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Basketball: Martin OK that Bears likely to enter season with just 10 available scholarship players

Had breakfast with new basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, who said he’s bought a home in Piedmont but will spend much of the rest of this summer recruiting for the Class of 2015.

He also confirmed the Bears are likely to go into next season with just 10 eligible scholarship players. Martin said he won’t use either of the program’s two open scholarships this summer, unless he’s able to land a senior graduate transfer who is immediately eligible.

That means — although Martin cannot discuss recruits by name — there is nothing to online chatter that Cal might be pursuing former Oregon guard and Bay Area native Dominic Artis.

The situation is complicated because Artis played for the Oakland Soldiers, the powerhouse traveling team that features Bishop O’Dowd HS star Ivan Rabb, rated by some as the top prospect in the Class of 2015.

The Bears, and everyone else, want Rabb, but my sense is they won’t sign Artis to get him. Artis was one of three players booted from Oregon this spring after being the subject of a sexual assault investigation. While no charges were filed, the incident was unseemly enough that the school divorced itself from all three players.

Asked how concerned he is about his scholarship numbers for next season, Martin said, “Not at all. We’ve been in situations like this before. The strength and conditioning part is important, but also being smart in practice.”

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Football: Which high-level prospects from the Class of 2015 the Golden Bears are chasing

Below is a rundown of the 48 high school players Cal is recruiting off Scout.com’s list of top-300 national prospects. These include five-star and four-star prospects, according to Scout’s evaluations.

The Bears have four commitments so far for the class of 2015 — all of them three-star prospects.

Among the group shown here, there are several trends worth noting:

– Twelve of the 48 are wide receivers. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin just can’t have enough of them on his roster.

– Only one is a quarterback — No. 99 prospect Travis Waller of Servite-Anaheim.

– Two are tight ends, a position the Bears hardly utilize.

– Eight are from the state of Texas, a recruiting hotbed and backyard to Louisiana Tech, where coach Sonny Dykes and his staff still have recruiting ties.

– Six of the seven five-star prospects the Bears are pursuing are defensive players. In all, 27 of the 48 listed play defense.

We’ll keep an eye on this list to see how many Dykes and his staff are able to land.

Scout.com 5-star prospects recruited by Cal

2. OLB Malik Jefferson, Ralph H. Poteet HS, Mesquite, Texas, 6-3, 220
10. DT Kahlil McKenzie, De La Salle HS, 6-4, 330
11. CB Iman Marshall, Long Beach Poly HS, 6-1.5, 190
16. WR DeMarkus Lodge, Cedar Hill HS, Cedar Hill, Texas, 6-2, 188
22. DE Keisean Lucier-South, Lutheran Orange HS, Orange, 6-4.5, 220
27. OLB John Houston, Serra HS, Gardena, 6-3, 218
28. DE Canton Kaumatule, Punahoa School, Honolulu, 6-6, 259

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Basketball: Montana excited to introduce ex-Cal aide and Grizzly alum Travis DeCuire as coach

Years before he spent six seasons as an assistant for Mike Montgomery at Cal, Travis DeCuire was a standout point guard for Montana.

So Grizzlies athletic director Kent Haslam had no qualms about introducing DeCuire on Monday as the program’s newest head coach.

 “I can say this without a shadow of  a doubt: We got our guy,” Haslam said of DeCuire, 43, who becomes the fourth Griz coach in the last 23 years to have played at Montana.

According to the Missoulian, DeCuire signed a three-year contract with a base salary of $140,000 to succeed Wayne Tinkle, who left after eight seasons to become head coach at Oregon State.

Meanwhile, Tinkle has hired Gregg Gottlieb, another former Montgomery assistanst at Cal, to be part of his staff at Corvallis, Ore., according to Jeff Gooodman of ESPN.com.

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Basketball: PG Chauca officially signs

Cal announced the official signing of point guard prospect Brandon Chauca to a national letter of intent.

“We are excited for the opportunity to have Brandon join the Cal Family,” new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said. “He has the ability to distribute and score the basketball. In high school, he displayed excellent range with his shot. Brandon also has the foot speed to be a good on-ball defender.”

Chauca averaged 23.1 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals this season for 22 Feet Academy at Shannon Forest Christian Schhool in Greenville, S.C. The 5-foot-9 native of Alexandria, Virginia, had a pair of 40-point games.

Chauca played his freshman year at Stonewall Jackson High in Manassas, Va. where he was an all-district selection in his first scholastic season. Chauca also played one season at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., and at Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C., before enrolling at 22 Feet Academy.

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Basketball: Bears get point guard commit

New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin has secured a verbal commitment from a 5-foot-9 point guard to go with the 7-foot-1 center he landed several weeks ago.

Brandon Chauca, a left-hander from Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, S.C., announced Friday he will join the Bears next fall. Earlier, center Kinglsey Okoroh signed with the Bears.

Because the spring signing period is over, Chauca signed a financial aid agreement but not a letter-of-intent.

A native of Alexandria, Va., Chauca averaged 23.1 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals last season.

The left-hander will provide depth at point guard, where Justin Cobbs departs and Sam Singer and Tyrone Wallace are expected to duel for the starting job.

Chauca picked Cal over Washington State, and also drew interest from Missouri and Virginia Tech.

Cal now has 11 scholarship players committed for next season. Here’s the breakdown:

Seniors (1): F David Kravish

Juniors (3): G Tyrone Wallace, F Christian Behens, G/F Stephen Domingo*

Sophomores (5): G Jabari Bird, G Sam Singer, G Jordan Mathews, C Kameron Rooks, F Roger Moute a Bidias

Freshmen (2): C Kingsley Okoroh, G Brandon Chauca 

* Must sit out 2014-15 season as transfer from Georgetown.

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Basketball: DeCuire hired by Montana

Former Cal assistant Travis DeCuire has been hired as head coach at Montana, replacing Wayne Tinkle, who recently took over as coach at Oregon State, according to multiple media reports.

DeCuire was Mike Montgomery’s top aide the past six seasons and is an alum of Montana, where he was the school’s career assist leader.

DeCuire, 43, was considered for the Cal coaching position given to Cuonzo Martin, then was one of three finalists for the OSU job that went to Tinkle.

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Football: Times set on 3 games for 2014

Times are set for three of Cal’s 2014 football games, including its home opener Sept. 6 against Sacramento State, which kicks off at noon and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cal’s game against Oregon at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Oct. 24, will begin at 7 p.m.

And the Bears’ Thursday, Nov. 13 game at USC is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

Cal’s season-opener at Northwestern is part of the Big Ten Conference television package and is expected to be announced soon.

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Basketball: Cal’s Roger Moute a Bidias selected to Pac-12 all-star squad for summer trip to China

Cal sophomore forward Roger Moute a Bidias has been chosen to participate with a Pac-12 Conference all-star squad on a four-game tour of China, beginning Aug. 10.

Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak will coach the Pac-12 team, featuring 13 players from 10 different conference schools. The tour is part of the Pac-12′s Globilization Initiative.

Moute a Bidias played sparingly for Cal last season as a true freshman.

Other players on the Pac-12 squad include Utah forward Jordan Loveridge (14.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Colorado forward Xavier Johnson (12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Washington guard Andrew Andrews (12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Washington State guard DaVonte Lacy (19.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg).

The Pac-12 squad will play one game against a Chinese university all-star team and play three vs. Chinese professional teams, including one against the Shanghai Sharks. The Shanghai franchise is owned by former eight-time NBA all-star Yao Ming and features former Cal center Max Zhang.

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Evaluating the Pac-12 presidents’ proposals

The Pac-12 presidents covered a lot of territory in their proposals for NCAA changes outlined in a letter sent to their counterparts of the four other major football-playing conferences.

Some good ideas, a few that need substantial detail, and at least one that ain’t happening. Here’s my reaction:

– Permit institutions to make scholarship awards up to the full cost of attendance.

Reaction: That’s right, full scholarships do not necessarily– and in most cases don’t — cover the full cost of a student attending a school. Especially for kids whose families don’t have a lot of resources, this is an issue. There is plenty of money available at the big schools, no matter what anyone says, and this is right and reasonable.

– Provide reasonable ongoing medical or insurance assistance for student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury in competition or practice. Continue efforts to reduce the incidence of disabling injury.

Reaction: It’s unthinkable this is not standard procedure. Should be at the top of the list.

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Pac-12 presidents call for sweeping NCAA reform, including stipends, conference autonomy

The Pac-12 presidents have sent a letter to their counterparts at the four other major football conferences, asking for substantial changes to the way the NCAA functions, including stipends for athletes, better medical coverage and autonomy for the leagues.

The letter, obtained by the Associated Press, said the league’s 12 presidents were unanimous in their endorsement of the sweeping changes.

Click here for the full story.