April 19, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - California freshman center Devanei Hampton was selected the Golden Bears' Best Offensive Player and freshman guard Jené Morris was chosen the Best Defensive Player at the team's annual banquet Wednesday night at the Double Tree in the Berkeley Marina.
Other awards announced were:
Most Improved - Keanna Levy
Alisa Lewis Heart and Hustle - Krista Foster
Best Free Throw Shooter - Reneé Wright (69.4%, 50-72)
Best Rebounder - Devanei Hampton (7.9 rpg)
Academic Achievement - Kelly O'Connell
Practice Player of the Year - Reneé Wright
Hampton, who hails from Oakland, led Cal and ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring at 15.4 ppg, becoming only the 10th freshman to ever earn first-team All-Pac-10 recognition. The Pac-10 All-Freshman and Women's Basketball News Service All-Freshman honoree paced the Bears and ranked third in the conference in rebounding at 7.9 rpg and topped the Pac-10 in offensive rebounding at 2.89 rpg.
Hampton paced all conference rookies in scoring and rebounding this season. She holds the distinction of being only the third freshman to ever lead Cal in scoring and the first since Cynthia Cooke did so in 1981-82 (13.5 ppg).
Morris led the Bears and was the third-leading steals threat in the Pac-10 at 2.30 per game (62 total), earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention. She swiped a career-high nine steals against Radford Nov. 18, which was one shy of matching the school record. The San Francisco product ranked fourth on Cal in scoring at 8.7 ppg and third in assists at 2.5 apg.
Forward Reneé Wright, the only senior on this year's team, contributed 6.5 ppg and a career-high 6.5 rpg. Wright, from Antelope, twice recorded a season-high 13 points against Arizona and hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds in the season-opening win over Eastern Washington. She shot 69.4 percent from the foul line to earn the team's Best Free Throw Shooter award and was picked the team's Practice Player of the Year for her consistent effort and attitude during practice.
Junior guard Keanna Levy averaged 2.4 ppg and 1.4 rpg in 11 games. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament against St. John's, she contributed eight points, one rebound and one assist in a career-high 29 minutes of playing time. The native of Waterloo, Iowa, was 2-of-3 from the floor, 1-of-1 from three-point range and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the postseason.
Sophomore Krista Foster averaged 4.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg in about 18 minutes per game. She was one of the first players off of Cal's bench and also started eight games during the season, including the first-round NCAA Tournament game. A product of Fair Oaks, Foster recorded double-digit points three times, including a career-high 13 points in a road win over Arizona and 12 points in a triumph over UNLV in the championship game of the Contra Costa Times Classic.
Cal completed 2005-06 with its first winning record in 13 seasons at 18-12 and earned the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1992-93. The Bears earned the No. 10 seed in the Albuquerque Regional. Cal placed sixth in the Pac-10 at 10-8 with their first winning conference mark in 13 years.