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Basketball: No one enjoys facing Gutierrez

Some great stuff about Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez from Arizona State, courtesy of the Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller:

“He’s an odd guy, because he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve talked to,” said Arizona State senior Jamelle McMillan. “But on the court, he’s just ruthless. He’ll throw an elbow here, he’ll grab there. He doesn’t talk, but he’s an amazing competitor, and obviously his role has changed a lot. He’s scoring the ball a lot more, seems to have confidence in his offense. He’s what makes that team go. I look forward to playing against him for maybe the last time, depending on if we see him later (in the Pac-10 Tournament) or whatever. He’s a guy I have a lot of respect for.”

Gutierrez introduced himself to ASU two years ago, playing physical, tough defense on then-standout James Harden. Last season, despite playing just 21.4 minutes per game, Gutierrez earned a spot on the Pac-10′s All-Defensive team. This season, out of necessity, he’s added more offense, averaging 12.4 points 4.4 and four assists.

“He’s a terrific player because he’s such a high-energy player,” ASU coach Herb Sendek said. “He makes hustle plays. I think his approach is probably contagious. He’s an uplifting competitor. To me, he’s one of the best defenders in the league, and he’s really improved his offensive game. He’s (also) shooting the ball very well.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Uh Huh!

    In addition to this good news, readers of this post might also enjoy learning that “Uh Oh” will no longer be making posts here.

    “Uh Oh” was often focused on the ‘glass half empty’ scenarios, always concerned about many aspects of Cal Bear Basketball, most of which were based in recruiting.

    Sure, Mike Montgomery gave Cal fans their first conference title in 50 years, but he did so with mostly Braun guys (MSF and Gutierrez excepted). But what was he doing to restock the cupboard? And HOW on earth was he going to field a squad at all this season after the departures of not just 5 graduating seniors, but also experienced big men Omondi Amoke and Max Zhang?

    “Uh Oh” figured this season was going to prove his half empty perspective right. Instead, he’s been proven wrong:

    * MSF is unstoppable with the left hook. Defenses have seen enough of it, and still haven’t been able to stop it.
    * A 3-man rotation of Kamp, MSF, and Solo/Bak CAN get the job done. Rarely have we been pressed into difficulty due to foul trouble in the post.
    * Brandon Smith CAN play D1-Pac10 point. He has cut down on his silly turnovers and stepped up to make some needed outside jumpers to keep defenses honest!
    * Not only has Cal won some Pac10 games, but they are above .500 at the turn – not to mention they are above Furd in the standings, a point “Uh Oh” relished in stating wouldn’t happen, even though beat writers predicted it would.

    The development of players like Crabbe, Smith, and Bak over the course of this season has been a pleasure to watch. It seems like they improve game by game. The capper to all this was rewinding the tape multiple times on Emerson Murray’s 3, his first of the year after many misses, and watching not only all his teammates on the bench celebrate the shot, but also Coach Montgomery gave an emotional fist pump! Then, the next game, Murray made an exploratory drive to the lane and daringly put up a scoring double pump layup. Even Jeff Powers has come in lately to score a couple 3′s.

    Confidence is growing in them all. Hope is NOT lost!

    So, “Uh Oh” has learned that the glass is NOT half empty. Maybe we don’t have Joshua Smith in the post. Dwight Powell did choose Stanford. And Gary Franklin did defect the squad (although this was hardly viewed as a point to be upset about). But with Coach Mike Montgomery at the helm, it appears he’s going to always get the most of out his teams, no matter who is with him. Thus, THE GLASS IS HALF FULL.

    And, so with this realization, “Uh Oh” is retiring. He has gone into his costume closet and re-emerged as “Uh Huh!”. Picture a smile and a head nod.

    While “Uh Oh” to “Uh Huh!” may not quite be the upgrade some of you would have hoped for, it is nonetheless a positive step forward, and leaves plenty of room for further transformations to “Oh Yeah” and “Oh YES!” in future months and seasons.

    Perhaps it will take a return to the NCAA’s, which would represent of complete rebuild of the program, for such further upgrades. But no more despair. No more “Uh Oh”. He was wrong and is going away. No doubt a “happening” many of you will rejoice!

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Whew!!!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Half glass full? Uh Huh is no Cal fan!

    I enjoy transitioning to the positive on occasion as well, but might I suggest allowing Uh Oh to come out of retirement once in a while. A good venting now and then does wonders for the blood pressure.

    Nice to see the opposition give Jorge some props. I figure he is one of those guys every coach thinks, “Damn, I could have had that guy on my team.”

  • Calfan

    Adelante Jorge!

  • ondal

    Like the phoenix rising from the ashes … I give you Uh Huh.

  • Mountain Jim

    Uh huh!

    I credit Gary Franklin’s astute realization that he was holding the team back and his “take one for the team” decision to bail out for this nice upsurge in basketball at Cal. Thank you Gary!

    Jorge is my favorite Cal player ever and I’ve been a fan since the 70′s.