NCAA

Cal men's head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin resigns

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USATSI

Cal men's head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin resigns

UPDATE (3pm on Wednesday) -- The University of Missouri officially introduced Cuonzo Martin as the team's 19th head basketball coach on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

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Cuonzo Martin, who led California’s men’s basketball for the past three seasons, has resigned as head coach, Director of Athletics Mike Williams announced Wednesday.

Martin has stepped down in order to pursue other opportunities. Assistant coach Wyking Jones will serve as interim head coach.

“Cuonzo Martin informed me this morning that he is resigning to accept a position at another school. We put forth our best effort to retain him, but he told me it wasn’t about Cal, rather a strong desire to move closer to home,” Williams said.  “We appreciate all that Cuonzo has done with our men’s basketball program over the past three seasons, creating excitement inside Haas Pavilion, guiding our team to a pair of postseason appearances and improving the academic performance of our student-athletes.”

In his three seasons at Cal, Martin amassed a 62-39 overall record, and 29-25 record in the Pac-12. Most recently, the Bears wrapped up a 21-13 season, tied for fifth in the league and reached the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal before earning a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament. Cal’s season ended Tuesday evening with a 73-66 loss to CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT.

Martin earned one NCAA Tournament berth and one NIT berth in his three years at the helm, and secured one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2015-16, bringing in eventual No. 3 NBA Draft pick Jaylen Brown as well as two-time All-Pac-12 selection Ivan Rabb.

Last season, Cal went a perfect 18-0 at home and tied for third in the Pac-12 with a 23-11 overall record and 12-6 record in conference. The Bears earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament – the highest seed in school history – before falling to Hawai’I in the first round. The end of the season saw both Brown and Bob Cousy Award finalist Tyrone Wallace selected in the NBA Draft.

Martin’s squads also posted high marks in the classroom as well, recording a perfect single-year APR score of 1000 in 2014-15 and demonstrating the highest overall increase in grade point average, from 2.60 to 2.84 in 2015-16. Sam Singer earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors all three seasons under Martin, and Stephen Domingo and Roger Moute a Bidias also collected multiple all-academic awards.

Williams will conduct a nationwide search for the next head coach of the Golden Bears.

“We now turn our full attention to a national search to find a new men’s basketball coach,” Williams said. “The success of the program is of the highest importance to me, our department and our entire Cal Athletics community. It’s important that we continue on our upward trajectory and hire someone again who understands what it takes to recruit and succeed at a top academic institution. We wish Cuonzo and his family the best and thank him for what he’s contributed to Cal basketball and the Cal community.”

Cal media services

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.