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Golden Nuggets: The Cal Women’s Basketball Team Prepares for Big Weekend (EDIT: MBB Article Added)

More analysis of Cal Football’s recruiting class.

NCAA Womens Basketball: California at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Cal doesn't currently have a QB in the 2018 class, as JT Shrout and the Bears went their separate ways, and Zach Wilson decided to sign early with BYU with the Bears not getting a chance for him to visit. Where do the go from here at QB in the class?

It's a possibility that they don't sign a guy in 2018, which makes 2019 QB recruiting all the more vital, with Hank Bachmeier being the top target in that group.

Right now though, there's another QB competition on the horizon, with Wilcox noting that Ross Bowers has to improve going into next season.

Men’s Basketball

  • The struggling Cal squad will rely on freshmen Darius McNeill going forward.

It’s a little unfair for a freshman point guard, but this is the state of the Cal men’s basketball program: The Bears’ fortunes in Pac-12 play will be based largely on the play of Darius McNeill.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound lefty has become the barometer for Cal, which will enter conference play Saturday with a losing record (6-7) for the first time since 2003-04 season.

During Cal’s three-game winning streak this month, McNeill averaged 20 points per game on 60.5 percent shooting and had a 1.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the two losses that sandwiched the best stretch of the Bears’ season, the Houston native averaged 10 points per game on 35.7 percent shooting and had an 0.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Women’s Basketball

  • SF Chronicle puts the spotlight on WBB and Kristine Anigwe before conference play begins on Friday. I saw on Twitter that it was on Page 1 of the Sporting Green section!

During the stretch, the Bears have beaten man and zone defenses, shown the ability to dominate inside and out, and most important, have won without production from two-time All-America honorable-mention selection Kristine Anigwe.

The junior center sat out Cal’s 70-45 victory over BYU on Dec. 16, and scored two points as the Bears pulled out a 62-52 victory at Kentucky on Thursday. The Wildcats used what former Washington head coach Mike Neighbors used to call the “50-toe defense” — both feet from all five players in the lane to stop an opponent. In this case, Anigwe in the post.

“Kristine has scored a lot of points in her career, but she’d be the first to say we haven’t won enough games,” Gottlieb said of her 6-foot-4 junior, who is averaging 17 points and 8.6 rebounds per game but has led Cal to only one NCAA Tournament win in her first two seasons.

  • Kianna Smith received her second Freshmen of the Week honor after two huge games against BYU and Kentucky. Congrats!

I looked far and wide, but found nothing on Men’s Basketball. I’m sure some articles will come later today and on Friday. I will put them in the comments.

Bears in the Pros

  • The Cal website has their weekly rundown on Bears in the NFL. Jared Goff and the Rams clinched a playoff spot, and Keenan Allen got his first career INT after coming into the game to play defense on a Hail Mary attempt.
  • The Daily Cal compares and contrasts the Boston Celtics’ two “Jays”, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
  • Catch up on former Cal great Mitchell “El Gaucho” Kranson with an interview he did for the Twins Daily blog. He is still a prospect for Minnesota (one of several Bears, actually, as the article states) and is likely still a couple years away from the major leagues, but best of luck!

Go Bears. See ya Friday at Haas.