1

Basketball: Pac-12 scheduled unveiled

Cal will open Pac-12 basketball play at home against Washington on Friday, Jan. 2, the conference announced Monday. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Bears’ two games against rival Stanford will be played on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at Haas Pavilion, and Saturday, Feb. 21 at Maples Pavilion.

Pac-12 favorite Arizona visits Cal on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the Bears visit the Wildcats on Thursday, March 5. Cal closes the Pac-12 regular season on Saturday, March 7 at Arizona State.

The Bears visit UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 11, and play host to the Bruins on Saturday, Feb. 7.

The Pac-12 tournament will again be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, March 11-14.

Cal will skip its trip to Oregon and does not have home games this season against Colorado or Utah.

*****

2014-15 CAL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Friday Oct. 31 Cal State East Bay% Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. No TV
Thursday Nov. 6 Cal State San Marcos% Haas Pavilion 7:30 p.m. Pac-12
Friday Nov. 14 Alcorn State# Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Sunday Nov. 16 Kennesaw State# Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Thursday Nov. 20 vs. Syracuse^ New York, N.Y. 6 p.m. ESPN2
Friday Nov. 21 vs. Iowa or Texas^ New York, N.Y. 2/4 p.m. ESPN2/U
Wednesday Nov. 26 Cal Poly Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Sunday Nov. 30 Fresno State Fresno, 3 p.m. CBSSN
Wednesday Dec. 3 Montana Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Sunday Dec. 7 Nevada Reno, Nev. 1 p.m. CBSSN
Wednesday Dec. 10 Wyoming Haas Pavilion 8 p.m. Pac-12
Saturday Dec. 13 Princeton Haas Pavilion 5:30 p.m. Pac-12
Friday Dec. 19 Eastern Washington Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Monday Dec. 22 Wisconsin Haas Pavilion 6 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday Dec. 28 CSU-Bakersfield Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Friday Jan. 2 Washington* Haas Pavilion 7 p.m. Pac-12
Sunday Jan. 4 Washington State* Haas Pavilion 3 p.m. Pac-12
Wednesday Jan. 7 at USC* Los Angeles, 8 p.m. ESPNU
Sunday Jan.11 at UCLA* Los Angeles, 4:30 p.m. FS1
Wednesday Jan. 14 Stanford* Haas Pavilion 8 p.m. ESPNU
Thursday Jan. 22 Arizona State* Haas Pavilion 8 p.m. Pac-12
Saturday Jan. 24 Arizona* Haas Pavilion 7:30 p.m. Pac-12
Thursday Jan. 29 at Washington State* Pullman, Wash. 8 p.m. Pac-12
Sunday Feb. 1 at Washington* Seattle, Noon Pac-12
Thursday Feb. 5 USC* Haas Pavilion 8 p.m. FS1
Saturday Feb. 7 UCLA* Haas Pavilion 5 p.m. Pac-12
Thursday Feb. 12 at Colorado* Boulder, Colo. 6 p.m. FS1
Sunday Feb. 15 at Utah* Salt Lake City, Utah 5:30 p.m. ESPNU
Saturday Feb. 21 at Stanford* Stanford, 3:30 p.m. Pac-12
Wednesday Feb. 25 Oregon* Haas Pavilion 8 p.m. ESPNU
Sunday March 1 Oregon State* Haas Pavilion Noon p.m. Pac-12
Thursday March 5 at Arizona* Tucson, Ariz. 6 p.m. ESPN/2
Saturday March 7 at Arizona State* Tempe, Ariz. 11:30 a.m. Pac-12
Wed.-Sat. March 11-14 Pac-12 Tournament Las Vegas, Nev. TBD P12/ESPN
Tues.-Wed. March 17-18 NCAA Tournament First Four Dayton, Ohio
Thurs.-Sun. March 19-22 NCAA Tournament 2nd & 3rd Rounds
Thurs.-Sun. March 26-29 NCAA Tournament Regionals
Sat., Mon. April 4, 6 NCAA Final Four Indianapolis, Ind.

% Exhibition

# 2K Classic regional games

^ 2K Classic semifinals and finals in New York City

* Pac-12 game

 

0

Basketball: New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin tries to make recruiting inroads with powerful Oakland Soldiers

The recruiting frenzy of mid-summer is behind them, but the job does not stop for new Cal basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff.

“These guys are working, working, working,” said Frank Knight, the coach at Moreau Catholic High in Hayward. “Their thing is they don’t want to let any more local kids leave.”

Two years ago it was Oakland’s Brandon Ashley who left. Last year, it was San Jose’s Aaron Gordon. Both five-star prospects signed with Arizona. Both played for the Oakland Soldiers, one of the top AAU traveling basketball teams in the U.S.

If Martin wants to elevate Cal’s position in the college basketball world, recruiting analyst Josh Gershon of scout.com said the Bears will have to begin attracting the best home-grown talent. That means attracting Soldiers.

“The bottom line at Cal is you can have a good program without doing a great (recruiting) job in the Bay Area,” Gershon said. “But you’re never going to have much more than a good program. You have to keep the local kids at home.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.

15

Football: Will BYU be unbeaten when it visits Cal?

While watching BYU beat Houston on Thursday night to improve to 3-0, I wondered when the Cougars are likely to face a team that might beat them.

I came to this conclusion: BYU will be 11-0 when it visits Cal on Nov. 29.

That will have the Cougars – and their fans — convinced they ought to be in the mix for the College Football Playoff.

In the meantime, BYU fans will be cheering hard for Cal to have a good season, because the Cougars’ strength-of-schedule will need it.

Playing as an independent, BYU faces a schedule that won’t much impress the playoff committee: Utah State, Central Florida, Nevada, Boise State, Middle Tennessee, UNLV, Savannah State and Cal.

Hardly a gauntlet.

*****

Here’s the rest of Cal’s schedule, with my best guess of the record their opponents will bring on game day:

• at Arizona, Sept. 20: The Wildcats (2-0) will be 3-0 when the Bears visit after facing Nevada on Saturday. The Wolfpack beat Washington State last weekend and two years ago spoiled Memorial Stadium’s reopening. But they’ll be no match for Arizona.

Continue Reading

6

Football: In 2nd round, Bears lose out on McKinley

Below is staff writer Phil Jensen’s story:

Contra Costa College defensive end/linebacker Takkarist McKinley is headed to UCLA after signing with the school Thursday afternoon.

McKinley, a former Kennedy-Richmond star, signed a national letter of intent with Cal in February 2013, but was deemed a non-qualifier by the university. Instead, he played for the Comets and had 10 sacks as a freshman.

A paperwork error was the cause for him being deemed a non-qualifier, McKinley said. According to a text from Contra Costa College coach Alonzo Carter, “the (NCAA) clearinghouse didn’t calculate his summer school grades from his 11th grade summer school.”

Once the mistake was discovered, he was cleared to enroll. He said he will arrive at UCLA on Tuesday.

“I want to play with the best,” said McKinley, who has four years to play three seasons. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

McKinley said that in addition to UCLA, he also considered Arizona State, Oklahoma, Missouri, USC, Oregon and Cal before signing with the Bruins. He said UCLA had been his number one school since he took an unofficial visit in the summer.

McKinley was rated a four-star defensive end in the JC ranks by rivals.com.

1

Basketball: Cal’s exhibition opener free to all

Cal announced that it’s men’s basketball exhibition opener — Cuonzo Martin’s first appearance as the Bears’ new coach — will be free to the public.

The Bears face Cal State East Bay on Friday, Oct. 31 — Halloween night — at Haas Pavilion. Tipoff is 7 p.m.

Cal’s second exhibition is Thursday, Nov. 6 against Cal State San Marcos. The Bears make their regular-season debut against Alcorn State on Friday, Nov. 14. The Alcorn State game is part of the 2K Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

6

Football: Fast starts, red zone improvement key 2-0 record

Through two games, the Cal football team has repaired two areas of its game that consistently torpedoed the Bears a year ago.

Chronically poor starters a year ago, the Bears have been quick out of the gate in their wins over Northwestern and Sacramento State, scoring on long drives to open both games, then steadily adding to their lead.

That’s because Cal has efficiently taken advantage of its opportunities in the red zone. They have crossed the opponent’s 20-yard line 11 times, scoring every time and converting touchdowns on eight of them.

That’s in stark contrast to a year ago when the Bears ranked last in the Pac-12 in red zone efficiency, converting 72 percent overall, including just 48.8 percent for TDs.

“Those are things that just come down to execution,” said coach Sonny Dykes, whose Bears (2-0) have a bye this week before visiting Arizona on Sept. 20 to open Pac-12 play.

“A lot of it, particularly at the beginning of the game, is having some focus coming out of the locker room. That’s just maturity, guys just understanding the importance of it.”

Cal, outscored 335-146 in the first half last season, held halftime leads of 31-7 and 45-7 against Northwestern and Sac State, respectively.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

*****

Cal’s Sept. 20 game at Arizona has been set for a 7 p.m. PT kickoff. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.,

 

42

Football: Cal vs. Sac State game thread

Click here to read my game story and see staff photographer Kristopher Skinner’s photo slideshow.

*****

FINAL: Cal 55, Sac State 14. The Bears, at 2-0, have exceeded their victory total of all last season. They will enjoy a bye week before opening Pac-12 play at Arizona on Sept. 20. Sac State is 1-1. Cal finished with 579 yards to 302 for the Hornets. Cal used 75 players, including five quarterbacks. Sac State finished with 302 total yards, but had just 15 net yards on its first eight possessions before coach Sonny Dykes pulled his first team.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Cal 55, Sac State 14. After Griffin Piatt’s interception in the end zone prevented the Hornets from creeper closer than 48-14, Sonny Dykes returned his first offense to the field. They needed just three plays to cover 80 yards, as Goff passed 55 yards to Trevor Davis, then fired a 12-yard TD pass to Chris Harper. Goff, who is surely finished for the day, is 17 for 22 for 229 yards with four TDs. He has seven TDs in two games this season. Cal’s yardage edge through three quarters: 507-266. One stat the Bears can’t be happy about: 10 penalties for 100 yards.

HALFTIME: Cal 45, Sacramento State 7: The Hornets avoided the shutout by scoring off Cal’s second defense in the final minute of the half. Some quick numbers: Cal with 398 yards to 82 for Sac State. Rush: Cal 152 yards, Sac St minus-12. Cal has 19 first downs to 9 for the visitors. Goff is 15 for 20 for 162 yards and 3 TDs. Rubenzer is 3 for 4 for 84 yards and a TD, and has rushed 6 times for 34 yards and another score. Lasco has 8 carries for a career-best 89 yards.  Sacks for the Bears: Scarlett, Barr & freshman Devante Downs. I would expect we would see Goff for one more offensive series (at the most) and that senior Austin Hinder gets some serious chance to play the rest of the rest. Also look for those freshmen RBs Tre Watson and Vic Enwere.

END OF FIRST QTR: Cal 28, Sac State 0. Well, that was decisive. Three TD passes for Jared Goff — who has six after five quarters this season — and one by freshman Luke Rubenzer. Goff is 8 for 11 for 76 yards, Rubenzer 2 for 2 for 73 yards. Sac State QB Garrett Safron is 3 for 9 for 31 yards. Cal has 197 yards to 26 for Sac State. First downs are 9 to 3. Average yards per play 8.2 yards for Cal, 1.6 yards for Sac. The Hornets have some defensive issues.

*****

A beautiful late morning at Memorial Stadium. A smallish crowd so far, with the players about to take the field for the opening kickoff.

Cal wins the coin toss, elects to receive the opening kickoff.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffFaraudo

 

5

Football: Cal vs. Sacramento State facts

CAL vs. SACRAMENTO STATE

KICKOFF: Saturday, noon at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley.

TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: 810-AM.

RECORDS: Cal 1-0, 0-0 in Pac-12; Sacramento State 1-0, 0-0 in Big Sky.

SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 1-0. The Bears beat the Hornets 41-3 in 2005.

STORYLINES: Cal tries to avoid a letdown against an FCS-level team and build on its 31-24 opening win at Northwestern. A victory would double the Bears’ win total of a year ago and provide nice momentum headed into a bye week. … Sac State has had some success against the Pac-12, with a 30-28 win at Colorado in 2012 and a 29-28 overtime win at Oregon State in 2011. Last season, the Hornets were mashed 55-0 at Arizona State. … The Bears hope to ramp up their ground game after getting just 77 rushing yards from their running backs against NU. … The Hornets are coached by Jody Sears, originally hired as defensive coordinator after last season, then promoted after head coach Marshall Sperber stepped down in April amid an inquiry into possible recruiting violations. Sears was 4-19 the past two seasons as head coach at Weber State.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal: MLB Nathan Broussard (knee), Saf Quentin Tartabull (knee), RB Jeffrey Coprich (foot) and DE Harrison Wilfley (finger) are out; CB Darius White (shoulder) and Saf Avery Sebastian (quad) are questionable; Sacramento State: None reported.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal quarterback Luke Rubenzer vs. Sac State middle linebacker Darnell Sankey. Coming off the bench, Rubenzer stunned Northwestern with a game-high 48 rushing yards, three times negotiating first downs. He won’t have the element of surprise against the Hornets, who are likely to use 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior Sankey, a San Jose native, to track Rubenzer when he enters the game. Sankey had 10 tackles, forced a fumble and return an interception 59 yards for a TD last week against Incarnate Word.

STATS THAT MATTER: Sophomore quarterback Jared Goff’s three touchdown passes at Northwestern marked the seventh time in 13 career games he’s thrown multiple TD in a game. … Cal can start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2011. … Cal has averaged 49 points in its seven games against FCS opponents. … The Pac-12 has a combined record of 94-11 against FCS teams since 1978, when the NCAA began differentiating between what were then called Division I and I-AA programs.

3

Football: Bears won’t take Sacto St for granted

Cal, which faces Sacramento State on Saturday in its home opener, is 7-0 all-time vs. Football Championship Subdivision opponents.

Coach Sonny Dykes knows the matchup might prompt yawns from some fans, but dismissed the suggestion this amounts to an automatic victory.

“They obviously haven’t coached in many of these games,” Dykes said. “These teams have won too many times to even go into it.”

Sacramento State has accounted for two of three wins by FCS teams over the Pac-12 in the past three seasons, and it was only a year ago that schools formerly classified as Division I-AA enjoyed their most startling weekend at the expense of the bigger Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Seven FCS teams took down FBS opponents during opening week last season, including these three:

• Eastern Washington became only the third FCS team to upset a Top-25 team with its 49-45 win at Oregon State.

• McNeese State’s 53-21 rout of South Florida represented the most points ever scored by an FCS team against an FBS foe.

• North Dakota State solidified its status as the little program every FBS program should avoid with a 24-21 win over defending Big 12 co-champion Kansas State. Iowa State didn’t get the message in time to avoid a 34-14 loss last Saturday, extending the Bison’s streak to five seasons featuring an FBS victory.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

*****

Cal’s scores against FCS teams:

2013: d. Portland State 37-30

2012: d. Southern Utah 50-31

2011: d. Presbyterian 63-12

2010: d. UC Davis 52-3

2009: d. Eastern Washington 59-7

2006: d. Portland State 42-16

2005: d. Sacramento State 41-3