Basketball: A mid-Pac six-pack of questions

Fellow staff writer Jon Wilner and I tackled six questions — including who will win the Pac-12 and who so far is the league’s player of the year — in our Wednesday college hoops notebook.

Elsewhere . . .

   — Arizona coach Sean Miller said he likely will seek a waiver for injured junior Kevin Parrom, allowing him an additional season of eligibility.

   — Doug Haller, who covers Arizona State for the Arizona Republic, reports there is “a strong possibility” that junior guard Trent Lockett — the Sun Devils’ leading scorer and rebounder — could miss this weekend’s games at Stanford and Cal. A sprained ankle has kept Lockett out the past four games.

   — Percy Allen of the Seattle Times presents his mid-season Pac-12 awards and heels of Bud Withers doing the same. A hint: It’s a landslide for Jorge Gutierrez.

  — Allen also reports that UW’s C.J. Wilcox will not practice for the remainder of the season because of a stress fracture in his hip and will be evaluated before each game to determine whether he is able to play. 

   — Washington State senior guard Faisal Aden is done for the season after being diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee.



Basketball: Crabbe in boot, skips practice

No mention of it at Mike Montgomery’s morning press briefing, but sophomore Allen Crabbe was seen entering the training room wearing a boot on his right foot.

The team’s leading scorer, Crabbe sat out practice.

Asked later for comment through a team spokesman, Montgomery declined to offer details, including whether the situation could impact Crabbe’s availability for Thursday night’s game vs. Arizona.

Earlier, teammate Harper Kamp seemed to think nothing serious is wrong with Crabbe.


Football: WR roundup — Payton to Washington, Dozier to Cal, Treggs now struggling to decide

UPDATED 10:15 p.m.

Wide receiver Jordan Payton announced he will attend Washington, but Cal scored a much-needed recruiting victory when wideout Cedric Dozier spurned advances from Washington State and maintained his commitment to Cal.

The late news is that Adam Gorney of Rivals reports that USC has offered Cal long-time commit Bryce Treggs and says he will seriously consider the Trojans, Bears and UCLA. The senior from St. John Bosco HS in Bellflower plans to make his announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Treggs, whose father Brian starred for the Bears, may simply be confused given the upheaval surrounding Cal recruiting. Who could blame him? It would be surprising if any 18-year-old wasn’t confused by all that is happening.

But Treggs is a five-star Scout.com prospect and Jeff Tedford cannot afford another piece of bad news.

Dozier reopened his recruitment a couple weeks ago and apparently was pursued hard by new WSU coach Mike Leach, whose teams will throw the ball about 50 times a game. At 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Dozier is categorized an “athlete” by recruiting sites, including Rivals.com, which gives him a four-star rating. 

Dozier told the Tacoma News Tribune he waffled a bit before settling on Cal. “I made up in my mind earlier in the week that I was committing to WSU,” Dozier said. “But I kept praying and it came to me today at lunch.”

While announcing his decision at Lakes High, according to Rivals, Dozier said, “I chose Cal because you can’t go wrong with Cal. It’s a great situation with academics and sports. It’s a win-win situation.

“They’re great people,” Dozier said of Cal. “I want to be well-rounded in my environment.”


Click here for my story on our website.


Payton, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village, gave Cal an oral commitment on Jan. 8, the same day Saf Shaq Thompson (Washington) and DT Ellis McCarthy (UCLA) did.

On the heels of Thompson’s announcement Monday night, Payton is the second top recruit to follow ex-Cal receivers coach Eric Kiesau and former recruiting coordinator/defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi from Berkeley to Seattle in the space of 16 hours.

He is rated as the nation’s No. 15 wideout prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Also . . .

   — Greg Biggins of ESPN is reporting that Kennedy-Richmond wideout and Cal commit Kenny Walker’s father said his son will sign Wednesday with UCLA.

   — Biggins also said 6-4, 230-pound tight end Christo Kourtzidis, originally a Florida State commit, still is deciding between the Seminoles and Cal. Kourtzidis, from Lutheran HS in Orange, is rated the No. 8 TE in the country by Rivals.com.

   — LB Markuss Eligwe of Stone Mountain, Ga., a Florida State commit who visited Cal last weekend, just tweeted he will pick a school Wednesday. He said earlier he plannned to wait until Monday. Good news for Cal? We’ll see. Eligwe’s 1:30 a.m. EST tweet: “I probably won’t even sleep tonight truthfully I dont think I can.”

   — Wideout Jaydon Mickens of Dorsey HS in Los Angeles picked Washington over Oklahoma State. Mickens also had an offer from Cal.

   — As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Rivals.com ranks Cal’s class No. 27, Scout.com places the Bears at No. 42. At their peak a couple weeks ago, the Bears were No. 8, according to Scout. ESPN.com has the Bears at No. 16. All very fluid through Wednesday . . . and perhaps beyond.

   — Wideout Kenny Lawler, a 4-star Rivals pick from Upland, still hasn’t made a decision, but reports are he may be leaning to Cal.

   — Cornerback Brandon Beaver of Dominguez-Compton, rated No. 12 at his position by Rivals, apparently is favoring UW or Utah over Cal.


Football: Shaq Thompson commits to UW

Safety Shaq Thompson of Grant High in Sacramento has tweeted: “Just committed to the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON”

No real surprise, but the Bears lose another elite prospect.

Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee, on his Twitter account, quoted Thompson as saying, “It’s where my heart is; second highest graduation rate in the Pac-12…”

Thompson, rated as the nation’s top safety prospect, said there were lots of reasons, including recruiter Tosh Lupoi, who left Cal to UW just weeks ago, and the presence of his best friend, Husky freshman James Sample, a Grant HS alum.

Earlier Monday, Thompson said he would make his announcement Wednesday at 8 a.m. Apparently, he knew what he wanted to do and figured it would be easier to put it behind him.

Here’s the latest story from the Sacto Bee.

Cal recruit Bryce Treggs tweeted: “I’m not mad at Shaq at all though. That’s my brudah for life.”

FYI, Cal fans: Thompson and the Huskies visit new Memorial Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2; Arik Armstead and Oregon visit on Saturday, Nov. 10.



Basketball: Bears climb to No. 30 in RPI

Cal’s win over Stanford has elevated the Bears to No. 30 in Monday’s edition of the official NCAA RPI computer rankings.

Washington is the next conference team in the RPI ratings at No. 72 — a bad sign for NCAA tournament at-large wannabes from the Pac-12. Oregon is No. 74, Arizona No. 85, Stanford No. 86. Ouch.

Oregon State is No. 122, UCLA No. 134 and Washington State No. 145.

Saint Mary’s checks in at No. 20, one spot ahead of WCC rival Gonzaga.

Elsewhere . . .

   — Cal is projected as a No. 9 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest NCAA tournment “bracketology.” He has Cal plugged in to play No. 8 Harvard  in a first-round game at Louisville, with No. 1 Kentucky awaiting in round two. UW only other Pac-12 team — and Huskies are in a No. 12 play-in game. Saint Mary’s is seeded No. 5.

   — Cal gets two votes in the coaches poll (the only two any Pac-12 team gets), but no one from the Pac to be found in “others receiving votes” at bottom of AP Top-25. Saint Mary’s climbs to  No. 16 in coaches poll, No. 18 in AP.

   — Oregon State junior guard Jared Cunningham (San Leandro HS) is the Pac-12 player of the week after scoring 27 points in the Beavers’ win at Oregon. Cal, tied for first in the conference, is 0-for-12 in the weekly conference award department.




Football: Bears pick up speed athlete


Rivals.com has reported that Jeffrey Coprich Jr., a small but fast multi-purpose athlete from West Ranch HS in Stevenson Ranch (Los Angeles County), has committed to the Bears.

Coprich is 5-foot-9, 182 pounds, but boasts 4.46 speed for 40 yards. He is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and categorized as an “athlete,” meaning his position is undetermined. But Coprich  said he wants to play running back.

“I want to be their next big star,” Coprich, Jr., told Rivals. “I want to be like Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen. I  know the legacy they put up, playing running back. All of them have gone to the NFL, so I want to live up to that.”

Elsewhere . . .

   — Florida State commit LB Markuss Eligwe of Stone Mountain, Ga., who visited Berkeley last weekend, is giving Cal fans hope with this twitter post: “I won’t be signing on National Signing day. I will be signing on the 6th. FSU. CAL” Eligwe, who committed to FSU last April, told Scout.com:  I just need more time. It will be Florida State or California.”

   — For those of you who still want to hear from Oregon-bound Arik Armstead, here are Monday’s stories from the Eugene Register-Guard and the Sacramento Bee.

   — Which, of course, brings us to Shaq Thompson, who made an unofficial visit to Washington over the weekend. Here’s an update on his situation. Thompson said today he plans to announce his school on Wednesday at 8 a.m. 

   — Wideouts Jordan Payton and Kenny Walker of Kennedy-Richmond (both Cal commits) also visited UW, and Walker plans to announce his latest decision Monday afternoon. Payton tweeted that he will make an annoucement on Tuesday.

   — Cal commit Cedric Dozier, a four-star athlete from Lakewood, Wash., was believed to be considering UW. But he canceled his visit to Seattle over the weekend and is being pursued by new Washington State coach Mike Leach, who wants to make him a wideout and use him in a pass-happy offense. The Seattle Times is reporting that Dozier will decide Tuesday between Cal and WSU.


Basketball: Stanford game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 69, Stanford 59. Bears improve to 17-5 and move into tie for first place with Washington at 7-2 at halfway point of league schedule. Stanford is 15-7, 5-4 and tied for fifth.

0:36.6 2nd H: Brandon Smith just made two FTs and Cal leads 69-59. Crabbe has 18 points, Kamp 15, Gutierrez 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Cobbs 13 points.

2:49 2nd H: Cal leads 60-51. Gutierres went out with his fourth foul, but he is back.

5:23 2nd H: Cal leads 56-46 after an 8-1 run fueled by hustle and defense. Crabbe has the last two baskets, a floater in the lane and a putback.

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Football: Armstead picks . . . Oregon

Arik Armstead, a larger-than-life, two-sport high school athlete from Elk Grove, announced Sunday afternoon he will attend Oregon. Cal and Washington were considered the other most serious finalists.

Armstead made the announcement at his family’s House Christian Church in Sacramento after a flurry of 11th-hour scrambling by recruiters. Cal, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame and Auburn all made final pushes this past week.

Commitments do not become binding until the national letter-of-intent signing day on Wednesday.

The Bears still are awaiting word from top-rated safety Shaquille Thompson of Grant High in Sacramento.

At 6-foot-8, 295 pounds, Armstead intends to play both football and basketball in college. He has said he prefers to play defensive end, but most scouts believe he has better potential as an offensive tackle.

Both Cal football coach Jeff Tedford and basketball coach Mike Montgomery  recruited the Pleasant Grove High product, who graduated in December and hoped to enroll in college for the spring semester. It’s not clear when Armstead might begin classes at Oregon.

Armstead is rated as the No. 2 overall prospect in the country by the recruiting experts at Scout.com, who envision him as an offensive tackle. ESPN.com ranks him No. 24 overall, No. 3 among offensive tackles.

Rivals.com is a bit less enamoured, and has Armstead as the 61st-best prospect in the land, ranking him No. 6 at defensive end.


Football: Sacto Bee poll picks Cal for Armstead

Not surprisingly, readers of the Sacramento Bee overwhelming voted in an online poll they want Arik Armstead and Shaq Thompson to make Cal their college choices.

In less than an hour we’ll know what Armstead plans to do. He is announcing his school at 3 p.m. Thompson plans to wait until signing day on Wednesday.

The Bears received 77 percent of the vote — a total of 168,766 votes — while Washington secured 22 percent with 48,770 votes. Oregon got 575 votes, less than one percent.