Football: Keenan Allen confident he will be healthy and ready for summer camp

Perched uncomfortably on crutches 12 days after undergoing surgery repair torn ligaments in his right ankle, Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen said he has no doubts he will be healthy and ready to go by the start of summer training camp.

“It’s doing pretty good right now. It’s doing great,” he said after watching the Bears complete their first full-pads workout of the spring. “No pain. “They told me today in about three weeks I can start rehabbing. I should be ready to go by summer.”

Allen, who caught 98 passes for 1,343 yards as a sophomore last season and figures to be one of the nation’s top wideouts next fall, injured his ankle while going for a rebound in a pickup basketball game at the RSF.

“First time I’ve been hurt,” he said. “I’ve sprained it before. I’ve heard it pop a couple times. I didn’t know this latest one was something different.”

Allen said the surgery was straight forward and did not take long.

Asked if he has any worries that recovery could linger into the summer, Allen said, “I’m not really concerned at all. I feel good. The doc feels good, too. He said I’ll be back. I’ll be ready.

“I don’t really do too much worrying. It should go by fast.”

In fact, Allen said missing spring ball is not all bad.

“You’re never too good to practice, but it’s definitely good to sit down and let your body rest,” he said.

Although he has not been on the field, Allen said he’s favorably impressed with first-year receivers coach Wes Chandler.

“He’s great. He teaches us a lot of stiuff, especially in the meetings,” Allen said. “He’s real hands on. He can demonstrate stuff because he’s done it before. Just having somebody who’s played the game, I feel like that’s way better.”

Chandler played 11 NFL seasons, catching 559 passes for 8,966 yards and 56 touchdowns. But he retired after the 1988 season — more than three years before Allen was born.

“I’d heard of him . . . he was pretty good,” Allen said. “I pulled up a highlight on YouTube, but it didn’t have a lot. He’s old school.”


Basketball: Stanford beats Illinois St. in OT

Sophomore guard Aaron Bright scored a career-high 29 points and Stanford (23-11) scored a 92-88 overtime win over Illinois State (21-14) in a second-round NIT game at Maples Pavilion.

Bright shot 9 of 11, including 6 of 7 from the 3-point line. Bright, Dwight Powell (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Josh Huestis (6 points) combined for 53 points off the bench. Freshman Chasson Randle had 19 points as Stanford made 12 of 20 from 3-point range.

Stanford will host Nevada (28-6) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a berth in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden on the line.

Meanwhile . . .

Oregon State and Washington State both win to set up a fourth meeting this season between the Pac-12 rivals — Wednesday in Corvallis, Ore. — in the semifinals of the CBI:

   — Oregon State 101, TCU 81: The Beavers (21-14) won their sixth game in seven as Jared Cunningham scored 27 points, Angus Brandt 22 and Devon Collier 19. The three combined to shoot 26 for 32 from the field and 20 of 23 at the free throw line.

   — Washington State 61, Wyoming 41: Brock Motum scored 25 points and Abe Lodwick scored a career-high 16 points as the Cougars (17-16) advanced to the CBI semifinals. Motum scored at least 15 points for the 17th consecutive game, during which time he’s averaging 21.5 points.


Women’s basketball: Bears take on Skylar Diggins, Fighting Irish in 2nd-round game at Notre Dame

TIPOFF: No. 8 seed Cal (25-9, 13-5 Pac-12) vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (31-3, 15-1 Big East) in NCAA tournament second-round game at South Bend, Ind., Tuesday, 4 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

GAME THEME: The Bears hope to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. Cal will have to hurdle top-seeded Notre Dame on its home floor, where the Irish are 16-1 this season. The Bears and Irish have met just once, with Notre Dame posting a 62-59 victory in a 2007 NCAA first-round game at Pittsburgh. 

NOTES: The Irish feature 5-foot-9 junior guard Skylar Diggins (16.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.6 steals), one of the nation’s top all-around players. Diggins has totaled more than 400 points, 100 assists and 75 steals three seasons in a row . . . Notre Dame’s only losses were to Baylor, West Virginia and UConn . . . Notre Dame beat Liberty 74-43 on its first-round game . . . Cal advanced to the second round with an 84-74 win over Iowa in which junior guard Layshia Clarendon had 16 points and freshman guard Brittany Boyd had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and six steals. Her eight assists were the most-ever by a Cal player in an NCAA game.



Women’s basketball: Bears win NCAA opener

The Cal women got 16 points from junior guard Layshia Clarendon and 15 points, eight assists and six steals from freshman Brittany Boyd in an 84-74 victory over Iowa in an opening-round NCAA tournament game at South Bend., Ind.

The eighth-seeded Bears (25-9) will take on top seed Notre Dame (31-3) on its home floor in a second-round game Tuesday.

Cal outrebounded Iowa 41-29 and had 19 offensive boards.


Women’s swimming: Bears win NCAA title

The Cal women’s swim team got a victory from Caitlin Leverenz in the 200-yard breakstroke on the way to winning its second straight NCAA title Saturday at Auburn, Ala.

The Bears scored 412.5 points to finish ahead of Georgia (366), USC (325.5) and Stanford (318).

Leverenz set school and pool records in the 200 breast with her time of 2 minutes, 6.79 seconds.

Kahley Rowell’s fifth-place finish in the platform diving event clinched the Bears’ third team title in four seasons.

Meanwhile . . .

   — The Cal women’s softball team improved to 25-1 with a 7-1 win over Winthrop in tournament play at Honolulu. Jolene Henderson pitched five two-hit innings for the Bears,



Women’s basketball: Bears face Iowa in NCAA

TIPOFF: No. 8 seed Cal (24-9, 13-5 Pac-12) vs. No. 9 Iowa (19-11, 11-5 Big Ten) in NCAA tournament at South Bend, Ind., Sunday, 9:10 a.m. TV: ESPN2.

Click here for the game advance on our website and in Sunday’s editions.

GAME THEME: The Bears make their eighth all-time venture into the NCAA tournament under first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Cal last played in the NCAAs in 2009, when it made it to the regional semifinals . . . The winner of the Cal-Iowa game advances to a Tuesday second-round game vs. either No. 1 seeded Notre Dame (30-3) or Liberty (24-8).

NOTES: None of the players on Cal’s roster have played in an NCAA tournament game, but four were on the 2010 team that won the NIT crown . . . The Bears and Hawkeyes have met twice, with Cal winning both times, in 1982 and 2009 . . . Cal is 1-1 this season against teams from the Big Ten, beating Illinois 80-56 and losing to Ohio State 77-75 . . . Iowa has not played since March 2. The Bears have had four games since then, winning two and losing two (both to Stanford).



Football: Second-year running backs begin spring push for spot in Bears’ 2012 rotation

I took in a freezing mid-day football spring practice session at Witter Field today and talked afterward with second-year running backs Brendan Bigelow, Darren Ervin and Daniel Lasco.

Here’s my story on their pursuit of a spot in the 2012 rotation — and perhaps a head start on the chase for the 2013 starting job.

Also from Saturday’s practice . . .

   — More from coach Jeff Tedford on the young tailbacks: “As soon as we can get the pads on, it’s going to be critical we put those guys in game-type situations, especially Bigelow because he didn’t have a lot of that last year from the backfield. Ervin missed a lot of the year with injuries as well. Lasco did a great job on scout team. I think they’re all really good players. There’s going tobe a role for all of them if they continue to improve.”

   — Tedford on starting tailback Isi Sofele and backup C.J. Anderson: “(Isi) hit the hole and popped a couple. He’s quick. The experience he gained last year, the way he hits the hole this year is night and day. Early in the year last year and through camp, he’d see that hole and want to get there and stumble through it. Now he hits it. He’s much more experienced. . . . C.J. looks great — he’s lost some weight. With Isi and C.J. and those other three, we’re going to have some depth at that position.”

   — Starting quarterback Zach Maynard skipped the workout to attend a study group for a class. Tedford downplayed it, saying it’s not uncommon with players and could happen again. Junior Allan Bridgford took reps with the first team.

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Basketball: Huskies breeze in NIT

Washington is one victory from a trip to New York City . . .

   — Washington 76, Northwesterm 55: Terrence Ross scored a career-high 32 points and C.J. Wilcox had 20 off the bench as the Huskies (23-10) won their second-round NIT game. UW will play a quarterfinal home game Tuesday against the winner of Saturday’s game between Oregon and Iowa.