0

Women’s basketball: Cal picked second in Pac-12 poll

For the second straight season, the Cal women’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference, according to the annual coaches poll.

The Bears got three first-place votes to finish behind perennial champion Stanford. Oregon State was close behind in third place.

Cal has three starters back — including All-America candidates Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray — from a 22-10 that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

2

Athletic director search: Seven-member committee formed, tasked to find up to three candidates by spring

Cal has formed a seven-member search committee to help find its next athletic director, the university announced Tuesday.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele and Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance John Wilton have been named co-chairs the committee that will advise Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

The committee is asked to provide Dirks with up to three potential candidates by mid-spring of 2015.

Other members of the committee are:

* Bob Jacobsen, faculty athletic representative and interim dean of undergraduate studies, College of Letters and Science

* Kathleen Correia, UC Berkeley Foundation trustee

* Meg Conkey, professor emerita of anthropology and chair of the chancellor’s task force on academics and athletics

* Solomon Hughes, Cal basketball alumnus, task force member and undergraduate adviser for student-athletes at Stanford

* Teri McKeever, Cal women’s swim coach

8

Football: Dykes says Mariota better than Manziel

Only one coach in the nation has faced both Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota, and Sonny Dykes says Mariota is the better player.

“I think he’s the best quarterback I’ve seen in a while,” said Cal’s second-year coach, who will have to deal with Mariota again Friday when the Bears face No. 6 Oregon at Levi’s Stadium.

On the way to winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M in 2012, Manziel racked up 576 yards passing and rushing and accounted for six touchdowns in a 59-57 win over Dykes’ Louisiana Tech team.

And still Dykes gives a slight edge to Mariota.

“He compares favorably to Johnny Manziel,” Dykes said. “Mariota’s a bigger, faster, stronger version.”

Click here for the rest of this story.

0

Football: Borrayo, Sebastian could return for Oregon

Coach Sonny Dykes hopes two of three key players who sat out the UCLA game with injuries could be back to face No. 6 Oregon on Friday night at Levi’s Stadium.

Starting left guard Chris Borrayo, who missed the game with a head injury, did non-contact work Sunday at practice and is expected to be cleared for full practice by Tuesday, Dykes said.

Reserve safety Avery Sebastian sat out Sunday’s workout with a quad injury, but will practice Tuesday.

The prospects are less optimistic for defensive end Brennan Scarlett, who has missed the past two games with a knee injury. “It’s kind of wait and see and we’ll go from there,” Dykes said.

Starting safeties Stefan McClure (calf) and Michael Lowe (head), who returned to action against UCLA, emerged unscathed and are expected to be fine for Oregon.

“Both played a lot of snaps and did some good things,” Dykes said.

Lowe had missed just one game, but McClure was idle each of the first four Pac-12 games before facing the Bruins. He showed some rust, Dykes said.

“You could tell Stef hadn’t played in a well. He’s capable of playing better,” Dykes said. “It was good to see them back there, to give us some size, physicality and experience. I would expect them to continue to play better and better.”

McClure was just happy to be on the field again.

“It felt pretty good just to get back out there and help the guys, contribute to the team,” McClure said. “The leg feels pretty good. For me, it’s just getting back into playing shape. You can’t simulate playing in a game.”

5

Basketball: Four-star guard to choose among 3 on Friday

Shooting guard Kerwin Roach, a top-100 prospect from Houston who visited Cal three weeks ago, says he will announce his college choice on Friday morning.

Roach has narrowed his field to Cal, Texas and Wichita State, and has made official visits to all three. A 6-foot-3 senior at North Shore High, was at Texas last weekend.

“Any decision dealing with your life is difficult,” said Roach, when asked if the decision will be easy.

Roach is rated as a four-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and ESPN. Rivals has him ranked as the No. 34 overall recruit in the nation, while Scout puts him at No. 82, ESPN at No. 99.

He said he enjoyed his visit to Berkeley on the first weekend of October.

“I was really impressed by the weather,” he said enthusiastically. “The program’s about to take off, about to rise with Coach Martin. I really liked his vision.”

3

Football: Trevor Davis attends practice, teammates relieved

A day after suffering a scary injury during a loss to UCLA that sent him to the hospital for tests, Cal receiver Trevor Davis watched his teammates practice Sunday, allowing them all to breathe easily.

“He’s in really good spirits,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “It was good for our players to see him.”

Davis suffered a jammed neck while being tackled on a kickoff return with 3:34 left in the 36-34 loss to UCLA, Dykes said, but sustained no head injury. “I don’t think there’s any kind of long-term issues or anything like that,” Dykes said.

There is no timetable yet for Davis to return to action, although he is not expected to play Friday night when Cal faces No. 6 Oregon at Levi’s Stadium.

Davis thanked Cal’s fans for their support via his Twitter account:

I’d like to thank everyone so much for all the prayers, and I’m blessed to say that I’m doing good and will be back soon #Calfamily

Davis remained on the field for 10 minutes before being taken out of Memorial Stadium on a cart and transported to Highland Hospital for tests. He was released around midnight.

“Seeing him today was great, just having him out there, hanging out, being himself,” safety Stefan McClure said. “Anytime you see that situation, it’s real scary. You don’t know what to expect. To see him the next day walking around was really just great.”

McClure called Davis one of the team’s big playmakers, adding, “Even outside football, he’s one of our brothers and family members.”

Dykes said receiver Chris Harper sustained a bruised back in the final 2 minutes against UCLA, did not practice Sunday, but likely will be available to face the Ducks.

5

Basketball: Rabb not ready to cut list to five

Five-star prospect Ivan Rabb, the No. 1 recruiting target of new Cal basketball Cuonzo Martin, isn’t quite ready to trim his list of schools to five, after all.

We reported early this week that Rabb, a 6-foot-10 forward from Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, told his coach that he would shorten his list of possible colleges from seven to five by this weekend.

O’Dowd coach Lou Richie told me tonight that North Carolina has scheduled a home visit this week, and Rabb wants to wait until after that to pick the five schools he will visit.

His list of seven, besides Cal, includes Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA.

Stay tuned.

1

Football: Trevor Davis released from hospital

Trevor Davis, injured during the Bears’ loss to UCLA on Saturday afternoon, was released from the hospital around midnight after undergoing tests, a team spokesman said Sunday morning.

There were no other details provided.

Davis, a native of Martinez, stayed on the turf for more than 10 minutes after being hit by UCLA’s Ryan Hofmeister with 3:34 seconds left in the Bears’ 36-34 loss at Memorial Stadium.

The junior receiver gave a thumbs-up sign to fans while strapped to a gurney and driven out of the stadium on a cart. The crowd responded by chanting his name.

Davis was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was expected to undergo test to rule out head or spinal injuries.

Cal coach Sonny Dykes said after the game that Davis told him he felt OK and that early signs were positive.

The Alhambra High graduate scored his sixth touchdown of the season on Saturday on a 24-yard pass reception in the third quarter. He made headlines two weeks ago by setting a Cal record with touchdowns on kickoff returns of 100 and 98 yards in a win at Washington State.

3

Football: Ducks, Bears have faced same foes past two weeks, and the comparison favors Oregon

When Cal begins its preparation for Friday’s game against Oregon at Levi’s Stadium, the Bears won’t have to look far to find video against familiar opponents.

The Bears and Ducks have flip-flopped opponents the past two weeks, with Oregon enjoying a significant advantage.

Cal lost 31-7 to Washington and 36-34 to UCLA.

Oregon beat UCLA 42-30 and Washington 45-20. (And the Oregon-UCLA game wasn’t that close — the Ducks led 42-10).

In other words, the Bears were a combined minus-26 points in the two games, Oregon plus-37.

The Ducks totaled 1,022 yards in the two games, including 476 on the ground.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 546 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions vs. the Bruins and Huskies. Mariota, in fact, has yet to be intercepted in 188 pass attempts this season. He has 19 touchdown passes.

Here’s a scary statistic: The past two seasons, Mariota has thrown 50 TD passes with just 4 picks in 584 attempts.