NCAA basketball podcast with Michelle Richardson: Louisville brought down a tough opponent Duke; Trojans topple Stanford 82-78; plus more

courierjournal.com photo: The Louisville Cardinals Quinn Slazinski (11) does the reverse slam as Duke’s Jordan Goldwire (14) could only watch during Saturday’s game in Durham SC

NCAA basketball podcast with Michelle Richardson:

#1 Louisville (15-3) got a win over Duke (15-3) on Saturday 79-73. For Louisville four players in double figures David Johnson (19), Dwayne Sutton (13), Malik Williams (12), and Steven Enoch (10)

#2 The USC Trojans (15-3) are nobody’s basketball fool on Sat they defeated the Stanford Cardinal (15-3) 82-78 at USC. The Trojans’ Onyeka Okongwu led in scoring with 22, Jonah Mathews (19), and Elijah Weaver (13).

#3 Houston Cougars (14-4) got a win over the Wichita State Shockers (15-3) 65-54. For the Cougars Fabian White Jr (14), Dejan Jarreau (12) and Marcus Sasser and Quetin Grimes (10).

Michelle’s Final thoughts

Michelle Richardson does the NCAA podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Cal Bears Thursday game wrap: USC makes work of Cal 88-56; Bears drop to 8-9

calbears.com photo: Cal Bears Matt Bradley (20) takes it to USC on Thursday night, Bradley led Cal with 13 points in Southland

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

It was too much Jonah Mathews and Daniel Utomi as the USC Trojans (13-3) defeated the Cal Bears (8-9) on Thursday night 88-56. For Mathews 19 points and for Utomi 17. It was the eighth win in nine tries for USC.

Onyeka Okongwu contributed with eight rebounds and scored 12 points in the victory. The Trojans dominated the contested as Cal could only lead for the first minute and a half and it was all Trojans after that.

The Trojans sank 14 three pointers and took their liberties about it with Mathews chalking up three 3 pointers. Cal’s Matt Bradley scored 13 points as Cal’s top scorer. Bradley normally noted as the top scorer on the Bears could only do so much as the Trojan defense proved just effective.

Cal guard Kareem South scored 12 points but the Bears failed in 20 tries out of 25 to make the three point shot. From the free throw line the Bears suffered just as well going 11-22. The Trojans were well in front in each quarter leading Cal by at least 16 points per each half and pulled down 45 rebounds to Cal’s 28.

The Bears go back to the drawing board as they head to Pauley Pavilion for a Sunday night game with the UCLA Bruins (8-9) for a 5:00 pm tip. The Bruins were walloped by the Stanford Cardinal (15-2) in their last game 74-59.

Morris Phillips and Michael Duca podcast and cover Cal basketball for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Stanford Cardinal basketball podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Cardinal on win streak roll face USC on Saturday

sportschatplace.com photo: UCLA and Stanford last met up last season before facing each other last night at Pauley Pavilion

On the Cardinal podcast with Jerry F:

#1 After that tough loss to Kansas (13-3) on Dec 29th the Stanford Cardinal (15-2) have turned tide with four straight wins over Cal (8-8), Washington (11-6), Washington State (10-7) and UCLA (8-8) they’ve been on fire.

#2 The Cardinal had three scorers in double figures last night at UCLA Tyrell Terry (24), Spencer Jones (14), and Bryce Wills (10)

#3 The win for Stanford at Pauley Pavilion marked the first time in 15 years that Stanford had won in that building

#4 The Bruins closed to within one point early in the second half, Stanford went on a 12-2 run to go up 50-39.

#5 Stanford goes after their next challenge and tip off against the USC (13-3) Trojans on Saturday night. The Trojans are no push over and are on a roll.

Jerry Feitleberg does the Stanford podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal comes off big win over Washington prepares for tough USC Thursday night

calbears.com photo: The Cal Bears Matt Bradley (20) takes a shot over the Washington Huskies forward Jaden McDaniels (0) on Saturday night at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 How important was this 61-58 win for Cal (8-8) to get under their belts on Saturday night at Haas Pavilion

#2 The Bears had been struggling and they was some concern of when they were going to pick up their first win in the Pac 12

#3 The Washington Huskies (11-6) were the odds on favorites coming in they have had a few more successes than Cal but this was one game when the win loss records were thrown out the window

#4 Three players finished in double digits for Cal on Saturday, Matt Bradley (17 pts), Grant Anticevich (13 pts), and Paris Austin (10)

#5 The USC Trojans (13-3) who have won seven of their last eight games, they beat UCLA in their last game 74-63. USC are Cal’s next opponent how do you see Cal handling the Trojans this Thursday the 16th?

Morris is the Cal Bears beat writer and does the Cal podcast each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Stanford to host USC for Pac-12 showdown on Saturday

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By: Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal look to continue their dominance on home field after last Saturday’s 31-10 rout of the San Diego State Aztecs at Stanford Stadium. SDSU has a chance versus Sacramento State this Saturday, but let’s focus on the Cardinal’s upcoming game versus USC, who is currently ranked No. 17. Stanford, on the other hand, is currently ranked No. 10. That being said, Stanford looks like they got the upper hand, but this is college football, and anything could happen.

It’s #BeatUSC week in the Palo Alto area, and the Cardinal appear to be confident coming into Saturday’s home game. A couple of things happened on the Stanford campus this Monday. First, head coach David Shaw, defensive end Dylan Jackson, and wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside held a press conference to address the media members on Stanford’s top-25 matchup with rival USC. Secondly, Arcega-Whiteside earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week with 3 touchdowns, 6 catches, and 226 yards. It was a well-deserved honor for Arcega-Whiteside, who’s on fire (or en fuego) as a Spanish-born WR with a 34-inch vertical leap along with hands that can catch passes for touchdowns.

Arcega-Whiteside told GoStanford.com, “As a receiver, that’s what you want, all you can ask for.”

Let’s not forget that running back Bryce Love had a 75-yard touchdown against USC at the Coliseum last year. I don’t know if Love will repeat that play, but it’s likely that he’ll do something on the field.

Since the Pac-12 Network is at Stanford all this week for Saturday’s The Pregame, so they decided to let placekicker Jet Toner take over their Snapchat @pac12conference. So if you’re on Snapchat, give the Pac-12 a follow if you haven’t already done so.

The Cardinal host the Trojans on Saturday at 5:30 pm PDT on FOX.

USC upsets the Stanford Cardinal

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Stanford Cardinal lost the opening game of the Pac-12 season to the University of Southern California Saturday at Stanford Stadium by a score of 13-10. It snapped a seventeen game home winning streak that was the longest in the nation. The Stanford defense played well as they held the SC offense to just 13 points. They did their job but the offense just couldn’t cash in on their opportunities and mistakes killed the Cardinal. Two many penalties and miscues doomed them and it resulted in the first loss of the season for Stanford.

The SC Trojans kicked off to Stanford and the Cardinal held the ball for six minutes and were moving well but the drive was stymied by three penalties on the offensive line and an attempted field goal went wide. The Trojans then went 68 yards in 12 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Javorious “Buck” Allen had 2 key runs to help set up the TD. Justin Davis scored the touchdown. Stanford was on the move near the end of the first period but a bad snap from center killed the drive.

The Cardinal tied the game in the second quarter on an eleven play, 77 yard drive. Patrick Skov scored the touchdown for the Cardinal. Stanford was on the march again near the end of the second quarter but two penalties killed Stanford’s chance for a touchdown and they had to settle for a field goal to give them a 10-7 lead at halftime.

Stanford had chances in the third quarter as the Cardinal had consecutive drives inside the USC 10-yard line and fumbled in Trojan territory on the next series. Stanford had its chances in the fourth quarter,too. Kevin Hogan passed to a wide-open Austin Hooper in the end zone for an apparent 23 yard touchdown but the score was nullified by a Stanford chop block penalty.

The Trojans tied the game in the third period on a field goal and won it 2:30 left on a career high 53 yard field goal by Andre Heidari. Final score USC wins 13-10.

After the game this is what coach David Shaw had to say “So, bottom line, you don’t take advantage of opportunities, you lose games to good football teams. I said it earlier in the week and it rings true.You give a team like that so many opportunities, they’re going to take advantage. They’ve got good personnel. They’re good on offense, they’re good in the kicking game.

We had so many opportunities to win this football game. I give them credit, they made the plays and we didn’t. They made the calls and we didn’t.To miss two field goals and get turned away inside the five yard line, to go from a field goal position backed up to a punt position.Coaches and players, that’s everybody, which is veiled to say that’s me, that’s me.

My passion is for football of course, but individually, inside of football, it’s red zone and third down. We were solid on third down and not good enough in the red zone. When you’re not good enough in the red zone, you lose games.You got to make field goals, you got to take advantage of field position.We just did not.This is what happens. The charge is to our guys, our coaches and players, to be better. Not to scrap what we’ve done, not at all, but to be better than we were today.We have a lot of good football teams coming down the road that we got to try to find a way to beat.’

Stanford plays its third home game in a row next week as the Army pays a visit. Game time at Stanford Stadium will be at 2pm.

Stanford vs USC Preview

by Jerry Feitelberg

The number 11 nationally ranked Stanford Cardinal opens the 2014 Pac-12 campaign on Saturday against the number 14 ranked University of Southern California Trojans. The game will be televised nationally on ABC at 12:30 pm from Stanford Stadium.

The game should be a barnburner as both teams started the season last week by routing their opponents. USC beat Fresno State 52-13 and the Cardinal demolished UC Davis 45-0.

The Trojans had a tumultuous 2013 season. They fired head coach Lane Kiffin on September 29th and replaced him with Ed Orgeron. Kiffin had a record of 3-2 at the time of his firing. Orgeron’s Trojans went 7-2 the rest of the way and their biggest win of the year came when Trojans upset the Cardinal in Los Angeles.The Trojans named Steve Sarkisian as their new head coach before the Las Vegas Bowl was to played and coach Orgeron resigned. SC nonetheless, went to the Las Vegas bowl and defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs. Interesting to note that SC’s last two games were against Fresno State and they beat them each time. The Cardinal won the Pac-12 championship and went to the Rose Bowl for the second consecutive year but lost to Michigan State.

The Trojans offensively are led by quarterback Cody Kessler. The Trojan uptempo offense ran 105 plays in the Fresno State game , racking up 37 first downs and 701 total yards. Coach Sarkisian said that it was the best game of Kessler’s career. The Trojans are loaded at wide receiver with Nelson Aghholor, who had 5 catches for 57 yards last week and JuJu Smith. Smith had 4 receptions good for 123 yards including receptions of 43 and 54 yards. Javorius Allen is the main running back and Bryce Dixon is the fullback.

Stanford, on the other hand, is a team that does not use an uptempo offense. Stanford prefers to grind it out as they very disciplined and well coached. SC will have their work cut out for them if they are to beat the Cardinal. Stanford is led by senior quarterback Kevin Hogan. Hogan has an experienced corps of wide receivers including Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste. Christian McCaffrey played an important role in the win over UC Davis and should see action on Saturday. The Cardinal will attack the weakness of the Trojan defense.

The Cardinal’s strength the last two or three season has been part of Stanford’s success. The defense is led by defensive end Henry Armstrong and linebacker A.J.Tarpley. The defense’s job will be to slow down the Trojan Express.

Should be a great game. Stanford, however, is listed as the favorite.

Trojans Upset Cardinal on Ogwumike’s Record Setting Night

By Joe Lami

For the first time ever the Stanford Cardinal will not be going to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game, as the USC Trojans defeated the Cardinal 72-68 in the semi-finals on Saturday night.  Stanford the number one seed and the favorite to win the Pac-12 Championship, is now unsure of how their NCAA Tournament is going to look.  If the Cardinal came out of the Pac-12 Tournament unscathed, they would have received an almost sure bid to a number one seed in their host west region.

The first half ended with the score tied at 32.  Stanford dominated the paint in the first half, with 18 points.  However, the Trojans led the first with points off of turnovers, bench points and 2nd chance points.

Coming out of the half, the Trojans jumped on the Cardinal early, going on a 14-4 run in the first 5:30.  Stanford would be able to crawl back slowly, and would eventually take the lead back with 6:46 remaining.  The Cardinal would push the lead to three, at 60-57 with 5:06 to go and be able to hold it for a couple of minutes.  However, the Trojans would once again march back, much in part to Cassie Harberts’ ten straight points.  This would get the USC lead to as high as seven before the Cardinal would find another bucket with 61 seconds to go.

The Cardinal pressed in the final minute to get the deficit as low as two, but the Trojans would be good enough at the foul line to be able to ice the game away and advance to the Pac-12 Championship game, where they will face the Oregon State Beavers.

Chiney Ogwumike led the way for the Cardinal with 30 points and 21 rebounds.  The 30 points ties her with Stanford Alum, Candice Wiggins as the all-time Pac-12 scorer with 2,629.  Unfortunately for Ogwumike, she scored career point 2,629 with over seven minutes remaining in the game, and couldn’t find another to break the record in game where every point mattered.

Stanford had an awful day from the field, finishing the game at just 32%.  Lili Thompson finished with 13 points, going 4 of 11 shooting.  Amber Orrange was the only other double digit scorer for the Cardinal, as she finished the night with 11 points and 3 of 11 shooting.  Mikaela Ruef was held scoreless for the first time in recent memory, as the fifth year senior went 0 for 8 from the field, but she did bring down five rebounds.  Taylor Greenfield was the only Stanford player to come off of the bench and contribute points, as she finished the game with five.

The Trojans didn’t shoot that much better, as they finished the game shooting just 39%.  USC also saw three different players get into double digits.  Alexyz Vaioletama led the way with 19 points.  She also contributed 15 rebounds, with five of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.  Guard, Ariya Cook, finished the game with 15 points.  Game MVP, Cassie Harberts only had 13 points, but ten of them came at the most opportune time, as she scored ten straight with under three minutes to go to give the Trojan’s a lead good enough to win the game.

The win for the Trojans gets them that much closer into the NCAA tournament, as ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the ladies of USC on his first four teams out of the tournament.  However, with this win it might just be enough to break the bubble and earn a bid.  That is if they don’t receive the automatic bid on Sunday afternoon by winning the Pac-12 Tournament.  Oregon State, their opponent on Sunday is looked at as already in the NCAA Tournament according to Creme.

Number four-ranked Stanford has their record drop to 29-3, and now they are a little unsure on how they will be entering the NCAA Tournament.  Some questions arise, is Stanford still a number one seed?  Does Stanford still deserve to be in the west region, their host region?  Only time will tell what the selection committee decides, but for now we sit back and prepare for another great day of Championship basketball on Sunday.

Huestis King of the Block on the Farm as Stanford Rolls Past USC 80-59

By Matthew Harrington

At the time of the year when teams are piecing together the final bullet points of their March Madness resumes, the Stanford Cardinal did exactly what it needed to do Thursday night; It won. The 80-59 victory over visiting University of Southern California at Maples Pavilion didn’t captivate audiences like North Carolina’s stunner over Duke earlier in the evening, but Stanford still managed to finish just good enough to come out ahead against the Trojans (10-16, 1-12), firmly entrenched in the Pac-12 standings cellar, to continue to roll towards an at-large bid in the big dance.

The Cardinal shooting touch appeared to be more or a flail Thursday, as Stanford (17-8, 8-5 Pac-12) finished 28 of 69 from the floor, including a lackluster 2 of 19 from beyond the three-point line. Stanford turned that negative into a positive however, besting USC in the rebound battle 45-40. Stanford’s tenacious forward Josh Huestis led the boards barrage, picking up almost half (7) of the Cardinal’s 18 offensive rebounds. USC finished with 10 off their own glass. The Cardinal owned the turnover battle, forcing 18 Trojan errors to 7 of its own.

For Huestis, the night proved a memorable one as the senior stalwart notched a double-double with 11 points and while setting a new career-best in rebounds with 18. With his denial of a Strahinja Gavrilovic lay up two minutes into play the Great Falls, Mont. native moved past Tim Young as the Cardinal all-time blocks leader. Huestis finished the night with three rejections for a career total of 169, two more than Young.

Along with Huestis, three of Stanford’s other four starters hit double-digits in scoring, with guards Anthony Brown (13) and Chasson Randle (18) joining forward Dwight Powell (14) on the list of scorers with ten-plus points. USC guard Pe’Shon Howard led the Trojans with 13 points, while Julian Jacobs chipped in 11. The Trojans were without junior guard Byron Wesley, team leader in scoring (17.6) and rebounds (6.9) due to a violation of team rules.

The Cardinal suffered an early scare when USC’s Strahinja Gavrilovic fouled Powell hard in the head at the 5:36 mark of the first. Powell would leave the game but ultimately returned with about seven minutes left in the half sporting a headband wrapped around some stitches and a new number. Powell’s traditional 33 jersey, now blood-soaked, was shed in favor of one with a 32 stitched on back.

The preeminent fear after Powell’s injury was a continuation of dismal first-half shooting display as the Cardinal only hit 10 of 35 field goals in the first 20 minutes. They managed to hold a 32-23 at the half on the strength of their ability to force turnovers, nab offensive rebounds and a six-point outburst from Powell’s injury sub, Robbie Lemons.

The Cardinal finished the final 20 minutes with a much better shooting performance by outscoring the visitors 48-36, including a stretch where the Trojans were limited to one basket and three free throws made. With Stanford leading 51-42 7 minutes in to the half, the Cardinal went on a dominant 21-8 run till Roschon Prince hit a lay up with 4:17 left in regulation. Stanford coasted from there on out for the 80-59 win to sweep the season series against their Southern California rivals.

Next on the schedule is the University of California Los Angeles for a Saturday tilt at Maples, game number two of the remaining four games at home. The Cardinal also have two road games sandwiched between Saturday’s contest and a return home March 5th against Colorado, the final two-game home stretch of the campaign.

Bears punt away another one, this time to USC, 62-28

USC-CalBy Morris Phillips

Coach Sonny Dykes turned 44 Saturday, but admitted during this time of the year, football coaches don’t celebrate anniversaries, holidays or birthdays.  So when asked, Cal’s coach said his team’s dismal showing on the field didn’t add to or subtract from the occasion.

Jackson Bouza played his last game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and despite the 62-28 loss to USC and his Bears’ 1-9 record, he remained resolute: he wouldn’t change anything about his four years at Cal.

And Jared Goff—as best as he can—is moving on after throwing for the least impactful 255 yards and three touchdowns one can imagine.  With equally-hapless Colorado up next on the schedule, Goff said he’ll be ready, regardless of what transpired with the Trojans.

What normally is a big game with USC was anything but on Saturday for Cal.  Instead, it was hard to watch, hard to play in, and even harder to explain afterwards.  The Bears snuck back into the game briefly at 21-14 in the second quarter, only to experience an avalanche of USC points that left them trailing 55-14 midway through the third quarter and well on their way to an eighth straight loss.

Given that backdrop, Dykes, Bouza and Goff deserve all the credit for attempting to put a hopeful spin on their dire situation.  But that they did in the postgame interview room with all three steadfastly maintaining that better days are ahead for Cal football.

“In a weird sort of way, the experience they have gotten this year and the hard luck will help our team respond faster,” Dykes said.  “We are going to get this thing right, I don’t have a doubt in my mind.  I feel more strongly about that right now than I did December 5th when I was hired.”

But before the Bears can prepare for a feast, they might have to—even privately–come to grips with how they got so hungry in the first place.

The Bears haven’t won a game against a Divison I opponent in over a year.  They’ve lost all but one game this season by at least 14 points, and have routinely fallen behind from the start.  On Saturday, USC’s Javorius Allen blew through the Cal defense for 43-yard touchdown run, and the Trojans had a 21-0 lead over Cal before the first quarter had expired.

Injuries and inexperience are hurting Cal more than anything.  That continued on Saturday when middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson was felled by a foot injury.  Nickerson, himself just a redshirt freshmen, had been counted on to call the defensive signals and get the Cal defenders in the right alignment pre-snap.  Without him, that job fell to true freshman Chad Whitener, and the Bears’ defense suffered as USC averaged nearly nine yards per carry, and saw maligned quarterback Cody Kessler have an error-free game.

“We missed a lot of checks, and rolled the coverage the wrong way several times,” Dykes said when asked about Nickerson’s early exit. “We got out of position as a result, and when you get out of position, you are trying to recover, and when you are trying to recover, you are diving a people’s legs and it looks bad.”

For Cal, with injuries and inexperience commonplace—Dykes reminded everyone that only three seniors have places among Cal’s top 44 players—capable special teams are still supposed to be a given.  That’s one of Dykes’ hallmarks along with his high-octane pass attack.  Dykes explained that his Louisiana Tech teams always excelled on punt and kickoff coverage, and here at Cal, he starts several practices each week with special teams’ drills.

Ah, special teams can save the day.   Just not on Saturday.

First the Bears allowed Nelson Agholor to return a punt 75 yards for a score less than two minutes into the game.  Then USC’s Soma Vainuku blocked a punt in the second quarter that teammate Josh Shaw returned 14 yards for a 35-14 Trojans’ lead.  Just a couple minutes after that, Agholor struck again, this time with a 93-yard punt return.

Goff gamely attempted to keep his team in the game, and got a big assist from emerging freshman receiver Kenny Lawler, who has caught five touchdown passes in two games.  But Goff plays in a high risk, high reward system that so far hasn’t reaped many rewards.  Once again, the Bears couldn’t strike deep, and Goff had to look short.  So while Goff chucked it downfield 52 times, he only had 255 yards passing.   When the turnovers and sacks are factored in (and on Saturday the Bears had just one sack, and no interceptions) Goff’s five-yard average per pass attempt just isn’t high rewards enough for a major college team to have success.

With the loss, the Bears haven’t beaten USC since the epic triple-overtime win in 2003.  The Bears hadn’t surrendered as many as 62 points to the Trojans since the 1930’s.  And yes, three punt return touchdowns for USC ties an NCAA record and equals a Pac-12 conference record that stood unmatched since 1954.

Next week, the Bears travel to Boulder to face Colorado, which probably will be Cal’s last opportunity for a win this season with No. 4 Stanford after that in the season finale.