down the stretch. Bears made their final 11 FTs, including 6 for 6 in the last 1:11. Cal has won three in a row for the first time since the season’s first three games. Bears are 12-9 overall, 5-4 in the Pac-10 at the halfway point of the conference. Oregon fell to 10-11, 3-6 and failed to pull off its first Bay Area sweep since 1975-76. 

:19.0: Ca lleads 85-77 after two FTs by Gutierrez, who has 17 points. MSF and Crabbe each have 18, Kamp has 13. Catron has 22 for Oregon.

0:27.3 2nd H: Cal scored six straight — a layup by Crabbbe, two FTs by Crabbe and a layup by Kamp off a Smith assist — for an 81-72 lead. But Catron just hit a 3-pointer. It’s 81-75.

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Basketball: Oregon scouting report

Brandon Smith’s play on the court has gradually boosted his confidence.

He got an unexpected lift recently when one of his teammates found a scouting report that an opposing team left in the arena after a game.

“I was curious: I wonder what they said about me,” Smith recalled. “It said, `Looks to be aggressive, let’s keep him out of the lane, stop penetration.’ I thought, `OK, at least they know I’m a threat.’ ”

Increasingly, the sophomore point guard from De La Salle High is providing a complement to an offense featuring four other players who routinely score in double figures.

In nine games as a starter, Smith is averaging 6.9 points, 4.1 assists and just 2.4 turnovers while shooting 40 percent from the 3-point line.

Smith will have his hands full this afternoon against an Oregon team expected to throw a 1-2-2 zone press at the Bears. The Ducks squeezed 18 turnovers out of Stanford in a 67-59 win on Thursday.

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Football: Senior Bowl

Just a reminder that the Senior Bowl takes place Saturday at 1 p.m. It is being televised on the NFL Network. This will be former Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan’s chance to cap off what has been, by almost all accounts, a dominating week in Alabama. It looks as though Jordan is solidly in the mid-to-late first round range at this point. Not sure if he can improve his stock even more, but he’ll get chances. Jordan will go to the NFL Scouting Combine in late February and then Cal’s Pro Timing Day in early March. Then he’ll presumably have some individual workouts with teams as well.

The only other Cal players that seem to be locks to be drafted are running back Shane Vereen and linebacker Mike Mohamed. Vereen will probably go somewhere in rounds 2 or 3 while Mohamed looks to be in the 5-6 range.

Other former Bears who could slip into the end of the draft but more likely will sign on as free agents are nose tackle Derrick Hill, safety Chris Conte and cornerback Darian Hagan.


Basketball: David Kravish update

David Kravish, Cal’s lone fall signee, is averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds and about three blocks for Lee’s Summit North HS, according to his coach.

“He’s doing a great job,” Mike Hilbert told me. “He’s really doing what we had hoped he would do as a senior. We’re seeing the things that probably excite the University of California — his ability to knock down perimeter jump shots, challenging shots in the lane, playing above the rim.

“He is definitely a better senior than he was a junior.”

The Broncos are 12-5 after a 43-41 loss to rival Lee’s Summit. They had won nine of 11 prior to that.

Hilbert said the 6-foot-9 forward received a certificate this week informing him he’d been nominated for McDonald’s All-America status. Kravish earned all-tournament honors a week ago at the Culver’s Classic after leading his team to a runnerup finish.


Basketball: Monty 450, Nibs 449

With Cal’s 85-57 defeat of Oregon State, Mike Montgomery earned his 450th victory at Stanford (393) or Cal (57), giving him more Bay Area Division I men’s basketball wins than any coach in history.

Clarence “Nibs” Price set the standard for more than 56 years, winning 449 games at Cal over 30 seasons from 1924-25 through 1953-54 before turning over the reins to Pete Newell.

Born in 1890, Price played baseball at Cal and graduated from the school in 1914. As basketball coach he won six Pacific Coast Conference titles and directed the Bears to a fourth-place finish in the 1946 NCAA tournament.

He also succeeded the legendary Andy Smith as Cal’s football coach in 1926, compiling a five-season record of 27-17-3, including a trip to the Rose Bowl after the ’28 season.

Think about it: He was head coach for football and basketball simultaneously for five seasons. (Try that Monty!) Then, after resigning his football position in 1930, he stayed on as an assistant for the school’s next four football coaches while continuing to coach basketball for 24 more years.

But for all Price achieved in life — and it was a lot — he was immortalized in a unique way by the unintentional, unfortunate . . . and undeniably hilarious headline that accompanied his 1968 obituary in the Oakland Tribune.

The Trib was an afternoon paper in those days and when the news arrived on a Saturday morning that Price had died, the sports desk moved quickly to assemble a story.

One staff member wrote the story, another pulled a photo and rushed it to the composing room, and a third created the headline.

On the day before the Raiders played the Packers in Super Bowl II, the Tribune story on the Cal coach was topped by this headline:

Death Calls Nibs Price

And beneath it, a photo of Price . . . on the phone.

No disrespect was intended, then or now. It was a colossal mistake, but it was funny. Wherever he is, let’s hope Nibs gets a chuckle over it, too.


Basketball: Oregon State game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 85, OSU 57. The Beavers shot 3 for 18 from the 3-point arc against the zone and had 17 turnovers. Cal shot 51 percent and attempted only five 3-pointers until garbage time after relying heavily on the perimeter shot against the Beavers the past couple years. Cal had 2o layups. The margin of victory was Cal’s biggest of the season, and that includes Hartford. Emerson Murray made his first 3-pointer as a college player after nine misses. Jeff Powers scored his first Cal points on a 3-pointer with about a minute left.

2:51 2nd H: Cal leads 82-53 and we are deep into serious garbage time. No starters still playing. Gutierrez finished with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists. MSF had 15 points and nine rebounds.  Crabbe went out with 12 points, seven rebounds. Cal improves to 11-9, 4-4 and into a tie for fourth place with USC and WSU.

7:48 2nd H: Cal leads 67-44 and if this game isn’t over there’ll be an investigation. Kamp has 18 points, Gutierrez has 15 points and 10 assists. Solomon (7 points, 5 rebounds) and Bak (6 points, 5 rebounds) have provided a lift off the bench.

11:57 2nd H: Cal has pushed the lead to 55-37 and is in control. The Bears are in the midst of an 8-0 run that featured two baskets by Kamp, who has 18 points. It’s the fifth straight game he’s scored at least that many. MSF is on the bench with three fouls, but it may not matter. The Beavers are impatiently trying to catch up all at once and are now 2 for 13 from the 3-point line with 14 turnovers.

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Football: Cal gets McClure

After a brief lag in recruiting, Cal’s 2011 class received another boost this morning when four-star cornerback Stefan McClure of Vista orally committed to the Bears.

McClure was reportedly always high on Cal but it seemed in the past week or two, judging by reports, the Bears might lose him to UCLA.

Cal now has 19 commitments to its class. Rivals.com’s lastest rankings puts the class at No. 13 nationally. It remains to be seen if the Bears are now done getting commits. Three-star defensive end Puka Lopa is expected to visit campus this weekend — he’s Grant High School teammates with Cal five-star commit Vei Moala.

Also, I’ve heard that Cal isn’t totally out of the mix with three-star defensive back Kam Jackson of Long Beach. Jackson has verballed to Washington but his commitment might not be totally definitive.

Signing Day is next Wednesday.