March 2, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - California guard Alexis Gray-Lawson became the first Golden Bear to receive the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award, and freshman center Devanei Hampton was one of 10 players selected to the All-Pac-10 team.
"At first, I didn't think I was going to get it," said Gray-Lawson. "I thought Ashley (Walker) was going to get it or Devanei. It was a really big surprise for me. Any one of us could have got it. I think it's great that all of us made the (Pac-10 Freshman) team."
Forward/center Ashley Walker joined Gray-Lawson and Hampton on the Pac-10 All-Freshman squad, giving Cal the distinction of being the first school to ever land three players on the five-member rookie honor team. Bears guard Jené Morris garnered honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman.
Gray-Lawson, who also received honorable mention All-Pac-10, ranks second on the team in scoring and 10th in the Pac-10 (14.6 ppg), first in assists (2.8 apg), first in three-pointers made (39) first in three-point percentage (39.8, fifth in the conference) and fourth in rebounding (4.0 rpg). During the conference season, Gray-Lawson contributed 16.2 ppg, which ranks sixth in the Pac-10. She posted a career-high 30 points in the loss at Stanford Jan. 14, and has 21 double-figure scoring games to her credit, including seven games with at least 20 points. The Oakland product has led Cal in scoring 10 times in 2005-06.
Hampton is only the eighth freshman ever to receive All-Pac-10 honors. The Oakland native leads Cal and all Pac-10 freshmen in scoring (15.1 ppg, seventh overall Pac-10) and rebounding (7.8 rpg, third overall Pac-10). Hampton looks to become only the third freshman in Cal basketball history to lead the team in scoring and the first since 1981-82. She is tied with Walker for the Pac-10 lead with eight double-doubles, and the duo paces the Bears with 22 double-figure scoring games. Hampton had a stretch of 19 straight double-figure scoring outings and has led Cal in scoring 10 times and in rebounding 11 times.
Walker is third on the Bears in scoring (13.1 ppg) and is among the top five in the Pac-10 in five statistical categories. A product of Modesto, Walker tops the conference in blocks per game (1.71 bpg), ranks third in defensive rebounding (5.0 per game), fourth in rebounding (7.7 rpg), tied for fourth in offensive rebounding (2.68 per game) and tied for fifth in field goal percentage (50.0). She has paced the Bears in scoring nine times and in rebounding 10 times. Her 48 blocks rank sixth in Cal's season record books and is the most by a Golden Bear since Charlotte Lusschen swatted 69 in 1984-85.
Morris is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.8 ppg and is coming off a career-high 19 points in the Bears' 81-58 triumph over Washington. Morris, who hails from San Francisco, ranks third in the Pac-10 and first on the Bears in steals at 2.35 spg. She grabbed nine steals - tied for first in the conference this season - in Cal's win over Radford Nov. 18, which was one shy of tying the school record. Morris is third on the team in assists at 2.5 apg.
All four athletes are regular starters and have been instrumental in the Bears posting an 18-10 overall record and a 10-8 Pac-10 mark (sixth place). Cal is guaranteed to record its first winning record in 13 years and is looking to earn its first postseason berth during the same time period. Sixth-seeded Cal meets third-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament Saturday, March 4, at 11 a.m. at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
Name School Pos Yr Ht Hometown Nikki Blue** UCLA G Sr. 5-8 Bakersfield, Calif. Devanei Hampton CALF C Fr. 6-3 Oakland, Calif. Cameo Hicks WASH G Jr. 5-10 Tracy, Calif. Kristen Kovesdy ASU F Sr. 6-3 Scottsdale, Ariz. Eshaya Murphy USC F Jr. 5-11 Van Nuys, Calif. Noelle Quinn* UCLA G Jr. 6-0 Los Angeles, Calif. Brooke Smith* STAN C Jr. 6-3 San Anselmo, Calif. Emily Westerberg*ASU F Jr. 6-0 Greenacres, Wash. Candice Wiggins* STAN G So. 5-11 San Diego, Calif. Lisa Willis* UCLA G Sr. 5-11 Long Beach, Calif. *two-time All-Pac-10 honoree; **four-time All-Pac-10 honoreeHONORABLE MENTION (Received votes): Kate Benz (WSU, Jr., F); Kim Butler (OSU, Sr., F); Meghan Gnekow (USC, Sr., G); Alexis Gray-Lawson (CAL, Fr., G); Natalie Jones (ARIZ, Sr., G); Camille LeNoir (USC, So., G); Chelsea Wagner (ORE, Sr., G).
PAC-10 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Name School Pos Ht Hometown Alexis Gray-Lawson CAL G 5-8 Oakland, Calif. Devanei Hampton CAL C 6-3 Oakland, Calif. Jillian Harmon STAN F 6-1 Lake Oswego, Ore. Briann January ASU G 5-8 Spokane, Wash. Ashley Walker CAL F 6-0 Modesto, Calif.HONORABLE MENTION: Amanda DuRocher (WSU, G); Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (STAN, G); Jene Morris (CAL, G); Tamika Nurse (ORE, G); Danielle Orsillo (ASU, G).