Basketball: Oregon St. game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Cal 71, Oregon State 68. A critical win for the Bears, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half. Coach Mike Montgomery won his 100th game at Cal, which improved tp 12-8, 4-4 in the Pac-12. OSU fell to 11-10, 1-7. Cobbs nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:48 left, then wrapped a pass around a defender to Richard Solomon for a dunk with 17.6 seconds left that iced it. Robert Thurman blocked a shot by Eric Moreland with 7.3 seconds left and the Beavers never could get off another shot. Crabbe shot just 5 for 16 but led the Bears with 15 points. Cobbs had 14 points and seven assists. The big men played well — Solomon with 12 points and seven rebounds, Kravish with 12 points and Thurman with eight points and six rebounds. The Bears had 25 assists on 30 baskets.

Thurman said the Bears are excited about Saturday afternoon’s game against first place Oregon. The 10th-ranked Ducks are coming off a 76-52 loss at Stanford. “The way wins are coming around, any win at this point is just great momentum,” Thurman said. “Stanford obviously showed Oregon is not invincible. We’re going to have a great crowd, I’m guessing. That game is going to be huge.”

— Montgomery said he had no news on the status of Jeff Powers, who injured his left knee in first-half collision with OSU’s Jarmal Reid.

3:35 2nd H: Thurman spike-tips miss by Crabbe and it’s 64-all. Thurman has eight points. Crabbe 13, Cobbs 11, Solomon 10. Nelson has 25 for OSU.

6:29 2nd H: A pullup jumper by Cobbs and Cal leads 60-59.

7:32 2nd H: A 3-pointer by Cobbs and Cal trails just 59-56.

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Football: Spring game set for March 23

Cal will open its first spring practice under new coach Sonny Dykes on Monday, Feb. 25, and will stage a spring game on Saturday, March 23 in Memorial Stadium.

Admission to all spring workouts will be free and all practices, including the spring game, are expected to be open to the public.


Monday, February 25	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1	        6:30 - 9 p.m.
Monday, March 4	        6:30 - 9 p.m.
Wednesday, March 6	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 8	        6:30 - 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 9	1 - 3:30 p.m.
Monday, March 11	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13	6 - 8:30 p.m.
Friday, March 15	6:30 - 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 16	11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Monday, March 18	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20	4 - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 22	6:30 - 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 	4 - 6:30 p.m. (Spring Game, Pac-12 Networks)

Basketball: Pac-12 honor to Shareef

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who debuted at Cal in 1995-96 by scoring 33, 29 and 32 points in his first three games, has been chosen to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.

Abdur-Rahim and 11 other former players and coaches from the league’s 12 schools will be honored in ceremonies at halftime of the March 16 championship game of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

I’ve covered a lot of Cal hoops over the years and Abdur-Rahim, without question, was the most ready-made scorer ever to arrive on the Berkeley campus. Better than Lamond Murray, who was very good. Better than Ryan Anderson. Better than anyone.

He led the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.1 points per game and was the first freshman named conference player of the year. After just one season at Cal, he went onto a sucessful career in the NBA, played in the 2000 Olympics and now serves as an excecutive with the Sacramento Kings.

Aside from Jason Kidd, Abdur-Rahim was the best player I’ve ever seen at Cal. Were these the old days and he had to stick around for four years, the guy would have scored 3,000 career points. No doubt.

Previously Cal players and coaches named to the Hall of Honor: Pete Newell (2002), Kevin Johnson (2003), Jason Kidd (2004), Darrall Imhoff (2005), Andy Wolfe (2006), Russ Critchfield (2007), Charles Johnson (2008), Nibs Price (2009), Earl Robinson (2010), Bob McKeen (2011) and Lamond Murray (2012).

Also set to be inducted this year: Jason Gardner (Arizona), Dennis Hamilton (Arizona State),  Cliff Meely (Colorado), Chuck Rask (Oregon), Charlie Sitton (Oregon State), Ron Tomsic (Stanford), Lucius Allen (UCLA), Forrest Twogood (USC), Keith Van Horn (Utah), Nate Robinson (Washington) and James McKean (Washington State).

Click here for the full Pac-12 release.


Football: Darius Allensworth: `I am solid with Cal’

Just exchanged texts with Cal commit Darius Allensworth, who said, “I never decommitted! But I am solid with Cal.”

The four-star CB from Heritage HS in Romoland (Riverside County) left a little doubt after making an official visit two weekends ago to Washington State, then never publicly confirmed he still was headed to Cal.

Now it seems clear he will sign with the Bears next Wednesday.

That leaves four prospects still undecided:

— Four-star OG Cameron Hunt of Centennial-Corona committed to Cal in July, but has been seriously wooed in recent weeks by Oregon. He said he will announce on signing day. Two Scout.com recruiting experts believe he will choose the Ducks.

— Four-star CB L.J. Moore of Central-Fresno, a former high school teammate of Cal running back Brendan Bigelow, is believed to be leaning toward the Bears.

— Three-star safety Patrick Enewally of Gahr-Cerritos, seemingly will choose between Cal and Washington.

— Three-star OLB Johnny Ragin III of Wilsonville, Ore., who flipped from BYU to Cal last week, now is facing a strong push from the in-state Ducks.





Basketball: Oregon St. game preview

TIPOFF: 7 p.m. Thursday at Haas Pavilion, Berkeley. TV/Radio: ESPNU/910-AM.

Mike Montgomery didn’t exactly say this week that his team — tied for seventh place and four games out of first place — no longer is playing for the Pac-12 regular-season championship. But he sort of accepted that likely reality.

Asked about a remark by senior Brandon Smith that the Bears need to approach each game with a sense of desperation, Montgomery declined to go with the flow.

“I don’t know why there’s a sense of desperation. We are who we are,” he said at his Tuesday press conference. “We’ve got to finish in the top four. I guess if you’re thinking we’re going to win (the title), maybe there’s desperation.”

Finishing in the top four, of course, lands a team a bye into the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. Teams that finish fifth or below must play a first-round game, meaning they would need to win four straight to capture the event and the league’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

“We’ve got to get better,” Montgomery said. “Hopefully that sense of urgency’s there. When you’ve got a chance to win a game, you’ve got to win it.”

Thursday night provides the Bears one of those chances.

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Basketball: Bears to honor Andy Wolfe

Andy Wolfe, a first-team All-America star in the post-World War II era and Cal’s first career 1,000-point scorer, will be honored withthe Pete Newell Career Achievement Award during the Bears’ Feb. 14 home game against UCLA.

“It is always nice to be recognized,” Wolfe said. “You get as far along as I am in my life and to be given this honor is really outstanding. It means a great deal to my family and I.”

Wolfe played for the Bears from the 1945-46 through 1947-48 seasons, totaling 1,112 points for teams that posted 75 victories and won two Pacific Coast Conference titles. The ’46 Bears were 30-6, earned the school’s first Final Four appearance, finishing fourth in the nation.

At 6-foot-1, Wolfe played guard and forward for Cal. He was a three-time all-PCC Southern Division selection.





Football: AD says Takkarist McKinley is firmed up to attend Cal: `It’s done’

Takkarist McKinley is staying with his commitment to play football next fall for Cal, according to Kennedy-Richmond dean of athletics Mike Bobino.
“It’s done. It’s Cal,” Bobino said Tuesday. “It won’t change.”
McKinley, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end, made a campus visit to Cal last weekend and decided Monday he would follow through on his original commitment to play for the Bears.
He is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com, and Bobino predicted, “He’ll be the next Jevon Kearse.”
McKinley visited Washington State two weeks ago and had a good experience there, Bobino said. WSU coach Mike Leach was scheduled to visit McKinley on Tuesday afternoon, but Bobino said the decision won’t change.
“It’s going to be Cal,” he said.
Cal still has three “soft” verbal commitments who haven’t made final decisions.
Offensive guard Cameron Hunt, a four-star prospect from Centennial-Corona who declared for Cal months ago, is being pursued hard by Oregon. Hunt said he will announce his school on signing day, Feb. 6.
Also still being pulled by other schools are defensive back Darius Allensworth and outside linebacker Johnny Ragin III, both three-star prospects. Allensworth, from Heritage-Menifee, visited WSU two weeks ago. Ragin, from Wilsonville, Ore., is a late recruiting target of Oregon.

Football: How good was recruiting weekend?

The Bears picked up three more oral commitments last weekend, but seemingly did not get the news most important to them.

Cameron Hunt, a four-star offensive guard from Centennial-Corona, was among the prospects who made official campus visits. But no word from Hunt confirming his earlier commitment.

Meanwhile, recruiting experts Brandon Huffman and Greg Biggins of Scout.com both are projecting that Hunt will announce Oregon on signing day, a week from Wednesday.

This is a big one for Cal. The Bears have O-line needs and Hunt is one of their best commits. Scout rates Hunt as the No. 15 OG prospect in the country.

The news may be better for Cal on L.J. Moore, a four-star cornerback from Central-Fresno. Moore is considering Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Colorado, Arkansas and UCLA, but Huffman and Biggins are both expecting him to choose the Bears on signing day. 

Moore is rated by Scout as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback prospect.



Football: Cal gets three defensive commits

With signing day barely a week away, Cal football got three more oral commitments following a busy recruiting weekend, according to Scout.com, adding three defensive players to a class that currently numbers 28.
Ray Davison, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound outside linebacker from Crespi-Encino is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout. He had de-committed from original plans to attend Northwestern.
The Bears also picked up Jacobi Hunter, a 6-foot, 285-pound defensive tackle from Cypress Falls-Houston, and Marcus Manley, a 6-2, 279-pound defensive tackle from Santa Monica City College. Hunter is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout.
Darius Allensworth of Heritage-Menifee,  a three-star defensive back already committed to Cal, also was on campus for his official visit this weekend. But he tweeted tonight that Washington State coach Mike Leach paid him a visit tonight when he returned home from Berkeley.
Allensworth, who visited WSU a week ago, is among three Cal prospects considered “soft” commits. Another one of those is four-star offensive guard Cameron Hunt of Centennial-Corona, who also was in Berkeley. Oregon is trying to flip Hunt, regarded as one of Cal’s top commits.
Commitments do not become binding until the Feb. 6 signing day.

Scout.com is reporting that Jacobi Hunter, a 6-foot, 285-pound defensive tackle from Cypress Falls HS in Houston, Texas, has committed to Cal.


Basketball: Colorado game thread

Click here for my game story.

FINAL SCORE: Colorado 81, Cal 71. The Bears never overcame their early hole. They got within eight points in the final minute, but CU made eight straight free throws to ice the win. Cal drops to 11-8, 3-4 in the Pac-12 and has beaten Colorado in Boulder just once in nine tries — way back in 1974-75. CU improved to 14-6, 4-4 in the Pac-12, after starting 1-4 in the league. CU is 41-5 at home in 2 1/2 seasons under Tad Boyle. Cobbs and Crabbe had 22 and 21 points, respectively, but had just 10 points at halftime. Cal shot 20.6 percent in the first half, 60.5 percent in the second half. But CU converted 59.6 percent for the game, including 71.4 percent in the second half. Askia Booker had 20 points for CU, freshman Xavier Johnson a career-high 18 to go with 12 rebounds, Spencer Dinwiddie 16 and Andre Roberson 15, 12 of them in the second half.

2:04 2nd H: Cobbs and Crabbe have Cal’s last 15 points, but CU still leads 71-61. Crabbe 21, Cobbs 17. Booker 18 for CU.

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