Football: Pretty good NFL day for ex-Bears

Ex-Cal stars Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch stole the NFL headlines Sunday.

C.J. Anderson and Justin Forsett had pretty nice days, too.

Rodgers set one NFL record and tied another in Green Bay’s 55-14 rout of the Chicago Bears, and Lynch scored a career-best four touchdowns in Seattle’s 38-17 win over the New York Giants.

Rodgers set an NFL record with hjs 16th touchdown pass of 70 yards or more — a 73-yarder to Jordy Nelson.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. He threw six first-half TD passes, tying an NFL mark set way back in 1969 by the Raiders’ “Mad Bomber,” Daryle Lamonica.

Rodgers finished 18 of 28 for 315 yards, without an interception or sack. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions the past three games, 10 of those TDs in two games against the Bears.


Lynch ran for a season-best 140 yards and scored on runs of 1, 2, 3 and 16 yards.

“Like I said before, Marshawn Lynch is our engine,” Seattle’s Doug Baldwin said. “Everything runs through him.”

“You could see the impact Russell’s running was having. . . . That impact mixing with what Marshawn was doing, it just got to where they couldn’t find us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.


Anderson had the game of his life in the Denver Broncos’ 41-17 win at Oakland. The running back rushed 13 times for 90 yards and caught four passes for 73 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown from Peyton Manning that gave the Broncos the lead for good.

“I love playing at home,” Anderson said afterward. “It’s like I got my ice cream and my cake at the same time. I’m trying to soak all this in.”


Forsett, who became the starting running back for the Baltimore after Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended, ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 21-7 win over Tennessee. Forsett, in his eighth season, has reached career highs for yardage (721) and touchdowns (five).

“It’s been a dream come true, just to get the opportunity to come out here and play and show what I can do,” Forsett said.


Basketball: Cal vs. CS San Marcos game thread

FINAL SCORE: Cal 74, Cal State San Marcos 52. Tyrone Wallace and Jabari Bird each scored 13 points and Jordan Mathews had 12.

Coach Cuonzo Martin was upbeat after the game, praising his team’s defense, focus, willingness to play physical and its ability to attack the 3-2 zone after a slow start.

“I thought they did a great job across the board,” he said.

The Bears open their regular season a week from Friday at home against Alcorn State as part of the 2K Classic.

“I’m really excited about this year and the team we have,” Bird said. “ I think we’re ready to get the season started.”

Wallace saw lots that he liked about the team’s performance and a few things that need more attention.

“We still need to get better rebounding,” he said after the Bears forged a modest 36-29 edge on the boards against a smaller team. “Our movement on offense . . . sometimes we tend to hold the ball when guys are open.

“Overall, we’re pretty good right now. Everybody’s playing hard. We’re trying to do the right things.”

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Basketball: Freshman Brandon Chauca awaits clearance


Cal will play its second and final exhibition game Thursday at Haas Pavilion against Cal State San Marcos, but it’s unclear whether freshman guard Brandon Chauca will be available.

Chauca, from Alexandria, Va., still has not gotten certification from the NCAA and is awaiting clearance.

“Always with an NCAA issue, you’re concerned, but I think it will get resolved,” coach Cuonzo Martin said. Wednesday.

Chauca did not play in the Bears’ opening exhibition last Friday, a 94-50 win over Cal State East Bay.


San Marcos, which plays at the NAIA level, opened its season with a 73-67 win over Fresno Pacific. Senior guard Blake Nash scored 26 points for the Cougars, coached by former UCLA assistant Jim Saia.

Thursday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be aired by the Pac-12 Networks. Former Cal coach Mike Montgomery will provide TV analysis for the game, with Ted Robinson handling play-by-play.

The Bears open their regular season a week from Friday at home against Alcorn State as part of the 2K Classic.


Basketball: New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin’s toughness spawned in his hometown of East St. Louis

Cal’s new basketball coach grew up in “The Hole.”

That’s what they called the housing project in East St. Louis, Illinois, where Cuonzo Martin got his start.

It was the kind of place, his younger sister Valencia said, where “your friends that you grew up with in elementary school could be drug dealers by the time you were in middle school.”

It also was a place that instilled a toughness in Martin that he wants from his Cal team. And a place that provided the shelter and direction that allowed him to become a success celebrated by his beleaguered hometown.

“Growing up, going through it as a little kid and even in high school, I’ve never said I am tough,” Martin said. “I just think it’s who you are. Now as a coach I see this is what we need to do in order to be successful.”

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Basketball: Cal wins Martin’s exhibition debut

Jordan Mathews and Tyrone Wallace each scored 21 points and Cal won coach Cuonzo Martin’s exhibition debut with a 94-50 rout of Cal State East Bay on Friday night at Haas Pavilion.

“Well, I think the key for us is to just play hard and compete, to play with a level of effort and energy. I think that’s our main focus as a team, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against,” Martin said. “Overall, I thought we did a solid job.”

The Bears held a 45-23 halftime lead over the Division II Pioneers.

Mathews, who shot 6 for 8 from the field, said the first game with Martin on the bench felt very much the same as practice.

“It was pretty intense. I feel like it’s going to be intense all year,” Mathews said. “He’s very similar to how he is in practice. He’s very intense in practice and that intensity carries over to us. He tells us ‘if you aren’t going 100 percent the whole game you are coming right out.”

David Kravish scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting and had five rebounds and Jabari Bird contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Wallace started at point guard, flanked in the backcourt by Mathews and Bird, with Kravish and Christian Behrens up front. Behrens had six points and seven rebounds.

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Basketball: Martin to get first look at Bears in exhibition

The Cuonzo Martin era begins Friday night with an exhibition game against Cal State East Bay. Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7 p.m. and admission is free.

“We’re excited about it, excited to play,” said Martin, hired away from Tennessee to replace Mike Montgomery, who retired after six seasons as coach at Cal. “Our guys have done a great job of working hard.”

The Bears return three starters from a 21-win team, led by senior forward David Kravish, who averaged 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds a year ago. Also back are junior guard Tyrone Wallace (11.4 ppg), and sophomore guards Jabari Bird (8.3 ppg) and Jordan Mathews (8.4 ppg).

Cal State East Bay is a Division II team that posted a 7-21 record last season.

Martin has not announced a starting lineup or settled firmly on a rotation, but said, ‘Hopefully these two (exhibition) games will help us” settle those questions.

“I think we have a strong seven. There’s an eighth guy right there who has really improved,” Martin said. “With that being said, if guys continue to improve through the course of a season, I’m not a guy who says, `Here’s eight guys. The other guys are not playing all season.’ ”


Women’s basketball: Media pick Bears to win Pac-12

A panel of 17 media members has picked the Cal women’s basketball team to win the Pac-12 Conference title, ending a streak of 15 straight years that distinction went to Stanford.

The Bears picked up nine first-place votes and scored 194 points, compared to seven first-place ballots and 190 points for Stanford. Oregon State secured the remaining first-place vote and finished third in the poll.

The Pac-12 coaches gave Stanford a slight edge over Stanford for the league title.

Cal guard Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray were chosen to the five-player preseason all-conference team.


Football: Bears land elite defensive end from Atlanta

Cal got a significant recruiting commitment Wednesday when Russell Ude, a top defensive end from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga., picked the Bears over a glut of top schools.

Ude, rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, announced his decision on Twitter:

“They Told Me I Couldn’t Do It. Proud To Announce I Am Committed to The University of California #GodIsGood #CalGang15

Scout.com rates Ude as a three-star prospect, but either way he helps address an area of need for the Bears.

Yeah, defense.

Ryan Gorcey of Scout.com reports that Ude actually gave Cal a “secret” commitment two months ago, but decided the time was right to make it public. Oral commitments, of course, are not binding until signing day, and Ude told Scout he still intends to take other visits.

Ude is 6-foot-3 and somewhere between 245 and 260-ish pounds, depending on which website you believe.

Others liked him, too: Oregon, Washington, UCLA and USC showed interest among Pac-12 schools. Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Michigan State also made offers.


Basketball: Ryan Anderson scores 22 in Pelicans’ opener

Former Cal star Ryan Anderson, who didn’t play after Jan. 3 last season because of a neck injury, scored 22 points in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 101-84 season-opening win over the Orlando Magic.

Anderson, 26, also grabbed nine rebounds in his 22-minute stint off the bench.

Now beginning his sixth NBA season,  Anderson played 22 games last season before the injury that led to surgery for a herniated cervical disk. He averaged 19.8 points a year ago.


Basketball: Lineup taking shape as exhibition nears

I watched about 90 minutes of Cal basketball practice this afternoon and it seems coach Cuonzo Martin has at least tentatively decided to go with a three-guard, two-post lineup.

Based on several sessions of scrimmaging, here’s what the Bears starting five looks like entering Friday’s exhibition opener against Cal State East Bay:

– PG Tyrone Wallace

– SG Jabari Bird

– SG Jordan Mathews

– PF/C David Kravish

– PF Christian Behrens

The alternative is to start four guards, with Sam Singer moving in at point guard and the 6-foot-6 Wallace sliding to forward.

To be sure, Martin will use that smaller lineup at times. It will require the likes of Wallace and Bird to contribute significantly on the boards. But the drawback to the four-guard alignment is that it gives Martin fewer backcourt options coming off the bench.

Figure senior transfer Dwight Tarwater to be the first frontcourt player off the bench. At 6-6, 230, Tarwater appears to be an aggressive offensive rebounder, a player who will provide hustle to mix things up.

Freshman Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-1 center from England, will also get the chance to show what he can do. And sophomore wing Roger Moute a Bidias, who shows promise in practice, may also get some playing time.

Eventually, Martin likely will settle on about an eight-man rotation.