While talking this week with Steve Lavin, the ESPN analyst and former UCLA coach praised Jerome Randle and all of Cal’s seniors, but I couldn’t get him to take a breath in his praise for sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez.
Here’s more from Coach Lav on Gutierrez:
“Gutierrez has really become a critical component to making Cal an intriguing team come tournament time. I think Gutierrez is one of those players because of his defensive prowess, he can take an opposing team’s best player and disrupt, unnerve and shut him down. It’s like having a Bruce Bowen at the NBA level.
“That’s before you even get into his offense. He’s probably one of the more underrated players in the country. I don’t think by the staff or Cal fans or local media, but outside of that, if you would talk about Gutierrez, I don’t think people realize how valuable he is to Cal.
“He can transform the game at both ends of the floor. He plays with a level of poise pretty exceptional for a sophomore. He plays with a hard edge, alertness, aggresivness and doesn’t back down from anybody. If Cal has success in the touranament, I’ll be surprised if he’s not a pivotal reason.”