Basketball: When compliments go sideways

Cal freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb are a couple old souls whose favorite players are definitely old school.

Rabb’s hoops idol is 39-year-old Kevin Garnett, and Brown’s “all-time favorite” is 37-year-old Kobe Bryant.

Only one of the young Cal stars accidentally suggested his guy might be over the hill during a Thursday media session at Haas Pavilion.

Brown said he tries “to mirror everything” Bryant does on the court.

Then he added, “Current players? Kobe’s kind of on his way into retirement. I mean, like he’s at the end.”

It didn’t take Brown but a moment to realize the road he’d gone down.

“Not to say he can’t go. Not to say Kobe isn’t going to be Kobe,” he said among laughter at his inadvertent poke at Bryant’s 20 seasons in the NBA.

Among the younger NBA set, Brown said his favorites are San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. “I like the way they play,” he said.

Rabb hopes to emulate the way Garnett influences the game on offense and defense. The other piece is Garnett’s role as an emotional leader on the floor.

“He wants to make his teammates better by being vocal,” Rabb said. “That’s one of the things I need to grow into.”

Martin, while allowing that Garnett is “one of the best ever to play the game,” welcomes Rabb’s desire to impact the game in so many ways. “I think he has that in him. The last two weeks, he’s really stepped his game up. He’s playing at a high level right now.”


Basketball: Rabb, Brown and Golden Bears ready for public debut in Friday night scrimmage at Haas

Cal basketball’s high-profile freshmen Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown met with reporters Thursday.

On Friday night, they meet Cal’s fan base for the first time. At least that portion of it willing to be up late at Haas Pavilion.

The Golden Bears, ranked 14th nationally in the USA Today Coaches Poll, go on display for the first time when they stage a Blue-Gold scrimmage beginning at 10 p.m. The free event will feature two 20-minute running halves and is expected to be over by 11 p.m.

“It’ll be really fun just to show the fans what we’ve been working on,” said Rabb, the 6-foot-11 forward from Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High. “We’ve been doing a lot of serious stuff. I’m just looking to have fun.”

“It’ll be fun to be out there where fans can get a look at you. It’ll be good to be seen,” Brown added.

Coach Cuonzo Martin said he’s likely to move players from one team to the other throughout the scrimmage. Mostly, he wants his players and Cal fans to have a good time.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “You want to have some fun with this thing – that’s the most important thing. It’s for the fans more than anything.”

Certainly there is a buzz among Cal fans about this team, which includes returning starters Tyrone Wallace, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews – all double-digit scorers a year ago. Wallace, a first-team all-Pac-12 point guard, turned down the option of entering the NBA draft to finish his degree and play on what could be Cal’s best team in years.

Rabb and Brown, a 6-7 small forward from Marietta, Georgia, are the fresh pieces that elevated Cal to No. 2 in the recent Pac-12 preseason media poll.

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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.


Football notes: Cal @ Oregon kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

Cal’s game a week from Saturday at Oregon has been set for a 7:30 pm kickoff.

The game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.


Kyle Kragen was named to the midseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

The senior from Pleasanton is tied for second in the Pac-12 with five sacks and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for his performance in the Bears’ win at Washington.


Football: Cal-USC kickoff set for noon

Cal’s football game against USC on Saturday at Memorial Stadium will kick off at noon, the Pac-12 Conference announced.

The game will be aired on FOX.

The Bears (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) have dropped their past two games after a 5-0 start that pushed them as high as No. 20 in the Associated Press Top-25.Cal fell 40-24 at UCLA on Thursday night.

Cal has lost 11 straight games to USC (4-3, 2-2), which delivered its most impressive performance of a tumultuous season Saturday with a 42-24 thrashing of No. 3 Utah.

The Trojans had lost two in a row, including by a 41-31 margin at Notre Dame in their first game since coach Steve Sarkisian was fired, in part, because of alcohol issues.


Basketball: PG the Bears want to visit Berkeley

Charlie Moore, a four-star point guard from Chicago, will visit Cal a week from Friday, a source confirmed, on the same night the Bears host a Blue-Gold intra-squad scrimmage at Haas Pavilion.

Moore, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder from Morgan Park High, is rated by Scout as the nation’s No. 15 point guard prospect. Rivals lists him as the nation’s No. 57 overall prospect.

The Bears are targeting Moore as a potential replacement for all-Pac-12 senior point guard Tyrone Wallace.

He had a strong summer showing in Las Vegas, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, who wrote:

“Moore showed a tremendous mix of facilitating and scoring throughout the Las Vegas Classic. Moore is quick and uses slick ball handling and craftiness to get by defenders. Once by defenders, he’s able to drop in floaters or draw defenders and dish it off to teammates for good looks.”

Moore has made recruiting visits to Pitt, Illinois and Memphis, and also has offers from Georgia Tech, Iowa, St. John’s.

Cal’s Blue-Gold scrimmage on Oct. 30 — the night before the Bears face USC in football — will begin at 10 a.m. Admission is free.


Football: Cal offers JC touchdown machine

Cal has made a scholarship offer to quarterback Jerod Evans, who has thrown 38 touchdown passes in eight games for Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, according to Scout.com.

Evans, a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder originally from Mansfield, Texas, is academically qualified, Scout reported, and would have two years of eligibility.

Evans would potentially enter the competition for Cal’s quarterback spot if junior Jared Goff opts to enter the NFL draft next spring. Goff is universally considered the top quarterback prospect in college football.

So, a potential Jared to Jerod handoff?

The Bears will return redshirt freshman Chase Forrest, who has performed well in practice and in limited game action, along with true freshman Ross Bowers. Sophomore Luke Rubenzer, who came off the bench a year ago to provide a run threat, has played safety this season.

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Football: Despite ranking, Cal fighting for respect

Top-25 voters and Las Vegas oddsmakers have reached no consensus about the Cal football team, which is ranked 20th in the AP poll but is an underdog Thursday night to an unranked UCLA team that has lost its past two games by double-digit margins.

“Yeah, it kind of bothers me,” receiver Stephen Anderson said of the Bears’ underdog status. “I feel like we haven’t gotten the respect we deserve to this point. In order to get that, you have to keep winning.

“There’s only three college football games that night. We’re the prime-time college game. We have to come out with a big performance.”

The Bears were very much in the spotlight a week ago Saturday when they faced Utah in a battle of the Pac-12’s two remaining unbeaten teams. Cal lost 30-24 on the road to a Utah squad now ranked No. 3, and managed to holds its No. 23 spot in the rankings. After a bye week, the Bears (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) climbed three spots Sunday.

“I guess they liked the way we played. I don’t know what they would like about it,” said Cal quarterback Jared Goff, who threw a career-high five interceptions in the loss.

Coach Sonny Dykes admitted Monday he didn’t even know that UCLA (4-2, 1-2) was made anywhere from a 3½ to a 7-point favorite for their game at the Rose Bowl until someone mentioned it to him.

UCLA is coming off a 56-35 loss at Stanford in a game it trailed by 36 points entering the fourth quarter. The Bruins lost 38-23 to Arizona State the week before.

But Dykes understands why his program – which produced a 1-11 season just two years ago – has not yet won over everyone. The Bears have not beaten the Bruins in Pasadena since 2009, although they lost just 36-34 last year at home.

“I think respect is earned and it’s not easily earned,” he said. “We have to continue to play well to earn people’s respect.”


Freshman defensive end Cameron Saffle, who spent the summer and first five games of this season rehabbing after ACL knee surgery, played at Utah because he was physically ready and willing, Dykes explained. “We think he’s going to help us win games down the stretch,” Dykes said.


This is the first week since 1993 that both Cal (No. 20) and Stanford (No. 10) are ranked in the AP Top-25 and USC and UCLA are not.


Football: Idle Cal climbs to No. 20 in AP Top-25

Cal got the weekend off and managed to move up three spots to No. 20 in the Associated Press Top-25 poll.

Cal is ranked in the AP poll four straight weeks for the first time since 2007.

The Bears (5-1) also moved to No. 19 in the coaches poll.

Utah (6-0) inched to No. 3 in the AP Top-25 and Stanford vaulted five spots to No. 10. The Cardinal’s 56-35 rout of UCLA — and it wasn’t that close — knocked the Bruins out of the Top-25.

Cal and UCLA meet Thursday night at the Rose Bowl.