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Football: East Carolina aide hired as O-line coach

Cal’s new offensive line coach interviewed for the position on Wednesday, was promoted at his old Thursday and hired by the Golden Bears on Friday.

“It’s been crazy, kind of a whirlwind,” said Brandon Jones, who comes to Cal after five seasons as offensive line coach at East Carolina. For one day he also was the Pirates’ run-game coordinator.

On Sunday, he will visit the campus in Berkeley for the first time.

“I’m happy to be part of the Cal program,” said Jones, 31, whose hiring was not immediately announced by Cal. Jones replaces Zach Yenser, hired last week by Kansas.

Jones’ connection to Bears coach Sonny Dykes traces back to their time together at Texas Tech. Dykes was the Red Raiders’ receivers coach through 2006, when Jones was a senior center and Rimington Award finalist.

Both Texas Tech, coached in those days by Mike Leach, and East Carolina in recent seasons operated fast-tempo offenses not unlike what Jones will see at Cal.

“It’s extremely similar,” said Jones, who coached three first- or second-team all-American Athletic Conference offensive lineman last fall on a team that was 8-5, averaged 35.8 points and piled up nearly 7,000 yards of offense.

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Basketball: Bears see progress in defeat

It was another defeat, sure.

But Cal’s players viewed their 69-59 loss to Stanford as progress.

The Bears played hard, they played with passion, they played together.

The were up 31-26 at halftime against a more experienced team, and trailed just 53-51 late in the game. Stanford’s seniors took over late and the Bears couldn’t answer back.

The aggressive start was the key, according to forward David Kravish.

“It’s something we haven’t done in a while. We got really juiced for this game,” he said. “We had been coming out really slow. One of our focuses is we had to come out with that fire and passion from the very beginning. We did that.

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Football: Ex-Vikings aide interviews for O-line job

UPDATE: A source with knowledge of Cal football tells me that Ryan Silverfield will not become the Bears’ next offensive line coach.

*****

Former Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield, 34, has interviewed with Cal for its vacant O-line position, according to the website coachingsearch.com.

Silverfield,a native of Jacksonville, Fla., worked with the Vikings in various capacities from 2008 through 2013. He served as assistant offensive line coach in 2008 and again from 2011-13.

Silverfield also has experience coaching at the University of Central Florida, at Jacksonville University and at Hampden-Sydney College.

He is a 2003 graduate of Hampden-Sydney, where he earned a degree in economics.

As a player at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., Silverfield helped his team to a pair of Florida high school championships.

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Basketball: Cal-Stanford game thread

FINAL SCORE: Stanford 69, Cal 59. Cal delivered one of its most inspired efforts in weeks, but ultimately had no answer for Stanford’s clutch seniors.

Chasson Randle scored 25 points and Anthony Brown and Stefan Nastic combined for 33 more as the Cardinal maintained its hold on second place in the Pac-12 Conference with a 69-59 victory before an announced crowd of 8,819 at Haas Pavilion.

Brown had 18 points and nine rebounds and Nastic contributed 15 points and nine rebounds, and the three seniors scored 27 of the Cardinal’s final 32 points. Stanford (12-4, 4-1) won for the sixth time in seven games.

Tyrone Wallace had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bears (11-7, 1-4), but shot just 6 for 22. Cal, which led 31-26 at halftime, lost for the sixth time in seven games after shooting 35.5 percent for the game.

10:29 2nd H: Stanford 47, Cal 43. Dwight Tarwater answered a 3-pointer by Brown with one of his own — the senior transfer making a difference with 8 points and 8 rebounds. But Randle came back with another 3-pointer — this one from about 23 feet. Randle has 19 points.

15:53 2nd H: Stanford 37, Cal 37. Stanford much more aggressive to start the second half — a reversal since the first half. Rebounds are 5-1 for Stanford so far. Brown shoot 2 FTs after the timeout.

HALFTIME: Cal 31, Stanford 26. Bird scored eight points and Wallace had six points, five rebounds and three assists before sitting down with two fouls. Cal shot 38.7 percent in the half, Stanford 41.7. Cal with a 22-14 rebounding edge.

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Basketball: Sean Lampley named to Hall of Honor

Sean Lampley, who retired as Cal’s career scoring leader, has been chosen for induction into the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor.

One representative from each conference school will be recognized during ceremonies prior to the Pac-12 tournament championship game on March 14 in Las Vegas.

Lampley, the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2001, finished his career with 1,776 points, a school record since eclipsed by Jerome Randle. Upon his departure from Cal, Lampley was the only player in school history ranked among the program’s top-10 in scoring, rebounding and assists.

He averaged 19.5 points as a senior and two years earlier was named MVP after Cal’s run to the postseason NIT title.

Others selected to the Hall of Honor were former Arizona coach Fred Snowden and players Ron Riley of Arizona State, Jim Davis of Colorado, Anthony Taylor of Oregon, Jim Jarvis of Oregon State, Dave Meyers of UCLA, Alex Hannum of USC, Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, Danny Cranes of Utah, Jon Brockman of Washington and Bennie Seltzer of Washington State.

Past Hall of Honor selections from Cal include Pete Newell, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Darrall Imhoff and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

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Basketball: Bird says he’s ready to provide a spark

Declaring that he is “feeling great” after missing 10 games with a foot injury then suffering cramps in his return at UCLA, Cal guard Jabari Bird he hopes to provide his slumping team with a spark against rival Stanford on Wednesday night.

The Bears (11-6, 1-3 Pac-12) have lost five of their past six games, and even leading scorer Tyrone Wallace is being hemmed in by defenses determined not to let him beat them.

“I’ve got to knock down shots, keep the defense honest, help Tyrone out by doing that. I’ve got to play defense, rebound the ball,” Bird said. “Just provide some energy off the bench, be a spark.”

Coach Cuonzo Martin doesn’t want Bird to put too much pressure on himself against the Cardinal (11-4, 3-1), which has won five of six.

“Just play. When you’re thinking, it consumes you and you’re not as effective as you need to be,” Martin said. “You’ve got to play the game.”

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Basketball: As they prepare to clash Wednesday, why Cal and Stanford are headed in opposite directions

Stanford and Cal, which meet for the first time this season on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion, are headed in opposite directions two weeks into the Pac-12 schedule.

The Cardinal (11-4), which got a split in Los Angeles last weekend, sits alone in second place in the Pac-12 standings at 3-1. Stanford has won five of six.

The Bears (11-6), swept by USC and UCLA, have sunk to a tie for ninth in the conference at 1-3. Cal has lost five of six.

A look at how they compare in four areas helps explain their current trajectories:

Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Basketball: UCLA game thread — Bears fall, but Martin says Jabari Bird just had cramps, nothing more

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 73, CAL 54. Jabari Bird’s return to action after missing 10 games ended Sunday with a cramp – nothing more, according to Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. But the news otherwise continues to be discouraging for the Golden Bears.

Cal lost 73-54 to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, its fifth defeat in six games after a 10-1 start to the season. The Bears (11-6) take a 1-3 Pac-12 record into Wednesday’s home matchup with rival Stanford.

Martin said he has heard nothing that would prevent Bird from facing the Cardinal, even though the sophomore guard limped off the court with 2:30 left in the first half and did not return.

It isn’t serious, Martin said, and not related to the stress fracture in his left foot that Bird suffered Nov. 30. Initially, Martin called it a hamstring injury, then corrected himself.

“Excuse me, cramps,” he said. “They just said cramps. . . . I think he’ll be fine, as far as I know.”

Martin said he held Bird out of the second half because he “didn’t want to chance it.”

Teammate David Kravish, interviewed separately, also referred to Bird’s ailment as cramps. Bird, the former McDonald’s All-American from Richmond’s Salesian High, was not available for comment after a scoreless eight-minute stint.

UCLA (10-7, 2-2) opened the second half with a 16-3 run to take charge. The Bruins completed a weekend home sweep of the Bay Area schools after losing five straight games.

Jordan Mathews scored 23 points for the Bears, hitting 6 of 9 from 3-point range. He is averaging 23.8 points through four Pac-12 games. Kravish had nine points and 14 rebounds for the Bears.

But the Bears struggled again on offense, shooting 40 percent with 16 turnovers. In their past five defeats, the Bears are averaging just 57.0 points.

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Basketball: Struggling Bears visit UCLA

What chance do the reeling Golden Bears (11-5, 1-2 Pac-12) have Sunday afternoon against UCLA (9-7, 1-2) at Pauley Pavilion?

Well, consider the odds that Washington State would open the Pac-12 schedule with three road games and win two of them. The Cougars, who upset Cal a week ago, knocked off rival Washington 80-77 in Seattle on Saturday night.

So go figure.

The Bears are coming off a 71-57 loss at USC, after which senior David Kravish called out his team for being soft. He called the performance “ridiculous.”

Cal has lost four of five after starting the season 10-1.

The Bruins snapped a five-game losing streak Thursday with their 86-81 double-overtime win over Stanford. UCLA got it done by overpowering Stanford inside — freshman forward Kevon Looney had 27 points and 19 rebounds, and junior Tony Parker had 23 points and 12 rebounds.

If UCLA is smart and follows the game plan against Cal used by WSU and USC — to be patient, play a halfcourt game and feed the post — the Bears will have a tough time.

But if the Bruins decide to run — and they are capable — they give the Bears a chance.

My read on the Pac-12 after nearly two weeks is that Arizona and Utah are in a class by themselves. Otherwise, it’s gonna be very tough for most teams to win on the road.

Well, apparently, except Washington State.

PAC-12 STANDINGS: Utah 3-0; Arizona 2-0; Colorado 2-1; Oregon 2-1; Stanford 2-1; WSU 2-1; Oregon St. 1-1; Cal 1-2; UCLA 1-2; USC 1-2; ASU 0-3; Washington 0-3.

SUNDAY’S GAMES: Cal at UCLA, 4:30 p.m. (FoxSports1); Arizona at Oregon State, 7 p.m. (FoxSports1); Stanford at USC, 7 p.m. (ESPNU).

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Football: Sonny Dykes talks recruiting

My conversation this week with Cal coach Sonny Dykes on the state of their recruiting with less than three weeks until signing day.

* How have you guys been received since the end of the season? And given that nothing is final until signing day, what do you think of the state of your class so far?

“I’m really encouraged. I think it was pretty obvious to people across the country that we got better. Certainly potential college football players see the trajectory of the program. The first year you’re just trying to hold onto the class they’d recruited here. The second year was tough just because of the kind of season we had. This year I think kids can see where we’re headed and I think they’re excited about it. I feel like we have a lot of momentum.

“We’re a lot further along than we were a year ago. We’ve identified guys a lot earlier. We’ve established much better relationships with coaches and players. There’s just a lot more doors that are open to us now. I’m really encouraged and I think it’s going to continue to get nothing but better.

“There’s four or five key players that we need to close strongly on. If we can do I think we’ll be really excited about this class and ready to start on the next one. The next one will be better than this one.

“That’s what we’re doing – we’re making sure we get better every year. They saw how close we were to being a really good football team in the best league in college football. They see the youth on our team and the number of returning starters coming back. And they get a pretty clear message that we’re headed in a good direction and I think they want to be a part of it.”

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