Basketball: Off-season updates

A few tidbits on the Bears’ basketball team:

— Assistant coach Gregg Gottilieb and director of operations John Montgomery have swapped positions. Gottlieb will take over operations and Montgomery will be on the court assisting Mike Montgomery and assistants Jay John and Travis DeCuire for the first time.

Word is Mike Montgomery simply wanted to give his son the opportunity to get some experience as an assistant. Gottlieb is entering his fifth season at Cal, the fourth since Montgomery replaced Ben Braun.

— The Bears began limited official practices on Tuesday in preparation for their August 12-22 trip to Northern Europe. Neither Allen Crabbe nor Alex Rossi was available, but both should be on the floor soon. Crabbe is recovering from a  broken nose suffered at the USA U19 tryouts and is expected to wear a protective mask for the short term. Rossi, who missed all of last season with a groin pull and hernia, is close to full recovery, Cal reports. Sophomore Emerson Murray, who had offseason foot surgery to remove a plate, isn’t ready to practice but likely will be OK’d for the Euro trip.

— Dick Vitale has Cal at No. 35 in his preseason Top-40 rankings on ESPN.com. Arizona checks in at No. 17, UCLA at No. 29. Vitale hasn’t unveiled his top-10 yet.


Football: Kline at Elite 11

QB Zach Kline, a 2012 commit, is yet another Elite 11 quarterback that will be coming to Cal. The Bears have had several prospects be named Elite 11 quarterbacks in recent years. The Elite 11 camp invites what is believed to be the best quarterback prospects in the nation each year.

The camp is being run a bit different this year, with 24 invitees that will be cut down to 11. The camp started yesterday at Pepperdine University. Here’s a rundown by ESPN.com, including a blurb on Kline.


Football: Poll update/clarification

So far in our (very) informal BearTalk poll, Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12 this season with six votes. Stanford and Cal are tied for second with four votes each. Arizona State has two votes and Utah has one.

Oregon is favored to win the Pac-12 North with eight votes, Stanford is second with 5, Cal has 4 while Washington and Washington State (!?) has one each.

Arizona State is favored to win the Pac-12 South with eight votes, Utah is second with 7 while USC and Arizona each received two nods.

One clarification: You can still pick USC to win the South, but the Trojans won’t be eligible to play in the Pac-12 championship game if they win the division. In that case, the second place team in the division will get the nod. So, as one smart poster noted, he chose USC to win the division but Utah to get the berth in the conference title game.

We’ll keep the poll going for the rest of this week (or until it loses steam). The Pac-12 preseason media poll will be released a week from tomorrow at Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles.


Football: Pac-12 predictions

I submitted my ballot for the preseason Pac-12 media poll yesterday. I will reveal it as we get closer to Pac-12 media day, which is July 26 in Los Angeles. What do you all think? Post your North Division winner and South Division winner, and then who will win the Pac-12 championship game. We’ll take a final tally and have a BearTalk poll before the actual poll is released.


Football: Bigelow update (not much of one)

One of the top storylines this summer will be the health of incoming freshman running back Brendan Bigelow. Jeff Tedford has made it clear he is hoping Bigelow can contribute right away, but Bigelow is coming off two major knee injuries.

I asked for an update about his status the other day and all I was told is Bigelow is indeed on campus for the summer bridge program. As far as his status for the beginning of training camp, that is unclear.