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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.

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Rowing: No. 1 Bears beat No. 2 Huskies in varsity eight

Top-ranked Cal beat previously undefeated No. 2 Washington in the men’s varsity eight, snapping the Huskies’ eight-year winning streak and taking back the Schoch Cup at Seattle in a matchup of two rowing powerhouse programs.

The Bears split their four races with the Huskies overall, with the Bears also winning the freshman eight race.

“We know whenever we race against a great program like Washington it is going to really hard, and we had a great row today and came out with the victory,” Cal coach Mike Teti said on winning the varsity eight. “We faced a really good crew and whenever you get out of here with a win on their home course, you feel really fortunate.”

Meanwhile, the second-ranked Cal women beat No. 5 Washington in the varsity eight race for the 11th time in 12 years.

“The varsity eight has performed very well all year and it was another great performance for them,” Cal women’s coach Al Acosta said.

 

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Football: Cal fires assistant coach Pierre Ingram

The exit was quick and entirely predictable for disgraced Cal assistant coach Pierre Ingram.

Cal athletics announced Friday that it has fired Ingram, who was arrested April 16 on charges of solicitation.

Ingram, 30, was placed on administrative leave earlier this week. Now the athletic department has cuts ties with him entirely.

Cal’s statement reads: “As you are aware, Assistant Football Coach Ingram was placed on paid administrative leave following his recent arrest for solicitation. We are not renewing his contract and he will no longer represent or act on behalf of this University in any capacity.”

The athletic department’s move was inevitable and necessary. Ingram’s alleged actions — he still has yet to face a trial — make it impossible for Cal to move forward with him representing them on the field or as a recruiter.

Ingram was Cal’s recruiting coordinator, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. He spent the past two seasons as running backs coach, and worked three years under head coach Sonny Dykes when both were at Louisiana Tech.

Ingram, who is married with two small children, earned a base salary and talent fee of $180,000 per year.

He was arrested as part of a prostitution sting operation and faces misdemeanor charges of solicitation.

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Basketball: Why hasn’t Davon Dillard signed?

Three-star small forward Davon Dillard was the first player to commit to Cal’s recruiting Class of 2015. He was on board with the Bears a full month before five-star power forward Ivan Rabb made his announcement.

But on April 15, when Rabb and shooting guard Tyson Jolly made things official by signing their letters of intent, there was no news on Dillard.

Dillard’s coach at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, N.Y., was vague about reasons that have delayed the 6-foot-5 wing from signing with Cal, but said he remains confident Dillard will play for the Bears next season.

Asked whether Dillard or the school is being scrutinized by the NCAA Clearinghouse, coach Ron Stelzer said, “I’m aware of it. I’m not sure I’m at liberty to say much. We’re in the process of dealing with the situation right now . . . it’s being worked out.”

Stelzer, who also serves as pastor at Our Savior, was not more specific about the reasons for the delay, and said he does not know the timetable for its resolution.

Because Dillard is unsigned, Cal coach Cuonzo Martin is not permitted to talk about him. Likewise, the NCAA does not discuss matters involving player eligibility.

A native of Gary, Indiana, Dillard played only his senior season at Our Savior.

“He’s a good student, a good person,” Stelzer said. “There’s no reason that I can see that he shouldn’t be cleared.”

Stelzer described Dillard as “a good all-around player.” He said his strengths include perimeter shooting and his ability to take the ball “hard” to the basket. “Defensively, I would say he’s at least adequate,” Stelzer said. “He’s not amazing, but he can keep growing there.”

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Basketball: Tyrone Wallace is staying in college

Cal’s prospects for a strong 2015-16 basketball season got a significant boost Thursday when all-Pac-12 point guard Tyrone Wallace announced he will put off the NBA for another year and return to college for his senior season.

“I feel really confident with my decision,” Wallace said at a campus news conference attended by all of his teammates.

*** Click here to watch the video of Wallace’s news conference.

Three days before the deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA draft, Wallace said he opted to stay based on a variety of factors, including fulfilling a promise to his late grandfather to be the first in the family to graduate from college, and to continue to develop his game.

Wallace said the feedback he got from the NBA was “positive,” but he had been projected as no better than a second-round pick in a draft deep at point guard.

“I think I can get better at being more vocal. That’s one thing coach has always talked to me about, being a coach on the floor, being a leader,” Wallace said. “My strengths are getting to the basket. I feel like I can create for others. I’ll get a chance to show that a lot more next season.”

A native of Bakersfield, Wallace averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season, his first playing point guard.

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Basketball: Report says Cal is hiring Louisville assistant Wyking Jones to complete coaching staff

It’s going to be a busy day for Cal basketball.

Point guard Tyrone Wallace has scheduled a 12:30 p.m. news conference to announce whether he will return for his senior season or enter the NBA draft.

And a report by the Louisville Courier-Journal says Cuonzo Martin has hired Louisville assistant coach Wyking Jones (pronounced WHY-king) to fill the vacancy on his staff. Jones is replacing Jon Harris, who left to become head coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Cal has made no announcement about the hiring.

Jones, a 1995 graduate of Loyola Marymount, has spent the past four seasons on coach Rick Pitino’s staff. The Cardinals posted a combined record of 123-30 and won the 2013 national championship. Louisville was 27-9 this season, losing to Michigan State in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament.

Here’s how Pitino describes Jones on Louisville’s athletic website: “He is highly regarded in all circles as a tireless worker and an outstanding communicator with young people.”

Prior to his time at Louisville, Jones spent two seasons as an assistant to Steve Alford at New Mexico, which was 52-18 over that span. Previously, he worked for two years as basketball team travel manager for Nike Elite Youth Basketball.

He began his coaching career at Pepperdine in 2002, spending five seasons under Paul Westphal.

Following his playing career at LMU, where he was a 1,000-point career scorer, Jones played professionally in Italy, France,  Japan, Lebanon and South Korea.

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Basketball: Tyrone Wallace to announce Thursday

Cal junior point guard Tyrone Wallace will announce whether he will return to school or enter the NBA draft in a new conference on campus Thursday.

His mother, Michelle Johnson, said playing in the NBA has been Wallace’s dream since he was 4 years old. She spoke with her son Wednesday afternoon, but said, “I still don’t know. I’ll be just as surprised as you.”

Wallace averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season, his first playing point guard. He is projected to be a second-round NBA pick in a draft fairly strong at his position.

The website Draftexpress.com on Thursday night projects Wallace to be the third pick of the second round, while NBAdraft.net – which predicts eight point guards will go in the first round — does not have Wallace being picked in 2015.

Wallace’s mother said the pre-draft evaluation her son got from the NBA hasn’t made the decision any easier.

“I think it was OK. It could have been a little bit higher,” she said. “That’s what he’s basing it off.”

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Football: Pierre Ingram arrested in prostitution sting

Cal football’s recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest last week in Oakland as part of prostitution sting that netted five johns, officials said Monday.

Pierre Ingram, 30, recently named the Bears’ passing game coordinator, was arrested after police said he allegedly solicited an undercover officer online and then showed up April 16 at the Motel 6 on Embarcadero.

He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor solicitation of a lewd act, was booked, cited and released, and given a court date to appear next month.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Football: Jack Austin inserts himself into WR picture

On the short list of players who showed the most progress during Cal’s spring workouts, which ended Saturday, coach Sonny Dykes points to sophomore wideout Jack Austin.

“Jack had a great spring,” Dykes said. “If you went back and said who was the most improved? Jack would certainly be in the conversation. Particularly the past two weeks. If he keeps getting better he’ll start to push Trevor (Davis).”

Austin, a big receiver from Chino Hills, did not catch a pass last fall as a redshirt freshman, but seems to have worked himself into position to change that this season.

He made several nice plays during Saturday’s spring game, including a diving catch, and is listed No. 2 behind Davis at the “X” wideout position on Cal’s end-of-spring depth chart.

“It’s a very competitive group. We’ve got great receivers on both sides. Trevor Davis and I are competing a lot,” Austin said. “I’m going to keep competing through spring and then summer and fall as well.”

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Football: Four-star safety Thompson picks Cal

Cal got an oral commitment from 2016 safety Shurod Thompson of Liberty High in Brentwood, who is rated as a four-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Thompson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, USC and Washington State, among others. But Scout reported that it was Cal who gave Thompson his first scholarship offer.

Rivals ranks him as the No. 7 safety prospect in the country, the No. 1o overall player in the Class of 2016 from California.

Scout ranks Thompson as the nation’s No. 8 overall prosect, and has him No. 11 among safeties and No. 2 at his position in California.

Thompson is Cal’s sixth oral commitment and the second elite defensive back the Bears expect to sign. Also committed is four-star DB Marquel Dismuke, a 6-2, 170-pounder from Calabasas.