Football: Bears get O-line commitment

Michael Trani, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound center from La Mirada HS, has given an oral commitment to the Bears.

The three-star prospect is Cal’s eighth commitment for the Class of 2014.

According to Scout.com, Trani also had offers from Arizona, Boise State, Colorado State, Frenso State, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Washington State and Wyoming.


Basketball: How much did slide cost Crabbe?

How much did it cost former Cal star Allen Crabbe when the Warriors passed on him with the No. 30 pick of Thursday’s NBA draft and he dropped to the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick of the second round?

How about three-quarters of a million dollars over the next two years!

We won’t know for sure until Crabbe signs with the Portland Trail Blazers and makes their roster.

But using last year’s No. 31 pick — Jeffrey Taylor — as a guide, the slide into the second round will be plenty costly to Crabbe.

In 2012, the Warriors had the final pick of the first round and used it to take big man Festus Ezeli, who earned $1,020,960 as a rookie. The Charlotte Bobcats took Taylor with the No. 31 pick — first in the second round — and signed him to a non-guaranteed contract of $575,000.

This season, Ezeli will earn $1,066,920, Taylor $788,872. Again, Ezeli’s money is guaranteed, Taylor’s is not, meaning he could be cut by the team and lose his salary.

Even assuming Taylor plays the full season, the salary difference over two years is $750,952.

The Warriors passed on Crabbe to select Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic with the No. 30 pick on Thursday. Nedovic could remain in Europe for now, but if he signs with the the Warriors, he’s likely to earn $1,056,720 as an NBA rookie. 

Crabbe’s rookie salary? 

Probably more than sufficient for any of us to survive on, but it won’t be as much as Nedovic could earn, and it won’t be guaranteed.


Football: Three freshmen not eligible for summer bridge program, could still join team in August

Three Cal freshmen defensive line signees were not eligible to report Friday for the start of the athletic department’s summer bridge  academic session, according to the school.

Defensive end Takkarist McKinley of Kennedy High in Richmond, defensive end Garrett Hughes of Centennial-Corona and defensive tackle Marcus Manley of Santa Monica Junior College all will miss the six-week program that begins Monday.

A Cal athletic department spokesman said the players’ absence from the summer bridge program does not mean they can’t become eligible in time to be on the roster when fall camp begins Aug. 5.

If none of the three get eligible, the Bears will take a big hit on their defensive front. McKinley is potentially a special talent, equipped with sprinter’s speed. Hughes comes from one of the state’s elite prep programs, and Manley is expected to arrive as a sophomore with three years of eligibility.

Kennedy coach Carl Sumler said McKinley is awaiting his latest test score and expects to be able to join the team this summer.

On the men’s basketball team, freshman forward Roger Moute a Bidias did not arrive in Berkeley on Friday, but will start the summer bridge program once he resolves a visa issue with his native Cameroon.


Ex-Cal rower adds to `You can play’ movement

Former Cal rower Heather Hargreaves has contributed to the “You Can Play” movement by helping to create a video that demonstrates the campus’ support for athletes of any sexual orientation.

Click here to see the video.

Hargreaves, who co-founded Cal’s Student-Athlete Gay-Straight Alliance (SAGSA), put together a video featuring Cal administrators, coaches and student-athletes expressing their support for an open environment for LGBT student-athletes.

The message is that if an athlete is good enough to play a sport, that’s all that should matter – the watchwords of You Can Play’s mission.

“It was very touching to see everyone that stepped up for this,” Hargreaves said. “This is not just for student-athletes at Cal right now, but for student-athletes next year and the year after that. Seeing all these people stand up that have won national championships or Pac-12 titles makes a huge statement.”

Among those speaking out in the video are chancellor Nicholas Dirks, athletic director Sandy Barbour, football coach Sonny Dykes, men’s basketball coach Mike Montgomery, women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb, men’s soccer coach Kevin Grimes, lacrosse coach Ginger Miles, rugby coach Jack Clark and Olympic swimmer Caitlin Leverenz.


Basketball: Crabbe headed to Trail Blazers

The wait was long Thursday night for Allen Crabbe at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Then it was longer still.

The former Cal star slid out of the first round of the NBA draft before being taken by Cleveland with the first pick of the second round, then traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

“It was a long night, full of anxiety. I’m glad it’s over with,” Crabbe said on a teleconference with reporters. “It feels good to be going to the Trail Blazers. It’s a young team with a lot of talent.”

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard became the first Cal player drafted since Ryan Anderson went 21st to New Jersey in 2008. But he didn’t know for sure where he’s headed until about 8:45 p.m. — more than four hours after the draft began.

“I had to sit around for a while,” he said.

Projected as a late first-rounder, the Pac-12 Player of the Year was just the fourth player from the league taken, following UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, Arizona’s Solomon Hill and Colorado’s Andre Roberson, all chosen in the first round.

Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts admitted he knows little about Crabbe, but general manager Neil Olshey was pleased to get a player who averaged 18.4 points as a junior last season and can stretch the floor with 3-point shooting range.

Continue Reading


Basketball: Crabbe seems a likely 1st-rounder

Former Cal star Allen Crabbe apparently will get what he sought from Thursday night’s NBA draft.

“He’ll be a first-rounder,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.

What happens beyond that,nobody knows, including Crabbe.

“It’s been my dream my entire life to play in the NBA. I’m just worried about getting myself there,” said Crabbe, who will attend the draft at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. “It’s not like college — you can’t choose a team you want to go to.”

Click here for the rest of the story.


Allen Crabbe could become the first Cal player in five years selected in the first round of the NBA draft:

  • 1960: Darrall Imhoff, 3rd to New York
  • 1971: Phil Chenier, supplemental pick to Baltimore 
  • 1982: Mark McNamara, 22nd to Philadelphia 
  • 1987: Kevin Johnson, 7th to Cleveland 
  • 1994: Jason Kidd, 2nd to Dallas 
  • 1994: Lamond Murray, 7th to L.A. Clippers
  • 1996: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 3rd to Vancouver 
  • 1997: Ed Gray, 22nd to Atlanta
  • 2008: Ryan Anderson, 21st to New Jersey



Basketball: Bears release 2013-14 schedule

Cal basketball fans will get their first look at the Bears’ new recruiting class, led by local standout Jabari Bird, when the team debuts Nov. 8 against Coppin State at Haas Pavilion.

(See full schedule below)

The Bears unveiled their tentative 2013-14 schedule on Wednesday, featuring eight nonconference home games, a trip to the Maui Invitational and a Pac-12 Conference opener at Stanford on Jan. 4.

The conference portion of the schedule is tentative as dates and order of league opponents each week may change due to television agreements.

Coach Mike Montgomery’s club will target a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament, despite the loss of Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe, who is expected to be selected in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

But the Bears have four other returning starters, including guard Justin Cobbs, and welcome a five-man recruiting class, headlined by Bird, a high school All-American from Salesian High.

Cal’s nonconference home schedule also includes Denver (Nov. 12), Oakland (Nov. 15), Southern Utah (Nov. 18), UC Irvine (Dec. 2), Nevada (Dec. 8), Fresno State (Dec. 14) and Furman (Dec. 28).

At the Nov. 25-27 Maui Invitational, Cal could clash with the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Gonzaga, Syracuse, Minnesota, Dayton or host Chaminde. Pairings are not yet set.

Cal returns to the Maui for the first time since 1996, when it finished third place in coach Ben Braun’s debut.

The Bears also have nonconference road games set at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 6 and Creighton on Dec. 22.

After opening the Pac-12 at Stanford, the Bears play Jan. 9 at Oregon and Jan. 11 at Oregon State.

Cal opens its conference home schedule Jan. 16 vs. Washington, then faces Washington State on Jan. 18. The Bears also have Pac-12 home games against Arizona State (Jan. 30), Arizona (Feb. 1), Stanford (Feb. 8), UCLA (Feb. 20), USC (Feb. 22), Colorado (March 6) and Utah (March 8).

The remainder of the Bears’ conference road schedule has them visiting USC (Jan. 23), UCLA (Jan. 25), Washington State (Feb. 13), Washington (Feb. 15), Arizona (Feb. 27), Arizona State (March 1).

Cal will miss home games this season vs. the Oregon schools and do not travel to Colorado or Utah.

The Pac-12 Tournament returns to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, March 12-15.

2013-14 Cal basketall schedule
Oct. 31: vs. Humboldt State (exh)
Nov. 8: vs. Coppin State
Nov. 12: vs. Denver
Nov. 15: vs. Oakland
Nov. 18: vs. Southern Utah
Nov. 25-27: at Maui Invitational
Dec. 2: vs. UC Irvine
Dec. 6: at UC Santa Barbara
Dec. 8: vs. Nevada
Dec. 14: vs. Fresno State
Dec. 22: at Creighton
Dec. 28: vs. Furman
Jan. 4: at Stanford
Jan. 9: at Oregon
Jan. 11: at Oregon State
Jan 16: vs. Washington
Jan. 18: vs. Washington State
Jan. 23: at USC
Jan. 25: at UCLA
Jan. 30: vs. Arizona State
Feb. 1: vs. Arizona
Feb. 8: vs. Stanford
Feb. 13: at Washington State
Feb. 15: at Washington
Feb. 20: vs. UCLA
Feb. 22: vs. USC
Feb. 27: at Arizona
March 1: at Arizona State
March 6: vs. Colorado
March 8: vs. Utah
March 12-15: Pac-12 tournament at Las Vegas
Note: Times to be announced; dates of Pac-12 games could be changed by TV assignments.


Football: Oregon gets off easy with NCAA

The NCAA hit Oregon with three years probation Wednesday, and took away one scholarship for infractions that stemmed from paying a Houston-based scouting service $25,000.

Former Ducks coach Chip Kelley was given an 18-month “show cause” order, meaning that another school cannot easily hire the man now working as head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

What the NCAA did not do was slap the Ducks with a bowl ban, despite determining that Kelly and the university failed to properly monitor the program.

Inside the offices of the Oregon athletic department this morning, there is no doubt quiet celebration. This couldn’t have gone much better for the Ducks.

Here’s more on the story.



Basketball: Wiltjer leaving Ky, is Cal on his radar?

Forward Kyle Wiltjer is leaving Kentucky after two seasons, according to Wildcats coach John Calipari.

Would the junior forward consider transferring to Cal?

Wiltjer gave no hint as to his next stop, but he was recruited long and hard by coach Mike Montgomery and his staff before deciding — at the last minute — to sign with Kentucky.

The 6-foot-10 native of Portland, Ore., never made it big at UK, where Calipari recruits a new complete roster of  high school All-America talent each year.

Wiltjer averaged10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds last season, shooting 42.1 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from 3-point range. He averaged 5.0 points as a freshman, but shot 43.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Playing time at Kentucky was going to be tougher stll next season, with the arrival of six McDonald’s All-Americans.

Lexington Herald-Leader writer Jerry Tipton reported the news of Wiltjer’s transfer in his blog Monday, quoting Ca;ipari saying the forward wants “a more prominent role.”

Calipari said Wiltjer can become a professional player, but must get stronger to reach that goal.

Here is the letter Wiltjer wrote to UK fans:

“Heading into college my dream was to win a National Championship and compete with and play against the best players in the country,” Wiltjer said in the letter. “Without a doubt, I accomplished both of these goals in my two years at Kentucky.  Now as I head into my junior year, I recognize that my new and adjusted goals require me to make some very difficult upcoming decisions.  Coach Cal has been everything I expected him to be, as I have felt very comfortable talking with him about my situation.  I cannot stress enough how supportive Coach has been during this period. He is more than a coach to me, and for that I am forever grateful.

“During this next year, I will be working on my body so that I am able to compete the way I know I can.  I want to find a situation that will help me do this as well as play a more significant role, wherever that may be. Even though I might physically leave Lexington, I will never forget the support and kindness that everyone has shown my family and Ime.  It is difficult to put into words how hard it is to possibly leave BBN, yet I am confident that whatever I choose, I will give it my all. Regardless, I will always bleed blue and will never forget these amazing last two years at Kentucky.”