Cal played great defense. Cal played super offense. They passed the ball. They rotated on their assignments. They finished in transition. They crashed the boards. They made simple plays. They made spectacular plays. They owned the Furd.
It. Was. Awesome.
It was an emotional day for Markhuri Sanders-Frison, so it was understandable that he was a little bit off offensively (only four for twelve shooting, a rare off day). He made up by pounding the class with six offensive rebounds and thirteen in all. Another double-double for the big man, and it was a fitting send off to a man who's earned it.
Thankfully, the rest of the team was more than happy to assist him out. Harper Kamp picked up the offensive load early and was generally impossible for the Furd bigs to stop, racking up 20 points on 75% shooting. Allen Crabbe had an effortless 24 points on 13 shots, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out five assists. And it was three Richard Solomon dunks off of excellent feeds that set the tone early for a blowout at Haas Pavilion.
All of this with Jorge Gutierrez scoring a mere six points, and yet he dominated the second half with an array of excellent passes and plays (seven assists and four steals to offset his four turnovers). And he had his customary highlight: Brandon Smith overthrew a pass to him, and Gutierrez leaped up, snared it, only to touch pass it to the cutting Crabbe, who leapt and tapped it into the basket. Stadium roars, game over. That's the type of play only Jorge can make. That's the type of play we love him for.
Now this undermanned team heads to the Pac-10 Tournament, and what a difference two months makes. When Cal played Stanford two weeks ago, they looked fried, finished, done, and on top of that Gary Franklin transferred! Now they're playing their best basketball at the right time for the second straight year. The Bears are almost assured of playing in the NIT, but now can they keep the dream alive and dance?
We're going to have our answer in a week's time.
Ponder these questions in the comments.
1. Post a picture that best describes your emotions concerning this game.
2. Who was the player of the game and why?
3. What was the play of the game and why?
4. What do the Bears need to improve before the Pac-10 tournament?
5. PIck a word that best describes how you feel about the 2010-11 Cal basketball season.