Cal Cuts Down No. 21 Temple

Cal Cuts Down No. 21 Temple

Nov. 25, 2010CAL PAGE PAC-10 SCOREBOARDBOX SCORE

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- So much for rebuilding.

Harper Kamp scored 13 points, Allen Crabbe had 12 and a young California team beat No. 21 Temple 57-50 on Thursday night in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic for a huge early season spark.

"Since day one, we just told people that we're going to surprise a lot of people," said Cal center Markhuri Sanders-Frison, who had eight points. "Everybody thought that we didn't have that much firepower coming back because we lost a lot of our good players last year. I think this win opened a lot of eyes to people around the world."

The Golden Bears (3-0) were propelled by a 16-1 run late in the second half to help the defending Pac-10 champions hand the Owls (2-1) their first loss of the season. Crabbe ripped the ball away from Rhalir Jefferson with about 30 seconds remaining, and he hit two free throws to give Cal a six-point lead and seal the victory.

Lavoy Allen had 13 points, and Jefferson scored 10 for a Temple team whose non-conference schedule is only getting tougher. Cal will play Notre Dame on Friday. Temple will face Georgia in the loser's bracket of the tournament.

The Owls had cruised through their first two games, but their schedule isn't getting any easier. No. 1 Duke, No. 7 Villanova, No. 16 Georgetown and Maryland are all upcoming for the Owls.

Not exactly the start they were hoping for on this tough stretch.

"We had some pretty open shots that we missed," Allen said. "The offense started getting stagnant a little bit. We did a bad job on defense. We gave them a couple open 3's and they hit them. It killed us. We did a bad job of maintaining the lead and a bad job of finishing off the game."

The opener was a relatively tight game most of the way.

Cal sprinted out to a seven-point lead in the first few minutes, but that quickly fizzled. Khalif Wyatt had consecutive baskets to end the first half, giving Temple a 25-23 lead at the break.

The Owls went ahead 45-38 with less than eight minutes remaining on back-to-back layups by Jefferson. That would match the biggest lead either team would hold.

The Golden Bears responded by going on a 16-1 run, including 12 straight, with strong defense and streaky shooting on a night they were otherwise cold. Temple did not make a field goal for almost six minutes during that stretch.

"They defended us well those last seven minutes and they made the shots that they needed to make," Owls coach Fran Dunphy.

It was a huge win for a Cal program that was supposed to be in almost complete rebuilding mode this season.

Five seniors from last season's conference title team are gone, including Pac-10 player of the year and leading scorer Jerome Randle, second-leading scorer Patrick Christopher and top 3-point shooter Theo Robertson. All of them played key roles in the school's first conference title in 50 years.

That leaves a young, inexperienced roster featuring six freshmen for a team that earned back-to-back NCAA tournament berths in coach Mike Montgomery's first two seasons.

Their toughest test yet was certainly a success.

"I don't know what a rebuilding year is," Montgomery said. "All I know is we start two freshman and come off the bench with a whole lot more, and I've never done that before."

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on