I picked up two more college basketball annuals and Lindy’s has projected Cal to win the Pac-12 Conference and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez to earn conference player of the year honors.
Cal also is pegged No. 11 nationally by the magazine, the highest ranking we’ve seen from any publication.
“Mike Montgomery is coaching three of the best players in the conference,” veteran West Coast college hoops observer Frank Burlison writes in Lindy’s. “Jorge Gutierrez becomes a cult hero in Berkeley and below the border with a deep tourney run.”
(Burlison also admits he picked Cal to finish ninth in the Pac-10 last season, when they wound up tied for fourth).
Lindy’s remaining picks for the Pac-12: 2. Washington; 3. UCLA; 4. Arizona; 5. Oregon; 6. USC; 7. Stanford; 8. ASU; 9. OSU; 10. WSU; 11. Colorado; 12. Utah.
Lindy’s includes Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe on its five-man all-Pac-12 first team, with Harper Kamp on the second unit. Gutierrez was judged the Pac-12′s best defender and ranked No. 7 among the nation’s elite shooting guards, and Crabbe checks in at No. 8 among small forwards.
The Sporting News, meanwhile, picks Cal third in the Pac-12 and No. 23 nationally. TSN projects the Bears as a No. 6 seed into the NCAA tournament.
Arizona is the choice of The Sporting News to win the Pac-12, followed by UCLA. The rest of their picks: 4. Washington; 5. Oregon; 6. Stanford; 7. OSU; 8. USC; 9. ASU; 10. WSU; 11. Colorado; 12. Utah.
Gutierrez and Crabbe are picked to TSN’s five-man all-conference team.