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Basketball: Wallace is Pac-12 Player of Week again

Cal junior Tyrone Wallace was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 25.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in a pair of victories.

The 6-foot-5 point guard scored 26 of his career-high 29 points in the second half of Sunday’s 63-56 win at Nevada and had 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in a home win over Montana.

Wallace is averaging 19.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the season.

The Bears (7-1), off to their best start since 2007-08, face Wyoming (8-1) at home on Wednesday. Tipoff is 8 p.m.

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Women’s basketball: Bears routed at Kansas

Expect the No. 10 Golden Bears to tumble in the rankings this week after a 62-39 loss at Kansas, their first of the season.

Cal (8-1) shot 24.2 percent for the game, just 18.2 percent in the second half.  The Jayhawks (7-2) led 36-20 by halftime.

Senior guard Brittany Boyd had 12 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists to lead Cal. She set the all-time Cal steals mark with 296, surpassing Mazetta Garrett’s career total of 295 set during the 1979-84 seasons.

Cal had a season-low six assists. The Bears entered the game ranked second nationally at 23.6 assists per game.

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Basketball: Wallace, Bears rally past Nevada

I was not in Reno for the game today, but here’s a report:

FINAL: Cal 63, Nevada 56. Tyrone Wallace overcame a rough first half to score a career-high 29 points and lead the Bears’ comeback. Wallace was 1 for 9 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but made 10 of 11 thereafter, to go with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Wallace has scored at least 20 points the past three games and improved his season scoring average to 19.3 points.

Cal (7-1) is off to its best start since 2007-08.

The Bears got 11 points from David Kravish, making his 100th career start, his 96th in a row.

Cal played limited the Wolfpack (2-6) to 7 for 27 shooting in the second half. Nevada has lost six in a row.

The Bears played a clean game, turning the ball over a season-low three turnovers.

Christian Behrens contributed nine rebounds and Cal won despite getting just five points on 1 for 8 shooting from Jordan Mathews.

Nevada led 52-51 after a jumper by A.J. West with 4:34 left. But the hosts did not make another field goal the rest of the game, and the Bears outscored them 12-4 to close the game.

The Bears return home Wednesday to a face Wyoming (8-1), then remain at Haas to take on Princeton (3-6) on Saturday.

HALFTIME: Nevada 30, Cal 24

The Bears shooting 25 percent (7 for 28), including 1 for 9 by top scorer Tyrone Wallace.

All other stats are even: Rebounds are 20-20, turnover 3-3.

But Cal has missed at least four lauyps.

No Jabari Bird today, still out with a foot injury. Also not available is freshman guard Brandon Chauca, who was held out with an ankle sprain. Chauca gave the team a lift in his college debut Wednesday against Montana, contributing eight points and six assists.

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Basketball notebook: Bears look for more offense from Kravish as they trek to Nevada for Sunday game

Don’t expect Jabari Bird back on the court Sunday when Cal (6-1) visits Nevada (2-5). The game tips off at 1 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

But Bears coach Cuonzo Martin would like David Kravish to be a bit more visible.

Cal has been heavily perimeter-oriented through much of its first seven games, sparked by point guard Tyrone Wallace (17.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.7 apg) and backcourt mate Jordan Mathews (15.1 ppg, 48.5% 3-point) and Bird (11.7 ppg).

Kravish, the team’s most experienced player and best big man, has been solid, averaging 12.4 points and shooting 50 percent from the field. But his rebounding is down (from 7.7 per game last year to 6.0) and he sometimes gets lost in the Cal attack.

In Wednesday’s 78-76 double-overtime win over Montana, Kravish was 7 for 11 from the field and scored 14 points. But the 6-foot-10 senior forward wasn’t assertive enough, according to Martin. Two games earlier, Kravish attempted just nine shots against Cal Poly.

Asked how Kravish can become a bigger part of the offense, Martin said, “It’s a case of Dave demanding the ball, not me telling so much to post up strong. It’s a matter of him wanting the ball and demanding the ball.”

Kravish has been a complementary piece of the puzzle his entire career at Cal, a good teammate who fills his role and doesn’t need the spotlight. He is second all-time on Cal’s career blocked shots list and has cracked the top 10 in career rebounds.

But the Bears probably need a little more scoring from him this season, or at least the threat of it. Cal has no other frontcourt player the opposition must account for, but Kravish has skills that allow him to score inside or out to the 3-point line. He probably needs to be a bit more selfish — in a good way — with regard to his scoring.

Especially with Bird sidelined, Cal needs a more potent contribution from Kravish. And he has his coach’s blessing, to say the least.

*****

No word from Cal on Bird’s status. Martin confirmed Wednesday that the sophomore guard underwent X-rays and an MRI for his left foot injury, but provided no other details.

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Football: Avery Sebastian to transfer for senior year

Cal redshirt junior safety Avery Sebastian, plagued by injury the past two seasons and due to graduate in two weeks, said Friday he will transfer to play his senior season and pursue a post-graduate degree at another school.

“I loved it here at Cal,” Sebastian said in a phone interview. “I always have to look ahead and do what’s best. After reviewing my four years at Cal, talking with my family and friends, this is the best decision. I’m just excited about the future.

Sebastian, 21, played just seven games this fall because of nagging quadriceps injury. He tore his Achilles tendon in the 2013 opener and missed the rest of the season.

A native of McDonough, Georgia, Sebastian said he’s open to play anywhere that fits his football skills and his desire to earn a Masters degree in communications or sports management.

Because he graduates this month with a sociology degree, Sebastian will be eligible to play next season without sitting out.

“Avery Sebastian has been an outstanding representative of the University of California and our football program both on and off the field since his arrival at Cal,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “I congratulate Avery on graduating from the No. 1 public university in the nation in four years and wish him nothing but the best in all of his future pursuits.”

Sebastian leaves despite what he called “an awesome experience” at Berkeley.

“The Bay Area has a lot of things that attract people,” he said. “I had a great time here. It really helped me mature, being away from home. I had great teammates, a great experience. I had everything.”

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Football: Bucs release Jeff Tedford from contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford from his contract Friday, allowing the former Cal head coach to pursue other opportunities.

Might those other opportunities include possible interest in vacant jobs at Oregon State or Colorado State? Other collegiate head coaching positions may also become available.

Tedford, 53, underwent a coronary angioplasty prior to the NFL season and was granted an indefinite leave of absence shortly thereafter. Former Cal and San Jose State assistant coach Marcus Arroyo has served as interim offensive coordinator.

“Throughout these difficult circumstances, our primary concern was for Jeff’s health and well-being,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said in a statement released by the club.

“After speaking with Jeff in recent days, it became obvious that a mutual decision to release him from his contract was the best way forward. We wish Jeff continued success in the next phase of his career.”

Tedford coached at Cal for 11 seasons through 2012 and is the school’s winningest coach with 82 victories.

After taking off the 2013 season, Tedford was hired to handle Tampa Bay’s offense. Health issues derailed that move almost before it got started.

Tedford thanked Smith and everyone in the Bucs organization in a statement, and said his health is better.

“When my health issues arose, I simply tried to ignore them and then I made the mistake of twice trying to come back too early,” he said. “At that point, the organization proposed, and I agreed, that an indefinite leave of absence would allow me the proper amount of time to rest and rehabilitate myself.

“I am happy to state that I’m healthy now and feeling great.”

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Basketball: Why RPI ratings don’t matter on Dec. 5

How concerned should Cal fans be that the Bears, with a 6-1 record, are No. 103 in the NCAA’s official RPI rankings that were released on Thursday?

Hint No. 1: Green Bay is ranked No. 2, one spot ahead of Kentucky, which would win a head-to-head matchup by 55 points. At least.

Hint No. 2: Sacramento State, whose 4-2 record includes two non-Division I wins and a 56-point loss to Gonzaga, is rated No. 27. Ahead of all but one team from the Pac-12.

That’s right, breathe easy.

Rankings this early in the season, with such a small sample size, mean nothing.

Does anyone really believe there are 12 better teams than Arizona in the country?

For what they’re worth – and we’ve established what that is – here are the RPI rankings for Pac-12 teams: 13. Arizona; 48. Colorado; 58. Utah; 61. Washington; 70. Stanford; 102. Oregon; 103. Cal; 121. USC; 154. UCLA; 155. Arizona State; 245. Oregon State; 271. Washington State.

It’s a long season, and the computer ratings will gradually shake out properly.

Up next for the Bears: Sunday vs. Nevada in Reno. The game won’t do much for Cal’s strength of scheduled — Nevada is No. 305 in this week’s RPI.

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Basketball: Ryan Anderson Q&A

Here is more from my Wednesday night interview with former Cal star and New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson at Haas Pavilion:

What’s it like to be back at Haas?

“It’s the first time I’ve been to a game here. Man, just sitting with Omar Wilkes, we were just talking about how much we miss that community, being around so many great friends and being able to play the game, walk home together, grab a bite to eat, talk about the game. I miss that community a lot. It’s all business now.

“What’s hard is this is my seventh year gone. They’ve gone by so fast and so much has happened. It gives me that sentimental feeling walking through here, old memories. I get that sentimental feeling like, `Man, I wish I could just teleport and go back to college.’ ”

How are you playing right now?

“The important thing is just being consistent and confident. Consistent doesn’t always mean the ball is going in the hoop every night. I just want to play confidently.  I always feel like I can play better, but I think I’m finding my way.”

How big was the Pelicans’ win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night?

“Showed us the way we need to play. When we’ve won big games like that, it’s because we’ve played with that energy and moved the ball the way we have. We started the season off really well as a group, then had a shaky time. We’re still coming together as a new team. For me, I’m trying to feel my role out. I think everyone else is, too.”

How good can Anthony Davis become?

“I have no idea. How can he be much better than he is? He’s barely scratched the surface. It’s exciting watching him play every night. He’s incredible and he’s 21.He’s a humble guy and he works his butt off.”

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Basketball: Ryan Anderson finds a purpose in tragedy

Ryan Anderson wants you to know he is OK.

And he wants you to talk about a subject that will make you uncomfortable: suicide.

“This needs to be talked about,” Anderson said. “This is something that happens. And it’s taboo in this country we live in.”

It happened to Anderson, the 26-year-old former Cal basketball star and forward for the New Orleans Pelicans. Sixteen months ago, his girlfriend, Gia Allemand, took her life.

At Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night, on the eve of facing the Warriors, Anderson watched Cal play for the first time since entering the NBA in 2008. He was smiling, laughing, embracing old friends.

“It’s been a pretty crazy rollercoaster of a time,” he said during an interview in the building where he blossomed into a first-round draft pick after just two college seasons. “Coming back here, it’s kind of that innocent-to-the-world ride. Like, how the heck did I get here?”

Anderson he is a different man now than when he left the Bay Area. His game is coming back to him after last season was cut short by a freakish spinal injury that required neck surgery.

Anderson also has had to grapple with a tragedy that he hopes people never experience, but one that kills more Americans each year than car accidents.

Anderson and Allemand met in the Bahamas during the 2011-12 NBA All-Star break. She was a model and a popular contestant on the TV reality show, “The Bachelor.” Their relation grew serious.

But Anderson didn’t know Gia suffered from depression, perhaps triggered partly by a condition called premenstrual disphoric disorder (PMDD), which can lead to severe mood swings.

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Basketball: Cal vs. Montana game thread

There was a lot not to like about the way Cal played in a 78-76 double-overtime win over Montana on Wednesday night.
“Whatever the mistakes may have been,” coach Cuonzo Martin said, “I’d rather watch film after a W than an L.”

The Bears (6-1) survived 22 turnovers and a spirited effort by the Grizzlies (2-4), who arrived on the heels of a 19-point loss to USF and nearly gave first-year coach and former Cal aide Travis DeCuire a huge victory in his homecoming to Haas Pavilion.

David Kravish scored six points in the second overtime, including the decisive putback with 29.5 seconds left.

Tyrone Wallace had a monster game with 22 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and five assists, but he missed two foul shots with 6.5 seconds remaining in the second overtime and the Bears up by just two points.

Freshman guard Brandon Chauca, who gave Cal a nice lift in his first game since being ruled eligible, then inexplicably fouled Montana’s Jordan Gregory with 4.7 seconds left.

Did Chauca think the Bears were up by three points?

“I haven’t asked him what happened,” Martin said. “That’s more me as a coach, making it clear to everybody what the time and score was.”

Gregory missed both free throws – the second one intentionally – and Jermaine Edmonds could not get a last-second 3-pointer to fall.

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