Unbeaten Villanova stops Cardinal in Pre-Season NIT

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Thursday, November 26, 2015

photo credit: cityofbasketball. com of Villanova Wildcats top scorer Jalen Brunson

Shooting woes hampered Stanford in its National Invitation Tournament Season Tip-Off opener Thursday, as undefeated Villanova defeated the Cardinal 59-45 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Cardinal had a miserable shooting day, making only 13 of 50 field goal attempts (26 percent), and 2 of 9 3-pointers.

Jalen Brunson popped in a game-high 18 points to lead the Wildcats (5-0), with Josh Hart adding 10 points and nine boards. Villanova didn’t shoot much better, hitting 31 percent of its shots, making 19 of 62.

Dorian Pickens scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds for the Cardinal, marking his first career double-double. Marcus Allen had 12 points and five rebounds, and Reid Travis was Stanford’s leading rebounder with 12. Rosco Allen also had 10 rebounds for the Cardinal.

Stanford (2-3) will face Arkansas (2-2) Friday in an NIT consolation game, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca: Bears get set for first road game at San Diego State Friday

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–I used to go to high school five miles from the campus of where the Cal Bears will be playing on Friday night San Diego State. Guys I knew in high school went there and played sports including basketball. That’s always been a pretty decent basketball school.  Steve Fisher came there to coach and since then it’s become an excellent basketball school.

They have always been ready to play and San Diego State has a great defensive team they’re always long, their always athletic. Both Cal head coach Cunzo Martin and the players talked about playing a team that’s a challenge this Friday. The thing that is most impressive about Cal whose won their first three games at home is what you see is what you get.

Cal has a strong defense and defenses take awhile it requires trusting the other guys which requires people knowing how players are moving in certain situations. When you integrate two highly touted freshman Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown into your line up it’s easy because Cal hasn’t played any top notch teams right yet. So when the Bears get into the Pac 12 schedule it’ll be interesting to see what Rabb and Brown can do.

AP photo: Cal Bears Tyrone Wallace leading team scorer with 20.3 per game

Michael Duca does the Cal Bears basketball podcast each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com listen to his podcast below he’ll thank you for it


Stanford Cardinal football podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: McCaffrey riding high towards Heisman; Cardinal winning ways could land them at Rose Bowl

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Jerry after a loss to the Oregon two weeks back the Cardinal took it to heart and took it to the Cal Bears for their ninth win and a great shot at the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal need to win the Pac 12 Championship to get to Pasadena. Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey made the difference in the win in the Big game on Saturday.

McCaffrey the key to the ball carry and finding holes to get into the end zone displayed his raw talents as a back and the win was satisfactory after the two point loss to the Ducks the week before. As the Cardinal get set for Notre Dame it’s a game that the Cardinal want to wrap up heading into post season.

Jerry Feitelberg does the Cardinal podcast each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

USA Today photo Stanford Cardinal Christian McCafferey


Cal Bears football podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears in for a lower bowl game will need upcoming game

by Morris Phillips

Bing photos: Cal head coach Sonny Dykes

BERKELEY–On the Cal podcast today the Bears (6-5) have now lost five of their last six games and are closing up the season with Arizona State on Saturday and we talk about which bowl game they’ll be able to appear in. The Foster Farms Bowl at Santa Clara is not likely this year.

Cal put out a statistical imprint, they had the effort but lacked the execution in their loss to Stanford (9-2) and head coach Sonny Dykes said the guys played well enough to win but it wasn’t good enough. The Bears defense had a hard time trying to contain running back Christian McCaffrey the Heisman Award candidate for Stanford.

Hear the rest of Morris’ podcast below and every week on the Cal Bears football podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com



Inspired Gaels upend Cardinal

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Sunday, November 22, 2015

St. Mary’s used a big second half Sunday night and struck a competitive blow on behalf of mid-major programs, as the Gaels upended Stanford 78-61 in a non-conference men’s basketball game at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga.

Joe Rahon, a transfer from Boston College, poured in a game-high 24 points – also a career-best – while the Gaels outscored Stanford 45-24 in the second half, after the Cardinal took a 37-33 lead into the halftime break.

St. Mary’s used a 12-point run early in the second half to pull away for good, building a 20-point lead late in the game.

Rahon, Emmett Naar and Evan Fitzner each grabbed six rebounds for the Gaels, and Naar dished out six assists.

St. Mary’s shot 57 percent from the field, hitting 30 of 53 shots – 9 of 16 from 3-point range. The Gaels made 17 of 28 field goal attempts in the second half and outrebounded Stanford 34-24.

Reid Travis led the Cardinal with 18 points, hitting 9 of 14 from the field. Travis also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Marcus Allen added 14 points – all in the first half – and sophomore Dorian Pickens had 10 points. Allen has seen limited action in the first three games due to a foot injury.

The loss evened the Cardinal’s record at 2-2, while St. Mary’s is undefeated after three games. It was the first time the schools met on the court since November 13, 2002, when Stanford prevailed 76-58.

Stanford still leads the all-time series 34-15.

NCAA Podcast with Michelle Richardson: Ohio State players blame each other after first lost of season; Iowa one of the last undefeated schools

Michigan State (9-1) 17 Ohio State (10-1) 14: It boiled right down to the last three seconds of the game on Saturday as Michigan State were just 41 yards from the promise land of handing the Buckeyes their very first loss in 11 games. The Spartans Michael Geiger knew he it was up to him to convert the field goal and go home or miss it and take a chance again on the Ohio St offense.

Geiger hit it and the game winner went through the uprights and gave the Spartans an astonishing win that will highlight their season. Meanwhile the Buckeyes went back to the dressing room and there was plenty of blame to go around. The Buckeye players blamed each other for the loss, there was finger pointing, guys were saying they missed plays.

The finger pointing wasn’t limited to just the Buckeyes players but also  head coach Urban Meyers. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott voiced his displeasure saying that this would be his last home game with the Buckeyes and that he won’t be back next season and he was disappointed with Meyers’ play calling.

Iowa (10-0) 40 Purdue 20: Also in the podcast Michelle reviews Iowa’s win over Purdue 40-20 and it was Iowa who set the tone in the first half with two scores and put the Iowa in the drivers seat for the rest of the game. The game was snow filled and visability was difficult but it didn’t dampen Iowa’s attempts at succeeding in getting into the Big Ten West and into the end zone a few times.

Michelle Richardson does the NCAA podcast each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

USA Today photo Urban Meyer head coach Ohio State

Cal competitive but far from perfect in 35-22 loss in the Big Game

Axe retained

by Morris Phillips

Facing their toughest opponent of 2015, the Cal Bears knew they needed to be near perfect to beat Stanford for the first time since 2009.

The effort was there, the statistical imprint was there, but admittedly, the execution was lacking in the Bears 35-22 defeat at Stanford Stadium.

“I told the guys, I thought we played very hard, we just didn’t play quite well enough to win and we couldn’t overcome some of the things that were out of our control,” Coach Sonny Dykes said.

High on the list—if not at the top—of things the Bears needed to accomplish to beat the Cardinal, controlling Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey was paramount. But Cal didn’t even come close to containing McCaffrey, who amassed a Stanford school-record 389 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. With the game still in reach in the second quarter, McCaffrey broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown on a catch and run that put Stanford up 14-3, then after Cal responded with a field goal, McCaffrey broke free again on a 98-yard kickoff return that put the Cardinal on top 21-6 at halftime.

“He’s truly, truly special,” Coach David Shaw said of McCaffrey. “Kickoff returner, runner, receiver, blocker, he got a couple nice blocks today. The kid’s just truly, truly special. And our guys know that and they take a lot of pride in blocking for him down the field because the guy makes special, special plays.”

Jared Goff battled for Cal without the services of leading receiver Kenny Lawler and top runner Daniel Lasco, throwing for 386 yards on 37 of 54 passing with two touchdowns. But early on, Cal ran smack into Stanford’s meticulous defense that was burned by Oregon last week in the pass game.   Throughout, the Cardinal defense surrendered yardage underneath but got stingy when Cal advanced into scoring areas. In Dykes’ assessment, a couple of Cal drives were short circuited by penalties, and in two promising, first half drives, the Bears were forced to settle for field goals.

With Cal trailing 7-0, a long drive appeared to end with Maurice Harris’ three-yard touchdown catch but Harris was stripped by cornerback Alijah Holder as he crossed the end zone’s back line. Two plays later, Cal settled for a field goal. In the third quarter, Cal had another long drive that appeared headed for a touchdown, but Cal settled for a field goal when Goff and the Bears couldn’t convert on 3rd-and-2 from the eight-yard line. On that play, Goff’s inaccurate throw didn’t give Tre Watson an opportunity to run after the catch.

“We went for it a bunch on fourth down,” Dykes recalled. “We went for it early in the game because we felt like we had to. We were trying to play aggressive. But at the same time we didn’t want to get—we didn’t want to miss opportunities to get points. We felt like if we could keep getting field goals that was better than not getting anything.”

“We’re not used to losing the time of possession,” Shaw said. “They kept the ball for a long time. They were very efficient. But give Coach Anderson a lot of credit, keeping the ball in front of us, not giving up touchdowns, giving up field goals in the red zone. That was huge.”

Cal earned a brief reset in the third quarter when Darius Powe’s 3-yard touchdown catch brought the Bears within 21-16. But Stanford responded with touchdowns on its next two drives to go up 35-16. Throughout, Stanford played stubborn and patient, as Kevin Hogan attempted just 12 passes all evening. Instead, Stanford relied on McCaffrey and its running game with the sophomore runner amassing 192 yards rushing on 29 carries.

The Bears must quickly turn the page on their inability to beat Stanford since Andrew Luck’s freshman year at Stanford, and get ready for the final home game against Arizona State. The Bears are bowl-eligible at 6-5 but would love to close out with a win after losing five of their last six games.

Morris Phillips is the Cal Bears beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com


Stanford runs past Cal, claim Pac-12 North title

By Jeremy Harness

AP photo Stanford quarterback  Kevin Hogan with keeper gets in end zone against Cal

STANFORD – If there was any question as to how Stanford would respond to a big loss, that was answered in a big way Saturday night.

The loss to Oregon last weekend knocked the Cardinal out of the College Football Playoff picture, but there was still plenty to play for, such as the Pac-12 title and another trip to the Rose Bowl. And besides, this was the Big Game, and if you’re Stanford, how can you not get up for this?

“I got the question about guys bouncing back, and I’m telling you, it’s Cal week,” head coach David Shaw said. “When it’s Cal week, we don’t worry about anything else. They really wanted this game.”

Carried primarily by the legs of Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey, No. 11 Stanford clinched the Pac-12 North championship by taking down Cal at Stanford Stadium in the 118th edition of the Big Game, 35-22, and will play the winner of next weekend’s USC-UCLA game on Dec. 5 at Levi’s Stadium for the right to play for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Before then, they can wreck the playoff hopes of Notre Dame, currently in the fourth and final playoff spot, with a victory at home next Saturday afternoon.

Although very slim, Stanford has a chance of grabbing one of those four spots with the victory over the Fighting Irish and a victory in the Pac-12 title game, and McCaffrey had a lot to do with the Cardinal’s chances staying alive Saturday. He torched the Golden Bears with 390 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“Has anybody has seen a football player better than Christian McCaffrey?” head coach David Shaw asked. “Tell me. Show him to me.

“He’s truly, truly special. Our guys know that, and they take a lot of pride in blocking for him.”

McCaffrey amassed 282 all-purpose yards in the first half alone, and the choke-hold that he had on the game on offense and special teams was so evident that Cal began to pooch and squib its kickoffs to keep the ball away from him. In the process, however, the tactic gave Stanford very good field position, and the Cardinal took advantage.

The early going featured some feeling-out on the part of Stanford, which tested out their passing game on their first possession but with no success before being forced to punt.

The Cardinal ditched that attack when they got the ball again and pounded Cal with their prized running game, and they did not look back from that point. The 52-yard drive, which consisted of four runs and a pair of passes, culminated in Remound Wright’s second effort two-yard touchdown and gave Stanford a 7-0 lead.

By the end of the first half, McCaffrey had firmly left his imprint on the game. Late in the second quarter, he took a screen pass, broke a tackle and zig-zagged past a few more defenders on his way to a 49-yard touchdown that extended the Cardinal lead to 14-3.

“Football is a lot of instincts, and if you think too much, that’s when you end up messing up,” McCaffrey said. “But when you just allow your football instincts to take control, it makes football a lot of fun.”

Following a Cal field goal in the final minute of the first half, McCaffrey returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown that started to break the game wide open in Stanford’s favor and prompted a collective decision by Cal to stop kicking it to him altogether.

While Stanford mixed up their attack but kept it centered on the run, Cal primarily aired it out, which explains Jared Goff’s 386 passing yards while completing 37 of his 54 throws. While the Golden Bears had success in moving down the field that way, the attack stalled once it got into the red zone. While Stanford punched it in during its sole trip in the first half, Cal paid two visits inside the 20-yard line and had to settle for field goals each time.

“Keeping the ball in front of us and not giving up touchdowns, and (just) giving up field goals in the red zone, that was huge,” head coach David Shaw said.

After settling for another field goal on their first possession of the second half, the Golden Bears finally got it into the end zone when Jared Goff hit Darius Powe for a 3-yard score that narrowed Stanford’s lead to 21-16.

Trailing by 12 midway through the fourth quarter, Cal made its way down the field and into the red zone again. However, a big penalty kept the Bears out of the end zone, as a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call on Chris Borrayo forced a third-and-25, and when Goff’s fourth-down heave into the end zone fell incomplete, the Cardinal took over.

Four plays later, freshman running back Bryce Love darted right past the entire Cal defense for a 48-yard touchdown run to end the competitive phase of the game.

Jeremy Harness is the Stanford Cardinal football beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Stanford Cardinal basketball podcast with Matt Harrington: Cardinal say they’ll get back to chalkboard after loss, get set for St.Marys

by Matt Harrington

PALO ALTO–The SMU Mustangs who are coached by former NBA coach great Larry Brown  and who was suspended for nine games and served his second of those nine on Thursday for last season’s recruiting violations.  Brown had the game coached by back up Tim Jankovich  On the other hand the Cardinal after winning two straight lost on their own home floor 85-70.

The Mustangs ran off a 8-0 margin and had a 12 point lead before the game went to the half at 9:34. The Mustangs Ben Moore led all scorers with 12, followed by forwards Jordan Tolbert (8) and Keith Frasier (6). SMU won by 15 and Stanford’s offense tried to jell towards the end of the second half getting it down to nine points but SMU pulled away with a point 20 win.

Matt Harrington does the Cardinal basketball podcast each week http://www.sportsradioservice.com

AP photo Marcus Allen Stanford Cardinal guard

Rabb, Cal control the glass in narrow win over East Carolina

By Morris Phillips

AP photo Cal Bears Ivan Rabb

BERKELEY–Ivan Rabb is Cal’s big-time recruit with the potential of an All-American. But he doesn’t necessarily fit the profile upon first appearance.

The babyfaced Rabb isn’t physically imposing even at 6’11”, and he may be Cal’s B.M.O.C. but it’s not because the reserved freshman draws attention to himself.

Except when he spots a live ball near the rim. Just ask Coach Jeff Lebo and East Carolina.

Or, for that matter, ask Rabb’s own coach, Cuonzo Martin.

“I thought he played really well,” Martin said after Cal’s 70-62 win over ECU. “Again, watching him play I can tell he had a good game without looking at the stats sheet. I can tell he played well. He did a really good job of playing assertive, playing aggressive and then now the biggest key is keeping him out of foul trouble.”

Were it not for foul trouble, Rabb would have surely improved on his 14 points, 13 rebounds and five block shots. But on a night when Rabb and his teammates shot an uncharacteristic 42 percent from the floor, and the Pirates refused to go away, the Oakland native did more than enough to put his team in the win column.

Rabb was on the floor for 19 of the first 20 minutes of the game as the Bears established a five-point lead at halftime. His three blocked shots had the Pirates thinking, referenced by their chilly, 29 percent shooting in the opening half. When ECU made a run late in the game, Rabb was back on the floor grabbing rebounds and hitting a couple of critical free throws.

And throughout, when the ball was on the rim, Rabb was active. In the first half, Rabb followed a pair of made free throws with a blocked shot as ECU’s Kentrell Barkley attempted to cruise in for a layup. Then at the other end, Rabb followed Jabari Bird’s missed shot with a long-armed tip-in and a 15-11 Cal lead.

Cal and Rabb can thank their superiority on the glass for Friday’s win. Although Cal led throughout, their poor shooting allowed them to lead just 64-61 with 2:14 remaining. Given that, the Bears’ 45-26 advantage on the boards was crucial. The Pirates couldn’t make enough timely shots, and they surely couldn’t rely on offensive rebounding and second-chance points.

“They got a lot of them in the second half,” Lebo said of the rebounding disparity. “I thought Rabb got a few put backs around the basket. You know they’re not a great offensive rebounding team off the first two games, but they shot over 50 percent in those games so there wasn’t a lot of offensive rebounds to be had.”

With Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird struggling with their shots, Tyrone Wallace carried the Bears offensively with 20 points. Just as importantly, Wallace offered a nice counterpoint to the Pirates’ zone defense that forced the Bears to launch more jump shots than they would prefer. Against the zone, Wallace was more than willing to pass the ball and get it back later in the possession when he hit a couple of open threes, or drove to the hoop aggressively.

Brown and Bird didn’t have their best nights, but they were productive as Brown came up with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Bird added 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Brown, the highly regarded freshman, looked close to breaking through as the form on his jump shot was flawless but still missed all five of his attempts from distance.

The Pirates—in their first ever basketball game in the state of California– were led by Michael Zangari and Caleb White with 17 points apiece.

The Bears resume their early-season homestand on Monday when the Sam Houston State Bearkats visit Haas Pavilion for an 8pm tipoff.