Greetings from Cleveland . . .
Cal has picked up a pair of 3-star prospects, according to both Rivals and Scout:
— Josh Drayden, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback from Bishop Dunne High in Dallas comes on board after the Bears lost a pair of 4-star safeties in the past couple weeks. Drayden, who reportedly runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, also had offers from Boise State, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, among others.
— Logan Gamble, a 6-5, 200-pound wide receiver/athlete from St. Anthony High in Long Beach. Gamble also had offers from Arizona, San Diego State, Virginia and Washington State.
Cal’s strong early recruiting efforts for the Class of 2016 have taken a couple substantial hits with recent decommitments from two four-star safety prospects.
First, local prospect Shurod Thompson of Liberty High in Brentwood withdrew his April commitment. Thompson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 7 safety prospect.
“It has been a great pleasure getting to know the entire Cal football staff, you have welcomed me into your family and I couldn’t be more grateful,” Thompson wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, I have decided to take a different path, I will always appreciate your staffing and the great memories I have made with you. I am officially de-commiting as a Cal bear.”
Then, three days ago (while I was in Cleveland, no less, covering the NBA Finals), safety Marquel Dismuke, a 6-2, 170-pounder from Calabasas High. Dismuke is ranked No. 19 among the nation’s elite safeties by Rivals.
Dismuke also said his goodbyes on Twitter: “Thank you to the Golden Bears family and Coaches on everything they done for me but at this point of time I want to reopen my recruitment.”
Steve Kerr isn’t surprised oldest son Nick has designs on perhaps becoming a basketball coach someday.
Nick Kerr has transferred from the University of San Diego to Cal, where he will pursue a masters degree in public health, play one season as a walk-on with the basketball team and re-unite with younger sister Maddy, who plays volleyball for the Bears.
“They’re going to live together, which could be a complete disaster,” Kerr joked during the Warriors’ Tuesday morning shoot-around session prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nick Kerr’s fascination with basketball began early, when dad was playing for the Chicago Bulls.
“He was a year old sitting in my wife’s lap in the old Chicago Stadium, just mesmerized by the game,” Steve Kerr said. “At halftime he would cry because he didn’t want the players to leave. He wanted the game to keep going.”
And still does. “The guy loves the game,” Kerr said of his son’s career plans. “We’ve been sitting on the couch together watching games for 20 years. We’ll see what happens.”
Cal’s secondary — still the biggest question mark on a defense that has been wretched — added some immediate help Monday.
The Bears signed Khari Vanderbilt, a safety from San Jose City College, who will be eligible to play this fall.
A 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, Vanderbilt is rated a 3-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and 247Sports.
He originally committed to BYU, but will play next fall in Berkeley.
The Pac-12 released home and away designations for the 2015-16 schedule, including date windows but not specific game dates.
The rotating schedule has Cal missing its annual trip to Los Angeles for road games against UCLA and USC. This will mark the first time since the 1956-57 season Cal will not play UCLA in Los Angeles, and the first time since ’55-56 the Bears won’t face USC on the road.
And, get this: You have to go all the way back to the 1924-25 schedule to find a season where Cal did not play either UCLA or USC on the road.
Tradition? Who cares?
The Bears also will not play the Washington schools in Berkeley this season.
The Pac-12 schedule begins with Colorado and Utah visiting the Bay Area the weekend of Dec. 30 through Jan. 3. Specific game dates will be announced later.
Here are the home and away designation for Cal’s schedule:
— Dec. 30-Jan. 3: Colorado and Utah
— Jan. 6-10: at Oregon and Oregon State
— Jan. 13-17: at Stanford
— Jan. 20-24: Arizona State and Arizona
— Jan. 27-31: at Colorado and Utah
— Feb. 3-7: Stanford
— Feb. 10-14: Oregon and Oregon State
— Feb. 17-21: at Washington and Washington State
— Feb. 24-28: UCLA and USC
— March 2-6: at Arizona and Arizona State
Nick Kerr, the oldest of Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s three children, will join the Cal basketball team next season as a walk-on player, according to a source.
Nick Kerr, who played as a redshirt junior last season at the University of San Diego, has been accepted into the School of Public Health graduate program at Cal.
Cal has made no announcement on Kerr’s intentions, unable to comment until Kerr enrolls in classes. Because he has graduated from USD, Kerr would be immediately eligible to play next season for the Bears.
After announcing he was leaving USD in April, Nick Kerr told the San Diego Union-Tribune he wants to be closer to his father.
“My dad’s coaching the Warriors and I’m trying to become a coach,” Kerr said at the time. “I want to learn from him. I think being around (the Warriors’) practice would be the best thing for me to figure out what he’s doing.”
The 22-year-old will be reunited at Cal with sister Maddy Kerr, who was a sophomore on the Bears’ volleyball team last fall.
Nick Kerr played in just six games last season for the Toreros, scoring nine points. He scored a career-high 12 points – on 4-for-6 shooting from the 3-point arc – against Pacific during the 2013-14 season.
A 6-foot-3 guard, Kerr was a two-time all-league player at Torrey Pines High in San Diego, averaging 15.1 points as a senior, 19.5 as a junior.
Five years ago, Theo Robertson was part of Cal’s first conference basketball title in 50 years ago.
In a couple weeks, he hopes to share in the Warriors’ first NBA crown in 40 seasons.
“It’s been amazing,” said Robertson, who serves as a video intern for the Warriors. “To be at this level is a dream come true. And to have a part in what we’re doing here has been just a phenomenal experience, one that I couldn’t have imagined.
“Hopefully, we can continue this thing and really do something special here the next couple weeks.”
Robertson, 28, is a Bay Area native, so you can imagine his excitement as the NBA Finals approach. He played at De La Salle High, then averaged 14.2 points as a senior in 2010 when Cal ended a championship drought that extended back to coach Pete Newell in 1960.
He landed an administrative fellowship with the Pac-12 office after graduation, and thought he was on track to someday becoming an athletic director or conference commissioner.
Then Robertson returned to Cal to work two seasons as then-coach Mike Montgomery’s director of basketball operations, and he was hooked. He quickly knew coaching was his calling. “This is something I’m fully committed to,” he said.
His job with Golden State involves splicing together videotape of opposing teams so the coaching staff can prep for each game. It’s long hours – spent working at the Warriors’ facility and at home – but Robertson believes it’s the perfect introduction to the pro game.
“It’s really a job I wanted to do coming into the league,” he said. “I think it’s the best way to get an understanding of the NBA game and coaches’ philosophies.”
The sports apparel company Mitchell & Ness, on behalf of ESPN.com, has compiled a list of the best NBA players to wear each uniform number.
For instance, Oscar Robertson was named the top player to wear No. 1 (and No. 14), Bill Russell won at No. 6 (over LeBron Jones) and Pete Maravich was tabbed for No. 7.
How many former Cal players made the list?
Jason Kidd, right?
Nope. Kidd wore No. 2 (Moses Malone), No. 5 (Kevin Garnett) and No. 32 (Magic Johnson). He certainly wasn’t going to beat out Magic, but you could make an argument he was just as deserving at Garnett.
Cal’s season-opening non-conference home games against Grambling State (Sept. 5) and San Diego State (Sept. 12) have been set for 2 p.m. kickoffs on the Pac-12 Networks.
The Bears will then hit the road for the first time for a Sept. 19 game at Texas. Kickoff will be 4:30 p.m. PT on Fox.
Host Texas A&M sent Cal home after a 3-1 loss in the finals of the College Station NCAA regionals on Monday night.
The Bears beat the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday night, but lost to them Sunday and Monday, sending A&M on to the Super Regionals.
Chris Paul homered for the Bears’ only run.
Cal finishes its season with a record of 36-21.