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Basketball: New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin tries to make recruiting inroads with powerful Oakland Soldiers

The recruiting frenzy of mid-summer is behind them, but the job does not stop for new Cal basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff.

“These guys are working, working, working,” said Frank Knight, the coach at Moreau Catholic High in Hayward. “Their thing is they don’t want to let any more local kids leave.”

Two years ago it was Oakland’s Brandon Ashley who left. Last year, it was San Jose’s Aaron Gordon. Both five-star prospects signed with Arizona. Both played for the Oakland Soldiers, one of the top AAU traveling basketball teams in the U.S.

If Martin wants to elevate Cal’s position in the college basketball world, recruiting analyst Josh Gershon of scout.com said the Bears will have to begin attracting the best home-grown talent. That means attracting Soldiers.

“The bottom line at Cal is you can have a good program without doing a great (recruiting) job in the Bay Area,” Gershon said. “But you’re never going to have much more than a good program. You have to keep the local kids at home.”

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Football: In 2nd round, Bears lose out on McKinley

Below is staff writer Phil Jensen’s story:

Contra Costa College defensive end/linebacker Takkarist McKinley is headed to UCLA after signing with the school Thursday afternoon.

McKinley, a former Kennedy-Richmond star, signed a national letter of intent with Cal in February 2013, but was deemed a non-qualifier by the university. Instead, he played for the Comets and had 10 sacks as a freshman.

A paperwork error was the cause for him being deemed a non-qualifier, McKinley said. According to a text from Contra Costa College coach Alonzo Carter, “the (NCAA) clearinghouse didn’t calculate his summer school grades from his 11th grade summer school.”

Once the mistake was discovered, he was cleared to enroll. He said he will arrive at UCLA on Tuesday.

“I want to play with the best,” said McKinley, who has four years to play three seasons. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

McKinley said that in addition to UCLA, he also considered Arizona State, Oklahoma, Missouri, USC, Oregon and Cal before signing with the Bruins. He said UCLA had been his number one school since he took an unofficial visit in the summer.

McKinley was rated a four-star defensive end in the JC ranks by rivals.com.

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Basketball: Top recruiting target Rabb wins gold

Ivan Rabb — Cal’s top basketball recruiting target — is bringing home a gold medal from the FIBA U17 World Championshjips in Dubai, Arab Emirates.

Rabb. a senior at Bishop O’Dowd High scored nine points in 13 minutes on Saturday as Team USA toppled Australia 99-92 in the championship game. He shot 4 for 4 from the field.

His playing time limited because is coming off a recent injury, Rabb averaged 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in just 10 minutes per game during his six games. The 6-foot-10 forward shot 75 percent (12 for 16) from the field.

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Football: Defensive end commits to Cal

Cal got an oral commitment from Westlake Village-Oaks Christian High defensive end Trevor Howard, who made the announcement via twitter on Sunday.

“I have just committed to the University of California Berkeley! Thank you for believing in me!” he said in his twitter post.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is rated as a three-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Howard is the 10th player from the class of 2015 to commit to Cal.

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Basketball: Can Frayer’s decision influence other prospects?

Could Oscar Frayer be a recruiting domino for Cal basketball?

The four-star class of 2016 small forward from Moreau High gave new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin an oral commitment Monday afternoon, and his decision could influence others to do the same.

Does that include Bishop O’Dowd forward Ivan Rabb, rated by ESPN as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2015?

Or Moreau point guard Damari Milstead, a promising sophomore-to-be?

“No comment,” said Frank Knight, Frayer’s coach at Moreau.

But all three play for the Oakland Soldiers. And all three are good friends.

“They’ve all been talking,” Knight said. “Now that Oscar’s committed, a lot of other local players will consider it.

“When Oscar decided to come to Moreau, we had like 20 other kids decide to come.”

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Basketball: Four-star 2016 small forward picks Cal

Small forward Oscar Frayer, a rising junior at Moreau Catholic High and four-star prospect according to Scout.com, tweeted that he has made an oral commitment to attend Cal.

The 6-foot-5, 175-pounder is new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin’s first commit to the class of 2016.

Frayer, who plays for the Oakland Soldiers AAU team, is rated by Scout as the No. 11 small forward in his class, No. 45 overall.

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Football: Bears get commitment from Little Rock DT

On the eve of the start of fall practice, Cal got an oral commitment Sunday from a defensive tackle who will join the Bears’ 2015 class.

Luc Bequette of Catholic High in Little Rock, Arkansas, announced his decision via twitter.

Bequette, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, is rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and is not rated by Scout.com.

He had other offers from Memphis and the three military academies — Air Force, Army and Navy.

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Basketball: Cornell forward provides one-year boost

Dwight Tarwater, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Cornell, has enrolled in grad school at Cal and will play one season for the Golden Bears. As a grad student, Tarwater will be immediately eligible.

Tarwater averaged 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds last season while starting all 28 games for Cornell, so he won’t be a game-changer for the Bears. But, given their manpower issues up front, he may be just what they need for the one year he has to play.

The Bears had just nine healthy scholarship players entering the fall after a season-ending knee injury to sophomore center Kameron Rooks.

Tarwater joins senior starter David Kravish, junior reserve Christian Behrens and incoming freshman center Kingsley Okoroh as frontline players available to new coach Cuonzo Martin.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Tarwater was Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball for Class II-A in 2010. His uncle, Richmond Flowers, played for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in the NFL.

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Football: Bears land 4-star quarterback

The Bears missed out on two Bay Area prospects they were pursuing, but landed a verbal commit Tuesday from quarterback Ross Bowers of Bothell, Washington.

Cal whiffed on four-star cornerback/athlete Isaiah Langley of Foothill-Pleasanton, who chose USC, and three-star athlete Stephen Johnson of San Leandro, who said he will attend UCLA.

All three players made their announcements at The Opening, a prestigious camp held at Nike headquarters in Oregon.

The 6-foot-1, Bowers, rated as a four-star quarterback. by espn.com, is a pro-style quarterback according to rivals.com. He chose Cal over Colorado State, the school he was favoring until recently.

“I’ve always considered myself the underdog,” he said on ESPNU. “That’s how I work out, that’s how I train.”

Scout.com rates Bowers as a three-star player and the No. 58 QB prospect in the country. Rivals also rates him as a three-star prospect.

Bowers, whose father coaches at James Madison University, visited the Berkeley campus a couple weeks ago and was taken by Cal’s coaching staff and sophomore quarterback Jared Goff.

“I got to talk with (Jared Goff) on my visit and I realized he’s such a good dude and definitely be a guy I can look up to and definitely help me on my way,” Bowers said. “Being under him coming in as a freshman and trying to learn and soak up as much as I can from him. He’s a great guy and just try to be the best I can be in that program.”

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Football: Bears add two weekend commits

Cal got a pair of weekend recruiting commitments, including one from 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive tackle Johnny Capra of Placer High. Capra is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com.

The Bears also landed two-star tight end Zeandae Johnson, a 6-2, 240-pounder from Fresno’s Central HS East Campus.

Earlier last month, got Cal a commit from three-star center Ryan Gibson, a 6-2, 271-pounder from St. Stanislaus HS in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Gibson is rated by Scout as the 15th-best center prospect in the country.

Cal now has seven oral commitments for the class of 2015.