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Archive for January, 2011

Basketball: More UCLA game dissection

The math doesn’t seem to work on this: Cal makes one 3-point basket and scores 84 points.

How?

In fact, the Bears had 81 points before Allen Crabbe made their only 3-pointer of the night, with 10.8 seconds left in their 86-84 loss at UCLA on Thursday night.

Cal’s 1-for-5 effort from deep — 20 percent — ranks among the four worst of the season. The Bears were 0 for 9 vs. San Diego State, 4 for 22 (18.2 percent) vs. Kansas and 2 for 10 (20 percent) vs. Washington.

That’s a combined 6 for 41 in those three games, and the result was Cal averaged 63.7 points in three losses by an average margin of 18.7 points.

So how the Bears hang with UCLA in a high-scoring game?

Two factors:

– First, unlike last season, this team does not live and die by the 3-pointer. With Harper Kamp and Markhuri Sanders-Frison, the Bears are an inside-out team. They got a little break Thursday night when (very) big Joshua Smith went out of the game after falling hard to the floor, but Cal began the game by attacking inside. That’s their approach, and when it works it allows the perimeter game — and especially Crabbe — to function more effectively.

– Second, UCLA was terrible defensively. Cal shot 72 percent (18 for 25) in the second half, mostly because it made 13 layups, dunks or putbacks. In the first half, all 11 of the Bears’ field goals were up close and personal, but they shot only 44 percent because they hadn’t yet figured out the Bruins were incapable of stopping them at the rim. “Cal scored too easily on us,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said.

The Bears’ first jump shot basket was a 15-footer by Brandon Smith with 12:33 left  in the game. All told, Cal made just five shots beyond two feet — the last four by Crabbe.

Things got a little frenzied at the finish so my play-by-play sheet, which normally reflects all made and missed shots, does not account for two misses by the Bears in the second half.

But I know that five of them came in the first 10 minutes of the half, meaning that Cal missed no more than two shots in the final 10 minutes of the game while scoring 36 points in a span of barely 9 1/2 minutes.

You can’t do that with a steady diet of perimeter shots.

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011
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Basketball: Huskies back in charge of Pac-10

A full night in the Pac-10 . . .

– No. 20 Washington 85, Arizona 68: The Huskies (14-4, 6-1) are back alone in first place after getting 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds from junior guard Isaiah Thomas. Justin Holiday added 22 points and Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 18. Derrick Williams had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Arizona (15-4, 4-2).

– USC 65, Stanford 42: The Trojans (11-8, 3-3) bounced back from two losses in Oregon to spank the Cardinal (10-7, 3-3), which shot just 22 percent from the field. Anthony Brown scored nine points off the bench for Stanford; no one else had more than six points. Jeremy Green was 2 for 9 and had five points, and is shooting 38.7 percent for the season. Nikola Vucevic had 20 points and nine rebounds and Alex Stepheson had 10 points and 11 rebounds — that’s 30 and 20 from the Trojans’ two big men.

– Washington State 78, Arizona State 61: DeAngelo Casto scored a season-high 25 points and Klay Thompson had 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Cougars (14-5, 4-3). Sophomore PG Reggie Moore, back in action after a one-game suspension, scored 11. Ty Abbott scored 15 for ASU (9-9, 1-5), but his teammates shot 15 for 51.

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011
Under: Basketball, Gameday | No Comments »
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Basketball: Cal-UCLA post-game

A few notes after tonight’s wild game . . .

– It speaks well for freshman Allen Crabbe that after scoring 13 points in the final 3:20, his first thought during the post-game interview was about his team, not himself.  “I just want to say I’m proud of my team because we didn’t give up. We didn’t show any weaknesses. We believed we could make a last run and we did,” he said.

– Crabbe was 1 for 4 from the field against the defense of UCLA junior guard Malcolm Lee before Lee fouled out with 3:20 left. From then on, Crabbe shot 4 for 4 from the field, made all four of his free throws and hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 10.8 seconds left.

“It’s a learning experience for me. I just said I’ve got to be aggressive to help my team. I just need to start earlier,” he said. “It was very exciting. It sucks to lose, but we fought hard.”

– Harper Kamp, who had 21 points, was impressed. “He doesn’t give up, he doesn’t get down on himself, he stays positive,” said Kamp.  ”He was money at the end.”

– Mike Montgomery on Crabbe: “Coming back to L.A., first game as a freshman, maybe he was a little bit nervous. (At the end) he knew that somebody had to get to the basket.”

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Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011
Under: Basketball, Gameday | 2 Comments »
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Basketball: UCLA game thread

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 86, Cal 84. Pardon my absence — deadlines! Reeves Nelson, whose running tip-in with 2.2 seconds left won the game, scored 24 for the Bruins (12-6, 4-2 Pac-10). Lazeric Jones also had 24 for UCLA, including 10 of 12 from the FT line. Allen Crabbe, held to four points over the game’s first 36:40, scored 13 in the final 3:20. Cal scored 23 points over that stretch, rallying from a 73-59 deficit. Kamp led the Bears (9-9, 2-4) with 21 points, Jorge Gutierrez had 15 and Richard Solomon came off the bench to score 12.

0:50.9 2nd H: UCLA leads 79-73 after a dunk by Solomon. Cal keeps coming, but time is running out.

2:48 2nd H: Too late? Maybe, maybe not. Crabbe just scored on a fastbreak layup off a UCLA turnover and the Bears are within 73-65.

3:20 2nd H: Lee, who held Crabbe without a FG until 6:34, just fouled out. UCLA leads 73-61. Crabbe shooting 2. (Made ‘em both — 73-63).

3:44 2nd H: UCLA leads 73-61. The Bruins have equaled their season high with 10 3-point baskets. Nelson has 22 for the Bruins, Honeycutt and Jones 14 apiece. Kamp has just two points in the half and leads Cal with 17. Gutierrez has 13.

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Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Under: Basketball, Gameday | 3 Comments »
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Football: All-Star updates

Former Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, considered the most prestigious postseason All-Star game in terms of NFL potential.

Meanwhile, nose tackle Derrick Hill and linebacker Keith Browner are playing in the Eastham Energy College All-Star Game on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz.

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 1 Comment »
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Basketball: Ex-Bears Kidd, Anderson shine

Ex-Cal star Jason Kidd had a season-high 21 points and dished 10 assists, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 109-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kidd shot 8 for 12, helping the Mavs snap a six-game losing streak. In two previous games, Kidd was a combined 1 for 14 from the field.

Meanhwhile, Ryan Anderson came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points, helping the Orlando Magic to a 99-98 overtime win over Philadelphia. Anderson has been on his game recently, averaging 16.0 ppg and shooting 50 percent from the 3-point arc in his past five games.

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Under: Alumni, Basketball | 5 Comments »
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Basketball: Sanders-Frison, Bears brace for Joshua Smith, Bruins’ big frontline

Cal center Markhuri Sanders-Frison calls it “my biggest challenge ever.” The Bears visit UCLA on Thursday night and keeping 6-foot-10, 305-pound freshman Joshua Smith away from the basket will be a chore. Here’s my story from this morning’s editions.

From the Los Angeles Times, UCLA junior guard Malcolm Lee, who has fared well defensively against the likes of Jimmer Fredette, Klay Thompson and Jared Cunningham, is expected to be the Bruins’ choice to chase Cal freshman Allen Crabbe. Here’s the full story.

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011
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Basketball: WSU’s Moore off suspension

Washington State coach Ken Bone announced Wednesday that sophomore point guard Reggie Moore’s suspension has ended and he will play Thursday night against Arizona State.

Here’s the full story from the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
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Basketball: UCLA scouting report

It’s homecoming weekend for six Cal basketball players with roots — or at least connections — in Southern California.

No one can be more excited about the trip than freshman Allen Crabbe, who has averaged 20 points over the past four games.

Crabbe, who played alongside fellow Cal freshman Richard Solomon at Price High in Los Angeles, will venture into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night and USC’s Galen Center on Saturday, both for the first time.

“I think it’s going to be a fun weekend,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this weekend since the Pac-10 started. I get to play against some L.A. guys I know from high school.”

One of those he expected to play against was USC freshman Bryce Jones, a summer league teammate last year. But Jones has bolted USC, announcing plans to transfer.

Asked if he’s considered the possibility that playing in front of friends and family could be a distraction, Crabbe said, “Not at all. It’s going to be fun playing in front of them. Many of them haven’t seen me play since high school.”

Crabbe said UCLA was one of the finalists in his recruitment. “But I’m glad I’m here,” he said. “Cal’s a fit for me.”

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Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
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Basketball: 20 Questions with Allen Crabbe

Today we visit with . . .

ALLEN CRABBE
Year:
Freshman
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-6
Hometown: Los Angeles

If you could play 1-on-1 with any player in basketball history, who would you choose? Kobe Bryant. Kobe’s my favorite player. I just like how aggressive he is. I just feel like he’s one of the best players to ever play in the NBA.

Hypothetically, I have $10 to bet on who wins. Tell me why I should consider you: You can put it on me because I can knock down the jumper. And if my jumper’s going, I’m going keep shooting and keep knocking it down.”

What’s your basketball career highlight so far? I’d probably have to say the Washington State game. You don’t see that many freshmen scoring 30 points like that. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play that many minutes and my coaches to trust in me to produce for them. It was just a really good game for me. Richard (Solomon) was saying, `Man, you got 30 points tonight,’ and I told him, `I really don’t even care. I was just happy that we won.’ It really was a good night.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
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