Cal trounces Stanford on rivalry night, 74-55


Cal trounces Stanford on rivalry night, 74-55

Grant CohnCSNBayArea.com

It was a rivalry game Saturday Night at Haas Pavilion between the Cal Bears and the Stanford Cardinal. Two teams ranked in the middle of the Pac-10, neither with a realistic shot at the NCAA tournament, they played for the chance to go to the NIT and to settle a personal matter.Keep in mind Stanford blew out Cal 82-68 on January 2, the teams first meeting this season. If that game was an indication of how these teams would match up Saturday, this one should have been close. It wasnt. Cal pummeled Stanford 74-55.REWIND: 2nd half surge pushes Stanford past Cal, 81-68
But it was even worse than the score indicates.Cal dominated from the opening tip. Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins actually subbed out his entire starting lineup almost three and a half minutes into the game as Cal ran out to a quick 8-2 lead.About eight minutes in, Stanford had four points, five turnovers and a shot-clock violation. The Cardinal trailed by 15.We decided we wanted to come out and be the aggressor, Cal coach Mike Montgomery explained after the game. Cal, usually a team that plays a zone defense, befuddled Stanford with a tough man-to-man scheme.By halftime Stanford had scored 21 points, tying its third-lowest scoring output in a half all season. Stanford shot an anemic 28 from the field in the first half, making 7 of 25 shots. Stanford forward Jeremy Green made four of those field goals, and had 14 of Stanfords 21 halftime points. No other Cardinal scored more than two points in the first half.Early in the second half Stanford almost made a game of it. The Cardinal cut the deficit to nine and forced Montgomery to call a timeout. Whatever he said in the huddle must have worked, as Cal immediately went on a 14-2 run to push the lead to 21. Cal capped the run with a dramatic play in transition, as Brandon Smith hurled the ball down the court to Jorge Gutierrez, who caught it under the basket using just his left hand, and in one motion tossed the ball into the air for Allen Crabbe to slam home for two of his game-high 24 points. Timeout Stanford. Game over.We wanted to jump on them like we did UCLA (on February 20), said Cal senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison, who had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the final regular season game of his career at Haas Pavilion.Cal improved to 17-13 overall and 10-8 in Pac-10 play. Stanford dropped to 15-15 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10.RELATED: Pac-10 standings
The Bears earned their shot to play USC in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament on Thursday by winning four games in a row to end the season. I think 17 and ten is fabulous, Montgomery said, referring to overall wins and wins in the conference. Because the Cardinal are in the bottom four of the conference, they must play a night earlier on Wednesday.Montgomery wouldnt discuss USC yet.Well cross that bridge when we get to it, he said. I think theres a lot of people in this league that can win the tournament. I put Stanford in that group. Youve seen a number of teams settle into who they are. I include us in that group.One reporter asked Montgomery how he would describe who Cal is.Were just a gritty group of guys, said Montgomery. Allen Crabbe has developed into an awfully nice player. Hes arguably the best freshman in the conference. Hes also one of the best players in the conference. Were not going to win any glamour contest. Were a gritty group of guys and our roles are defined now.

Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'


Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'

For the third straight summer, Steve Kerr has had a shortened offseason to work with.

While he is working on things for the 2017-18 season, he's not trying to cram as much work into a short period of time. He's taking time to relax and enjoy the summer.

In an interview with The Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Saturday, Kerr pulled back the curtain on how's spending the time before training camp starts.

“I’m on the phone, talking to Bob Myers, talking to our coaches and to different people. Writing down thoughts, putting together plans for our coaching retreat. It might be just something that pops into my head, where I just stop and write something down. But I’m not Jon Gruden, I’m not waking up at five in the morning and going to the film room,” Kerr said.

What could Kerr and Myers possibly talk about every single day?

“We talk about players, talk about roles. We talked a lot about Nick Young and [Omri] Casspi before we signed those guys. Talked a lot about our center position. Bob and I talk every day, kind of the first thing in the morning we check in with each other, usually talk for a half hour. We’re really close. He just got back from a great vacation, in Italy,” Kerr said.

Kerr and the defending champion Warriors get back on the court Sept. 30 in a preseason tilt against the Nuggets in Oakland. Then they head to China to play the Timberwolves twice before returning to face the Kings at home on Oct. 13. Four days later, they raise a banner, get their rings and tip-off the regular season against the Rockets.

Bochy updates status of Belt, Panik in concussion recoveries

Bochy updates status of Belt, Panik in concussion recoveries

The Giants' right side of the infield is currently on the shelf due to each dealing with a concussion. Joe Panik, who sustained his concussion more rently than Brandon Belt, is far ahead in a return date to the Giants. 

Panik ran sprints at AT&T Park on Sunday. He also took 50 swings between working off a tee and soft toss from a coach. The second baseman says if he feels well enough, he will take batting practice on the field Monday. 

"I’m not dealing with any balance issues," Panik said to the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. "I hope to pick up where I left off."

Panik has been out since Aug. 13. When trying to score a run on the road against the Nationals, a throw struck him near his temple while sliding into home plate. He still stayed in the game. 

Last season, Panik missed time with a concussion after being hit in the head by then-Rays pitcher Matt Moore.

Belt is in a different stage than Panik. He is limited to work in the gym and light cardio for now. 

"With Belt, the best way I can describe it is, he's doing OK," manager Bruce Bochy said before Sunday's game. "He's doing cardio up to the point he needs to stop. He's not at a stage where he can push it right now."

Belt now has four career concussions between college and the pros. After taking a pitch to the head against D'backs rookie Anthony Banda, Belt immediately went down and has been out since that game on Aug. 4. 

Bochy expects Panik back soon, but not before the Giants' homestand ends on Wednesday. Belt's retun to the field this season is still in question.