Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears on six game loss streak face Utah Thursday in Berkeley

Joel Brown (left) and Matt Bradley (right) of the Cal Bears try to grab the rebound against the Stanford Cardinal Sun Feb 7, 2021 at Maples Pavilion (Stanford Athletics photo)

#1 Morris another tough loss for the Cal Bears on Sunday night at Stanford 76-70. The only difference was that Cal had a slightly better game if you can call it that Thursday 70-55.

#2 Morris, it was that first half that Cal was frustrated with 35-24, their second half vast improvement 46-41 but fell sort by six points on the final tally.

#3 Cal was tied with Stanford at 22 in the first half with 4:24 remaining but Stanford roared back with a 22-4 run and never looked back.

#4 In what is now a six-game losing streak for the Bears–the longest skid under Fox–their opponent made at least half their shots from the floor for the fourth consecutive game.

#5 Thursday night the Bears host the Utah Utes, the Utes have won three of their last four games. The Utes handled the Arizona Wildcats on Feb 4th 73-58. The Utes were supposed to play Arizona State on Sunday but that game was postponed because of Covid-19 protocol issues. How do you see this match up Thursday night with Utah and Cal?

Join Morris for Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips Mon Feb 8, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud


Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Utes completely shutdown Golden Bears offense from start to finish 60-45

photo from Utah forward Timmy Allen (1) celebrates after scoring against California during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris the Bears (10-13) tallied their lowest point total for 2019-20 with a 60-45 loss in Utah (14-9) and Bears head coach Mark Fox tried to explain how to fix the offense that looked like they recovered in games against Stanford (16-7), OSU (14-9) and Oregon (18-6).

#2 When you look at the miniscule number of only 45 points scored was it a matter of Utah’s ability to shut down all of Cal’s offensive efforts and playbook or Cal just went right back to the former offense they were before the Stanford game?

#3 The Utes Timmy Allen who led Utah with 21 points said after Saturday night’s game that he was stress free, that he could almost do whatever he wanted on offense does that speak to Cal’s lack of stopping Utah’s offense or Allen really was that good to do whatever he wanted with the basketball

#4 The Bears Matt Bradley had only 13 points on Saturday night he at times was well covered and couldn’t take the kind of shots he normally takes

#5 The Bears go back to the drawing board this time they go back to Berkeley and face the Arizona schools first this Thursday against Arizona (16-7) and then against Arizona State (15-8) on Saturday can they get back that old mojo they had before they went to Utah?

Cal Bear podcasts are heard on Mondays with Morris Phillips and Thursdays with Michael Duca at


Hot-shooting Sun Devils rout Cardinal 80-62

Photo credit:

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State Coach Bobby Hurley was wearing his black shirt on Wednesday because, he explained, “It’s my gangster shirt.

“Our guys played like gangsters tonight, and the guys delivered. It was a great win for us.”

Stanford, playing without leading scorer KZ Okpala, tried everything defensively, but couldn’t contain the Sun Devils in an 80-62 Pac-12 men’s basketball loss at Wells Fargo Arena.

Going into the game, Stanford, which defeated the Sun Devils 85-71 on Jan. 12 at Maples Pavilion, had won five of its last six games, six of its last eight.
The win keeps Arizona State (18-8, 9-5) in third place in the conference, while the Cardinal (14-12, 7-7) dropped to seventh place in the Pac-12 race.

“We’ve done a great job all season of not getting too high or getting too low,” Cardinal Coach Jerod Haase said. “It was certainly disappointing, considering how hard the guys played, and the passion they played with.

“We didn’t play well, especially shooting the basketball. We have to be more effective if we’re going to get some more wins.”

Okpala, who averages 17.4 points per game for the Cardinal, did not play due to what Haase called “an upper body injury,’ adding that there’s no timetable for Okpala’s return.

“I don’t think it affected our shooting, but I think it affected the game because he’s so talented,” Haase said. “The guys shooting the shots were the guys I wanted shooting. They’re very talented.”

Remy Martin and Rob Edwards led the Sun Devils with 16 points each. Martin added six assists and two steals; Edwards had four assists. Martin, Edwards and Luguentz Dort each grabbed five rebounds, as ASU held a 38-32 rebounding edge.

Josh Sharma was Stanford’s top scorer with 17 points — 10 of them in the first half. Oscar Da Silva was next with 15 points. Sharma and Ryan Cormac had seven and six rebounds, respectively.

Defensively, Arizona State held the Cardinal 38 percent shooting (21-of-55) — 2-of-20 from behind the 3-point arc. That lack of firepower hurt Stanford from late in the second half to throughout the second half, when the Cardinal couldn’t get any closer than seven points.

“It was a combination of everything,” Haase said. “We had some great opportunities around the rim, and some open 3’s that weren’t effective. Then, Arizona State has a very talented team that had enough makes to never let us get too close.”

After each team scored within the opening minute, both the Sun Devils and Cardinals went nearly 3 ½ minutes without scoring until Sharma hit a jumper in the paint.

Arizona State led most of the first half, but the Cardinal stayed close, pulling to within 35-32 on Marcus Sheffield’s 3-pointer at 1:43. But the Devils made a late 7-2 run, capped by Martin’s long 3-pointer, giving ASU a 42-34 halftime lead.

From there, the Sun Devils gradually extended their lead. Zylan Cheatham’s 3-pointer at 4:50 of the second half put ASU up 66-52, capping another 7-2 run. De’Quon Lake’s free throw with 40 seconds left gave Arizona State an 80-60 lead, with an announced crowd of 10,327 roaring its approval.

The Sun Devils shot 51 percent (27-of-53) from the field, including 9-of-22 3-pointers (41 percent), and handled the Cardinal’s various defensive switches from man-to-man to various zones.

“We worked on it,” Hurley said. “We knew they would play man and some 2-3 and a 1-3-1, so we were prepared for what they’ve been doing recently.”

“ASU plays hard. They do a nice job of pressuring the basketball,” Haase said. “They’re great on their ball-screen coverages and put us back on our heels a little bit.

“But in the first half, we had too many turnovers. Some of the shots could have gone in, but the reality is that (ASU) did a nice job.”

In the second half, Stanford free throw shooters were 8-of-17 against the vaunted Curtain of Distraction.

The Cardinal’s southwest road trip continues with a visit to Tucson Sunday to face Arizona. Tip-off is at 5 p.m.

TAGS: Stanford, Arizona State, Pac-12, Sports Radio Service,

Stanford heads to Arizona State for Pac-12 showdown Wednesday evening

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

After a rough road trip in the Beaver State, Stanford men’s basketball rebounded with two straight home wins over rivals USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins, respectively. The Cardinal routed the Bruins 104-80 on February 16th and edged the Trojans 79-76 on February 13th. Not bad for two Bay Area versus Los Angeles style showdowns.

But Stanford (14-11, 7-6 Pac-12) now has a tall order with a brief stop in the desert, where they’ll take on the Arizona State Sun Devils, who currently stand tall with a 17-8, 8-5 Pac-12 record, and pay a visit to the Arizona Wildcats, who are third to last in the conference with a 14-12, 5-8 Pac-12 record. Tempe and Tucson are two different cities that are 100 miles apart, but I doubt the travel time and time difference won’t be factors in the Cardinal’s next two games. The Cardinal will bring a two-game win streak, while the Sun Devils will be looking to make it two wins in a row. ASU last defeated the Utah Utes 98-87 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on February 16th.

The Cardinal had won five of their last six games, which has been a positive sign for the wishy-washy team even though they likely won’t become a promising postseason contender this year. If you’re antsy for the game, you can check out for their live countdown to the tipoff. You can thank me later, too.

Not only did Stanford beat UCLA, Josh Sharma–a Cardinal senior center–was voted the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Monday. Sharma led the Cardinal to a sweep of the LA-based schools. The Cardinal’s win over the Bruins was their largest in 22 years. The Cardinal’s currently tied with Colorado and USC for fifth in the conference at 7-6 in Pac-12 play.

Sharma averaged a double-double for the week at 18.0 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. He posted his second career double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds in the win over UCLA. His 22-point performance was one shy of his career-high, which was set earlier this season against Long Beach State.

Sharma, the Pac-12’s field goal percentage leader at 69%, finished 10-of-11 from the field in the win over UCLA, becoming just the 10th player in Cardinal history with at least nine field goals made and just one or no missed field goal attempts in a game. He finished Saturday’s win with seven dunks.

Sharma registered 14 points and nine rebounds in the win over USC on Wednesday.

Sharma was recognized by the Pac-12 for the second time this season. He was also named the conference’s player of the week on Dec. 31. He’s the first Stanford player to be recognized with the conference’s weekly award multiple times in the same season since Landry Fields in 2009-10. He’s also the sixth Cardinal to accomplish the feat all-time, joining Fields (2009-10), Matt Haryasz (2005-06), Matt Lottich (2003-04), Adam Keefe (1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92) and Todd Lichti (1988-89).

Forks Down, Forks Up: ASU starts slow, but finishes fast in 80-66 road win over Cal

By Morris Phillips

The ASU Sun Devils came to Berkeley Wednesday night trying to forge an upward trajectory, something they could hardly claim two weeks ago when they beat Kansas, then lost to Princeton in an inexplicable eight-day span.

But 14 minutes in, the Bears’ active 2-3 zone was causing Arizona State problems, and they trailed Cal by 14. Yeah, the Bears have struggled, but double-digit leads can help a young ballclub gain wisdom in a hurry.

So how did ASU coach Bobby Hurley respond?

He turned to sophomore guard Remy Martin in hopes of giving his squad a boost. Martin fashioned his contribution in a mere, eight seconds.

The ASU sparkplug–a reserve who routinely plays starter’s minutes–sliced Cal’s lead to 11 with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Martin would go on to score or assist on every ASU basket in the six minutes leading to the half.

That run got Arizona State within 35-33 at the break. Then the Sun Devils took over in the second half, and they handled the Bears, 80-66, the 10th consecutive loss for the hosts in Pac-12 conference play.

To the Bears’ and coach Wyking Jones’ credit, their strategic wrinkle–playing a packed-in zone to limit penetration and put the onus on ASU’s shooters–worked. ASU opened the game by missing 11 of their first 12 shots. They just couldn’t sustain it once Martin started cooking.

“What changed was Remy Martin started hitting shots,” Jones admitted. “We can’t keep the zone as tight, and now we have to go out there and guard him. We have to guard the guy at the top of the key, and it opens up the high post, and then they started hurting us.”

Martin’s career-best scoring effort had symmetry: 12 points, 4 assists in the Sun Devils’ big run leading up to halftime, and another 12 during the period that ASU extended their 47-44 lead to 77-65 with 2:16 remaining.

As a freshman last season on an ASU team that was senior-dominated, Martin showed out at Haas Pavilion with 13 points, three assists in 18 minutes off the bench in the Sun Devils 81-73 win. This season, Martin still comes off the bench despite being more experienced than his teammates who start. But the speedy playmaker hasn’t complained. Instead he’s embraced the role and perfected it.

With ASU in the midst their first half run, Martin whipped a pass to a cutting Zylan Cheatham for a dunk, a pass thrown with so much force, the point guard came out of his shoe. The video replay shows the unaffected Martin putting his shoe back on at the moment Cheatham finishes the play at the rim.

“I’m here to help the team win whether I’m starting or coming off the bench,” Martin said. “I’m the same guy and I’ll do whatever is best for the team.”

What was best, was also fast and decisive, as the Bears found out Wednesday.  In a rare, statistical seismic shift, the shooting percentages for both teams changed dramatically after halftime. Cal shot 43.3 percent in the first half, 31.8 percent in the second, while ASU skewed more dramatically.  The Sun Devils were 39.4 percent before the break, and 57.7 percent after, and get this.. they went the final eight minutes of the game without being discredited with a missed shot. All that pace and execution to end it, after all the missed shots in the initial minutes of the game.

Matt Bradley was inserted into the starting lineup for second straight game, and scored in double figures for the third straight game. The freshman guard led Cal with 19 points, Darius McNeill added 16. Bradley also summed up the tale of two halves.

“The second half, they started knocking down shots. Once they spread us out, they got the bigs going down low. They played a lot harder and a lot more aggressively,” Bradley said.

The Bears host the Arizona Wildcats Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Cardinal hold off ASU’s late rally for 20-13 win

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Thursday, October 18, 2018

A late Arizona State Sun Devils’ rally fell short on Thursday, as the Stanford Cardinal held on for a 20-13 Pac-12 football victory at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

Sun Devils quarterback Manny Wilkins drove the ASU offense into the red zone in the last two minutes and 20 seconds of the fourth quarter. But with no time outs available, ASU could not stop the clock. All of ASU’s losses this season have been by a touchdown.

After the Cardinal (5-2 overall, 3-1 Pac-12) built a 20-6 lead with a big third quarter, ASU (3-4, 1-3) bounced back with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter when Wilkins capped a 64-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, cutting the Stanford lead to 20-13.

Stanford snapped a 6-6 deadlock with 7:55 left in the third quarter when quarterback K.J. Costello connected with JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a 28-yard score. Five minutes later, Cameron Scarlett’s one-yard plunge put the Cardinal up 20-6.

Costello completed 22 of 29 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Scarlett ran nine times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Love ran 11 times for 21 yards.

Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin each snared seven passes for the Cardinal. Arcega-Whiteside gained 91 reception yards and a touchdown; Irwin gained 79 reception yards. Jet Toner booted field goals of 21 and 31 yards in the first half.

Wilkins threw for 353 yards and a TD while completing 26 of 43 passes. Wilkins also led ASU in rushing with 41 yards on 11 carries. Eno Benjamin gained 38 yards on 11 attempts for the Devils.

Arizona State’s top pass catcher was K’Neal Harry with eight receptions for 91 yards.

The Cardinal return home on Saturday, October 27 for a 3:00 p.m. Pac-12 game against Washington State (5-1).

Stanford vs Arizona State Preview

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Stanford Cardinal meets the Sun Devils of Arizona State Saturday at Tempe Arizona at 7:30 pm PDT. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Cardinal enters the game with a record of 4-2,2-1 Pac-12 and it’s defense will be sorely tested by the offense of ASU (4-1,2-1 Pac-12). Quarterback Mike Bercovici, filling in for injured QB Taylor Kelly, led the Sun Devils to a 38-34 victory over USC with a “Hail Mary “ pass on the last play of the game. Stanford leads the nation in fewest points allowed per game (10.0) and fourth against the pass (138.2 yards per game.)

The leading receiver for the Sun Devils is Jaelen Strong who has 41 catches for 641 yards and six touchdowns. He leads the Pac-12 in yards per game (122.8) and averages 15 yards per catch.

The Cardinal will be without the services of Devon Cajuste and that may make it more difficult for the offense to get things going. The Cardinal offense ranks 89th in the nation with 26.3 points per game.

Lack of scoring puts a lot of pressure on the Cardinal defense.

Should be a good game. The Cardinal defense against the potent ASU offense. The Cardinal shut down the passing game of Washington State last week but ASU is a more powerful opponent.

Jerry Feitelberg

Stanford Shuts Down Sun Devils

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal (23-2,12-1) returned to Maples Pavilion on Friday night, just five days after their disappointing loss in Seattle, to Washington on Sunday.  The Cardinal made up for it with a dominating performance over the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-5,9-4) with a 61-34 victory.

The Cardinal held the Sun Devils to one of the lowest scoring totals in Pac-12 history, with Arizona escaping that mark by one point.  The Cardinal’s impressive defense started early, as they held Arizona State to without a field goal until eight minutes into the first half.  This gave Stanford 14-3 lead, following a field goal and a free throw. “They had great defensive energy early, we never got into the flow of the game” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne.

The dominance continued as Stanford went into halftime leading the Sun Devils 32-12.  This is the 2nd time in Pac-12 history that Stanford has held an opponent to the least amount of points scored in a first half.  Arizona State shot 17% from the field in the first half, and it didn’t get much better from the charity strike, as they went two of seven from the line.

The second half wasn’t much better for the Sun Devils, as they continued to struggle shooting 30% from the field for a total game percentage of 24%.  The Sun Devils also finished the game shooting 8% from beyond the arc, as they only hit one shot in the 12 shots attempted.  It was an overall great defensive performance for the Cardinal, especially coming off of only their second loss of the season.  “We haven’t been this excited to play defense in a long time, and I’m excited that we are again” said star Chiney Ogwumike.

The Stanford defense kept the Sun Devil players from getting into double digits, as both Promise Amukamara and Sophie Brunner led Arizona State in scoring with nine points.  The leading scorer for the Sun Devils in the first meeting between these two top 15 opponents, Quinn Dornstauder, was held to only six points.

The offense was no slouch either for the Cardinal, as they had an impressive game on that side of the ball as well.  Stanford finished the game shooting 54% from the field.  Ogwumike led all scorers with 20 points in only 27 minutes of playing time, as she sat on the bench for the final 13 minutes of the game.  The player of the year candidate also finished with 13 rebounds, all of which came in the first half.  Amber Orrange had another amazing performance, as she finished the game with 14 points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists. “Amber took it upon herself to be the engine of the train” praised head coach, Tara VanDerveer, on Orrange’s performance.

The minutes were passed around equally for one of the first times this season, as 14 different players got into the game.  Out of those 14 players that saw time, ten of them got onto the scoring sheet.

With Friday’s game being one of the best performances of the season, there was still some criticism that came out of it.  One of which was the fact that Stanford had 17 turnovers.  “We have to play better, we have to take care of the ball better” commented VanDerveer.  Another problem that has been reoccurring all season is that Stanford has been giving up way too many offensive rebounds.  That trend would continue on Friday, as Arizona State had 12 offensive boards.   Of the 12 offensive rebounds, Arizona State was able to have eight second-chance points off of them.

Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, Arizona State more so than Stanford.  The Sun Devils shots one of 12 from three.   Stanford finished scoreless, but only had four attempts.  The three-pointer was not in the game plan mentioned VanDerveer after the game.

Stanford bounced back great, as they up their record to 23-2, 12-1.  Thus almost clinching the Pac-12 regular season title.  As long as they don’t fall off of the wagon, they will get the title.  Stanford looks to make it once step closer towards the regular season title, as they host the Wildcats of Arizona.

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

 by Michelle Richardson
Auburn 34 Alabama 28: This was one of the most exciting games and exciting might not be even the right word to use that’s how great it was and at the very end of the game when Chris Davis returned the ball from a botched field goal for over 100 yards that’s how you want to win the game. Auburn did this against their arch rival and you can’t ask for anything more. The game was great it was pretty evenly matched the time of possession was about the same. Alabama has about 1:34 left and couldn’t hold the ball and Alabama had more penalties they had six penalties for 45 yards.
Auburn had only three penalties for 21 yards, Auburn had a fumble and they had a turnover and Alabama had no turnovers and there were no interceptions so the game was played well. It was just one of those things. How do you explain it, you just can’t explain it was one of those things that makes football in November so exciting and I tell people over and over it’s great when football season starts but November it is the time of the year that’s when you know who the real deal and whose not.
Remember what it doesn’t matter what happens in September or October in football but it’s November it’s all about what happens in November because that’s when the games really matter. People play these games and know they have to win them because these are the ones that have to be won in order to advance to the next level for bowl games. Auburn let it be known they won it. I can’t tell you Alabama wasn’t in it maybe they thought they should be looking forward to the SCC Championship instead of concentrating on the game that was in front of them.
Pac 12 Championship: Stanford is made up of a group of very poised young men and they can play anywhere as they play this Championship in Arizona State this coming Saturday night. They have more issues amongst their peers than on the field. Arizona State is not going to let you just walk in and take over by no means and their not going let you do this last dynasty stuff. Stanford is going to go in there and play but it’s believed that Stanford can and should go down there and pull off a win.
It will be a good game and who would have thought this would be the year that it would be Stanford and Arizona State to represent the Pac 12 as everybody had Oregon picked to win and these teams proved otherwise. Oregon was just a little bit over hyped and that’s why they play the games. That’s why the games are played. Somebody isn’t just going to show up and get handed the title. Stanford had a tough loss against USC in their last loss but it ended the season with a 10-2 record.
Stanford is in the Pac 12 Championship and have earned a spot in the BCS bowl and Arizona State who quietly dominated for the most part the Pac 12 south. It’s going to be a great game and it’s evenly matched but I have still have Stanford coming out on top. I wouldn’t be surprised however if ASU shows us a little something something on Saturday night.
Villanova 88 Iowa 83 Big Ten/ACC hoops: Honestly this was a great game with Villanova winning it on Saturday and I take nothing away from either team but I’ll be honest with you it’s too early. This tournament was a great tournament and these were great games but don’t talk to me until you get to conference play. It’s December and January you’ll be in the conference play and you’ll be getting beat up and we might not see these teams again and then again you might not.
It’s like the last week in August or the second week in September when their still beating up on Liberty or Appalachian State. Lets all kind of calm down we’ve seen some really good basketball so far, there’s some very exciting players out there for Iowa and this was really a good game. Villanova was all over the floor with players like Jayvaughn Pinkston with 14 points and James Bell at guard he had 20 points and then they had Chris Jenkins, Josh Hart had 14, also they had key help from Ryan Arcidiacono.
This game came down to bench play and Villanova had three people on the bench that was in double figures and that’s a good showing that was very large. This was a great game and I can’t wait to see more games like this and it’s just the beginning and we have to wait until they get into conference play.
Michelle Richardson does NCAA commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio