Basketball: Powe, Gutierrez are fan faves

In our (very) unofficial poll of your favorite Cal basketball player, looks like Leon Powe scores a narrow victory over Jorge Gutierrez (8 to 7), with Jason Kidd (5), Jerome Randle (5) and Kevin Johnson (4) close behind.

All good choices.

Now, some of you pretty much stuffed the ballot box with multiple votes. Jauncho, always a fountain of information, listed off 417 different Cal players he likes. Or something like that. What a memory the guy has!

Twenty-two different players were mentioned (not counting those on long lists).

I saw most of them play — including Gene Ransom while he was at Berkeley HS — and a few stand out as those most fun to watch (I will exclude the current players, whom I continue to report on):

1) Jason Kidd — Not only (easily) Cal’s best player ever, but no one ever played the game harder or made it look so much like ballet.

2) Leon Powe — A warrior. A great guy. A great story.

3) KJ — The player who first elevated Cal’s program after about a quarter-century of dormancy. Faster with the ball for 94 feet than almost anyone.

4) Tony Gonzalez — Future NBA player Tim Thomas of Villanova was scared to death in that NCAA tournament matchup.

5) ┬áLamond Murray — Never really looked like he was trying, but he had an NBA body and an NBA shooter’s touch the day he walked onto campus.

Jeff Faraudo

  • I was down close to the floor for Kidd. “So much like a Ballet” is not how I would describe it, more like the quick step, coordinated frenetic madness bordering on illusion.

  • Beastmode

    Personally, I feel a major factor in becoming a fan favorite is development of said player within the program or overcoming a substantial adversity to achieve success. Jorge and Al Grigsby will always be remembered fondly for these reasons.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    To be a fair poll you would have to factor in the age of the respondents of course.

    100% of the readers know and saw Jorge play but how many saw Kevin Johnson … or Daryl Imhoff?

    Still it was fun.

  • Juancho

    Wow. Just read the post. Thanks Jeff this truly made my day.

  • Yoda

    Damn. I didn’t get a vote. If this is favorites rather than best players, it’s Jorge, then Powe, then Kidd. I started out with Gene Ransom so I’ve seen quite a few players come and go and Jorge just stands out for the competitiveness and the maximization of what he has to work with.

  • Kevin Thomas

    If had not been so dumb as to miss the invitatiopn to vote, I would have voted for the entire ’58-’59 team, as this is a team sport. As to individuals on that team, it would be McClintock, Al Buch, and Darrall Imhoff. Pre-1958, it would be Larry Friend or Earl Robinson. In the years between then and now, it would be Phil Chenier, smoothest guard ever to play for Cal. But a big mention for Rusty Critchfield.

    As for Powe and Kidd, they are not on my list. Great players, but they gave their coaches too much grief, and Kidd helped get his coach fired.

    And for modern players, well, Harper Kamp, with his adversities deserves a nod. Jorge is probably my favorite modern player. With Kidd’s and Grigsby’s jerseys hanging from the rafters, it will be a travesty if they don’t retire Jorge’s number 2.

  • covinared

    One year, Mark Mcnamara lead the Pac10 in scoring, field goal pct. and rebounding. Have any other Bears done that? Just curious.

  • Kyle

    I will always be a huge Monty Buckley fan!

  • Uh Huh!

    So, JF, forget the playing part – lets hear about which players you’ve enjoyed COVERING or INTERVIEWING the most.