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Football: Spring practice fan guide

Here’s what you need to know as we approach the start of Cal’s spring football workouts next Monday.

All practices are free and open to the public (and the media!)

Schedule

– Monday, Feb. 25: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

– Wednesday, Feb. 27: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

– Friday, March 1: 6:30 to 9 p.m.

– Monday, March 4: 6:30 to 9 p.m.

– Wednesday, March 6: 4 to 6:30 p.m. (Cal-Stanford basketball at Haas, 8 p.m.)

– Friday, March 8: 6 to 9:30 p.m.

– Saturday, March 9: 1 to 3:30 p.m. (tentatively, 1st scrimmage)

– Monday, March 11: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

– Wednesday, March 13: 6 to 8:30 p.m.

– Friday, March 15: 6:30 to 9 p.m.

– Saturday, March 16: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

– Monday, March 18: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

– Wednesday, March 20: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

– Friday, March 22: 6:30 t0 9 p.m.

– Saturday, March 23: 4 to 6:30 p.m. (Spring game, televised by Pac-12 Networks)

Entering Memorial Stadium/Seating

Fans should enter the stadium at the north end through Gate 1, where they will be directed onto the concourse level and into available seating in the lower area of sections EE, F, FF and G.

Parking

Parking near Memorial Stadium is limited and available on first-come, first-served basis. Most spots are metered. A parking-specific map is available online at http://pt.berkeley.edu/sites/pt.berkeley.edu/files/content/NewPadMap2011.pdf

 

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Basketball: Oregon game preview

TIPOFF: 6 p.m. Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore. TV/Radio: ESPN2/910-AM.

Four days after “The Shove” kidnapped the spotlight from a Cal team that has won five of six games, the Golden Bears’ ability to focus will be tested as perhaps never before.

Cal visits Pac-12 Conference leader Oregon on Thursday night, and cannot afford to be sidetracked by anything related to coach Mike Montgomery’s sideline push of star junior Allen Crabbe against USC.

The Ducks will be eager to avenge a 58-54 loss in Berkeley 19 days ago, and they are at home, where they’ve lost just once in 16 games this season.

Cal has shown an improved ability to sharpen its focus in recent high-profile games, elevating its play in wins over Arizona and UCLA.

Thursday night’s game involves all sorts of baggage the players must discard. Crabbe said the team will concentrate solely on the game itself.

“It is the focus,” he said. “Nobody cares about the situation. It’s over with. It’s in the past.”

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Football: Competition for QB begins Monday

New coach Sonny Dykes held an hour-long informal visit with reporters Wednesday to discuss the start of spring football and delivered blockbuster news about the vacant quarterback position:

“I’d love to have a starter after Monday,” he said. “That would be ideal. One of the guys is so good, you go, `Wow.’

“I don’t anticipate that happening … (but) the sooner the better.”

The Bears begin four weeks of spring practice Monday, and among the coaching staff’s laundry list of things to do is finding a quarterback.

There are five scholarship candidates:

– Sophomore Kyle Boehm, yet to take a snap in a college game
– Senior Allan Bridgford, who started three games last season
– Freshman Jared Goff, just arrived from Marin Catholic HS in Kentfield
– Junior Austin Hinder, yet to take a snap in a college game
– Redshirt freshman Zach Kline, who begins his second spring in the program

Dykes said they all begin spring ball with a clean slate.

Sonny Dykes visits with Bay Area reporters.

“We haven’t been able to make any judgments just because it’s a new system,” he said. “It really doesn’t do us a lot of good to go back and look at a lot of stuff.”

There is no set timetable, but Dykes said he hopes to narrow the choices to two or three as quickly as possible because “reps at quarterback are the most valuable commodity there is.”

So, what will Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin look for in their quarterback?

“Timing, accuracy, leadership, ability to inspire confidence from others,” Dykes said.

Learning the assignment and executing it are two different things.

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Football: Keenan Allen aggravates knee, to skip workouts at this weekend’s NFL combine

Former Cal star wide receiver Keenan Allen will skip the workouts portions of the NFL combine after aggravating the knee he sprained late last season, ESPN reported.

Allen is expected to undergo a medical exam at the combine, but will not participate in any drills. He reportedly will hold a workout for NFL scouts at Cal in April.

The combine begins Saturday at Indianapolis.

Click here for the full story.

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Football: Brendan Bigelow says he will be fine

Running back Brendan Bigelow, among as many as a half-dozen potential starters who will miss Cal football spring workouts because of injury, said he will be at full strength in time for fall camp.

Bigelow had surgery late last month to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee — the same knee in which he underwent two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries while in high school.

“It’s feeling good, like I could go ahead and run a 40 right now. I really want to play,” Bigelow said.

By August? “Full capacity. Full throttle,” he said.

Click here to ready the entire story.

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Basketball: Yes, there are games this week

Imagine this scenario: Cal and Saint Mary’s meet in Dayton, Ohio, in a March 19 first-round game in the NCAA tournament, with the winner advancing to the San Jose regional.

A tantalizing prospect?

Absolutely, and not altogether far-fetched, according to ESPN.com “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, who projected that matchup as recently as last weekend.

Lunardi’s vision — suggesting they would battle for a No. 12 seed — points to the delicate state of both teams’ postseason hopes. Neither is a lock to make the NCAA field, but both can control their own fate.

How it all unfolds for the Bears and Gaels will continue to take shape this week with each team facing a pair of significant games:

Cal hits the road to face Pac-12 leader Oregon on Thursday night, and then visits Oregon State on Saturday. They are the final two road games of the league schedule for the Bears.

Click here for the rest of this story.

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Basketball: Crabbe’s reaction to controversy — `I’m over this. These questions can stop’

Cal basketball star Allen Crabbe, appearing uncomfortable and weary of the topic, told a throng of Bay Area reporters and TV cameras, “I’m over this. Me and my coach have settled everything. These questions can stop.”

Of course, they didn’t. The fallout from coach Mike Montgomery’s sideline shove of the Bears’ junior guard continued Tuesday with a far larger-than-usual turnout at the coach’s weekly news conference.

Crabbe, who scored 14 of his 23 points after the incident late in the first half that sparked Cal’s comeback win, called the media reaction “blown out of proportion.”

Bay Area media outlets didn’t agree. Cameras from Channels 2, 4, 5 and 7, along with CSN/NBC and FoxSports were on hand, along with radio stations KGO-810 and KCBS-740. Typically, few or none of them attend Cal’s basketball press briefings.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Basketball: Cal star’s mother says Allen Crabbe has put shoving incident behind him

UPDATED

Two days after coach Mike Montgomery shoved her son during Cal’s basketball game against USC, Allen Crabbe’s mother said she still is dealing with an array of emotions.

“I’m probably having a hard time putting it behind me,” Crabbe’s mother, Cheryl Price, said in a phone interview Tuesday morning with this newspaper. “Allen asked his dad and I to let him handle it, (saying), ‘I have to do these things myself.’ We’re letting him handle it the way he wants to.”

Montgomery gave Crabbe, the Pac-12′s leading scorer, a sharp push during a timeout early in the second half of Cal’s game Sunday against USC, hoping to motivate him. Crabbe scored 14 of his 23 points after the incident, sparking a 76-68 come-from-behind victory.

California’s Allen Crabbe (23) celebrates a score against USC. (AP Photo/Ben Margot

Allen Crabbe Jr., the Cal star’s father, said he emerged from a meeting with the coach satisfied the matter is closed and there won’t be a repeat of the incident.

“I told Montgomery, ‘I respect you as a coach. Do I respect what you did? No. You can’t put your hands on a kid. It’s 2013,” Crabbe’s father said in a phone interview. “He understood and said it was his mistake.”

Montgomery, on a Pac-12 coaches teleconference with reporters, reiterated his admission that he acted inappropriately.

“Fact is, I was wrong,” Montgomery said. “Allen was fine with it, we’re fine with each other, the team’s fine. That’s really your primary concern.”

Montgomery said the pressures of a late-season push toward the NCAA tournament do not mitigate his behavior.

“There’s no excuse,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 31 years. I know better. It’s totally out of character for me. There’s nothing that makes it right.”

Click here to read the entire story.

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Basketball: The Day after The Shove

Catching up one day after Mike Montgomery made the wrong kind of news with his angry shove of star guard Allen Crabbe during Cal’s 76-68 come-from-behind victory over USC:

– The Pac-12 Conference office issued Montgomery an official reprimand Monday for his actions. Click here for commissioner Larry Scott’s statement.

– Montgomery admits making “a mistake” in this video interview with the Pac-12 Networks. Monty said it won’t happen again, adding, ”A bad choice of motivational techniques by me.”

– Crabbe was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second straight week after his performances against UCLA and USC. Crabbe averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists over the two games.

– BANG columnist Tim Kawakami suggests that Montgomery may owe Crabbe his job.

– BANG columnist Monte Poole weighs in, calling Montgomery’s action “shameful.”

– Former coach and ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg accepts that Montgomery is remorseful for the incident.

– The Bears’ win over USC, on the heels of victories over Oregon, Arizona and UCLA over the past three weeks, elevated Cal to No. 53 in the latest RPI computer rankings. As recently as a week ago Saturday, on the eve of the Arizona game, Cal was at No. 75.

– The Pac-12 level no further punishment on Oregon center Tony Woods, who was called for a “flagrant 2″ foul Saturday vs. Washington State. So Woods will play Thursday vs. Cal.

– No official word from Ducks coach Dana Altman on the status of one-time Salesian HS star and UO freshman point guard Dominic Artis, who has missed seven straight games with a foot injury. But Oregon senior E.J. Singler was quoted in the Spokane Spokesman-Review saying Artis has a stress fracture and likely would miss another week or two. So, he seems unlikely to face the Bears.