Basketball: What will Bears’ roster look like?

With the unsurprising news that Christian Behrens will not return for his senior season, Cal now has one additional scholarship available for next season.

Division I men’s basketball program are allowed 13 scholarships, and the Bears currently have four open spots.

One of those is committed to Davon Dillard, a three-star small forward who committed to Cal last month and is expected to sign April 15.

That leaves three open scholarships.

Coach Cuonzo Martin would love to hand those out to power forward Ivan Rabb, small forward Jaylen Brown and center Caleb Swanigan.

There is one other variable at play: What will junior point guard Tyrone Wallace decide?

Wallace reportedly has not made a decision on whether he will forgo his final college season and enter the NBA draft. In current mock drafts, draftexpress.com envisions Wallace as the No. 8 pick in the second round, and nbadraft.net does not show Wallace being taken in the two-round draft.

Here is Cal’s current roster breakdown:

– Guards (6): Jabari Bird, Brandon Chauca, Stephen Domingo, Jordan Mathews, Sam Singer, Tyrone Wallace.

– Forwards (1): Roger Moute a Bidias.

– Centers (2): Kingsley Okoroh, Kameron Rooks.

Yes, with seniors David Kravish and Dwight Tarwater gone and Behrens departing, the Bears are a little light at the forward spots. Regardless of whether Martin is able to sign the five-star talent he wants, expect Cal to add one or two players who can operate at the 3 or 4 spots.

In particular, the Bears need a power forward with some girth and muscle. A grad-student transfer or JC player could wind up filling that role.


Basketball: Behrens won’t return next season

Junior forward Christian Behrens, a part-time starter who is on schedule to graduate with a degree in American Studies this spring, will not return to the Bears’ roster next season.

Cal sent out a news release Thursday saying that Behrens has decided “pursue professional opportunities,” but the reality is Behrens’ playing time with the Bears likely would have been reduced next season.

Here is Behrens’ statement:

“I want thank the entire California Athletics family for giving me this tremendous opportunity to represent the Golden Bears. I am on track to graduate in May with a degree from the world’s No. 1 public institution, which is a great honor. I believe at this time, I want to start a new chapter in my basketball career and pursue professional opportunities. I cherish my experiences here at Cal and have created friendships here that will last a lifetime. I will always be a Golden Bear.”

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Football: Bears resume spring workouts

Cal resumed spring practice Wednesday after a break of nearly two weeks, and coach Sonny Dykes said the team’s performance was predictable.

“You could tell we had 12 days off,” Dykes said. “For the first day in 12 days, it was probably a little better than I anticipated. Obviously, it’s got to be a lot better.”

The Bears will practice again without pads on Friday (4 pm), then perhaps do some scrimmaging on Saturday (10 am). Both practices are open.

Dykes continues to be pleased with the progress on the defensive line, where he believes depth is growing and players are settling in.

“We have guys that have played and know how to play,” he said. “They’re doing some good things and I’m encouraged.”

Dykes singled out junior defensive tackle Marcus Manley, and also said he’s pleased with the efforts of tackles James Looney and Tony Mekari and ends Kyle Kragen and Puka Lopa.

Asked about the defense in general, Dykes said:

“It’s night and day from where we’ve been just because there’s carryover, The guys know what do to. The coaching staff’s the same, the teaching’s the same. We’ve got so many guys coming back that have experience from last year. It’s just a lot different.

“There’s still some areas we’ve got to get better at – a lot of areas – but we’re making some progress and I’m starting to see some guys become players like we think they can.”


* The Bears got their first look at a new punter as a left-foot rugby player worked out with the squad. “I don’t have any idea what his name is,” Dykes said. It’s Harry Adolphus, and he’s a junior. Dykes is intrigued because left-footed punters can pose problems. “The ball does a lot of different things off their foot.”

* Senior offensive tackle Brian Farley has gotten the attention of the coaching staff. “If you said right now who’s played as well as anyone on the offensive line, Farley’s name keeps coming up,” Dykes said. “He’s been very consistent. He’s playing at a very high level.”

* Linebacker Jalen Jefferson, hampered this spring by a hamstring pull, saw limited action Wednesday. Dykes said his activity level should increase Friday and Saturday.


Swimming: Franklin, McKeever earn Pac-12 honors

Sophomore Missy Franklin and coach Teri McKeever, who led the Cal women’s swim team to Pac-12 and NCAA championships, were named Swimmer of the Year and Coach of the Year in the Pac-12.

Franklin won the 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke and swam a leg on the victorious 200 free relay and 800 free relay at the NCAA meet. Her 200 free time of 1:39.10 broke the American record by more than a second. Franklin was recognized as the NCAA Swimmer of the Year for her efforts.

“It’s an honor to be named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year,” Franklin said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the season from both an individual and team standpoint. Cal’s win at NCAA Championships was truly a team effort and we didn’t just come together as a team, but we came together as a family. I am so grateful to have such wonderful teammates and an amazing coach staff.”

McKeever is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career. Under her directions, the Bears won their fourth NCAA Championship in March, setting a school record with 513 points.


Basketball: Cal recruiting target Ivan Rabb scores 10 points in McDonald’s game, but does not pick a school

Bishop O’Dowd High’s Ivan Rabb scored 10 points in the McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday night, but did not announce his college destination.

The 6-foot-11 forward, a consensus top-10 national prospect, confirmed in an ESPN interview that he has narrowed his choices to Cal and Arizona.

“Arizona’s already established,” Rabb said. “Cal’s got a new coaching staff and they’re very hungry. They’re looking for someone like me to come in.

“Everybody wants me to stay home. I know if I stay, there will be a lot of support,” he continued. “If I was to go there, I possibly would be able to get people to come with me.”

Cal also is recruiting two other non-committed top-10 players who participated in the McDonald’s game — center Caleb Swanigan of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and small forward Jaylen Brown of Marietta, Georgia. Swanigan tweeted that he intends to announce his college decision April 11 at the Hoop Summit international all-star game in Portland.

Rabb scored the game’s first basket on a fastbreak dunk and finished 5 for 6 from the field in the game featuring the top high school players in the country. He had six rebounds for the West team.

The East won 111-91 behind 18 points and 10 rebounds from Chieck Diallo.


Basketball: Will Ivan Rabb join this list?


Bishop O’Dowd High forward Ivan Rabb is rated No. 5 nationally by Scout.com. Here are Cal’s top-rated recruits of the past 25 years:

No. 1: Jason Kidd, 1992 (Naismith Award)
No. 4: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 1995 (Blue Chip Illustrated)
No. 6: Leon Powe, 2003 (Prep Stars)
No. 11: Jelani Gardner, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 13: Jabari Bird, 2013 (Scout)
No. 26: Tony Gonzalez, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 27: Al Grigsby, 1991 (Bob Gibbons)
No. 32: Tremaine Fowlkes, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 42: Lamond Murray, 1991
No. 44: Patrick Christopher, 2006 (Rivals)
No. 46: Marquise Kately, 2003 (Rivals)

Note: Lamond Murray’s ranking from non-specific source, per Cal media guide.


Basketball: Recruiting expert expects Rabb to pick Cal; will forward announce decision after McDonald’s game?


Cal is the favorite to land Bishop O’Dowd High School basketball star Ivan Rabb, says a Scout.com recruiting expert, but those close to the five-star recruit aren’t sure when he will announce his choice.

“I think he wants to go to Cal. I don’t think it’s a secret,” said Josh Gershon, recruiting analyst for Scout.com, who talked with the 6-foot-11 forward on Tuesday at media day for the McDonald’s All-American Game, to be played Wednesday in Chicago.

“I’m sure Kentucky’s still trying, but I think Cal’s the team to beat,” Gershon said. “If he were to not go to Cal, I would be shocked if it was anywhere but Arizona. I think it’s far more likely than not at this point Ivan chooses Cal.”

Both of Rabb’s coaches – Lou Richie of Bishop O’Dowd High and Mark Olivier of the Oakland Soldiers summer travel team – said they don’t know whether he will announce Wednesday night.

Olivier doesn’t believe Rabb’s mother, Tami Rabb, will have a major voice in her son’s decision. “She wants Ivan to be happy, that’s it. It’s up to him.”

Rabb closed out his O’Dowd career in dramatic fashion Saturday night, scoring the winning free throw with less than one second remaining in overtime in a state championship victory over Mater Dei at Cal’s Haas Pavilion.

The spring letter-of-intent signing period begins April 15, and Rabb would be a huge recruiting coup for second-year Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. Rabb is rated anywhere from No. 5 to No. 8 among the nation’s prospects, and Cal has not landed a top-10 recruit since Leon Powe in 2003.

O’Dowd’s Richie said Rabb will have an impact as a freshman wherever he plays.

“He’s a competitor, he’s a sponge, and he’s a great kid,” Richie said.

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Basketball: Ivan Rabb hits game-winning FT in state title game at Haas; no immediate announcement on college

Ivan Rabb had 19 points, 20 rebounds, three blocked shots and made the game-winning free throw with 0.8 seconds left, lifting Bishop O’Dowd to a 65-64 win over Mater Dei in the California state open division title game at Haas Pavilion.

But he did not immediately give Cal fans the news they were hoping to hear.

The sense all day was that Rabb would pick Cal over Arizona, and would make the announcement right after the game.

Rabb said afterward he wasn’t ready to make an immediate commitment. Wanted to keep the spotlight on his team and the Dragons’ championship celebration.

“It’s not about me, it’s not about where I’m going to school right now, it’s about putting this ring on our fingers and bring a state title to my school,” Rabb told reporters.

If that’s an insight into his character and what kind of teammate he can be, an encouraging sign for whichever teams get him.

Cal quarterback Jared Goff tweeted his impressions of the young O’Dowd star:

@YoungIvee sounds like a great kid. Hope he comes to Cal, but wish him nothing but the best with whatever he chooses to do #GoBears

The game was close throughout, and the 6-foot-10 Rabb added to the drama when he he nearly airballed his first free throw with 0.8 seconds left. Then he converted the second one to earn O’Dowd its first state title since 1981.

“The way the game ended, you couldn’t’ have written a story better than this,” Rabb said. “It’s not about me, it’s about my teammates. They pushed me to get to this point, we pushed each other and I’m just thankful.”


Caleb Swanigan, the five-star center Cal is pursuing, led Homestead-Fort Wayne to a 91-90 win over Reitz-Evansville for the Indiana state 4A title.

Swanigan, a 6-foot-9, 265-pounder, had 20 points and 14 rebounds.



Athletics: Report says Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen one of two finalists for Cal assignment

University of Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen is one of two finalists for the Cal AD job, the Commercial Appeal in Memphis is reporting.

Bowen, 53, a former Cal associate athletic director and the AD at San Jose State for seven years, has been mentioned as a possible candidate since last summer.

The Memphis newspaper said Bowen and Cal interim AD Michael Williams are the two finalists.

Bowen declined to confirm anything when approached Wednesday by the Commercial Appeal.

“I’m happy at Memphis. This is where I am, this is where I want to be,” he said. “We’re doing great work and I’m excited about what we’re doing.

“Again, I’m not going to comment on all this (Cal) talk, noise, social media (reports). I’m very pleased and happy and love being the athletic director at the University of Memphis. That’s been my statement all along and this continues to come up.”

Williams, a Cal graduate, initially said he was not interested in the permanent job when he took the interim assignment after Sandy Barbour was fired last June. But on Feb. 9 he told this newspaper he now wants the job.

Bowen, a graduate of Notre Dame, has deep roots in the Bay Area. He was athletic director at De La Salle High from 1987 through ’95, spent a brief time in 2000 as acting AD at Saint Mary’s College, then worked from 2000 through 2002 at Cal as an associate AD for development.

He ran the athletic department at San Jose State for seven years before being hired at Memphis in June 2012.