- The Celtics have a hard road ahead due to injuries but right now they have a 2-0 series lead over Milwaukee and Jaylen Brown may be the MVP so far.
Brown has set playoff career highs for points in each of these first two games, getting 20 in Game 1 and 30 in Game 2 after averaging a 14.5 per game over the regular season. His 22 attempts from the field on Tuesday, of which he made 12, was a number he’s hit only once before. (Though strangely, he’s only shot two free throws in these playoffs.) In his career so far, Brown’s role has been more of a volume scorer than a creator, and that hasn’t changed much—he has just five assists over the two games—but with their most reliable scorer [Kyrie Irving] sidelined, the opportunities are all there for Brown to snatch up.
- Kristine Anigwe will participate in the National 3x3 Championships once again, with some good company from Notre Dame, UConn and Louisville.
- A few Spring Practice write-ups are up, here’s one from Daily Cal.
Within the talk of tailbacks and the running game in general, senior fullback/tight end Malik McMorris is a player who comes to mind. Even surrounded by the hulks that make up Cal’s offensive line, he is easy to recognize on the field.
McMorris dropped about 20 pounds in the offseason, and he now stands at around 5’11” and 292 pounds. The veteran’s primary job is to protect the run and, every once in a while, leak out on a passing route.
McMorris had some shining moments in 2017, and the Bears will look to further utilize their big man, especially during goal-line or short-yardage situations. This time around, however, the players he is protecting look rather different in Clark, redshirt freshman Biaggio Ali Walsh and redshirt junior running back Alex Netherda.
“Those are good guys, smart guys that understand the game of football. And having coach (Burt) Toler with them, you know — he’s brought something to that room with a lot of energy, and those guys are really going, so it’ll be fine,” said McMorris.
- And an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about Patrick Laird and his summer book challenge.
“I can’t call the future, but none of the stuff that [Patrick Laird] does is surprising to me, because of the kind of individual he is,” [Burl Toler III] said. “He has the right mentality, day in and day out.
“He’s never satisfied with where he is.”
The detail Laird puts into his nutrition, sleep habits and soft-tissue work is extensive, and his list of things to improve on the field this season is probably just as long.
Among the specifics areas he thinks he needs to improve, Laird listed everything in the running game and becoming a better receiver, route runner and pass protector.
“I just want to be part of kind of turning this into a traditionally winning program,” he said. “If I could have anything in my last season at Cal, it would be helping in every way possible to win as many games as possible.”
- Another running back, Alex Netherda, is looking to finally make an impact in his final year.
“Having Alex being in most of all of the positions on the team, he’s got friends amongst all -- the offense, the defense and the special teams,” said fullback Malik McMorris. “Having Alex out there, clearly having run running the ball, having the ball in his hands, he can do a lot of things for us, so it’s fun to see him.”
”He is an extremely positive guy, his teammates really respect him and enjoy him,” Wilcox said. “He appreciates being out here and being a part of the team, which is really cool. I think the more guys you have like that, it’s just infectious for your team.”
At 6-foot, 200 pounds, Netherda is an ideal size for a running back, especially when it comes to spelling starter Patrick Laird, who stands at 6-foot, 205 pounds, and, like Netherda, started his career as a walk-on. Netherda has taken cues from both Laird and another former walk-on they both admire.
- Ryan Gorcey has the summary of Aaron Rodgers’ visit with the Dalai Lama. Yes, you read that right.
- More on the commitments of tight ends Bradley Archer and Elijah Mojarro and why they decided to choose Cal for their schools to join in 2019.
- Could the Class of 2019 also get defensive back William Nimmo? He visited Cal recently, but hasn’t received an offer yet.
- A video with Cal Lacrosse’s new uniforms (even though the season has been underway for a long time)
- The home finale against Stanford will be played for a special cause, it is the “One Love” game which raises awareness for domestic violence.
- Tanner Dodson is this week’s Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week for his help getting the Bears to a win over San Francisco and a series win over Washington State.
- Men’s Gymnastics MPSF All-Academic awards are out! Congrats to Roshan Toopal, Michael Rauchwerger, senior Yordan Aleksandrov, sophomore Kyte Crigger, Jonathan Wang (3.045 – Legal Studies), Mitchell Awisus, and Bailey Chang!