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Football: Bigelow, Jackson view Pro Day as chance to show their stuff to pro scouts, at last

When juniors Brendan Bigelow and Kameron Jackson left Cal to turn pro after the 2013 football season, the news was greeted by resounding silence from the NFL.

Neither player was among the more than 300 prospects invited to last month’s NFL combine.

But Bigelow and Jackson, who will take part in Tuesday’s Cal Pro Day workouts at Memorial Stadium, get hope and inspiration from Seattle Seahawks’ linebacker Malcolm Smith, MVP of the Super Bowl.

Smith wasn’t invited to the combine out of college, either.

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let it humble you, and let it give you fire,” Smith said in a recent Sports Illustrated interview, when asked what he’d tell other young, overlooked prospects.

“You know, I have the 2011 draft bookmarked on my computer. I’d say once a month, at least, I open it up and scroll through and look at all the names, one through 254. I just want to see all those picked ahead of me and what happened to them.”

For Bigelow, a running back, and Jackson, a cornerback, it’s as if Smith were sitting right in front of them.

“I feel like he’s speaking to a lot of us in the same situation,” Bigelow said.

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Posted on Monday, March 17th, 2014
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Basketball: Another honor for Cobbs

Cal senior guard Justin Cobbs was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-District 20 selection.

Cobbs is part of the five-member first team along with Arizona’s Nick Johnson, UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox.

In all, 252 players from 25 districts around the nation were recognized. Cobbs is now eligible for selection to the NABC Division I All-America team, which will be announced at a later date.

Posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Honors | 1 Comment »
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Women’s basketball: Cal senior Mikayla Lyles wins Robin Roberts broadcasting scholarship award

Cal women’s basketball player Mikayla Lyles has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.

A senior from Pleasanton, Lyles will receive the $4,500 Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award presented annually to one female collegiate basketball player who intends to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communications or journalism.

“I am so proud of Mikayla for earning this prestigious award, and for being recognized on a national level for the qualities that we’ve seen her display day in and day out over the course of her time as a student-athlete at Cal,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Under: Honors, Women's basketball | No Comments »
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Football: Fred Tate hired to coach D-line; Andy Buh reassigned within athletic department

With spring football practice set to begin in three weeks, coach Sonny Dykes completed his staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Fred Tate as defensive line coach.

Tate spent the past two seasons at Cincinnati and Texas Tech, working under Art Kaufman, Cal’s new defensive coordinator.

Garret Chachere, who coached defensive ends last season, will handle linebackers, the position group he’s coached much of his 23 seasons.

Former defensive coordinator Andy Buh, demoted after the Bears’ 1-11 season, is being reassigned within the athletic department and will not have football coaching duties. Unless the department can arrange a buyout, it’s resonsible for Buh’s contract, which guarantees him $500,000 in 2014 and ’15.

Dykes said Tate was hired based on a strong recommendation from Kaufman and the track record the two established.

“He has a tremendous amount of energy that will carry over well to both on-field coaching and recruiting,” Dykes said of Tate.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
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Basketball: Cobbs named to all-Pac-12 team

Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs was named to the 10-man all-Pac-12 first team on Monday. Cobbs averages 15.6 points and is second in the conference at 5.8 assists per game.

“I don’t see how you could have a first team without Justin on there,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.

Senior forward Richard Solomon was an honorable mention selection.

Junior forward David Kravish earned honorable mention on the all-defensive squad and Jordan Mathews was an honorable mention all-freshman selection by the coaches.

Regular-season champion Arizona swept the major awards, with Nick Johnson earning Player of the Year, Aaron Gordon of San Jose taking Freshman of the Year and Sean Miller named Coach of the Year.

Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski, who led the nation in blocked shots, was voted Defensive Player of the Year. Stanford’s Anthony Brown was named Most Improved Player.

Johnson and Gordon joined Cobbs on the first team, along with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell of Stanford, Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Delon Wright of Utah and Josh Scott of Colorado.

Posted on Monday, March 10th, 2014
Under: Basketball, Honors | 4 Comments »
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Swimming: Missy Franklin reaps honor

Cal freshman Missy Franklin was named National Swimmer of the Week by collegeswimming.com after leading the Bears to the Pac-12 Conference championship last weekend in Seattle.

Franklin set meet records while winning all three of her individual events — the 100-yard free (47.17 seconds), 200 free (1:42.29) and 500 free (4:35.73) — and helped Cal to wins in the 400 and 800 free relay and 400 medley relay and a runnerup finish in the 200 medley relay.

This is the second time this season Franklin has been given the weekly honor as the nation’s top collegiate swimmer.

Franklin and her Cal teammates will next be in action at the NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Minneapolis.

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Under: Honors, Swimming | No Comments »
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Football: Proposed 10-second rule is tabled

The college football rules change proposal that would have slowed the game by requiring offenses to wait until 10 seconds had elapsed from the 40-second game clock has been tabled.

There will be no vote Thursday by the NCAA rules oversight panel, as originally scheduled after the NCAA Football Rules Committee made the proposal several weeks ago.

The proposed rule change, designed to give defenses more time to substitute players between snaps, will not go into effect for the 2014 season.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
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Football: Cal coaching clinic this weekend

Space remains for the 2014 Nike Coach of the Year Clinic at Cal, scheduled for this Friday through Sunday at Memorial Stadium and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa.

Registration will be available at the door in the conference room of the Claremont Hotel beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Cal coach Sonny Dykes and fellow college head coaches Tim DeRuyter (Fresno State), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) and Mike McIntyre (Colorado) are among the featured speakers. Other scheduled speakers include Denver Broncos’ quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp, legendary former De La Salle High School head coach Bob Ladouceur, the entire Cal football coaching staff and additional high school coaches.

Registration fee is $110 fee per coach and includes:

– Access to all speakers and clinic presentations

– Shuttle to and from Claremont Hotel to Memorial Stadium

– Lunch and dinner Saturday

– Friday and Saturday night socials

– Access to exhibitor booths

For additional information, contact Matt Russi (matt.russi@berkeley.edu, 925-413-5679).

Daily schedule below:

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Posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
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Swimming: Franklin up for sportswoman of year

Cal swimmer Missy Franklin, who won a record six gold medals at last summer’s world championships, is among six nominees for the 15th annual Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

The freshman from Centennial, Colo., who won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, joins a list of high-profile female athletes nominated for the award.

Also up for Laureus honors are German soccer star Nadine Angerer, the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of three sprint gold medals at the world track and field championships; Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, winner of the world title; Slovenia skier Tina Maze, the overall World Cup champion; American tennis star Serena Williams, winner of the French Open and U.S. Open titles.

It’s the second straight year Franklin was nominated.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Under: Honors, Swimming | No Comments »
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Football: Friends, family say goodbye to Ted Agu

In case you missed it this morning, here’s a link to my story on Monday night’s Ted Agu memorial service at Haas Pavilion.

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Under: Football | No Comments »
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