Athletics: Cal sweeps Pac-12 awards for football, basketball

A busy Monday on the awards front for Cal.

The Bears swept Pac-12 weekly awards in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

— Football: Jared Goff was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after passing for a season-high 453 yards and six touchdowns in the Bears’ 54-24 victory over Oregon State that gave the Bears a sixth victory and made them bowl eligible for the first time in four seasons. Goff was 26 of 37, and hit 22 of 25 attempts during one stretch.

— Men’s basketball: Tyrone Wallace was given the season’s first Pac-12 Player of the Week award following a 20-point, six-rebound, nine-assist stat line in Cal’s 97-65 season-opening win over Rice. Wallace, a senior point guard and all-Pac-12 selection, shot 9 for 12 from the field and his assist total was a career high. This was the fourth time over three seasons that Wallace has won the award.

— Women’s basketball: Courtney Range won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award after contributing 23 points to a win over Austin Peay, then 19 points and 13 rebounds to the Bears’ road win over then-No. 8 Louisville. Meanwhile, Kristine Anigwe won Pac-12 Freshman of the Week by averaging 15.0 points in the two victories.


Volleyball: Cal’s Carli Lloyd on all-century team

Former Cal star Carli Lloyd was named to the Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball All-Century Team.

Lloyd, a setter from 2007-10, was the only Cal player chosen to the 16-member team. She was the American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year as a senior, when she also was named to the All-Final Four team.

Former Stanford great and four-time U.S. Olympian Logan Tom was voted Player of the Century.

Andy Banachowski, who coached at UCLA in 1965 and ’66 and from 1970 through 2009, was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Century.


Football: Sonny Dykes on Dodd Trophy watch list

Cal’s Sonny Dykes is among 20 coaches on the midseason watch list for the Dodd Trophy, given to the Football Bowl Subdivision coach whose program represents “the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field.”

The No. 23 Bears are 5-1 after their 30-24 road loss to No. 4 Utah.

Other Pac-12 coaches on the midseason list include Stanford’s David Shaw, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and UCLA’s Jim Mora.

Among others on the watch list are Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Baylor’s Art Briles, Alabama’s Nick Saban and LSU’s Les Miles.

Not on the list: Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, whose team has shut out its past three opponents.


Basketball: Four Bears on preseason watch lists

Four Cal basketball players are on the preseason watch lists for the national Hoop Hall Awards sponsored by the Basketball Hall of Fame:

— Senior Tyrone Wallace is a preseason candidate for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, won last year by Utah’s Delon Wright. Other 2016 Pac-12 candidates: Gary Payton Jr., of Oregon State.

— Junior Jordan Mathews is a candidate for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, won last year by Ohio State’s DeAngelo Russell. Other 2016 Pac-12 candidates: Allonzo Trier of Arizona.

— Freshman Jaylen Brown is a candidate for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, won last year by Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. Other 2016 Pac-12 candidates: Brandon Taylor of Utah.

— Freshman Ivan Rabb is a candidate for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, won last year by Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell. Other 2016 Pac-12 candidates: Tony Parker, UCLA and Jordan Loveridge of Utah.

Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award last season.


Football: Cal defensive player honored by Pac-12 for second week in a row — the world is upside down!

Senior safety Stefan McClure was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week — the second straight week a Cal defensive player has been honored by the league.

You might remember 2014 when the Bears’ defense was the most futile in Western Civilization, much less the Pac-12.

Not anymore.

A week after defensive end Kyle Kragen was honored, McClure got the award for delivering a timely sack and returning a fumble for a touchdown after a Washington State fake punt try.

The Bears have now scored three touchdowns with their defense this season — and I count this as defense (rather than special teams) because the fake punt made it an offensive play not a kicking-game play.


Football: Pac-12 to create All-Century team

As part of the Pac-12 Conference’s 100-year anniversary celebration, the league is assembling an All-Century football team.

The conference put together a voting panel of former players and coaches, media members (including me), along with current and former staff members from the universities and the conference, who will each vote for players at each position, along with 10 coaches.

The Pac-12 will then whittle the ballot down to 10 in each category and ask fans to also cast votes.

Eventually, a 50-player team (24 offense, 23 defense, 3 specialists) and a coach will be chosen. An Offensive and Defensive Player of the Century also will be determined.

Here is the breakdown by position for the final 50-player team: 5 QB, 5 RB, 5 WR, 2 TE, 7 OT, 5 DE, 5 DT, 5 LB, 4 CB, 4 Saf, 1 K, 1 P, 1 returner.

Below are highlights of the candidates in each category. Lots of Cal players and coaches. And lots of competition.

I will share my 10-deep ballot as soon as I compile it.

QUARTERBACK: A total of 57 nominees, including Troy Aikman, John Elway, Dan Fouts, Pat Haden, Marcus Mariota and Jim Plunkett. Cal nominees: Steve Bartkowski, Charlie Erb, Joe Kapp, Craig Morton, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Roth.

Continue Reading


Football: Goff on Maxwell Award watch list

Cal junior quarterback Jared Goff was named to the preseason watch list for the 79th annual Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player.

Goff already holds 19 Cal school records and enters the 2015 season having passed for 7,481 yards and 53 touchdowns in his career.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 2, with the three finalists unveiled Nov. 23.

Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists include Florida State transfer quarterback Everett Golson, who is looking to replace Jameis Winston, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Pittsburgh running back James Conner, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and returning Maxwell Award finalist Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

Defending national champion Ohio State has four players on the list, including running back Ezekiel Elliott and three accomplished quarterbacks, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller.

Goff is among 13 Pac-12 players on the preseason watch list, also including Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and USC quarterback Cody Kessler.


Cal Hall of Fame: Tony Gonzalez tops class of 8

Two-sport star Tony Gonzalez, who went on to become the most prolific tight end in NFL history, leads a class of eight who will be inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30, at the annual Hall of Fame banquet at the Greek Orthodox Church Conference Center in Oakland. The inductees will also be honored at halftime of Cal’s Oct. 31 home football game vs. USC.

Gonzalez played football and basketball at Cal, earning first-team All-America honors by Football News and Sporting News as a junior in 1996, when he caught 44 passes for 699 yards and five touchdowns.

Gonzalez completed his career with 89 catches for 1,302 yards and eight scores.

He played in 82 games for the basketball team, helping Cal to the Sweet 16 of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, which included a 23-point performance in a win over Villanova in the second round.

The 13th overall pick of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, Gonzalez played 17 seasons and in 270 games in the NFL for the Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, recording 1,325 catches — second-most in NFL history — for 15,127 yards and 111 touchdown receptions before retiring after the 2013 season.

He was a 10-time All-Pro, a 14-time Pro Bowl choice and a member of the NFL’s 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Others named to the Cal Hall of Fame:

Continue Reading


Basketball: Tyrone Wallace named Bears’ MVP

Junior guard Tyrone Wallace took home the Nibs Price Most Valuable Player honors at Cal’s awards dinner Monday night at the University Club on camps.

The all-Pac-12 point guard also won the Jason Kidd assist award, the Darrall Imhoff rebounding award and the Play Hard award.

Wallace finished the season as the only player in the Pac-12 to rank in the top five in points (4th, 17.1 ppg.), rebounds (5th, 7.1) and assists (5th, 4.0). Having opted against entering the NBA draft, he will return as the league’s active scoring leader and assist leader in 2015-16 with 1,196 career points and 313 career assists through his first three seasons. He also will enter his senior season fourth among active players in the Pac-12 in career rebounds with 526.

Senior forward David Kravish was honored with the team’s Best Defensive Player Award. The four-year starter and two-year captain completed his career as Cal’s all-time blocks leader with 226 in his career.

Kravish played in a school-record 135 games with 125 starts and ranks third in school history with 917 career rebounds with 917. He is the only player in school history with, 1,000 career points, 800 career rebounds and 200 career blocks.

Freshman Nick Hamilton was awarded the Pete Newell Coaches’ Award while junior Stephen Domingo and freshman Cole Welle were each honored with the Strength & Conditioning Award, presented by by Strength & Conditioning Coach Nicodemus Christopher.


Swimming: Franklin, McKeever earn Pac-12 honors

Sophomore Missy Franklin and coach Teri McKeever, who led the Cal women’s swim team to Pac-12 and NCAA championships, were named Swimmer of the Year and Coach of the Year in the Pac-12.

Franklin won the 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke and swam a leg on the victorious 200 free relay and 800 free relay at the NCAA meet. Her 200 free time of 1:39.10 broke the American record by more than a second. Franklin was recognized as the NCAA Swimmer of the Year for her efforts.

“It’s an honor to be named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year,” Franklin said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the season from both an individual and team standpoint. Cal’s win at NCAA Championships was truly a team effort and we didn’t just come together as a team, but we came together as a family. I am so grateful to have such wonderful teammates and an amazing coach staff.”

McKeever is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career. Under her directions, the Bears won their fourth NCAA Championship in March, setting a school record with 513 points.