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Football: Goff named to another QB watch list

Doesn’t it seem like there are an awful lot of college football awards and the preseason watch lists that go with them?

Once upon a time there was the Heisman Trophy. Now everyone’s giving out hardware.

Cal sophomore Jared Goff, named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Monday, was among 40 quarterbacks chosen to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Trophy.

Eight of the 40 nominees — 20 percent of them — are from the Pac-12. The others: ASU’s Taylor Kelly, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, OSU’s Sean Mannion, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, USC;s Cody Kessler and WSU’s Connor Halliday.

That’s a QB from every conference school except Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

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Basketball: Cobbs gets on the floor

Former Cal star Justin Cobbs got off the bench and into the game for the first time Tuesday during NBA summer league play in Orlando, Florida.

Cobbs played nine minutes and contributed two points and an assist to the Memphis Grizzlies’ 80-73 win over Orlando. Cobbs, who did not play in the Grizzlies’ first two games, shot 1 for 3 and also had a steal and a turnover.

For the third straight game, Richard Solomon did not play for the Houston Rockets in their 92-71 loss to Philadelphia.

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Football: Goff, Muhammad on watch lists

Cal sophomores Jared Goff and Khalfani Muhammad are part of early-season watch lists for a couple national awards.

Goff, who set Cal’s single-season passing yardage record (3,508 yards) as a freshman last fall, is on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list. The Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player, dates back to 1937.

Goff is among 16 Pac-12 players and seven quarterbacks from the conference on the list. Other QBs from the Pac-12 in the running are: Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, ASU’s Taylor, Kelly, USC’s Cody Kessler, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on Nov. 3.

Muhammad is on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player. As a freshman last season, Muhammad led Cal with 445 rushing yards and a 6.0 per-carry average, and totaled 1,638 all-purpose yards, including 46 kickoff returns for 1,003 yards.

Muhammad is one of seven Pac-12 players on the 47-man watch list. Others include Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, USC’s Nelson Agholor and UCLA’s Myles Jack.

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Basketball/baseball: Earl Robinson dies

Earl Robinson, one of Cal’s greatest two-sport athletes, died Friday at the age of 77 after a long illness.

Robinson, who starred in basketball and baseball in the late 1950s, was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He was voted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2010 and a year later received the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award, which is presented to the Cal men’s basketball alumnus who upholds the highest ideals of Coach Newell and the University of California.

Robinson was modest in his acceptance of the Newell award.

“When they talk about an achievement award, you must remember that you never do this by yourself,” Robinson said. “It’s because of so many people. It is you that I share this award with. I am humbled by this award. You, the fans, supported us – I don’t care whether Wilt Chamberlain came in here, the great Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Elgin Baylor or whoever it might be. It was your support that made us feel that we could always compete. And so I accept this award in your honor.”

A graduate of Berkeley High, Robinson was a 6-foot-1 guard on the basketball team, helping Cal to conference titles in 1956, ’57 and ’58. He was twice an All-Coast selection and three times was named to the All-Pacific Coast Conference team.
 
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Basketball: Cobbs, Solomon sit in summer debuts

Former Cal stars Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon never got off the bench Saturday as their NBA teams made their season debuts in the Orlando Pro Summer League.

Cobbs was signed this week to a summer-league contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, who beat Oklahoma City 84-63.

Solomon is with the Houston Rockets, who lost 95-89 to Detroit.

Jorge Gutierrez, who won Pac-12 Player of the Year honors for Cal in 2012, had eight points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal in Brooklyn’s 101-81 win over Indiana. Gutierrez played the latter portion of the 2014-14 NBA regular season with the Nets.

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Basketball: Kameron Rooks suffers torn ACL

UPDATED

Cal is likely to play the 2014-15 basketball season without sophomore center Kameron Rooks, who has undergone surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the school reported.

Rooks, a 7-foot, 270-pounder, was on the mend from a late-season stress fracture in his left foot but was expected to be healthy and challenge for a starting job on new coach Cuonzo Martin’s team.

“Kameron has worked hard this off season to return from a previous foot injury and it is very unfortunate to have a setback like this,” Martin said. “Kameron’s surgery went well and now he can continue to work diligently through his rehabilitation program to gain strength back in his leg.
 
“It is difficult to predict when we can expect him back, but we know he will put in the effort and his coaches and teammates are here to support him every step of the way.”
 
The son of one-time Arizona star Sean Rooks averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 28 games last season as a freshman. With the graduation of Richard Solomon, Rooks figured to challenge for significant playing time in 2014-15.
 
The Bears feature 6-9 senior power forward David Kravish, who averaged 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds last season. Otherwise, Cal is shorthanded up front, and now will either play a small lineup or rely on seldom-used junior forward Christian Behrens and incoming 7-1 freshman Kingsley Okoroh.
 
Here are some early possible lineup options:
 
* Going small: 6-9 F David Kravish, 6-5 G Tyrone Wallace, 6-6 G Jabari Bird, 6-4 G Jordan Mathews and 6-4 PG Sam Singer.
 
* Bigger: 6-9 F David Kravish, 6-9 F Christian Behrens, 6-6 G Jabari Bird, 6-4 G Jordan Mathews, 6-5 PG Tyrone Wallace.
 
* Biggest:  6-9 F David Kravish, 7-1 C Kingsley Okoroh, 6-6 G Jabari Bird, 6-4 G Jordan Mathews, 6-5 PG Tyrone Wallace.
 
The loss of Rooks also worsens the team’s overall depth issue. Unless they add another player, the Bears figure to enter the season with just nine healthy scholarship players, only four of whom averaged more than 2 points per game last season.
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Basketball: Rockets sign Solomon

Former Cal forward Richard Solomon signed a summer league contract with the Houston Rockets.

The 6-foot-10 Solomon led the Pac-12 in rebounding at 10.2 per game while also averaging 11.0 rebounds. He was among just three players in the six power conferences to average a double-double.

Solomon and the Rockets begin play in the Orlando summer league on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons.

Solomon’s signing came one day after former Golden Bears teammate Justin Cobbs was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies. The two will face each other when Houston meets Memphis on July 10.

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Football: Bears add two weekend commits

Cal got a pair of weekend recruiting commitments, including one from 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive tackle Johnny Capra of Placer High. Capra is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com.

The Bears also landed two-star tight end Zeandae Johnson, a 6-2, 240-pounder from Fresno’s Central HS East Campus.

Earlier last month, got Cal a commit from three-star center Ryan Gibson, a 6-2, 271-pounder from St. Stanislaus HS in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Gibson is rated by Scout as the 15th-best center prospect in the country.

Cal now has seven oral commitments for the class of 2015.

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Basketball: Cobbs to Memphis summer team

Former Cal point guard Justin Cobbs has signed to play for the Memphis Grizzles in the NBA summer league in Orlando, Fla.

Cobbs, a first-team all-Pac-12 selection as a senior this past season, will debut with the Grizzlies on Saturday against the Miami Heat. The team will play five games, which can be seen on NBA TV.

*****

BTW, I’m back from vacation. You cover college sports and you figure June is a safe month to be away. Go figure.

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H. Michael Williams is Cal’s interim athletic director

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is Jeff Faraudo’s breaking news story on Cal’s athletic director situation:

By Jeff Faraudo

H. Michael Williams, a former Cal wrestler with extensive financial and leadership experience, has been named the school’s interim athletic director while the university conducts a search to replace Sandy Barbour, a campus source said.

A 1982 graduate of Cal, Williams is a trustee with the U.C. Berkeley Foundation and serves on several university panels, including the recently formed Chancellor’s Task Force on Academics and Athletics. He is a former vice chairman, capital markets for Barclays Global Investors.

Williams’ appointment will be formally announced at a Friday news conference at Memorial Stadium. The source said Williams will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks will oversee the search to replace Barbour, who has served as athletic director since 2004 but will move a position on the academic side in a sports management program. Barbour’s last day as AD is July 15.