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Golden Nuggets: It is Never Easy to Say Goodbye...

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Penina Davidson, playing her last two games in the Bay Area this week, writes a blog about her time at Berkeley.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 07 Women's - Cal at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Basketball

Women’s

  • Penina Davidson is set to (likely) play her last two games in the Bay Area this weekend against Stanford. She wrote a blog about how her four years in Berkeley have went.

Being thousands of miles away from my home in New Zealand has helped make me focus on the little moments. Things like the 30-minute BART ride into the city to watch my little brother (a sophomore at Sonoma State) play basketball or spending New Year’s Eve in a cramped dorm room with my mom and sister – having my true home with me on the other side of the world.

Moments that add up to something so much more.

During these four years in Berkeley, I’ve also realized that it’s impossible to be “100 percent” all the time, and that it really is OK not to be OK.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder my junior year and it’s made the one percent moments that much more meaningful.

  • Cal has their final two chances to beat a ranked team before the Pac-12 tournament, but Stanford has been (no pun intended) red hot...
  • UPDATE: Hoopfeed’s preview of tonight’s game from Cal’s perspective.

Cal’s coach relishes the challenge of facing the rival across the Bay.

“I think our players like the challenge and I’m glad that Stanford is doing so well. It’s an opportunity for us to potentially knock off one of the teams that’s one of the best in the country. They always give us that opportunity. And similarly, we hope that us playing so well is a challenge to them. So, it’s all good and I’m looking forward to Thursday and Saturday.”

NBA

Missed these two that were published on February 12th. I put them in the comments section of the last post but in the likely event you don’t read the comments, or read the post before I did that, here they are.

  • Jaylen Brown to host “Tech Hustle” during All-Star weekend. Basketball players will be able to hear from and mingle with venture capitalist and startup companies, among others. Brown continues to impress!
  • Tyrone Wallace has finally made it to the NBA and Hoopsfeed has caught up with him.

Two of your first three NBA games ever were against the Warriors. You went against them twice in four nights and you played 30-plus minutes in each game. And you were terrific in those two games, putting up 35 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals – while shooting 47.8 percent from the field, 100 percent from three-point range and 84.6 percent from the free-throw stripe. What was it like going from never playing in the NBA to being thrown into the fire against this juggernaut Warriors team?

TW: It was special, I knew I’d have an opportunity to play some minutes, but I didn’t know that I’d be playing 30-plus minutes. To get up there and have Doc [Rivers] and the coaching staff believe me in and sub me in like that, it was really special for me. And I’m a young player, so I made some mistakes in my first game, but it’s all about learning and getting better. I think for my first game, though, I did pretty good – especially going up against the best team in the league, the Warriors. I actually think facing Golden State in my first game helped me because I thought, “Alright, well if I can go out here and play pretty well against these guys – this elite team – then it won’t get any harder than that.” Once I realized that I could hold my own, it helped my confidence and I realized I could play against pretty much anyone.

Baseball

The former big league pitcher’s fingerprints are all over this current roster. In his first season back as a Bear, [head coach Mike] Neu will have the opportunity to command a group of youngsters he helped recruit.

“We start a little bit ahead of the curve, opposed to your typical coaching change,” said senior pitcher Matt Ladrech. “We were able to come in day one and know the road map of how we’re going to achieve our goals and whatnot. It was a pretty seamless transition.”

For Neu, the foundation of a potentially great team is already in place. Aside from Denis Karas and Preston Grand Pre, who were selected in this past year’s MLB Draft, Cal will return most of its starting lineup and core pitching staff.

  • Of course, Bear Territory’s Ryan Gorcey has been very good at covering the baseball team and he has a preview as well.

Neu helped recruit junior starting catcher Tyrus Greene, and also recruited mid-week swing man Shortridge, Sunday starter Ladrech, senior closer and Stopper of the Year watch list member Erik Martinez, junior Saturday starter Joey Matulovich, sophomore fourth outfielder Max Flower (37 starts last season) and the likely new starting second baseman and possible leadoff man: Freshman Darren Baker, the son of former Major League manager Dusty Baker, who’s been a regular at practices this fall and spring.

“He is incredible. I’m glad the fall’s over, because I still have no idea how to get him out,” Ladrech said. “... He’s helped me so much with telling me what he sees and working with the pitchers and letting them know how the ball’s coming out, kind of the sequencing and stuff. You could tell he’s been around the game for so long that his baseball IQ is off the charts. It’s unbelievable.”

  • The SF Chronicle put the spotlight on Cal’s Tanner Dodson and St. Mary’s Kevin Milam, both players who pitch and bat and do both well!
  • UPDATE: The baseball jersey reveal is here!

Misc.

  • SB: Under Armour finally put the video showcasing what appear to be SIX uniform combinations for the softball team (Solid White, Solid Blue, Solid Gray, Solid Gold, White with blue shoulders, Blue with white shoulders), though we’ve already seen a few jerseys from photo ops and the fact that the team has already played a few games.
  • FB: If you have 42 free minutes, there is a podcast with Jon Wilner and Yogi Roth where they discuss Pac-12 quarterbacks. Cal is mentioned a few times, but since I don’t have time to listen... I can’t tell you when.
  • SWIM: Abbey Weitzeil was named Pac-12 Swimmer of the Week after setting two Cal dual-meet records and even beating Furd’s Simone Manuel in the 50-freestyle, although the Card won the match overall. Congrats!

#BEATFURD