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Basketball: Russ Critchfield to get Newell award

When Russ Critchfield was contacted by Cal athletics, he misunderstood and thought the caller was from an athletic equipment store.

“I was waiting for his pitch,” Critchfield said.

Turns out he was informed he was receiving the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award.

“I’m really excited, honored, certainly humbled,” said Critchfield, 68, who will be recognized during ceremonies Monday when Cal plays No. 5 Wisconsin at Haas Pavilion.

Critchfield, in is 17th season as head basketball coach at Butte College – the JC that spawned former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers – was a prolific sharp-shooting guard for the Bears from 1965-66 through 1967-68.

The 5-foot-10 native of Salinas averaged 22.0 points as a senior, 21.0 as a junior. He still sits 12th on Cal’s career list with 1,437 points and his 19.4 per-game average is third all-time (behind Ed Gray at 20.0 and Mark McNamara at 19.6).

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Football: Daniel Lasco wins Cal’s MVP award

Daniel Lasco was chosen as team Most Valuable Player at Cal’s awards banquet Saturday night at the Orinda Country Club.

The junior running back, who became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards since 2011, had the Bears’most combined rushing (1,115) and receiving (356) yards since 2008.

Quarterback Jared Goff, who broke 15 school records including single-season passing yards and touchdown passes, earned a Special Recognition award. The sophomore from Marin County finished among the nation’s top-10 in six categories.

Cal posted a 5-7 record this season and finished fourth in the Pac-12 North at 3-6, its highest finish since 2011.

Here are Cal’s other award winners:

* Joe Roth Award (Player Who Best Exemplifies Courage, Sportsmanship and Attitude) – Austin Clark. Sixth-year senior with career high 10 starts and 21 of 22 career tackles.

* Brick Muller Award (Most Valuable Lineman) – Mustafa Jalil. One of only two defensive players to start all 12 games • Career highs of 35 tackles and 5.5 TFL to lead all defensive linemen.

* Bob Simmons Award (Most Valuable Freshman) – Noah Westerfield. Played in all 12 games and made five of the team’s six starts by true freshmen • Tied for second on team with three QB hurries.

* Clint Evans Trophy (Most Intense Freshman Competitor) – Luke Rubenzer. Played in 11 of 12 games • Third on the team in rushing with 207 yards (most by a Cal QB since Aaron Rodgers in 2003).

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Women’s basketball: Cal duo on Naismith list

Cal seniors Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray both have been included on the 50-player Naismith Trophy watch list, announced by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.

Cal is one of eight schools in the country with two nominees for the award.

Both were named to the preseason Wooden Award and Wade Watch Lists earlier this season. It is the second consecutive season that Boyd has been selected to the Naismith Trophy watch list.

Boyd is averaging 13.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, an NCAA-best 9.1 assists and 3.25 steals per game. She is the only player in the country to have registered two triple-doubles this season.

Gray leads the Bears with a 21.1 scoring average while adding 5.6 rebounds per game. She ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in field goal percentage at .677.

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Women’s basketball: Boyd is Player of the Week

Both Cal point guards were honored by the Pac-12 on Monday, as senior Brittany Boyd of the women’s team joined Tyrone Wallace as Players of the Week in the conference.

Boyd averaged a triple-double for two games, posting numbers of 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists.

The Berkeley High grad had her second career double vs. Sacramento State, totaling 11 points, 19 rebounds and a school record-tying 16 assists. In a loss at Kansas on Sunday, Boyd had five steals to become the school’s career record-holder with 296.

She leads the nation in assists at 9.1 per game and is the only player in the country two triple-doubles.

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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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Football: Goff, Lasco, 5 others named honorable mention

Quarterback Jared Goff and running back Daniel Lasco were among seven Cal players named honorable mention all-Pac-12 selections by the league’s coaches.

Other Cal players chosen were tight end Stephen Anderson, linebacker Michael Barton, offensive guard Chris Borrayo, defensive tackle Austin Clark and all-around/special teams player Bryce McGovern.

One interesting omission – wide receiver Kenny Lawler, who caught 54 passes for 701 yards and nine touchdowns, despite missing a game with injury.

Cal had no players selected to the first or second team.

Goff set single-season school records with 3,973 passing yards and 35 touchdown passes, both among the top marks in the nation. Lasco rushed for 1,115 yards, including five 100-yard games, and scored 14 touchdowns.

Anderson, a former walkon, slid from wideout to tight end and caught 46 passes for 661 yards and five touchdowns. Borrayo started 11 of 12 games at left guard for an offense that ranks 12th nationally at 38.3 points per game.

Barton led the Bears with 80 tackles, including 7.5 for losses, and Clark anchored a defensive line that improved from 86th to 38th nationally at defending the run.

McGovern was a standout on five of Cal’s six special team units, finishing with 27 tackles and the team’s lone blocked punt.

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Football: Mariota, Wright earn top Pac-12 honors

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III, who will square off in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium, have been named the league’s offensive and defensive players of the year.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.

Oregon running back Royce Freeman was named Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and USC defensive back Adoree Jackson took Freshman Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The All-Pac-12 team will be announced Tuesday night on the Pac-12 Networks’ weekly football highlight show at 8 p.m.

Mariota, frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, threw for 3,470 yards with 36 touchdowns and just two interceptions for the second-ranked Ducks. He led Pac-12 quarterbacks with 636 rushing yards and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground.

He is a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award and has led Oregon to victories over three top-25 teams.

Wright, who attended Cardinal Newman High in Santa Rosa, earned the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award after leading the Wildcats to their first Pac-12 South title.

He led the conference with six forced fumbles, is third nationally with 14 sacks and tops all Football Bowl Subdivision players with 27 tackles for loss.

He is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award.

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Football: Three Bears on All-Pac-12 Academic team

Senior center Chris Adcock and defensive backs Caleb Coleman and Griffin Piatt represent Cal on the Pac-12 All-Academic first team, announced Monday by the conference.

A three-time Pac-12 All-Academic first-team pick, Adcock has compiled a 3.54 grade-point average as a double major in business administration and interdisciplinary studies. He has earned his degree in the former and is on schedule to complete his work in the latter this month.

Coleman, a redshirt freshman cornerback with an undeclared major, has a 3.56 GPA. Piatt, who came to Cal as a walkon but has since earned a scholarship, is a junior with a 3.64 GPA as a business administration major.

Second-team Cal picks were senior offensive guard Alejandro Crosthwaite (3.14 GPA), junior defensive end Brennan Scarlett (3.14) and sophomore cornerback Cameron Walker (3.22).

Honorable mention picks were placekicker James Langford, defensive end Todd Barr, punter Cole Leininger, linebacker Hardy Nickerson and wide receiver Drake Whitehurst.

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Football: Cole Leininger on Ray Guy Award list

Cal junior Cole Leininger is among 80 players nominated for the 2014 Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate punter.

Leininger, among eight Pac-12 punters on the list, is sixth in the conference with a 42.1-yard average. Fourteen of his 37 punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line, and he has seven kicks of at least 50 yards.

The list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on Nov. 14, then to three finalists on Nov. 24. The award will be presented Dec. 11 during the Home Depot College Football Awards program on ESPN.