Basketball: Get your fill of Pac-12 hoops on Friday

Ready for some Pac-12 basketball?

Ten teams from the Pac-12 Conference will debut Friday — with nine of them playing on the various Pac-12 Networks. Here’s the schedule:

No. 7 Iowa State vs. COLORADO (1) 3 p.m. MT ESPN2
Sacramento State at ARIZONA STATE 5:30 p.m. MT PAC12
San Diego at USC 5 p.m. PT PAC12
Northern Arizona at WASHINGTON STATE 5:30 p.m. PT PAC12
Wisconsin Green Bay at STANFORD 6 p.m. PT PAC12
Pacific at No. 12 ARIZONA 7:30 p.m. MT PAC12
Jackson State at OREGON 7 p.m. PT PAC12
Southern Utah at No. 16 UTAH 8:30 p.m. MT PAC12
Monmouth at UCLA 8 p.m. PT PAC12
Rice at No. 14 CALIFORNIA 8:30 p.m. PT PAC12

By the way, handling game analysis for the Cal-Rice match will be Ben Braun — who coached at both schools.


Volleyball: Cal’s Carli Lloyd on all-century team

Former Cal star Carli Lloyd was named to the Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball All-Century Team.

Lloyd, a setter from 2007-10, was the only Cal player chosen to the 16-member team. She was the American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year as a senior, when she also was named to the All-Final Four team.

Former Stanford great and four-time U.S. Olympian Logan Tom was voted Player of the Century.

Andy Banachowski, who coached at UCLA in 1965 and ’66 and from 1970 through 2009, was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Century.


Basketball: New ASU coach Bobby Hurley’s final college game was his introduction to Jason Kidd

First-year Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley played the final game of his spectacular Duke career against Cal.

And lost.

The Blue Devils were two-time defending NCAA champions in 1993 when they ran into Jason Kidd and the Bears in a second-round game at Chicago. Hurley scored a career-high 32 points, but Kidd had 11 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and four steals to orchestrate an 82-77 upset.

Hurley said the Blue Devils had watched video of Kidd, but admitted it didn’t completely prepare them.

“You start to know about a guy’s reputation, but you don’t really learn until you actually encounter him on the floor,” Hurley said. “I just knew right away he possessed a lot of qualities I valued.

“I could tell he was all about winning. And how hard he was playing. His IQ for the game, I thought was special. He just really pushed the ball – he had a great motor.

“He had the size and the speed and his vision was ridiculous. He thought a few seconds ahead of the next play that was developing.”

All of that packaged in a college freshman.

“His maturity and his desire to win . . . for a freshman not to be afraid of that moment, it was like another game for him.”


Basketball: Key for Cal is putting the pieces together

For the Cal basketball team, picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference in the annual media poll, talent is not the issue.

“They’re talented,” said Mike Montgomery, the former Cal and Stanford coach. “How they’re going to fit together is the question.”

The Bears return starting guards Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird from a year ago and have added freshmen forwards Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, a pair of five-star recruits.

“Cal is going to be a terrific team,” said Arizona coach Sean Miller, whose Wildcats were tabbed to win the Pac-12 on Thursday at the league’s annual media day gathering. “What they have going for them is that blend of talent – both old and new – and that can be a powerful thing.”

Second-year coach Cuonzo Martin understands developing chemistry on his roster will dictate the Bears’ success. Martin had a good read on Brown and Rabb before signing them, and says the team’s summer tour of Australia helped bring players together.

But he understands his role in the equation.

“It’s your job as a coach to make them understand what it means to be part of a team, to be successful,” Martin said.

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Women’s basketball: Cal upbeat despite departures

Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s report on the Cal women from Wednesday’s Pac-12 basketball media day in San Francisco. I will be attend the men’s event on Thursday:

Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb opened practice this month with a daunting realization: “OK, no Brittany and no Reshanda. What do we do now?”

Good question.

Gottlieb enters her fifth season at Berkeley with the challenge of replacing All-American point guard Brittany Boyd and Pac-12 player of the year Reshanda Gray.

The loss of the two graduated seniors has led to downgraded expectations. The Golden Bears were picked to finish tied with UCLA for fourth place in a preseason coaches poll announced Wednesday.

But Gottlieb isn’t concerned about prognostications. The Pac-12 has improved from top to bottom, and leading pick Oregon State returns four starters from a team that won 27 games last season.

“We have a young group that says this is just the beginning,” Gottlieb said at Pac-12 media day in San Francisco. “They are locked into meeting those challenges and being better than people expect us to be.”

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Football: Cal defensive player honored by Pac-12 for second week in a row — the world is upside down!

Senior safety Stefan McClure was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week — the second straight week a Cal defensive player has been honored by the league.

You might remember 2014 when the Bears’ defense was the most futile in Western Civilization, much less the Pac-12.

Not anymore.

A week after defensive end Kyle Kragen was honored, McClure got the award for delivering a timely sack and returning a fumble for a touchdown after a Washington State fake punt try.

The Bears have now scored three touchdowns with their defense this season — and I count this as defense (rather than special teams) because the fake punt made it an offensive play not a kicking-game play.


Basketball: Pac-12 announces conference schedule

The Pac-12 announced dates and times for its men’s basketball conference games, with Cal opening at home against Colorado on New Year’s Day.

Tipoff is 8 p.m. and the game will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Bears complete the first weekend of Pac-12 play on Jan. 3 against Utah at 4:30 p.m.

Cal misses its annual trip to Los Angeles this season, with UCLA visiting Cal on Feb. 25.

The regular season ends with a trip to Arizona on the first weekend of March. Cal faces Arizona on March 3 and closes the Pac-12 schedule against Arizona State on March 5.

Here is Cal’s entire conference schedule:

Jan. 1 vs. Colorado, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): The Bears did not play the Buffaloes at Berkeley last season.

Jan. 3 vs. Utah, 4:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): The Bears did not play the Utes at Berkeley last season.

Jan. 6 at Oregon, 6 p.m. (ESPN2): The Bears did not play the Ducks at Eugene last season.

Jan. 9 at Oregon State, 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): The Bears did not play the Beavers at Corvallis last season.

Jan. 14 at Stanford, 8 p.m. (FS1): The Bears lost 72-61 at Stanford last season.

Jan. 21 vs. Arizona State, 6 p.m. (FS1): The Bears lost 79-44 to ASU at Berkeley last season.

Jan. 23 vs. Arizona, tba (ESPN2): The Bears lost 73-50 to No. 7 Arizona at Berkeley last season.

Jan. 27 at Utah, 8 p.m. (ESPNU): The Bears lost 76-61 at No. 11 Utah last season.

Jan. 31 at Colorado, 2 p.m. (FS1): The Bears won 68-61 at Colorado last season.

Feb. 6 vs. Stanford, 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2): The Bears lost 69-59 to Stanford at Berkeley last season.

Feb. 11 vs. Oregon, 6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2): The Bears lost 80-69 to Oregon at Berkeley last season.

Feb. vs. Oregon State, 3:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): The Bears beat Oregon State 73-56 at Berkeley last season.

Feb. 18 at Washington, 8 p.m. (FS1): The Bears beat No. 21 Washington 81-75 at Berkeley last season.

Feb. at Washington State, 5:30p.m. (ESPNU): The Bears lost to Washington State 69-66 last season in Berkeley.

Feb. 25 vs. UCLA, 6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2): The Bears beat UCLA 64-62 last season in Berkeley.

Feb. 28 vs. USC, 5 p.m. (FS1): The Bears beat USC 70-69 last season at Berkeley.

March 3 at Arizona, 6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2): The Bears lost lost 99-60 at No. 5 Arizona last season.

March 5 at Arizona State, 5 p.m. (ESPN2): The Bears lost 74-70 at Arizona State last season.


Basketball: Wallace earns all-Pac-12 honors

Cal junior guard Tyrone Wallace picked up first-team all-Pac-12 honors as voted by the league’s coaches.

Wallace was one of the league’s most productive and versatile players, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Bears, who open Pac-12 tournament play Wednesday against Washington State.

Oregon senior guard Joseph Young and coach Dana Altman, who guided the Ducks to a surprising tie for second place in the Pac-12, won the league’s top honors.

Young earned Pac-12 Player of the Year after scoring 19.8 points per game for an Oregon team that won 11 of its final 13 regular-season games. He also led the conference in free-throw accuracy and 3-pointers per game.

Altman, whose Ducks were picked to finish eighth in a Pac-12 preseason media poll, was voted the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year. Oregon will be the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, beginning Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Arizona’s Stanley Johnson was named Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league’s coaches, Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson was named Most Improved Player of the Year, and Oregon State’s Gary Payton II was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year.


Basketball: Bears and most of Pac-12 lose some momentum as conference schedule approaches

The Pac-12 and its television network had to be giddy at the prospect of a tantalizing conference opener Friday night in Berkeley: Unbeaten Washington vs. Cal, with a resume marred only by losses to a pair of top-10 foes.

Instead, we get teams that tripped over their own feet Sunday in home defeats to Stony Brook and Bakersfield.

“This came as a total surprise to me,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar, who was referring to his team’s loss but could have been addressing the general state of things in the Pac-12 in recent days.

The conference was handling itself fairly well until last week, when . . .

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Where does Cal fit into my updated Pac-12 preview? Find out here and let know if you agree. (Hint: You probably won’t).