Picking a most valuable player is never as easy as it sounds, mostly because it depends on how you define “most valuable.”
The Cal coaching staff made a surprise, but hardly shocking pick, Thursday night, giving the team MVP to senior forward Theo Robertson at the annual postseason banquet at the Faculty Club on campus.
The immediate reaction is to wonder if this is some sort of shot at senior point guard Jerome Randle, who led the team in scoring, the nation in FT accuracy, was a two-time all-Pac-10 pick and the league’s Player of the Year this season. There can be no argument that without Randle, no way the Bears win their first Pac-10 title in 50 years.
Montgomery would be the first to say that.
My guess is it’s less about Randle and more about Robertson, the De La Salle HS grad, who is very much coach Mike Montgomery”s kind of player, and he has toiled with minimal hype and overcome two major surgeries on his hip. Robertson not only provided the Bears 14.2 points and 4.7 rebounds this season, he shot 45 percent from the 3-point play, never forced anything, was a tough defender, a good teammate, able to play as many as three positions, and smart, low-maintenance player.
In short, Robertson may have been Cal’s most versatile player.
But most valuable?
Here’s another way to look at it: The Bears were 21-8 with Robertson in the lineup, 3-3 without him early in the season when he sat out six games with a foot injury.
Still, the award could have gone to Randle and no one would have batted an eye. Randle averaged 18.6 ppg, became the Bears’ career scoring leader and converted 93.3 percent of his free throws.
Here are Cal’s other award-winners:
* Highest Field Goal Percentage – Jamal Boykin (58.4 percent)
* Darrall Imhoff Award (leading rebounder) – Jamal Boykin (6.7 rpg)
* Pete Newell Coach’s Award – Jamal Boykin
* Senior Award – Nikola Knezevic
* Defensive Player of the Year – Jorge Gutierrez
* Jason Kidd Award (leading assists) – Jerome Randle (4.29 apg)
* Best Free Throw Percentage – Jerome Randle (93.3 percent)
* Hustle and Spirit Award – Patrick Christopher