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Golden Nuggets: Cal Basketball Prepares for 2015-2016 Season

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Cuonzo Martin talks to the press about Cal's top-five recruiting class and its effect on the men's basketball program.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Water Polo

Kirk Everist's Cal men's water polo program will be welcoming in a large and talented group of newcomers next fall. The Golden Bears' coaching staff will be bringing in 10 new student-athletes - Nick Bisconti, Garrett Felix, Chase Hamming, Johnny Hooper, Jordan Hoover, David Kessler, Odysseas Masmanidis, Jack Pickard, Timothy Simenc and Spencer Tagg - who will join Everist's squad for the 2015 campaign.

Women's Water Polo

Fourth-Seeded Bears Open NCAAs Against No. 5 UCI

Friday, May 8: Quarterfinals
No. 5 UC Irvine (19-8) vs. No. 4 Cal (19-7), 5:15 p.m.

Men's Tennis

To open its 16th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, 26th-ranked California takes on 56th-ranked Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday, May 8, at 10 a.m. CT in Austin, Texas.

Women's Tennis

Third-seeded and third-ranked California will host Bryant, 30th-ranked Houston and 33rd-ranked Mississippi State for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9, at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

Four Golden Bears earned berths on the All-Pac-12 teams - with Maegan Manasse and Klara Fabikova garnering first-team spots and Denise Starr and Zsofi Susanyi claiming honorable mention - the conference announced Tuesday.

Women's Gymnastics

From shattering the program-high team score against UC Davis to sending a gymnast to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row, Cal women's gymnastics celebrated yet another record-breaking season at the team's annual banquet on Sunday.

Freshman Toni-Ann Williams was honored as the teams "Gymnast of the Year." The newcomer claimed 30 event titles and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and NACGC Regional Gymnast of the Year honors en route to an NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship appearance.

Rugby

The 2015 Nike Cal Varsity Rugby Camp, open to boys age 14-18, is set for July 27-30. Parents are encouraged to enroll early for places in what is expected to be another sold-out summer session at the University of California.

Softball

No. 19 California wraps up regular-season play against crosstown rival Stanford at Levine-Fricke Field in a Pac-12 finale beginning Thursday.

Women's Golf

California makes its 16th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance this weekend when the Bears tee off at the NCAA St. George Regional that will be held at the Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. George, Utah, this Thursday through Saturday.

Women's Basketball

California women's basketball signee Kristine Anigwe has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2015 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship National Team trials.

California's Mercedes Jefflo and Courtney Range have accepted invitations for the 2015 USA Basketball Women's Pan American and World University Games National Team trials.

Men's Basketball

Recruiting roundup: Ivan Rabb already having big impact for Cal

In September 1991, Jason Kidd, a standout guard at Saint Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda, Calif., announced that he would attend the University of California -Berkeley. His choice was momentous. A two-time state champion and California Mr. Basketball winner who generated so much interest that some of the Pilots' games were moved to the Oakland Coliseum, Kidd was a transcendent player who possessed the potential to alter the trajectory of a college program. His combination of court vision and distribution was so prodigious that former San Jose State coach Stan Morrison remarked in a 1992 Sports Illustrated article that, "As a passer, [Kidd is] right up there with Magic, with Cousy. The only thing is, he's a better athlete."

Kidd was named the United States Basketball Writers Association freshman of the year in 1993, a first-team All-America in '94 and he led the Golden Bears to a 43-17 record and consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. By the time he left Cal—he was the second overall pick 1994 NBA draft—Kidd had cemented his status as one of the best players in program history.

More than two decades later, on April 13 of this year, the Golden Bears scored another major recruiting victory when five-star power forward Ivan Rabb announced his verbal commitment. Like Kidd, Rabb played in the Bay Area, at Bishop O'Dowd. Like Kidd, Rabb is considered one of the best players in his class. Like Kidd, Rabb generated interest from basketball powerhouses across the country yet elected to play for the less heralded, nearby program.

The parallels are not difficult to discern, and Rabb has heard himself compared to Kidd before. "All the time," he says. Yet those who observed both players in high school hesitate to frame their respective rises to prominence in similar terms. Don Lippi, who coached against Kidd while at Oakland Skyline High School and currently serves as the head coach at St. Joseph Notre Dame, lauded Kidd for his basketball IQ and the level of control he exerted on both ends of the floor. Gerry Freitas, a longtime basketball scout on the West Coast, described Kidd as "the most dominant high school guard I've ever seen."