Thomas leads No. 17 Huskies to win over Cal

Thomas leads No. 17 Huskies to win over Cal

Jan. 16, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Isaiah Thomasscored 18 of his season-high 27 points in the first half and No. 17Washington bounced back from a late loss at Stanford to beat California92-71 on Sunday night and salvage a split on its tough Bay Area trip.Thomas also dished out a career-high13 assists, including two in a row on 3-pointers by Justin Holiday tostart the second half as Washington quickly pulled away. Holiday scored23 points and Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 22 and 11 rebounds for theHuskies (13-4, 5-1 Pac-10), who shot much better than their coldperformance against the Cardinal three days earlier.Harper Kamp scored 20 points andfreshman Allen Crabbe followed up his season-best 30-point, 10-for-15performance against Washington State with 16 points for the GoldenBears (9-8, 2-3). Cal couldn't keep the momentum from its thrilling88-81 overtime victory against the Cougars on Thursday night.Washington shot 52.3 percent, going13 for 29 from long range, to pull off a rare win at Haas Pavilion. TheHuskies had won just twice in their previous 10 visits to Cal's homefloor, the last time an 87-84 victory on March 1, 2008.This nationally televised game was a rematch of last season's Pac-10 tournament final won 79-75 by Washington.Holiday shot 9 for 14 with five3-pointers after going 0 for 5 in the first half of the Stanford gameand missing a shot at the end of that one. Bryan-Amaning went 10 for 15from the floor and Thomas was 8 of 16 and made all eight of hisfree-throw tries.Thomas has 103 assists already thisseason after getting 202 in his previous two years. He broke intoWashington's top 10 on the career assists list with Sunday's outing.Thomas has seven or more assists in his last five games and eight ormore in four of those.The Huskies looked inspired and readyagainst the defending Pac-10 regular-season champions. Washington,which recently lost point guard Abdul Gaddy to a season-ending kneeinjury that required surgery Friday, had its 11-game winning streakagainst Pac-10 opponents snapped in a 58-56 loss at Stanford onThursday night. The loss also ended its school-record six-game roadwinning streak against the conference.The Huskies couldn't hold an 11-pointlead with 8:55 left against the Cardinal. They were held to theirlowest scoring total of the season and shot 36.2 percent from the fieldto have their six-game winning streak stopped. Washington coach LorenzoRomar made a lineup change by moving Scott Suggs into the starting fivein place of Venoy Overton, the Pac-10's active career leader in assistsand steals.Cal coach Mike Montgomery washonored before tipoff for his recent 600th career win Dec. 28 victoryover Hartford. Athletic director Sandy Barbour presented Montgomerywith a commemorative basketball and bottle of wine, then a videotribute showed on the main baseline scoreboards.Richard Solomon added 14 points for Cal, making all five of his shots.After Cal pulled within 23-22 onEmerson Murray's basket with 8:10 left in the first half, Washingtonresponded with a 13-2 burst to build a 36-24 lead. Bryan-Amaning scoredfive straight during the run and the Huskies led 48-33 at halftimeafter shooting 53.1 percent and making 7 of 14 from 3-point range inthe first half.Washington made eight of its first 12 shots to build a 19-11 lead.

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was front and center last season with the controversy that surrounded quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 season. 

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem as a stance against racial injustice in the United States. The former 49ers quarterback first sat while the anthem played in a preseason game and then decided to kneel throughout the regular season. 

“There was zero distraction," Kelly said to the Monday Morning Quarterback. "He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from." 

After Kaepernick met with his teammates, Kelly saw one focus in his signal caller -- football only. 

"Literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win," Kelly said. 

Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract this offseason. Kelly believes Kaepernick is still plenty capable of leading an NFL team. 

"Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question. Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question," Kelly said. 

In 2016, Kaepernick played in 12 games for Kelly, starting 11 of them under center. He threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, Kaepernick added 468 yards rushing and two more scores. 

When asked about facing Kings for first time, Cousins plays possum

When asked about facing Kings for first time, Cousins plays possum

It was going to happen eventually. The Sacramento Kings were going to face the New Orleans Pelicans at some point, which means they’ll see their former franchise cornerstone and all that entails.

“It’s just another chance for us to come out, play hard and get a win,” DeMarcus Cousins told media members when asked about his Friday matchup against his former team.

Cousins gave the same exact answer the next five times reporters asked about the Kings, grinning as he played possum in front of rolling cameras.

“I enjoyed my time there,” Cousins eventually said. “I developed a lot of relationships. It will be good to see the guys again. I haven’t seen them since before the break, so it will be a good chance to see those guys and laugh a little bit.”

To say there is bad blood is an understatement. Cousins wanted to spend the rest of his career in a Kings uniform. He had already discussed parameters on a potential $200+ million extension. He wanted to be the player that ended the franchise’s decade long postseason drought - and then he was traded.

Cousins wears his emotions on his sleeve, which more often than not has gotten him into trouble. After just a few months with the team, Matt Barnes wanted to “kill ‘em” when asked about the Kings. You can only imagine what Cousins is really thinking.

“If I was in his shoes, I’d come out trying to take it to us,” Garrett Temple said. “Just like Matt said he wanted to kill us, I’m assuming DeMarcus has the same mindset. That’s what makes him one of the best players in the league.”

The deal that sent Cousins to New Orleans cost the player tens of millions of dollars and his parting gift on the way out the door was a strongly worded press release about the Kings looking for a cultural change.

“It was time for a change and I decided this was the best direction for the organization,” Divac said in the team’s press release. “Winning begins with culture and character matters. With the upcoming draft class set to be one of the strongest in a decade, this trade will allow us to build the depth needed for a talented and developing roster moving forward. We thank DeMarcus for his contributions and wish him all the best in New Orleans. The fans in Sacramento are the best in the world and we are all committed to building a team that will continue to make Sacramento proud.”

At the time of the trade, the Kings were just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the playoffs. Since the trade, they’ve gone just 5-13 as they’ve pushed towards a complete youth movement.

The Pelicans have struggled with the transition as well. Adding another high usage player on the frontline alongside All-Star Anthony Davis has taken an adjustment period. They are 9-9 since the deal, but 7-3 over their last 10 games.

Cousins’ numbers are down across the board, but he is beginning to adjust. In 14 games with New Orleans, he’s averaging 22.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in 33 minutes a night. He’s missed three games due to injury and one due to suspension. The Pelicans are 3-1 without him on the court.

With seven games remaining in the season, the Pelicans sit 4.5 games behind the Trail Blazers for the eighth seed. They finish the season in Portland, but that’s a lot of ground to cover with so few games to play.

This is the first time that Kings players will see Cousins in a different uniform. After playing against him in practice and alongside him for plenty of games, Sacramento’s players know the reality of facing a motivated Cousins.

“You’re not going to stop, you’re not going to stop him,” Willie Cauley-Stein said. “You just have to get in his way and pray to God he misses. Other than that, you’re not going to stop him from doing what he wants to do. You just have to keep coming back at him and just be competitive and don’t lay down.”

Cauley-Stein, Kosta Koufos and even rookie Georgios Papagiannis will take turns defending Cousins in the post. The trio have 18 fouls between them and if Cousins is motivated, he will try to get all three out of the game.

“I expected him to get his numbers, but I’m going to try and make it as difficult as possible,” Cauley-Stein added. “That’s going to be fun for me just because, I was kind of like his apprentice here and it’s going to be cool to go against a big bro.”

Friday night’s matchup should be a lively affair. You’ll have a motivated player, seeing his former team for the first time while embroiled in a playoff chase. Hopefully the Kings brought plenty of ice packs, they’re going to need them.