Basketball: Bird sustains ankle injury

Jabari Bird sustained what appeared to be a fairly sharp turn of his right ankle with 5:02 left in the first half at Creighton.

Bird writhed on the floor after coming down awkwardly on his ankle, then was helped off the floor.

A couple minutes later, the freshman guard had his ankle wrapped in ice on the Cal bench.

Creighton finished the first half with a 10-1 run and leads 30-19 at the break.

Cal shot 33 percent in the first half, turned the ball over seven times and was outrebounded 22-15.


Basketball: UConn women rout Cal

No. 1 UConn took charge from the start and dispatched Cal 80-47 in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.

The No. 21 Bears (7-3) shot 29.9 percent, including 1 for 9 from the 3-point arc.

Brittany Boyd had nine points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists to lead the Bears, who had no player score double digits. But Boyd shot just 3 for 23

All-American Brenna Stewart had 29 points and 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes for the Huskies (12-0).


Football: No surprise — Mixon is out

C’mon, are you really surprised?

Five-star running back Joe Mixon crossed the hometown school off his list of final three schools today.

The Freedom HS-Oakley standout tweeted that the choice will be among Wisconsin, Oklahoma and UCLA. Cal is out.

 On Dec. 3, Mixon announced that Cal was one of his top four teams, but that’s as far as it went.

I talked with Mixon little more than a week ago and he said that Cal’s 1-11 record would not be a deterrent. That’s a little hard to believe, especially considering that recruiting experts say Cal appeared to be the leader three months ago.

Mixon rushed for 1,704 yards and 28 touchdowns in 11 games his senior year, including 470 yards and nine touchdowns in two North Coast Section playoff games. He produced 4,281 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns during his three-year varsity career.

Mixon intends to make his announcement on Jan. 4 at the Army All-American Game in San Antonio.

My guess: UCLA. It’s not home, but it’s close. And it’s not 12 degrees in Westwood in January.



Basketball: Bears seek big road win

* 4 p.m. Sunday, Fox Sports 1

Having lost twice this season with one big man tied behind its back, Cal hopes to regain a little ground Sunday against Creighton (8-2) in Omaha, Neb.

The Golden Bears (8-3) dropped two of three games at the Maui Invitational while playing without senior forward Richard Solomon (12.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg), who suffered a scratched cornea in the first game of the tournament. Cal has been back at full strength since.

“We feel like we’re a game or so down where we might have been,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “It’s a chance to maybe get that one back.”

This is Cal’s last chance before the start of Pac-12 play to score an attention-grabbing victory. The Bears knocked off Arkansas (8-2) in Hawaii, but weren’t able to get over the hump against Syracuse (11-0) or Dayton (9-2).

This one won’t be easy, either. The Bluejays beat Cal 74-64 in Berkeley last year and already boast an 88-60 rout of Arizona State.

“It’s going to be a really hard game,” Montgomery said. “They played really well here last year. They’re a very good basketball team and it’s a home court that’s going to be difficult.”

Creighton anticipates a crowd of more than 17,000 for the game at CenturyLink Center. The Bluejays have beaten 14 straight BCS nonconference opponents in the facility, by an average margin of 11.4 points.

The venue won’t be the only challenge. Creighton forward Doug McDermott is one of the nation’s most accomplished players. Already a two-time All-American, the 6-foot-8 senior is averaging 25.3 points this season and shooting 44 percent from the 3-point arc.

Continue Reading


Football: Dykes on the Bears’ newcomers

Sonny Dykes called it “a good day.”

The Bears signed four JC players and an early high school graduate on Wednesday.

Here’s more from Dykes on Cal’s signees:

SAM ATOE: S/OLB, 5-11, 205, College of San Mateo
“Sam was one of the best football players I have seen in this recruiting cycle. He does it all on special teams and can play a bunch of different positions on defense. He’s an incredibly versatile athlete and very dynamic football player who runs, hits, plays in space and tackles. He has a tremendous work ethic and attitude, and he plays with great passion. He’s going to bring a lot of leadership to our program.”

DAVID DAVIS: DT, 6-2, 295, Long Beach City College
“David is (a) defensive tackle that plays with great pad level and great effort and is very productive. He is also a hard worker with a great mind that comes from a tremendous football family. He knows what it takes to be great.”

DEVANTE DOWNS: ATH, 6-2, 225, Fr., Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) HS
“Devante is an exceptional athlete who is big and athletic and can play a variety of positions. He’s gone back and forth about where he want to play. We’re going to let him play where he wants to. He’s got great size and explosiveness and is powerful. We’re really excited for him to get in here and start contributing to our program. He’s physically advanced for a kid coming out of high school and that will give him an opportunity to play early and help us win football games. He’s a complete total fit at Cal both academically and athletically.”

JONATHAN JOHNSON: DE/OLB, 6-4, 260, Pierce College
“We needed to sign a difference maker as a pass rusher and when we put the video on we thought that Jonathan was the best one we saw. He’s a great speed rusher who plays with tremendous effort. He has a passion for the game that is contagious. I love the way he plays the game. He has a huge upside and I think he will be a significant contributor to our program from the day he sets foot on campus. Jonathan Johnson is exactly what we needed as the defensive end spot.”

TREVOR KELLY: DT, 6-3, 305, College of San Mateo
“Trevor is a powerful and explosive athlete who is very productive at the defensive tackle position. He plays with great pad level, uses his hands well and has tremendous strength in the weight room. Trevor Kelly is a load inside, he’s a man.”


Football: Dykes upbeat about recruiting outlook after signing five mid-year prospects

On the day he announced the signing of four junior college defensive players and a versatile mid-year high school graduate, Cal coach Sonny Dykes predicted even bigger recruiting news.

Dykes said the coaching staff has been “incredibly well-received” by potential recruits on the heels of a 1-11 season, and he has high expectations for the Feb. 5 high school signing day.

“I would expect it to be a top-three in the league (class). I would be shocked if it’s not,” Dykes said. “I don’t think (the 2013 season) had any negative impact on recruiting at all.”

The Bears currently are nowhere close to a top-three Pac-12 class, at least according to the online recruiting sites. Scout.com rates Cal’s list of oral commitments as No. 9 in the conference, while Rivals.com ranks the Bears No. 10. Dykes said he expects to sign 13 to 15 high school players.

On Wednesday, the Bears addressed some immediate needs on defense. They got defensive end Jonathan Johnson to flip from Arizona State, giving them a pass rusher they lacked last fall.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pounder, grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and played the past two seasons at Pierce College in Los Angeles. He is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com.

The Bears also signed three earlier commitments: defensive tackle Trevor Kelly and safety/outside linebacker Sam Atoe from College of San Mateo and defensive tackle David Davis of Long Beach City College.

All four will enroll in classes after the semester break and be available for spring workouts, and Dykes said he expects all of them to compete for starting jobs.

Cal also signed mid-year high school graduate Devante Downs, a fullback/linebacker from Mountainlake Terrace, Wash.

Continue Reading


Football: Bears get another JC defensive commit

Cal apparently will announce at least four new defensive players later today on the first day of the junior college signing period.

Jonathon Johnson, a defensive end from Pierce College, has decommitted from Arizona State and will sign with the Bears, according to Scout.com.

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout. He will have two years of eligibility for the Bears.

Earlier, the Bears got JC commitments from DTs Trevor Kelly of College of San Mateo and David Davis of Long Beach CC, along with safety Sam Ateo of CSM.