In between media access sessions here at practice. As usual, there isn’t a whole lot to see during the first 20 minutes, which is almost entirely focused on drillwork. But the defense did line up as an 11-player unit a couple of times during drills.
Here’s the spring practice prevew we ran today, taking a look at the top five storylines facing Cal.
It looks as though the Pac-12 will have an additional television partner next season.
It was announced today that FX (owned by Fox) is getting into the college football game. FX will have a weekly game, and the Pac-12 is one of the conference it plans on having on its airwaves. The others are the Big 12 and Conference USA.
Congratulations are in order to Jorge Gutirrez and Harper Kamp . . . and to the Pacific-10 Conference for expanding the flexibility of the English language.
Gutierrez and Kamp were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic second-team after compiling grade-point averages of 3.02 and 3.10, respectively. Here’s the Pac-10 news release.
Gutierrez, a repeat second-team selection, is the first player in the four years that the Pac-10 has named an All-Defensive team to be selected to the All-Pac-10, All-Defensive and All-Academics teams. Quite an achievement, especially considering the native of Chihuahua, Mexico, did not speak much English when he arrived in the U.S. six years ago.
You have to wonder whether Gutierrez or Kamp perhaps deserved a spot on the All-Academic first team.
Let me explain, starting with a nod to the league’s much looser interpretation of the word “significant.”
A couple of quick notes before spring training commences tomorrow:
- I found out today that it’s going to be harder than usual to do player interviews this spring. Since the team is bussing to its practice sites, players won’t be available on the field after practice like usual. That’s because the team has to immediately get back on the busses and return to campus. The exception will be Saturdays.
RETURNING STARTERS: P Bryan Anger, K Giorgio Tavecchio, KR Keenan Allen
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR: Coleman Edmond
POSSIBLE SURPRISE: Kaelin Clay
THE BREAKDOWN: Spring practice is a time for competition, but it remains to be seen how competitive it will be at kicker. Jeff Tedford has made it clear that he believes in Tavecchio as his No. 1 kicker, but the senior-to-be has been inconsistent on field goals and hasn’t proven he can consistently produce in the cluth. He did substantially improve his kickoffs last season, something that pleased Tedford.
Creighton got the jump on Oregon in the best-of-3 finals series of the College Basketball Invitational, posting an 84-76 victory Monday nigiht at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
Senior Joevan Catron scored 15 points for the Ducks (19-18) and Garrett Sim and Jay-R Strowbridge added 14 apiece. Freshman Doug McDermott scored 21 points for the Bluejays (23-14), who shot 55 percent from the field.
The teams meet again on Wednesday at the Matthew Knighit Arena in Eugene, Ore. A third game, if necessary, would be played Friday at Oregon.
No surprise here: UCLA sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt announced Monday he is headed to the NBA and will skip his final two seasons in Westwood.
Honeycutt said he hasn’t yet hired an agent, but plans to do so, which would make him ineligible to change his mind. The 6-foot-8 wing is projected as the No. 20 pick, according to the website NBAdraft.net.
“I’m 100% sure this is what I want to do,” he said at a press conference announcing his decision.
Honeycutt is the second Pac-10 non-senior to announce he’s headed to the NBA, following USC junior forward Nikola Vucevic last week. Here’s the full story on Honeycutt’s decision. And here’s the L.A. Times story.
Meanwhile, guard Larry Drew II, who left North Carolina at midseason, has enrolled at UCLA. He must sit out next season, then will have one year of eligibility remaining. Drew grew up in Woodland Hills and attended Taft HS. Here’s more on Drew.
The Bruins suddenly have a strong UNC flavor, with ex-Tar Heels Travis and David Wear set to become eligible as transfers next season.
RETURNING STARTERS: Josh Hill, Marc Anthony
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR: Adrian Lee
POSSIBLE SURPRISE: Avery Walls
THE BREAKDOWN: Going into last season, it appeared the secondary might be the weakest area of the team. But Cal’s secondary acquitted itself pretty well in 2010, and has some pieces back this spring in which to build off that performance.
RETURNING STARTERS: Mychal Kendricks, D.J. Holt
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR: Nick Forbes
POSSIBLE SURPRISE: Cecil Whiteside
THE BREAKDOWN: This appears to be the deepest position on the team this spring. The Bears have two pretty accomplished returning starters and a boatload of talented, albeit unproven younger players.