Three quick Cal basketball related stories before we turn our full attention to the Dance.
Cal issued a clear and definitive statement last night that regardless of what happens with now dismissed assistant Yann Huffnagel, the Bears are going to move forward and resolve the Cuonzo Martin contract situation after the season ends. Here is the statement from Cal Athletics.
The recent connection that has been drawn between the ongoing contract discussions with UC Berkeley's head men's basketball coach and the current situation regarding the notice of intent to terminate Assistant Coach Hufnagel are inaccurate. Coach Martin is the Cal men's basketball coach. We look forward to finalizing his contract.
The two time NIT champ is no more
""This decision was not easy and it was a very difficult discussion for both Johnny and me, but like everything else during his tenure at Stanford, he handled it with class, respect and the utmost concern for his student-athletes," said Muir. "There are so many great things that Johnny was able to accomplish on The Farm, including improving the graduation rate, achieving an Academic Progress Rate of 1000, an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and two NIT championships. The student-athletes Johnny coached during his tenure at Stanford represented the University with class and humility."
"I want to thank the Stanford community for playing such an important part in the lives of Tracy and I and in the lives of our four children," said Dawkins, who compiled a 156-115 record in eight seasons at the helm. "While I am disappointed that we could not achieve the desired high level results, I leave proud of the tremendous young men who have given their all to the program and I know the future is bright for Stanford basketball.""
One of the most frustrating things about Dawkins was while he kept Stanford pretty mediocre, the Cardinal proved they could beat Cal on a pretty consistent basis during his tenure. Cal only swept Stanford once in the Dawkins era (2010, the Pac-10 championship season). The Trees kept Cal from winning a share of two straight Pac-12 titles in 2012 and 2013 on the final game of the regular season.
Also, Dawkins somehow lucked his way into a Sweet 16. Nothing drives me crazier than Johnny Dawkins going to the tournament ONCE and ending up in the Sweet 16.
Still, Stanford wasn't very good with Dawkins, as they backtracked from the glory days of Mike Montgomery. The Cardinal certainly have the deep pockets to hire a good coach. I do not want Stanford to have good coaches in the two major sports. We'll see who they go with.
In the meantime, Cal finished the regular season in the top 25 for the first time since 1994. Good times! Below are the AP and the Coaches Polls.
|1||Kansas Jayhawks (63)||30-4||1,623|
|2||Michigan State Spartans (2)||29-5||1,552|
|3||North Carolina Tar Heels||28-6||1,488|
|8||West Virginia Mountaineers||26-8||1,193|
|15||Texas A&M Aggies||26-8||682|
|19||Duke Blue Devils||23-10||383|
|20||Seton Hall Pirates||25-8||374|
|22||Iowa State Cyclones||21-11||317|
|23||California Golden Bears||23-10||270|
|Others receiving votes: Texas 69, Notre Dame 61, Saint Joseph's 60, Connecticut 34, Stephen F. Austin 12, Dayton 11, Wisconsin 9, Wichita St 9, Gonzaga 8, Arkansas-Little Rock 5, Providence 4, Valparaiso 3, Butler 3, Cincinnati 3, Yale 3, Monmouth 3, Saint Mary's 3, Stony Brook 2, Michigan 2, Akron 1, Northern Iowa 1|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|2||Michigan State (1)||29-5||761|
|Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 41, Connecticut 36, Providence 25, Wichita St 21, Gonzaga 17, Saint Mary's 17, Wisconsin 15, Stephen F. Austin 11, Northern Iowa 9, Dayton 9, VCU 3, Yale 2, Butler 2, Cincinnati 1, Fresno State 1, Arkansas-Little Rock 1|