Men’s Hoops: The Argument for Cal


As the season approaches more and more notable sports writers are picking Cal as one of the top contenders in the Pac-12. Arizona tends to be the landslide favorite and why shouldn’t they be? They finished first in the regular season standings and were only a big play away from beating UW in the Pac-10 tournament.

While the Wildcats lost a couple big player-makers in Momo Jones and Derrick Williams. They had one of the best recruiting classes in the country. They will be bringing in some immediate starters (or players receiving starter minutes) in Josiah Turner, Angelo Chol, Nick Johnson, and Sidiki Johnson.

They are the easy pick in the Pac-12 for season champions. However, where is all this hype from Cal coming from? The Golden Bears finished last season as 5th in the Pac-12. This year many experts have them pegged to finish second. Let’s look at their reasoning:

"The Golden Bears return All-Pac-10 seniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp, and 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe. Cal finished 18-15 and played through the second round of the NIT. ("

The Bears really lost no good players, as their only subtractions were; Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Nigel Carter, and Gary Franklin.

That is the first argument. Their stars are returning. 

"Most of the talent left the Pac-12 before the expanded conference even had a chance to tip-off. Arizona’s Derrick Williams. Washington State’s Klay Thompson. Washington’s Isaiah Thomas. USC’s Nikola Vucevic. Colorado’s Alec Burks. All gone. All to the NBA. That makes choosing a preseason Pac-12 Player of the Year difficult, but not impossible. Give the nod to California’s Jorge Gutierrez.  ("

Jorge Guiterrez may be the most veteran star in the Pac-12. goes on to say he may not be the most physically talented but due to his experience he can impact the game the most.

The second argument is; Jorge Gutierrez is one of the few senior stars in the Pac-12. 

"they have one of the nation’s best pound-for-pound coaches in Mike Montgomery. (Arizona Daily Star)"

Mike Montgomery is a proven coach. He knows how to win. That is argument number 3 for the California Golden Bears.

Allen Crabbe will be better, Jorge Guiterrez will be close to the same, and they don’t have to worry about finding a way to gel as a starting squad.

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that Cal is a safe pick. How can you pick a team like UW to win or even come in second when there are so many unknowns? No one really wants to be ‘that guy’ who picks an unknown team. Cal = safe, UW = risky.

Whether you agree with the argument or not. There it is.