Football: Cal vs. Oregon State facts

RECORDS: Cal is 5-4, 2-4 in Pac-12; Oregon State is 2-7, 0-6.

KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.

TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks/810-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 35-32. Cal won 45-31 last year, but Oregon State has won 12 of the past 16 meetings. The Bears have not beaten the Beavers in Memorial Stadium since 1997.

STORYLINES: This marks the Bears’ eighth chance over two seasons to secure a sixth win and bowl eligibility. They lost four of the previous seven by eight points or fewer. . . . While Cal has averaged just 24.2 points during its four-game losing streak, Oregon State ranks 119th nationally at 17.2 for the season . . . Cal’s lone win in November in nine tries over the past three seasons was its 45-31 victory at Oregon State last fall. . . The Beavers have dropped their past 12 conference games. . . . OSU, under first-year coach Gary Andersen, is playing without injured starting quarterback Seth Collins for the third straight game.

ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS: Cal has designated the game as its second Alzheimer’s Awareness game. Cal players will wear #ENDALZ patches on their uniforms and coaches will wear purple Alzheimer’s Association wristbands. The cause is important to Cal coach Sonny Dykes, whose mother Sharon suffered from the condition before her death in 2010. Fans also will receive the wristbands and the first 2,500 students be given “Cal Fights ALZ” t-shirts. Cal is partnering on the event with the national Alzheimer’s Association. For more information, go to alz.org.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal: WR Kenny Lawler (buttocks) is questionable; Oregon State: QB Seth Collins (knee), RB Ryan Nall (undisclosed), CB Dwayne Williams (undisclosed) and Saf Justin Strong (head) are out; CB Treston Decoud (head) is probable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s offensive line vs. Oregon State’s defensive front. The Bears have struggled up front at times during their four-game losing streak, but this is an opportunity to assert themselves against a Beavers’ defense that ranks last in the Pac-12 with just 11 sacks and 10th against the run, allowing 202.3 yards per game. Cal hasn’t rushed for more than 139 yards in a Pac-12 game this season.

STATS THAT MATTER: Cal has more red-zone touchdowns (30) than the Beavers have red-zone opportunities (24). . . . Oregon State freshman quarterback Nick Mitchell has thrown one career touchdown pass, compared to 77 for Cal’s Jared Goff. . . . Goff needs 129 passing yards to reach 3,000 for the third straight season. Previously, there were just two 3,000-yard passers in school history. . . The Bears scored 30 points or more in seven of nine Pac-12 games a year ago, but just twice so far this season.


Basketball: How past Cal stars fared in their debuts

What should we expect from Cal freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb in their first games as collegiate players?

We’ll find out Friday night at 8:30 p.m. then the Bears take in Rice at Haas Pavilion.

Here’s a look at debut freshman performances by former Cal stars:

— Kevin Johnson (1983): The future NBA point guard and Mayor of Sacramento had 11 points in a 79-62 win over UC San Diego.

— Lamond Murray (1991): The small forward with a smooth stroke had 20 points in a 91-73 win over Nevada.

— Al Grigsby (1991): A monster power forward before injuries diminished his game, Grigsby had 16 points and 9 rebounds in the aforementioned defeat of Nevada.

— Jason Kidd (1992): The greatest high school player in Bay Area history stayed home and had 11 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 6 steals in an 89-65 win over Sacramento State in front of 12,700 fans at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

— Tremaine Fowles (1994): Fowlkes came off the bench to contribute 18 points and 8 rebounds to an 82-69 win over Texas Southern.

— Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1995): The forward from Murietta, Georgia – hometown of current Cal freshman Jaylen Brown – had 33 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocked and 2 steals in a 111-83 win over Northern Arizona. Over his first three games with Cal, Abdur-Rahim averaged 31.3 points.

— Joe Shipp (1999): Went all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska, to score 20 points in a 91-83 win over Texas Christian.

— Leon Powe (2003): The power forward from Oakland had 12 points and 10 rebounds but the Bears lost 63-62 to Cal Poly

— Ryan Anderson (2006): Anderson had 20 points and 8 rebounds in a 60-42 win over Utah Valley State.

— Allen Crabbe (2010): A modest beginning for the current Trail Blazers shoot guard, who had 8 points and 4 rebounds in an 80-62 win over Cal State Northridge.


Football: WR Kenny Lawler improving, likely to play

Cal wide receiver Kenny Lawler is making progress after injuring his buttocks a week ago at Oregon and is likely to play Saturday night when the Bears take on Oregon State at Memorial Stadium.

But coach Sonny Dykes said a final decision about Lawler’s availability will be made after Friday’s workout.

Lawler is the Bears’ leading receiver with 44 catches for 558 yards and nine touchdowns. He did not play in the second half at Oregon and has just 17 catches for 159 yards and one touchdown during Cal’s current four-game losing streak.

If Lawler cannot play, Maurice Harris would be moved to his “Z” outside receiver position, backed by Chad Hansen.

Dykes said all of Cal’s other players who recently were banged up are cleared and will play. They are:

— CB Darius Allensworth (foot)

— Saf Stefan McClure (shoulder)

— DT Tony Mekari (knee)

— LB Jalen Jefferson (shoulder)

— DT Mustafa Jalil (knee)

— LB Michael Barton (knee)

— DT James Looney (knee)


Aaron Cochran emerged from a week of competition as the starter Saturday at left tackle, Dykes said. Brian Farley had a rough game at Oregon, prompting the coaching staff to open the position to competition.


Football: Raymond Hudson whiffs on biggest assignment

Recruited to Cal as a tight end, sophomore Raymond Hudson has been moved around to play all sorts of variations on that position: the Y receiver, H back and blocking fullback in the bone alignment.

Last Saturday night, he got a new assignment, then ran into some trouble when he forgot to tell his mother about it.

Lynne and Richard Hudson were at Autzen Stadium to watch their son’s game against Oregon, and were a little surprised when Raymond sliced in from his spot on the right end of the line to block a Ducks’ punt.

“My mom was a little mad at me, actually, because I usually call her during the week and tell her if there are any changes,” Hudson said. “For some reason, I never told her I was on this. I just left it out.”

Fortunately, Hudson’s parents didn’t miss the moment. “She didn’t think it was me at first because she didn’t know I was on it,” Hudson said. “She said it was a nice little surprise.”

It was a surprise for Hudson as well. He’d never played on the punt return or punt block unit – not at Cal, nor at Foothill High in Pleasanton. The change was made the week before to create a better matchup against Oregon’s punt protection alignment.

“My job was to come through and blow up the personal protector,” Hudson said. “He miscounted and stepped forward to block another guy. I went to the middle of the wedge – just came through. The ball was kind of in the right place at the right time.”

Actually, Hudson was. He thought he’d just gotten a finger on it, but knocked the ball down, setting up Cal’s first touchdown in a 44-28 loss.

Because roommate Matt Rockett blocked a punt for the Bears earlier in the season, Hudson now jokes, “We’re the punt blocking house.”

Later in the Oregon game, linebacker Hamilton Anoa’i blocked Oregon’s only other punt try, and Hudson recovered. He was rewarded with Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Asked if Anoa’i lives with them at the punt blocking house, Hudson said, “We’ll make room.”


Basketball: Cal to play in 2017 Maui Invitational

Mark your calendars — if you have one that includes November 2017.

Cal will participate in the 2017 Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center, Nov. 20-22 . . . two years from now.

Other schools confirmed in the field, according to the event’s website, are Michigan, Notre Dame, VCU, LSU, Marquette, Wichita State and host Chaminade.

Cal will make its third trip to Maui, having participated in 1996 and 2013.


Football: Cal defense not entirely sure what to expect from depleted Oregon State offense

The assignment facing Art Kaufman and the Cal defense is how to stop an Oregon State team whose offense – while perhaps feeble in recent weeks – promises to be unpredictable.

The Beavers are without their most dangerous offensive weapon, freshman quarterback Seth Collins, who accounted for 60 percent of the team’s yardage through seven games before going down with a knee injury.

Also out is 6-foot-2, 255-pound tight end-turned-running back Ryan Nall, sidelined by an undisclosed injury.

OSU offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has hinted at a “surprise” on Saturday. That could include shifting freshman wideout and former prep sprint champion Paul Lucas, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a senior, to running back.

So, for defensive coordinator Kaufman, it’s not as simple as frothing over an opponent that has averaged barely eight points the past three games.

“This is an Oregon (State) team that we have seen, but an offense that we have not seen,” he said. “And a quarterback we have not seen. You don’t know what the matchup is.”

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Basketball: Get your fill of Pac-12 hoops on Friday

Ready for some Pac-12 basketball?

Ten teams from the Pac-12 Conference will debut Friday — with nine of them playing on the various Pac-12 Networks. Here’s the schedule:

No. 7 Iowa State vs. COLORADO (1) 3 p.m. MT ESPN2
Sacramento State at ARIZONA STATE 5:30 p.m. MT PAC12
San Diego at USC 5 p.m. PT PAC12
Northern Arizona at WASHINGTON STATE 5:30 p.m. PT PAC12
Wisconsin Green Bay at STANFORD 6 p.m. PT PAC12
Pacific at No. 12 ARIZONA 7:30 p.m. MT PAC12
Jackson State at OREGON 7 p.m. PT PAC12
Southern Utah at No. 16 UTAH 8:30 p.m. MT PAC12
Monmouth at UCLA 8 p.m. PT PAC12
Rice at No. 14 CALIFORNIA 8:30 p.m. PT PAC12

By the way, handling game analysis for the Cal-Rice match will be Ben Braun — who coached at both schools.


Basketball notes: A Final Four trip for Bears?

Three of ESPN’s college basketball experts — including Andy Katz and Jeff Goodman — have projected Cal making a run to this season’s Final Four.

That’s no small thing for a program that hasn’t been there since 1960.

Katz has Cal, Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan State advancing to the final weekend of the season, and says Kansas will win it all.

Goodman predicts a Final Four of Cal, North Carolina, Maryland and Michigan State, giving Michigan State the nod as champion.

C.L. Brown expects Cal, Maryland, North Carolina and Kansas to survive and envisions Maryland copping the title.

The Bears were shut out of the Final Four in picks by Jay Bilas, Brad Daugherty, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Dick Vitale. Click here for all of ESPN.com’s picks.


Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday that freshman forward Roman Davis will be red-shirted this season.

“I talked with his dad quite a bit about that,” Martin said. “We wanted to make sure it was best for Roman.”

It’s best for Davis because he would be playing this season behind fellow freshman Jaylen Brown.

Martin said there are no plans at this point for anyone else on the roster to be red-shirted.


Columnist Marcus Thompson weighs in on how the Bears will cope with all the hype.


Basketball: Cal season preview

• LAST SEASON: 18-15, 7-11 (tied for eighth place in the Pac-12)

• COACH: Cuonzo Martin, second season at Cal 18-15; 9th season overall, 160-112.

• KEY PLAYERS: Senior guard Tyrone Wallace (17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists), junior guard Jordan Mathews (13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds), junior guard Jabari Bird (10.5 points, 3.3 rebounds).

SCOUTING REPORT: The 14th-ranked Bears are expected to contend for the Pac-12 title and find a place on the national landscape with the return of three starting guards and the arrival of two freshman prep All-Americans, 6-7 small forward Jaylen Brown and 6-11 power forward Ivan Rabb from Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High. . . . Wallace has become the team’s leader and will continue to operate as a scoring point guard, even with more offensive weapons around him. . . . Mathews, a 44-percent 3-point shooter last season, and Bird should benefit from the two freshmen who will demand defensive attention. . . . Brown, a consensus top-five high school prospect, is an explosive player who can operate from the perimeter or attack the basket. Rabb’s offensive game still is developing, but he is a strong rebounder who can play either power forward or center. . . . Sophomore 7-footers Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks will share minutes at center. . . . Also expected to be in the rotation are backup point guard Sam Singer and 6-7 wing Stephen Domingo, a transfer from Georgetown.

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