Football: Help in the secondary

Cal’s secondary — still the biggest question mark on a defense that has been wretched — added some immediate help Monday.

The Bears signed Khari Vanderbilt, a safety from San Jose City College, who will be eligible to play this fall.

A 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, Vanderbilt is rated a 3-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and 247Sports.

He originally committed to BYU, but will play next fall in Berkeley.


Basketball: Bears to miss L.A. trip next season

The Pac-12 released home and away designations for the 2015-16 schedule, including date windows but not specific game dates.

The rotating schedule has Cal missing its annual trip to Los Angeles for road games against UCLA and USC. This will mark the first time since the 1956-57 season Cal will not play UCLA in Los Angeles, and the first time since ’55-56 the Bears won’t face USC on the road.

And, get this: You have to go all the way back to the 1924-25 schedule to find a season where Cal did not play either UCLA or USC on the road.

Tradition? Who cares?

The Bears also will not play the Washington schools in Berkeley this season.

The Pac-12 schedule begins with Colorado and Utah visiting the Bay Area the weekend of Dec. 30 through Jan. 3. Specific game dates will be announced later.

Here are the home and away designation for Cal’s schedule:

— Dec. 30-Jan. 3: Colorado and Utah

— Jan. 6-10: at Oregon and Oregon State

— Jan. 13-17: at Stanford

— Jan. 20-24: Arizona State and Arizona

— Jan. 27-31: at Colorado and Utah

— Feb. 3-7: Stanford

— Feb. 10-14: Oregon and Oregon State

— Feb. 17-21: at Washington and Washington State

— Feb. 24-28: UCLA and USC

— March 2-6: at Arizona and Arizona State


Basketball: Steve Kerr’s son to join Bears as walk-on

Nick Kerr, the oldest of Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s three children, will join the Cal basketball team next season as a walk-on player, according to a source.

Nick Kerr, who played as a redshirt junior last season at the University of San Diego, has been accepted into the School of Public Health graduate program at Cal.

Cal has made no announcement on Kerr’s intentions, unable to comment until Kerr enrolls in classes. Because he has graduated from USD, Kerr would be immediately eligible to play next season for the Bears.

After announcing he was leaving USD in April, Nick Kerr told the San Diego Union-Tribune he wants to be closer to his father.

“My dad’s coaching the Warriors and I’m trying to become a coach,” Kerr said at the time. “I want to learn from him. I think being around (the Warriors’) practice would be the best thing for me to figure out what he’s doing.”

The 22-year-old will be reunited at Cal with sister Maddy Kerr, who was a sophomore on the Bears’ volleyball team last fall.

Nick Kerr played in just six games last season for the Toreros, scoring nine points. He scored a career-high 12 points – on 4-for-6 shooting from the 3-point arc – against Pacific during the 2013-14 season.

A 6-foot-3 guard, Kerr was a two-time all-league player at Torrey Pines High in San Diego, averaging 15.1 points as a senior, 19.5 as a junior.


Basketball: Ex-Bear Theo Robertson hopes to complete championship education as Warriors’ video intern

Five years ago, Theo Robertson was part of Cal’s first conference basketball title in 50 years ago.

In a couple weeks, he hopes to share in the Warriors’ first NBA crown in 40 seasons.

“It’s been amazing,” said Robertson, who serves as a video intern for the Warriors. “To be at this level is a dream come true. And to have a part in what we’re doing here has been just a phenomenal experience, one that I couldn’t have imagined.

“Hopefully, we can continue this thing and really do something special here the next couple weeks.”

Robertson, 28, is a Bay Area native, so you can imagine his excitement as the NBA Finals approach. He played at De La Salle High, then averaged 14.2 points as a senior in 2010 when Cal ended a championship drought that extended back to coach Pete Newell in 1960.

He landed an administrative fellowship with the Pac-12 office after graduation, and thought he was on track to someday becoming an athletic director or conference commissioner.

Then Robertson returned to Cal to work two seasons as then-coach Mike Montgomery’s director of basketball operations, and he was hooked. He quickly knew coaching was his calling. “This is something I’m fully committed to,” he said.

His job with Golden State involves splicing together videotape of opposing teams so the coaching staff can prep for each game. It’s long hours – spent working at the Warriors’ facility and at home – but Robertson believes it’s the perfect introduction to the pro game.

“It’s really a job I wanted to do coming into the league,” he said. “I think it’s the best way to get an understanding of the NBA game and coaches’ philosophies.”

Continue Reading


Basketball: How may Bears had NBA’s best numbers?

The sports apparel company Mitchell & Ness, on behalf of ESPN.com, has compiled a list of the best NBA players to wear each uniform number.

For instance, Oscar Robertson was named the top player to wear No. 1 (and No. 14), Bill Russell won at No. 6 (over LeBron Jones) and Pete Maravich was tabbed for No. 7.

How many former Cal players made the list?

Exactly one.

Jason Kidd, right?

Nope. Kidd wore No. 2 (Moses Malone), No. 5 (Kevin Garnett) and No. 32 (Magic Johnson). He certainly wasn’t going to beat out Magic, but you could make an argument he was just as deserving at Garnett.

Continue Reading


Baseball: Bears fall to Aggies, rematch Monday

Top-seeded Texas A&M avenged a loss to Cal a day earlier, posting a 4-3 victory in 12 innings on Sunday evening to force a showdown Monday that will send one of them to the Super Regionals.

Monday’s game between the Bears (36-20) and Aggies (48-12) will be played at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Cal topped the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday after a walk-off home run by Mitchell Kranson.


Baseball: Bears outlast Aggies to reach regional final

The third-seeded Bears advanced to the finals of the Texas A&M Regional when Mitchell Kranson delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning for a 2-1 win over the host Aggies on Saturday.

Cal (36-19) will play Sunday night against the winner of the game between top-seeded A&M (46-12) and Coastal Carolina.

The Bears would need to be beaten Sunday night and again Monday to deny them their first Super Regionals berth since 2011. Freshman left-hander Mike Ladrech (7-4, 2.72 ERA) is expected to start Sunday night’s game.

“Win or lose, that was probably going to be one of the greatest games in program history,” Cal coach David Esquer said afterward. “Thank goodness, it turned into one of the greatest wins in program history, but that was two teams really going at it. It hinged on every pitch and there were so many heroes throughout the day.”

Cal starter Ryan Mason allowed just one run on six hits over eight innings, and relievers Dylan Nelson, Chris Muse-Fisher and Erik Martinez combined to surrender only five hits in six scoreless innings.

A&M scored its lone run in first inning, then was blanked the rest of the way by the Bears’ pitchers.

Devin Pearson went 4 for 7 including a double for Cal and Kranson had three hits.


Baseball: Bears win NCAA opener; A&M awaits

The third-seeded Cal baseball team got off to a good start in the NCAA tournament, riding a strong starting pitching performance by sophomore Daulton Jefferies to a 9-3 win over Coastal Carolina on Friday at College Station, Texas.

The Bears (35-19) face top-seeded host Texas A&M (46-11) on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Aggies defeated Texas Southern 5-0 on Friday night at Blue Bell Park.

Junior right-hander Ryan Mason (6-3, 3.18) is expected to pitch for the Bears against A&M right-hander Grayson Long (9-0, 2.62).

Saturday’ game is not televised but fans can follow @Cal_Baseball on Twitter for updates.

The Bears picked up their first NCAA tournament win since beating Texas A&M at the 2011 College World Series, thanks for a sharp effort by Jefferies and a big day at the plate by his batterymate Mitchell Kranson.

Jefferies limited the Chanticleers (38-20) of the Big South Conference to one run on three hits over seven innings. He struck out five and won his sixth game of the season.

Kranson was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Aaron Knapp and Devin Pearson each had run-scoring doubles in the fifth inning as the Bears took the lead for good.