Cal/Stanford podcast with Morris Phillips: Pac 12 Commish Scott missed 8 game playoff opportunity; plus more on Cal and Stanford

Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott stands in front of So Fi Stadium in Inglewood addressing the media back on Feb 26, 2020. Scott tried to get the Pac 12 an eight game playoff format in September but those plans got rejected (AP News photo)

Cal/Stanford podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris, the Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott made news today he was called incompetent by missing a change to have an eight team playoff.

#2 Scott could have had a better playoff that had eight teams but delayed and missed an opportunity and the deal he settled for got rejected in September by the College Football Playoff management committee.

#3 Morris how important is it when Cal Senior Associate Athletic Director Josh Hummel says it’s important to bring back student athletes for voluntary conditioning workouts?

#4 Morris Cal quarterback Chase Garbers has started 19 of his last 21 games with a 13-6 record is remarkably 13-2 in games he’s played more than half the game.

#5 Morris for Stanford quarterback Davis Mills has played in his last eight games and made six starts, throwing for 1960 yards and 11 touchdowns how solid do you see him at quarterback in the all six game Pac 12 schedule?

Join Morris each Monday for the Cal/Stanford podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears Football podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Former ASU QB Rudy Carpenter leads Pac 12 in possible boycott if demands aren’t met

Former ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter is leading the negotiations for player benefits for over 50 Pac 12 players who threatened to boycott if their demands are not met (espn.com file photo)

On the Cal Bears football podcast with Morris:

#1 Former Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter is the designated representative for all 12 Pac 12 schools stating players from the various schools are making demands for revenue sharing, Covid-19 protocols, and improved insurance for post graduation.

#2 It was reported that over 50 players are involved in the negotiations in the Pac 12 and that the Cal Bears are leading the protest. Carpenter says another meeting is scheduled and will later report how far apart are the players and the Pac 12.

#3 Carpenter reported that he has contacted other Pac 12 players and the amount of players are growing in the fight for more insurance protections and Covid-19 protocols Carpenter says the players are considering boycotting if there demands are not met.

#4 The NCAA is considering instituting rules saying players must be tested for Covid-19 72 hours before each game in sports that are considered a high risk contact sport such as football, men’s and women’s basketball.

#5 Cal has the third most four star players in the Pac 12 the Bears don’t have the most total commits but they have enough to ranked fifth good enough to be competitive this coming season.

Jerry Fietelberg  is filling in for Morris Phillips Join Morris each Monday for the Cal Bears podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal Football dropping admission tests doesn’t mean entry is easy

si.com file photo: Inside the Cal football press box during game action as admissions for the UC athletic programs and academics with ACT and SAT requirements eliminated for school admissions

Headline Sports podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris with the elimination of SATs and ACTs admissions at the UC colleges how much easier does that make it for football recruiting at schools like Cal and UCLA?

#2 Thursday was a big day for both schools when the announcement went down that students can apply for admission without taking an SAT or an ACT. The UC Board of Regents voted to eliminate the testing and it was said it could have ripple effects for higher education for high school students.

#3 Scott Carrell professor of economics at UC Davis said the impact for academics and the athletic programs at the Universities would be one less barrier. Carrell said that admission to Cal and UCLA is a lot tougher than most universities saying “At many places, you just need the NCAA minimum to be admitted.”

#4 Morris Cal is has a four star, top 200 status and are the third best class in the Pac 12 and are looking to recruit running back Byron Cardwell from Morse High in San Diego. Cardwell is rated the 11th best running back in the country and has rushed for 872 yards, 21 touchdowns, in ten games. Cal head coach Justin Wilcox is looking forward to get to work with Cardwell.

#5 Fatuvalu Iosefa defensive back for Cal is now the eighth member of the Golden Bears 2021 recruiting class which he announced on Thursday. Iosefa said he was glad to give his verbal commitment to Berkeley saying “All glory to God without him none of this would be possible.”

Morris Phillips does Headlines podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Headlines Sports podcast with Morris Phillips: If things go to schedule Cal to open Aug 29th in Vegas; Giants and A’s developments

Allegiant Stadium on the Las Vegas Strip where the Cal Bears will open up the 2020 season on August 29th against the UNLV Rebels (quarantine not withstanding) athlonsports.com photo

On Headline Sports with Morris:

#1 At the Cal campus there is news that the NCAA Division I council voted to return on June 1st through June 30th on a voluntary basis signaling that the football season will be on a fast track to start when school opens.

#2 The Bears 2020 season is scheduled to start on Saturday August 29th when Cal plays the UNLV Rebels at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas. By that time it’s the hope there is a vaccine and you can come to the stadium and not worry about social distancing. Worst case social distancing and the game will be played with no fans.

#3 The UNLV Rebels who have a good program in their own right have a new head coach Marcus Arroyo who took over for former head coach Tony Sanchez. Arroyo is from Oregon and was an assistant offensive coordinator for the last three seasons.

#4 The San Francisco Giants broke ground near McCovey Cove on their 27 acre parking lot  the team is constructing ten buildings for apartments, retail, a parking garage and a five acre park which is expected to be finished in seven to eight years.

#5 This week a group opposed to the building of an Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Stadium filed a lawsuit last Monday in Alameda Superior Court from the shipping, trucking and steel companies who work at the Port of Oakland. The lawsuit plans to slow down or stop a legislature that was signed by former California Gov Jerry Brown AB 734 a law that would fast track the construction of a new arena or stadium in California. The lawsuit is trying slow down the path of construction for the A’s. The opposing group says that Gov Gavin Newsom has no authority to certify the construction of the A’s park under AB 734.

Morris Phillips does Headline Sports each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Headline Sports podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal announces no spectators will attend athletic events; fans can exchange tickets for refund

Cal vice chancellor of administration Marc Fisher announced that no spectators will be allowed to attend Cal athletic events. Only team personnel and the media would be allowed to attend. (UC Berkeley file photo)

On Headline Sports with Morris podcast:

#1 Cal vice chancellor of administration Marc Fisher announced that there will be no spectators attending intercollegiate events. Before the announcement it was understood that as opposed to on line studying and no in person classes athletics at Cal would go forward with spectators at events but the quickly scratched after Fisher taking in consideration that a carrier could set that spread of Covid 19.

#2 Somewhere between the mention that Cal athletics would allow fans and students to attend athletics it was brought to Fisher’s attention that people could get sick and that Fisher put out the statement games would not be played in front of fans until further notice.

#3 The statement from Fisher also said that only student athletes, coaches, sports medicine staff, game officials, credentialed media, operational and administrative staff would be allowed in the events

#4 Fans who are season ticket holders at Cal are advised that they could exchange tickets, they could request a refund or donate to a non profit charity of their choice.

#5 Cal basketball had just ended when shelter in place was introduced as state policy so the football and basketball programs just got their seasons in before March Madness was suspended.

Morris Phillips is a Cal Bears beat writer and podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

What Happened in Vegas Has Cal Staying in Vegas: Bears shock Stanford, 63-51 in Pac-12 tournament opener

By Morris Phillips

The Cal Bears didn’t pick the best occasion to draw attention to themselves, but they drew notice nonetheless by surprising Stanford in their Pac-12 Tournament opener.

Against the backdrop of the Coronavirus, and the news of events being cancelled worldwide because of the pandemic, the tenth-seeded Bears put forth their most focused effort of the season by beating Stanford, 63-51 and doing so from beginning to end at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“I saw a team all week that was preparing to play, and I thought we were excited to come play, and then I watched the broadcast and everyone was picking against us, I wasn’t sure if we were still in the league! But I knew our kids were ready to play,” coach Mark Fox kidded in an interview with the Pac-12 Network following the game.

The Bears took an early lead only to see the Cardinal tie the score, 17-17 with 5:29 remaining before halftime. But Paris Austin and Kareem South followed with consecutive jumpers keying a 7-0 Cal run, and the Bears maintained the lead over the game’s final 24 minutes.

The Bears advance to a quarterfinal matchup with second-seeded UCLA on Thursday while Stanford suffered a bad loss in a game they badly needed for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford seemed bothered by the physicality of the game, shooting just 32 percent from the floor in dropping their third, straight game. The Cardinal finish the regular season 20-12 with favorable, peripheral numbers preferred by the NCAA selection committee, but the loss leaves them squarely on the bubble. The Cardinal received an unlikely endorsement from Fox after the game.

“This league deserves to have seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. Stanford had some great wins,” Fox said.

The Bears were led by Matt Bradley and Austin with 18 points, six rebounds each. South added 15 as the Bears shot 48 percent from the floor.  Cal has won four of seven after losing seven of nine, and advanced in the conference tournament for the first time since 2017.

The Bears are expected to play the remainder of the tournament without fans attending their games as the conference announced before the Cal-Stanford game commenced that attendance to the remaining games would be severely restricted.

“We love to play in front of fans, but right now safety is the most important thing,” Austin said.

 

NCAA Ready: Oregon displays postseason form in 90-56 rout of Cal

By Morris Phillips

Well, the Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears aren’t on the same trajectory.

While the Bears exercised their ability to stay connected to a superior opponent (without success), the Ducks’ dress rehearsal for a lengthy NCAA Tournament run looked like the real thing in Oregon’s 90-56 thrashing of Cal.

The Ducks opened with five, consecutive made shots, then went on a 21-0 run to put the game out of reach before halftime. Payton Pritchard, UO’s leader and long distance marksman led the effort with 20 points, nine assists. The Ducks regained a share of first place in the Pac-12 with the win, and they clinch a least a tie for the title in the regular season finale against Stanford on Saturday.

“The first half I really thought we really flew around and made a lot of defensive plays. And our ball movement was good and we obviously shot well at three, which gives you a big boost offensively,” coach Dana Altman said of his Ducks.

Only one word could describe Oregon’s offensive output: torrid. The Ducks shot 60 percent from the field, 70 percent from three (12 of 17), and converted 80 percent of their free throws.  The Ducks shared the ball with five players in double figures, and 18 assists on 31 made baskets.

Coach Mark Fox had hopes his team could summon its best effort after consecutive home wins, but the Bears didn’t come close.

“I was disappointed in our approach to the game, but I want to give Oregon credit. They played very well,” Fox said. “The only thing I was surprised by was our very poor start to the game.”

The 34-point margin of victory was the largest ever for Oregon in a victory over Cal. The Bears hadn’t given up at least 90 points in over a year dating back to a lopsided loss to UCLA. The Bears shot a chilly 36 percent from the floor for the game, and 33 percent in the first half, after which they trailed 46-20.

Matt Bradley led the Bears (13-17, 7-10) with 15 points, Grant Anticevich added 10.

The Bears conclude the regular season on Saturday in Corvallis against Oregon State.

Boot the Utes: Balanced Bears outlast Utah, 86-79 in overtime

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–Fewer mistakes, staunch defense, more and varied contributors, the Cal Bears are starting to play better basketball.

Could they be ready to take the show on the road?

By outlasting Utah 86-79 in overtime on Saturday, the Cal Bears assured they won’t finish in the conference’s basement for the third, consecutive year. So with two regular season games and the conference tournament remaining, could the Bears..

Knock off No. 14 Oregon on Thursday, and put the Ducks conference title aspirations on hold? The Bears hadn’t won on the road, or beaten a ranked opponent. Now that they’ve done both (won at WSU, beat No. 21 Colorado) could they double down and accomplish both feats in the same game?

Sweep the Oregon schools and finish .500 in conference play? Talk about the ultimate, confidence builder, that would send the Bears into the conference tournament with a four-game win streak and momentum.

Maybe, maybe not, but by consistently elevating their play, Coach Mark Fox’s Bears have changed the discourse surrounding the program.

“I got sick of everybody telling us how bad we were going to be because I just didn’t think we would be,” Fox said. “I wasn’t going to accept that and I wasn’t going to let our team accept that. We’re not anywhere near where we want to be but the perception and the feelings about our team and this program are drastically different than what I heard all this summer.”

In beating Utah, the Bears (13-16, 7-9) had to climb off the mat twice, the second time when the Utes wiped out a six-point deficit in the game’s final minute to force overtime.

The Bears regrouped, scoring nine of the first 12 points of overtime to take control. Matt Bradley contributed six of those, the last of his team-leading 21-point performance. The Bears sealed it by making nine of their ten free throw opportunities in the extra session.

Bradley’s often excelled without help this season, but on the occasion of Senior Day at Haas Pavilion, the Cal star performed as a piece of a quartet.

Grant Anticevich had a big second half, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds. Senior Paris Austin, who was honored before the game along with Jacob Orender, David Serge and Kareem South, contributed 15 points, four assists. And Andre Kelly had 15 points, nine rebounds and a career-best five blocks in 31 minutes off the bench.

Bradley and Kelly led the Bears to a 19-14 start to the game only to see Utah finish the half on a 14-5 run to take a lead at the break. Alfonso Plummer had nine of his 23 points for the Utes before halftime.

The Bears scored the first seven points of the second half to regain the lead. Austin’s layup put Cal up 31-28 with 18:23 remaining.

Timmy Allen led Utah with 26 points. Guard Both Gach appeared to create a three-point opportunity in the final seconds that could have given Utah the lead, but the referee waved off Gach’s bucket, ruling Austin’s foul came before the shot. With two seconds remaining, Gach made both free throws to force overtime.

With the loss, Utah (15-14, 6-11) finished 0-9 in conference road games. The Utes conclude their schedule against Colorado on Saturday at home.

The Biggest Win of the Season?: Cal handles No. 21 Colorado in season’s most significant moment yet

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–For the rebuilding Cal Bears, every win is revelatory, and beating a Top 25 opponent for the first time this season, even more so.

In beating No. 21 Colorado with the Buffs desperate to maintain pace in the race for the top spot in the Pac-12, and just as eager to avoid a bad loss for the NCAA Tournament committee to see, the Bears truly surprised with their 76-62 win on Thursday.

They just didn’t surprise themselves or Coach Mark Fox.

“We had time to prepare, and I think guys came in with the right mentality,” Kareem South said. “I seen it in their eyes before the game that they were locked in.”

The Bears built upon their 25 minutes of credible basketball in a frustrating loss to Colorado at Boulder earlier this month by maintaining an efficient, offensive performance for 40 minutes in Thursday’s win. The key was having South as a second, elite performer to join the consistent Matt Bradley, who burned Colorado for a career-best 26 points on just 14 shots from the floor.

“Even though we didn’t close out that game, it did give us some confidence coming into this game that if we just string together a few more minutes of it, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win. And that’s what happened,” Fox said of the transition from the first meeting to the second against Colorado.

South’s 19 points on 12 shots from the field may have been his best performance of the season, and clearly his best in conference play. The graduate transfer had seen his confidence shaken by a stretch of missing 45 of his previous 58 shots over seven games. But in the first seven minutes against the Buffs, South drove the basket for two scores, then came up with a steal and a coast-to-coast layup. That sequence seemed to energize his game.

Cal’s 38-point, first half not only put them up 12 at the break, but put Colorado on skates. Their normal, offensive patience disappeared in the second half, as they looked like the unranked challenger and Cal the NCAA-bound favorite. The Buffaloes missed 17 of 20 3-point attempts after the break and never gave themselves a chance to rally. Cal protected their lead by simply playing off Colorado’s over aggressive defense, which sent the Bears to the line 17 times after the break, where they converted 13 times.

The Bears improved to 12-16, 6-9 and could clinch a spot in a winnable 8-9 quarterfinal game in the conference tournament with another win in their final three regular season contests. Utah affords them their best shot, and that comes on Saturday afternoon in the home finale.

Colorado fell to 21-8, 10-6 and the loss likely cost them any chance at winning the regular season title. They lost consecutive ballgames for the first time in conference play, and will need to string together some wins down the stretch to improve their NCAA tournament seeding. Coach Tad Boyle pointed to his team’s lack of aggressive, offensive play that has seen them attempt a paltry average of just 11 free throws over their last five ballgames.

“When you don’t make shots, you’d better figure out another way to win. That’s by getting to the foul line, which we can’t do,” Boyle admitted. “If you can’t get stops, you can’t get to the line, you can’t finish through contact, you can’t make open shots, you can’t win.”

McKinley Wright led Colorado with 18 points. Tyler Bey added 13 and Lucas Siewert had 11.

 

 

 

 

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal hosts Colorado Thursday night in effort to get in the win column

photo from Calbears.com

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Not enough offense as you stated in the headline of your article that the Cal Bears (11-16) were stopped cold in their game in Seattle against the Washington Huskies (13-15)

#2 You always hope at least three people can shoot for double figures but Cal only had one player do that that was Matt Bradley who finished with 14

#3 For the Huskies they were draining shots all first half ending up with 43 points and sinking Cal to just only 26 points a clear indication of what was to come for the rest of the game

#4 The second half didn’t prove any more inspirational as Cal was spiraling again with only 26 points and the Huskies came up strong again with a 44 point second half.

#5 The Colorado Buffaloes (21-7) who have won three of their last five games but lost their last game which was at home are coming to Haas Pavilion Thursday night in Berkeley to face the Golden Bears could this be one of those games where Cal has a shot at bringing out some of those surprises

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com