Sharks

Cal men's hoops placed on probation

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Cal men's hoops placed on probation

Feb. 25, 2011
CAL PAGE

CSNBayArea.com staff

The NCAA today penalized the University of California men's basketball program, placing them on two years of probation. The penalties were issued as a result of the team making impermissible phone calls over a 6-month period beginning in April 2008.

The team had previously placed self-imposed sanctions after reporting the impermissible calls.
The only other additional penalties handed out Friday were a limit of five official paid visits for the next two academic years, a public reprimand and a requirement that Montgomery and two assistants must attend a rules seminar.SHELL: NCAA investigations fundamentally flawed

The following is a statement from the University of California on the NCAA Committee on Infractions Decision on the Mens Basketball Program:The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions issued its ruling in a case concerning impermissible telephone calls by members of the University of California mens basketball staff Friday.The Athletic Department uncovered the violations through its normal review and monitoring procedures. The calls in question were placed during a sixth-month period beginning in April 2008, just after a new coaching staff came on board. Cal initiated its investigation in September 2008 and promptly reported its findings to the Pac-10 Conference and NCAA. In addition, the department took internal corrective actions and independently imposed sanctions, including limitations on telephone calls to prospects, within the mens basketball office.The case was considered narrow in scope and centered on 365 phone calls, of which the committee said 305 appeared to be documentation violations, meaning that they could have been allowable had they been logged correctly or in a timely manner. The other 60 calls primarily broke NCAA rules on the number of calls to prospects that can be placed within a specific time period. As the NCAA report notes, misunderstandings on the part of some of the coaches led to misapplications and erroneous assumptions regarding current NCAA recruiting legislation.I believe deeply in following NCAA rules and have always promoted an atmosphere of compliance within our program, said mens basketball coach Mike Montgomery, a former chair of the NABC Ethics Committee. It is gratifying to know that during our NCAA hearing in Indianapolis that there was agreement among all parties that these violations were unintentional. However, that does not excuse them, and we need to remain diligent in our efforts to remain compliant. We strive to maintain a very high standard and take this situation very seriously.During the media teleconference discussing the case Friday, Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and chair of the Committee on Infractions, stated: The violations in this case were a result of the mens basketball staffs neglect, rather than an intentional effort to circumvent the rules.In its final report, the committee noted that Cals compliance office acted quickly in educating the newly hired coaching staff and had measures in place for monitoring recruiting telephone calls. Cal cooperated with the NCAA throughout the investigation and did not contest any of the infractions found by the committee.We strongly believe that the discovery of these violations is an indication that our compliance monitoring process is working as intended, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. When Mike Montgomery joined our program in April 2008, we knew we were hiring a coach know for his integrity who cares deeply about this student-athletes college experience. He expects the same ethical behavior from every member of his staff. The manner in which Coach Montgomery and his assistant coaches have responded to and engaged in this process has only confirmed our initial beliefs.The AP contributed to this report

Bad offense, not bad officiating, is main culprit for Sharks' skid

Bad offense, not bad officiating, is main culprit for Sharks' skid

For just the second time this season, the San Jose Sharks have lost consecutive games.

It’s the first time since the club opened the season 0-2, and were outscored 9-4. San Jose played much better in Thursday’s loss to Florida and Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Boston than they did to start the campaign, but have now been on the wrong side of four goal reviews.

The Sharks have lost each of the last two games by two goals, so there’s an understandable temptation to chalk these losses up to questionable officiating. Yet even if you disregard the notion that the officials got each call right (which they did), it’s one that must be resisted.

Their actual lack of offense, not a perceived lack of good officiating, is the main culprit behind the losing streak.

Timo Meier’s goal on Saturday stands as San Jose’s lone tally on this three-game homestand. It’s not for a lack of trying: The Sharks pumped 72 shots on net in the last two games, but could not solve Roberto Luongo or Anton Khudobin.

You can blame the officiating in San Jose’s last two losses all you want, but a good offensive team would have converted subsequent chances to make up for the goals taken off the board. The Sharks have not been a good offensive team this season, and could not make up for it.

San Jose’s inability to finish chances has been their main weakness all season, but they were still able to win games thanks to their defense and goaltending. The latter’s lapsed at times over the last two games, and the former let them down on Saturday when Aaron Dell allowed three goals on only 20 shots.

But that, as well as the discussion around the recent officiating, only serves to mask the Sharks’ real issue. San Jose just simply cannot score.

They’ve only scored on 7.41 percent of their shots this season, according to Natural Stat Trick, which is the third-worst rate in the league. There’s too much talent on the roster to expect that to continue all season, but the Sharks faltered offensively down the stretch last season, too.

Plus, they’re relying significantly on players on the wrong side of 30. Brent Burns, 32, hasn’t scored a goal, and Joe Pavelski, 33, is on pace to score fewer than 20 goals.

He hasn’t failed to reach that mark in a decade. At some point, it must be asked: are the Sharks just unlucky, or is age catching up to their star players?

The answer is probably a bit of both. How much of a role either factor has played is up for debate, but that either has led to San Jose’s failure to score goals is not.

Poor officiating is easier to diagnose than a poor offense, but it’s the latter, not the former, that’s responsible for the Sharks’ most recent skid.

Gameday: How the well-rested Nets will test the Durant-less Warriors

Gameday: How the well-rested Nets will test the Durant-less Warriors

Roughly 20 hours after winning in Philadelphia, the Warriors on Sunday take their act to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they’ll be without Kevin Durant as they try to sweep a back-to-back set for the first time this season.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 2pm, with tipoff scheduled for 3:05pm.

It’s the third back-to-back set of the season for the Warriors (12-4), who have split the first two. This one follows a stirring comeback victory over the 76ers on Saturday and it comes against a Nets team sure to test their endurance.

That test is automatically tougher with Durant, who scored scored 27 points against Philly but will be sidelined Sunday with an ankle sprain.

Brooklyn (6-9) is playing without two guards who figured prominently in their plans, as both Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell are out with injuries.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Spencer Dinwiddie. Curry broke out his mini-slump in the third quarter Saturday in Philly, scoring 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-4 from deep. He’ll see plenty of Dinwiddie, whose wingspan approaches 6-9. Starting in place of the injured D’Angelo Russell, Dinwiddie has become a solid catalyst for Brooklyn’s fast-paced offense. His 5.57-1 assist-to-turnover ratio leads all NBA point guards. If he plays exceptionally well, the Nets may have a legitimate chance.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Nets: G Jeremy Lin (ruptured patellar tendon) and G D’Angelo Russell (L knee surgery) are listed as out.

GAME OFFICIALS:
Kane Fitzgerald (crew chief), Ben Taylor and Scott Wall.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 8-2, Nets: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors swept two games against Brooklyn in each of the last two seasons and have won 14 of the last 19 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
THE GAS TANK: After expending a lot of energy in wiping out a 24-point second-half deficit against the 76ers, the Warriors now confront the NBA’s most hyperactive team. Brooklyn leads the league in pace for the second consecutive season under coach Kenny Atkinson. The Nets are rested and they want to run. With the Warriors shorthanded and coming off a game on the previous night, Brooklyn will push at every opportunity.

TRUST THE D: The Nets rank second in field-goal attempts but 25th in field-goal percentage and 26th in 3-point percentage. They rely on volume to stay in games, and sometimes it’s enough. The Warriors, with the exception of the first half on Saturday, have tightened their defense and now rank fifth in defensive rating. They may have to go deep into the bench, but they’re defense should hold up.

THE GLASS WAR: On sheer rebounding numbers the Warriors and Nets are about equal, thanks largely to Brooklyn ranking second behind Phoenix in both field-goal attempts and missed shots. Where the Warriors separate is in rebounding percentage, where they rank sixth and Brooklyn is 25th. If the Warriors can stay even on the glass against a team that also is comfortable playing “small,” it likely will be enough to put them over the top.