Basketball: Bears 24th in preseason coaches poll

Cal is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason coaches poll.

North Carolina secured 30 of 31 first-place votes to easily top the coaches’ first poll of the season, Kentucky got the other first-place vote and is No. 2. Rounding out the top 5: Ohio State, UConn and Syracuse.

Other Pac-12 teams in the rankings are No. 16 Arizona and No. 20 UCLA.

Voters include Arizona State coach Herb Sendek and Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s.


Cal third among Pac-12 schools in NCSA academic/athletic power rankings

Cal ranks third among Pac-12 Conference schools and No. 41 on a list of Division I schools in the National Collegiate Scouting Association’s “power rankings.”

The Chicago-based company averages three factors to determine its rankings: Directors Cup athletics ranking, NCAA student-athlete graduation rate and U.S. News & World Report university ranking.

Cal ranked 22nd nationally on the U.S. News & World Report academic list, No. 3 on the Directors Cup athletic achievements and No. 239 according to NCAA grad rates. That averaged to a score of 88.0.

Duke was the highest-rated Division I school, followed by Stanford at No. 2. Washington checks in at No. 34 among D-I schools. The only other Pac-12 schools to make the top 100 are UCLA at No. 46 and USC at No. 90.

Here is the NCSA’s Division I rankings and their overall rankings, which combine Division I, II and III schools onto a single list.


Basketball: Lindy’s loves Bears, Gutierrez

I picked up two more college basketball annuals and Lindy’s has projected Cal to win the Pac-12 Conference and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez to earn conference player of the year honors.

Cal also is pegged No. 11 nationally by the magazine, the highest ranking we’ve seen from any publication.

“Mike Montgomery is coaching three of the best players in the conference,” veteran West Coast college hoops observer Frank Burlison writes in Lindy’s. “Jorge Gutierrez becomes a cult hero in Berkeley and below the border with a deep tourney run.”

(Burlison also admits he picked Cal to finish ninth in the Pac-10 last season, when they wound up tied for fourth).

Lindy’s remaining picks for the Pac-12: 2. Washington; 3. UCLA; 4. Arizona; 5. Oregon; 6. USC; 7. Stanford; 8. ASU; 9. OSU; 10. WSU; 11. Colorado; 12. Utah.

Continue Reading


Basketball: How Thursday altered the RPI

How did Thursday night’s Pac-10 result affect the computer rankings?

Here are Friday’s latest RealTimeRPI.com ratings for teams from the Pac-10:

18. Arizona, won at Stanford (improved one spot from the day before)
32. Washington, lost at Oregon State (dropped eight spots)
44. UCLA, idle (dropped three spots)
57. Cal, won vs. ASU at home (did not change)
74. WSU, lost at Oregon (dropped nine spots)
82. USC, idle (improved one spot)
142. Oregon, won vs. WSU at home (improved 15 spots)
143. Stanford, lost to Arizona at home (did not change)
157. ASU, lost at Cal (dropped three spots)
219. OSU, won vs. WSU at home (improved 16 spots)

Big winner: None, really. The Beavers made the biggest leap, but from nowhere to nowhere.

Big loser: WSU, which was falling off the NCAA bubble before this game and now is beginning to fade, at least as far as the computer is concerned.

Still in no No-Man’s Land: Cal. No. 57 ain’t’ bad, but it gets you nowhere on the big board, especially at just four games over .500. Lots of work still to do.


Basketball: Pac-10 stat leaders

 Here are Pac-10 leaders in several statistical categories, along with where Cal players rank:

1. Klay Thompson, WSU  22.9
2. Derrick Williams, Az  19.7
3. Isaiah Thomas, UW  16.5
11. Harper Kamp, Cal  13.8
17. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal  12.2
20. Allen Crabbe, Cal  11.1

1. Nikola Vucevic, USC  10.1
2. Alex Stepheson, USC  8.8
3. Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Cal  8.1
17. Harper Kamp, Cal  5.6
19. Allen Crabbe, Cal  5.5

1. Isaiah Thomas, UW  5.4
2. Jamelle McMillan, ASU  4.4
3t. Klay Thompson, WSU  4.0
3t. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal  4.0
9. Brandon Smith, Cal  3.4

1. Jared Cunningham, OSU  3.2
2. Maurice Jones, USC  2.2
3. Malcolm Armstead, Ore  2.0
9t. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal  1.4

Free throw percentage
1. Klay Thompson, WSU  .850
2. E.J. Singler, Ore  .836
3. Allen Crabbe, Cal  .833
4. Harper Kamp, Cal  .827


Basketball: Bears’ big homestand begins

Entering a big week for Cal — with home games Wednesday against No. 17 San Diego State (8-0) and Sunday against Southern Miss (5-1), here’s where Cal sits in the Pac-10 non-conference standings and the latest Sagarin computer rankings:

Pac-10 records
1. Arizona 7-1
2. Washington State 5-1
3. Cal 5-2
   Washington 5-2
5. Stanford 4-2
6. Oregon 5-3
7. USC 5-4
8. Arizona State 3-4
   Oregon State 3-4
   UCLA 3-4

Sagarin ratings (with strength-of-schedule)
23. Washington (121)
33. Arizona (289)
38. Cal (25)
47. Washington State (312)
95. Stanford (277)
102. Arizona State (27)
117. UCLA (128)
123. Oregon (213)
125. USC (208)
284. Oregon State (341)


Basketball: Understanding GSR scores

Four months after Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores showed Cal’s basketball program among the nation’s best, the Golden Bears ranked among the worst, according to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) results released on Wednesday.

Cal’s GSR score for men’s basketball was 30 percent, which ranked as the lowest among teams that finished in last year’s final Associated Press Top-25 poll, according to the AP.

That came on the heels of the program’s June APR score of 967 out of a possible 1,000, including a perfect 1,000 mark for the 2008-09 school year.

So what gives?

The GSR measures graduation success over a four-year span, allowing incoming freshmen a six-year period to complete their degree. But the most recent scores are derived from the incoming scholarship class of the fall of 2003, averaged with results of the three previous freshmen classes.

In other words, players who arrived on campus as long ago as 2000.  So drawing a connection between the latest GSR score and last year’s teams has no relevance because the players on the 2009-10 team are not part of the study.

Continue Reading


Basketball: Media picks Cal 7th in Pac-10

Defending champion Cal, sans four senior starters from a year ago, was picked seventh today in the Pac-10 Conference annual basketball media poll.

Washington secured 33 of 35 first-place ballots and easily earned the No. 1 spot. Arizona edged UCLA for the runnerup spot. Stanford is picked ninth. The Huskies should feel good about this — the media has correctly picked the Pac-10 regular-season champion three of the past four years and 14 times over the past 21 seasons.

“It’s flattering,” coach Lorenzo Romar said of UW’s spot atop the poll. “I like our team, but I don’t know if we’re ready to win a Pac-10 yet. We got a lot of work to do.”

Continue Reading


Basketball: Brackets, computers, rankings

Here’s the latest . . .

— BRACKET PROJECTIONS: ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Cal as a No. 7 seed in his mock bracket today. He has the Bears facing No. 10 Old Dominion in Oklahoma City (ugh), with Kansas State looming in the second round.

Lunardi has two Pac-10 teams in the field for the first time, with Arizona State as a No. 12, facing Maryland in San Jose. Washington is among the “first four out,” meanng the Huskies have some work to do.

Continue Reading