Basketball: Jayhawks take down USC

The Pac-12 remains winless this season against Top-25 opponents  . . .

   — Kansas 63, USC 47: The Trojans (3-8) shot just 35 percent and had 18 turnovers while losing at home to the No. 12 Jayhawks (8-3). Aaron Fuller scored 19 points for USC but leading scorer Maurice Jones shot 2 for 13.

   — Butler 71, Stanford 66: The two-time national finalist Bulldogs (6-7) outscored the Cardinal 45-35 in the second half to win at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal (10-2), which lost a non-conference game at home for the first time in two years, got 17 points and nine rebounds from Josh Owens and 16 points from freshman Chasson Randle. 

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Basketball: UNLV scouting report

Twenty-two years after playing UNLV for the first time, the Golden Bears take on the Runnin’ Rebels again in a matinee Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Cal lost 101-81 in 1989-90 to a Vegas team coached by the legendary Jerry Tarkanian that went on to post a 35-2 record and demolished Duke 103-73 in the national championship game.

This Vegas team is good — not nearly that good, but 12-2, ranked No. 21 in the AP Top-25 and unbeaten in eight home games. The Rebels beat North Carolina when the Tar Heels were ranked No. 1, so they are very good.

What we could find out here is just how good Cal is. The Bears are 10-2 and have won four in a row, but they are 1-2 outside Haas Pavilion and will play again without starting forward Richard Solomon, still nursing a stress fracture/reaction.

Comparing scores, even against common opponents, is a slippery slope. But both teams played UC Santa Barbara, and the results were somewhat different. UNLV needed two overtimes to subdue the Gauchos on the road, while Cal undressed Santa Barbara by 20 points at home, despite playing without two starters and having a third on the floor while under the weather.

It may or may not mean anything, but at least it suggests the Bears are starting to find themselves. Even without senior guard Jorge Gutierrez (food poisoning or the flu) and Solomon, and with senior forward Harper Kamp diminished by his own set of flu-like symptoms, the Bears dominated.

They played superb defense and were smart and efficient on offense. They got the ball to the right guys in the right places, and they made shots. They took the game from the start and never let UCSB compete.

Word from Vegas is that Gutierrez and Kamp are feeling 100 percent again. It’s possible that what struck them last Sunday/Monday was a bug, not food poisoning because Allen Crabbe wasn’t feel great on Wednesday. But he will be ready and the Bears should be at mostly full strength.

This is Cal’s final game before the start of Pac-12 play on Dec. 29 against USC. It could definitely benefit the Bears for NCAA tournament seeding purposes, but it’s hardly the most important game they’ll play this season.

Still, should be a fascinating measuring stick.

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Football: Bears add O-line recruit

Cal got its 14th verbal commitment on Wednesday when Steven Moore, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive tackle from Elk Grove HS picked the Bears. Scout.com rates Moore as the nation’s No. 54 offensive tackle prospect.

Both Rivals.com and Scout.com have Moore as a three-star recruit. 

Moore visited Cal last weekend and also took trips to UCLA, Boise State and Colorado.

Also, here is my story from Wednesday morning’s edition on two-sport recruiting target Arik Armstead.


Basketball: Two up, one down for Pac-12

The Oregon schools prevail . . .

   — Oregon State 92, Illinois-Chicago 66: The Beavers (10-2) had no trouble with the winless Cougars (0-12) in Chicago behind 19 points from Devon Collier. Sixth-man Roberto Nelson had 16 points, Jared Cunningham scored 15 and Ahmad Starks had 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

   — Oregon 74, Prairie View A&M 66: Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph had 19 points and five steals in his first start and Garrett Sim scored 20 and the Ducks (10-2) held off the Panthers (4-8) in Eugene. Joseph is averaging 15.2 points since becoming eligible five games ago.

   — Fresno State 68, Arizona State 65: Keala King scored 22 points and Trent Lockett had 17 but the Sun Devils (4-8) were outscored 42-27 in the second half at Tempe, Ariz. ASU has lost three in a row by a total of seven points.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Richmond HS grad Wendell McKines had his sixth double-double of the season, matching 23 points with 17 rebounds to lead New Mexico State to an 82-62 win over McNeese State. In the past two games, McKines has 43 points and 33 rebounds.


Basketball: Bears looking at juco PF prospect

Who will replace senior forward Harper Kamp a year from now?

It might be Andrew Young, a 6-8 1/2, 235-pound power forward from Monterey Peninsula College.

Cal is among a growing list of schools courting Young, who is averaging about 24 points and 16.5 rebounds through 12 games this season, according to his coach.

He’s a back-to-the-basket player, but with 15-foot shooting range and the ability to play above the rim, according to MPC coach Blake Spiering. And he has good grades.

“Cal has shown a lot more interest as of late. They are very serious,” Spiering said. “Andrew’s arguably one of the best post players left (unsigned) in the country. That’s not my opinion, that’s other people talking.”

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Basketball: Bruins unbeaten sans Nelson

A 3-for-3 night for the Pac-12 . . .

   — UCLA 89, UC Irvine 60: The Bruins (6-5) nudged above .500 for the first time this season and improved to 4-0 since Reeves Nelson was booted from the team. Freshman Norman Powell scored a career-high 19 points to lead five players in double figures. Tyler Lamb added 17 points and center Joshua Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds.

   — Arizona 85, Oakland 73: Solomon Hill had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Kyle Fogg had 17 points to reach 1,000 for his career as the Wildcats (8-4) won at home. Senior Reggie Hamilton, who had 41 points in his most recent game, scored 31 to lead the Golden Grizzlies (8-5).

   — Oregon 58, North Carolina Central 45: The Ducks (7-3) held the Eagles (5-6) to 29.5 percent shooting and  got 13 points apiece from E.J. Singler and Garrett Sim to win at home.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Arizona State junior center Ruslan Pateev drew a reprimand and a one-game suspension from the Pac-12 for his part in a confrontation during a Monday game against Southern Miss.  Pateev was ejected from the game after being assessed a Flagrant 2 Technical Foul for fighting. He will sit out Friday’s game vs. Fresno State.