Football: Bears get commit from Petaluma OLB

Cal got a commitment Sunday from John Porchivina, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound outside linebacker from Casa Grande HS in Petaluma, according to both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Porchivina, rated by both recruiting websites as a two-star prospect, originally committed last month to Fresno State but flipped to Cal.

Porchivina may turn out to be a splendid player, but the math is bad. On Saturday, the Bears lost OLB/safety Koa Farmer — a 3- or 4-star prospect — to Penn State. A day later, they replace him with a consensus 2-star player.


Basketball: Bears face big challenge vs. Bruins

* 5 p.m. Sunday at Pauley Pavilion (ESPNU)

During three days off since its 77-69 meltdown Wednesday night at USC, Cal presumably took notice that stars Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams aren’t the only UCLA Bruins they must cope with on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.

The battle for second place in the Pac-12 will require the Bears to quell the UCLA bench, which was remarkably productive Thursday night in a 91-74 win over Stanford.

How’s this for contributions from reserves Tony Parker, Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford: 40 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 8 steals.

Twin starters David and Travis Wear, who combined for six points in 27 minutes, could have stayed home and UCLA still would have dispatched the Cardinal.

Cal (14-5, 5-1) must derail the Bruins (15-4, 4-2) or surrender sole possession of second place in the conference standings. A victory would also allow the Bears to stay just a game back of top-ranked Arizona, which visits the Bay Area next week.

Continue Reading


Football: Koa Farmer flips to Penn State

Safety/OLB Koa Farmer has decommitted from Cal and will sign with Penn State, he announced via his Instagram account. Rivals.com also reported that Farmer has flipped.

Farmer, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, is rated as a 3-star prospect by Scout.com and a 4-star by Rivals.com.

In either case, he was one of coach Sonny Dykes’ top oral commits and his change of heart would be a huge loss for the Bears.

Commitments cannot become binding until Feb. 5, national signing day.


Football: Deandre Coleman’s big week in Mobile

Cal’s Deandre Coleman tries to complete what reportedly has been a very strong week in Mobile, Ala., when he plays Saturday in the Senior Bowl college all-star game.

Coleman, who rarely gained notice during the Bears’ 1-11 season, apparently has improved his NFL draft stock with an impressive week of practice.

Tony Pauline, writing on the Philadelphia Eagles website after Monday’s initial workouts, called Coleman “one of the bigger surprises on the defensive line.”

Pauline added: “He showed power all day long and easily controlled the point of attack. More than that, Coleman displayed a great degree of athleticism, quickness and agility, charging around opponents as well as bull-rushing over them. With the shallow pool of talented players at the defensive tackle position, Coleman definitely helped himself today.”

A day later, ESPN.com Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller, wrote Coleman “has played really well both days here. He looked very strong against the double-team on Tuesday, using his hands effectively and playing really hard. He plowed through Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard during one session.

“And, yes, Cal fans, there were some folks who wondered where this beastly version of Coleman was this season:  Powerful and surprisingly athletic, the 6-foot-5, 315 pounder is position and scheme versatile, though scouts are left to question where this passionate play was throughout a disappointing senior season in the Pac-12.”

Finally, draft expert Mike Mayock and fellow ESPN commentator Charles Davis agreed that Coleman is among the players who made himself some money by boosting his draft stock during workouts.

“Deandre Coleman at the inside defensive tackle at Cal, didn’t play great as a senior, but he had a heck of a week,” Mayock said.

Added Davis: “They were kind of waiting for that light to go on and they saw it this week.”

The Senior Bowl will be shown at 1 p.m. on Saturday on the NFL Network.


Basketball: Golden Bears’ game Sunday at UCLA not their first big matchup at Pauley Pavilion

Coming off a 77-69 loss at USC on Wednesday night, Cal (14-5, 5-1) tries to hold onto sole possesssion of second place in the Pac-12 standings in a Sunday game at UCLA (15-4, 4-2).

It’s a big game for the Golden Bears, but not the first big one they’ve played at Pauley Pavilion over the years. Here are six memorable Cal victories in Westwood:

* FEB. 15, 1990: CAL 79, UCLA 71. The Bears got their first road victory over the Bruins in 30 seasons and their first-ever at Pauley Pavilion. Point guard Keith Smith scored 22 points and forward Roy Fisher had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Cal held the 23rd-rated Bruins to 29-percent shooting, including 5 for 14 by future conference scoring king Don MacLean. Season wrap: Lou Campanelli’s squad ended a 30-year NCAA tournament drought, then beat Indiana in the opening round.

* JAN. 24, 1993: CAL 104, UCLA 82. The morning after a 67-65 loss at USC, Cal freshman guard Jared Haase was awakened to the news that his father had died the night before. Three days later, Haase opted to play against the 23rd-ranked Bruins and scored 16 points to help the Bears hand UCLA its most lopsided loss to date at Pauley. Al Grigsby and Brian Hendrick each scored 23 points and freshman Jason Kidd contributed 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six steals. Season wrap: The Bears stunned two-time defending national champ Duke to reach the Sweet 16 round of the NCAAs.

Continue Reading


Basketball: Montgomery on Bird: He’s fine

Cal coach Mike Montgomery says freshman Jabari Bird will be fine. He just needs time.

Bird, who missed four games and all the practice time during that stretch after spraining his ankle Dec. 22 at Creighton, has seen limited action in three games since returning.

On Wednesday night at USC, the former high school All-American from Salesian-Richmond shot 0 for 3 and was scoreless in 11 minutes off the bench of the Bears’ 77-69 loss.

Earlier this week Montgomery said the time Bird missed was critical.

“It’s hard for kids, particularly young kids, to miss that much time,” he said. “They need every practice, every day to learn all the things they need to learn.

“The good habits he needs just aren’t there. Every day he’s a little bit better. We just continue to bring him along.”

Continue Reading


Swimming: Missy Franklin, Cal’s top-ranked women’s team compete in Berkeley

With the Super Bowl a week away, the Cal basketball team on the road and football signing day 2 1/2 weeks out, how about a dose of Olympic superstar to fill out your sports weekend?

Cal’s top-rated women’s swim team, featuring London Olympics hero and freshman Missy Franklin, are competing in Berkeley for the only time this season, with meets Friday and Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

The Bears face Arizona State on Friday, then take on Arizona on Saturday. Diving will start at 11 a.m. both days, the 1,000-yard freestyle goes off at 11:25 a.m., and the remainder of the schedule begins at noon each day.

Admission is free.

And, if you can’t get to Berkeley, both meets will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks, with former Cal star Natalie Coughlin providing commentary.

Friday’s meet will be aired live on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at noon (with a 10 p.m. replay). Saturday’s meet will be shown on tape-delay at 8:30 p.m.

Friday is the Pac-12 opener for the Bears and the conference debut for Franklin, who won four Olympic gold medals at the 2012 London Games at the age of 17.


Basketball: USC game thread

Click here for my game story. And here for a box score.

FINAL SCORE: USC 77, Cal 69. The Bears (14-5, 5-1) lose for the first time in the Pac-12 and look bad doing it. They shot 39 percent, made just 5 of 17 from the 3-point arc and missed nine free throws. They also allowed the Trojans to outscore them 44-26 in the paint, thanks to 20 layups and dunks. Cobbs had 22 points and six assists, Mathews had 18 and Solomon contributed nine points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Jovanovic scored a career-high 23 for the Trojans (10-9, 1-5), who hadn’t come closer than 18 points in their previous five conference games.

3:34 2nd H: Cal has made several comeback attempts, but the Trojans have answered each one of them. USC’s lead currently is 69-58. Cobbs has 21 points for the Bears and Mathews 15. But Cal is shooting just 37 percent, has made 4 of 15 from the 3-point arc and has missed five free throws in the second half.

11:44 2nd H: USC leads 56-42 after a layup by Nikola Jovanovic, who will be shooting the and-1 FT after the timeout. Wallace just picked up his fourth PF. The Bears are in trouble.

HALFTIME SCORE: USC 41, Cal 32. The Bears got as close as 35-30 after Kameron Rooks scored on a putback with 1:53 left. But USC outscored them 6-2 the rest of the half to rebuild the lead. Cal shooting 32.3 percent (10 for 31) with five turnovers. USC shooting 55.6 percent (15 for 27) with six TOs. Mathews has 13 points and Cobbs 12 for Cal — the rest of the team has combined for seven on 2 for 12 shooting. USC with a 19-17 rebounding edge, despite eight boards by Solomon. Wallace and Kravish are scoreless.

Continue Reading