The Pac-12 Coaches have predicted a third-place finish, after Stanford and UCLA, for No. 18 California for the fourth consecutive season, the conference office announced Tuesday.
The Cal volleyball team gathered for its first official practice of the 2015 season Monday, but in essence training camp began last month during open gym workouts.
Cal senior middle blocker Lillian Schonewise was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 Team, the conference office announced Tuesday.
By Anton Malko and Doug Drabik on Tue, August 11, 2015
BERKELEY - Forging ahead toward completion to inaugurate the 2015-16 year, Haas Pavilion is undergoing a major construction project to enhance the gameday experience for fans and participants. The upgrades will reaffirm the building's reputation and raises its profile as a multi-use facility that showcases the outstanding effort and achievement of student-athletes competing for the University of California.
The renovation, which includes a new center-hung video board, improved sound and lighting systems, and modernized video production facilities, began in May and was made possible through a generous gift of $10 million from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.
As it approaches the finish line, the new-and-improved space inside the building - first opened in 1933 as Harmon Gym and renamed Haas Pavilion in 1999 following a two-year renovation that nearly doubled capacity to 11,877 - is ready to host the next generation of unforgettable moments in Cal Athletics.
"The energy and attitude brought onto the floor for every competition by our student-athletes at Haas Pavilion are deservedly matched by the enhancements that are nearing completion inside the bowl," Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. "These enhancements will offer equal support and improvements to our vital fan base, without whose support our teams would not be nearly as successful. It will certainly be an exciting year for all the programs that train, compete and represent the University at this improved facility."
California's Serena Leong, Isabelle Castillo and Jordan Widener claimed academic honors from the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women (NACGC/W) for the 2014-15 season. To be recognized for this honor, student-athletes must carry a grade-point average of 3.50 or better.
By Marcus Thompson Bay Area News Group Columnist
When Cuonzo Martin was hired as men's basketball coach at Cal, the Golden Bears were barely visible on the college basketball landscape. They functioned merely as tournament prep for the good programs, such as Arizona and UCLA.
Now, not quite 18 months after his hire, Cal is a projected top-25 program. After two big splashes -- landing Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown, both five-star recruits -- the national spotlight is now on Berkeley. Cal hasn't been this relevant since Jason Kidd.
It's enough to make you sit up in your seat and wonder if Martin can really pull this off, erect Cal into a thriving program. Because, according to a few impactful voices in the local hoops scene, it all began with Martin. Now the pressure is on for him to do something with this impressive recruiting class.
"What pressure?" Martin said this week. "I've never felt pressure. I don't even know what that is. It's one day at a time for us. We do our work, and whatever comes out of it is what happens."
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer
Best-case scenario for 2015: 9-5, including a bowl win. The offense will be among the best in the country and if there's defensive improvement, Cal should be in every game.
Worst-case scenario for 2015: 2-10. Cal was a few plays from that mark a year ago, so while we don't expect it to take a step back, this is a possible floor.
Class of 2015 signee to watch: While wide receiver Carlos Strickland was a huge addition for the 2015 class, the Golden Bears will be in more need of immediate help on defense, and Jaylinn Hawkins has an opportunity to make a statement at cornerback. Hawkins was a standout receiver in high school but it wouldn't be surprising to see him become a mainstay at defensive back in short order. -- Erik McKinney
California came oh-so-close to being bowl eligible in 2014.
The Golden Bears' seven-point loss to BYU in the season finale left them one win short of six victories and bowl eligibility last season, but there are signs this year that Cal could break back into the postseason.
The Golden Bears return plenty of talent, including eight starters on offense and seven on defense, and were picked to finish third in the Pac-12 North in the league's preseason media poll. Leading the way is junior quarterback Jared Goff, who threw for 3,973 yards and 35 touchdowns last season and already owns 19 school records.
A huge hurdle for California, though, is the team's schedule in the difficult Pac-12. The Golden Bears play five road games in league play to four home contests, and that includes a stretch where they play four teams in a row — three on the road — that finished last year ranked in the top 25: at Utah, at UCLA, vs. USC and at Oregon.
The Deseret News caught up with Jeff Faraudo, who covers California football for the Bay Area News Group, to discuss what the Utes should expect from Bears quarterback Jared Goff and what expectations California has in 2015.
DN: The Golden Bears narrowly missed bowl eligibility last season. What needs to happen for Cal to turn the corner and get back in the postseason for the first time since 2011?
JF: The offense, which averaged 38.2 points and 495 yards per game, should continue to be productive. Cal's running game improved as the year went on, and its efficiency will be key to the offense making progress. Obviously, the defense must be markedly better. Cal allowed eight opponents to score at least 36 points, and its pass defense was the worst in the nation. The coaches believe they have better depth and talent in the front seven, which they hope generates a better pass rush.
My siren is the California Golden Bears.
Unlike Odysseus, though, I don't want to be tied to a mast. I don't want to just hear their enticing song, I want to see it. Now let me tell you why.
1. Lose big, lose close, win close, win big: It's not scientific or anything, but there's a pattern you want your program to follow when you first take it over and look to rebuild. Sonny Dykes came to Cal, replacing Jeff Tedford, in the 2013 season. And he lost -- a lot, and often, by a lot. Last season saw the Golden Bears finish 5-7, but that record isn't the best indicator of what kind of team it really was.
Cal went 3-6 in conference play, but of its six losses only three came by two scores or more (Washington, Oregon and Stanford). Of those, the biggest defeat was a 24-point loss to Washington. There was a huge momentum shift early in that game, as Cal quarterback Jared Goff fumbled at the goal line while en route to a touchdown, and it was returned 100 yards the other way. Then there was the 49-45 loss to Arizona, which came courtesy of a 47-yard Hail Mary on the final play of the game. There was also a 36-34 loss to UCLA in which Cal was driving for a potential winning score before an interception along the sideline.
At the end of the day, the Golden Bears were a few plays here and there from making the jump from 1-11 to 7-5 last season.
Even without those games going Cal's way, the Bears still improved from losing nine conference games by an average of 27.8 points per game in 2013, to losing six conference games by an average of 12.8 points per game in 2014. That's trending in the right direction, and given the history of Dykes, there's reason to believe the Bears will take another step forward in 2015.
The Louisiana Tech team Dykes inherited in 2010 wasn't in terrible shape but finished 5-7 that first year. In 2011, the Bulldogs improved to 8-5, and then in 2012, the team went 9-3. It's only losses that year were a two-point loss to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in Manziel's Heisman season, an overtime loss to Utah State that finished 11-2, and a nine-point loss to a San Jose State team that finished the season 11-2.
There was no shame in those three losses, and Lousiana Tech's performance that season is what earned Dykes the Cal job. I have more reasons to believe Dykes can have that third season at Cal, and one of them happens to be his quarterback.