Jason Kidd Cal Basketball Retrospective, Part II: Sophomore Year

We continue our three part look at Kidd's time and career at Cal. Last week we focused on his freshman campaign. Today we focus on his sophomore season.

Kodiak: The next year at Midnight Madness, it was even more ridiculous. My roommate and I had to camp out 7 hrs just to get inside They had barricades and all sorts of crowd control. Even so, it was a near riot just to get in as the whole crowd just sort of surged forward in a mass when they opened the doors. Looking back, no one was prepared for Jason Kidd would make Cal basketball such a big deal. Someone came up with the ill-conceived plan to sell student tickets by announcing the secret ticket location over the radio at 6am. So, hordes of students were wandering the campus in the dark. When it was announced that sales were at Edwards Track Stadium, it set off a mass riot of students running, pushing, shoving to try to get there. I'm surprised the university didn't get sued. There were bodies flying as people tripped, or fell, or were just trampled.

LeonPowe: The morning ticket idea was from John Kasser, Cal athletic director at the time. My memory says that happened after Kidd left though, but it's a part of his legacy - because I remember lining up as a freshman and camping out as a sophomore (Bozeman bought the front of the line pizzas and KJ Roberts and Monty Buckley came out and signed autographs at the front of the line).

If you ever look at the footage from his sophomore year and wonder why the shorts look so huge, it's not because he was trying to make some type of Fab Five-esque fashion statement. He borrowed Al Grigby's shorts because Al was lost for the year with a serious injury. I remember he said that this way Big Al would still be out there with them.

For those who were there, share your memories of Kidd's sophomore season in the comments. After the jump, highlight videos!

(via adlee78)

LeonPowe: Sophomore year - so freshman year ended with a loss to a deeper (and better coached) Kansas team. Brian Hendrick graduated, Rich Branham graduated, Akili Jones graduated, but a trio of precocious freshmen were added, Randy Duck, a 6'2" leaper from Garland, Texas who if he were born 10 years later would definitely have a sleeve tattoo - as it was, he was everyone in the Pac-10's least favorite Cal Bear. Anwar McQueen, a steady point guard from St. Albans Academy in Washington DC who was MVP of the Capital Classic and finally Michael "Yogi" Stewart, a bean-pole thin, shot blocking machine from Kennedy High School in Sacramento!


But with the return of Jason Kidd - and Lamond Murray, big things were predicted for that year's Cal Bears. Before the internet, college basketball news was mainly the domain of The Sporting News - and most importantly the pre-season preview magazines. I remember when they started coming out in August, I would go to the Oxl Rexall drugs on Telegraph and buy them all. Street & Smith's. Lindy's. Basketball Digest. There were a couple more - a new magazine called "Slam: The In your Face basketball magazine" debuted. And Jason Kidd was on the cover of every single one of them. He had been voted Pac-10 Freshman of the Year - as well as nationally freshman of the year. Expectations were high.

Ohio Bear: The 1993-94 season began with Cal in the preseason NIT. We struggled to get past Santa Clara in the opener (played at San Jose Arena) and then we were eliminated the next round in a game at Kansas. Kidd and Murray played very well in that game, as I recall, but we still lost by double digits. Kidd had one of his signature plays as a Bear in that game: he got the ball in the backcourt, went behind the back dribble to beat a guy on the sideline, went behind the back again near the top of the key, and then dished to Murray (?) for a layup. It was a jaw-dropping play.

LeonPowe: I remember one very odd one in the Otis Spunkmeyer Tournament in early December against University of Maryland - Baltimore County where he had only 10 points, but 12 or 13 rebounds and assists. My friends Tony and Ron and Raj put some cardboard and numbers together and the "Kidd Assist Meter" got them on national broadcasts against UCLA (in Oakland) and Arizona (in Harmon - we waited 26 hours for front row seats for that game). A Christmas Tournament in Orlando Florida against Cincinnati, where away from the pressure of Cal fans, Jason turned Ryan Jamison into a servicemen center - including a dunk! (Aside: Jamo was the Cal fan whipping boy for a long time. Imagine Longshore 2008 or Riley 2010 - but even worse. The guy was . .. well, at least an average center, with some nice post moves, but he tended to get really nervous and would make these great moves, get open, and blow the lay-up).

Ohio Bear: Yeah, he is one of the most vilified Cal players of all time. He's right up there with Kyle Campanelli, Justin Vedder, and Nate Longshore for that crown. Too bad, too, because by all accounts Jamo was a nice guy.

LeonPowe: Despite a pretty successful regular and Pac-10 season, we didn't capture the Pac-10 title which we had been favored to do - there were some problems with the team - chemistry, un-experienced coaching, not really sure - but we ended up a 5 seed in the NCAA and headed off to Utah to face Wisconsin Green Bay coached by Tony Bennett (not the singer).

They were a tiny team, and for once, Jamison was dominant. I think he had 8 points in quick succession - for a guy that averaged something like 3 a game, he looked really good. Kidd kept feeding him in the post - however, for reasons which remain puzzling to me to this day - Bozeman took Jamo out - and the SLOW ball defensive style that the Phoenix played didn't allow Kidd and Murray and Duck and Buckley to get into the open court and we became another victim of the 12-5 upset in the first round.

Ohio Bear: Cal lost to a superior Kansas team in the Sweet 16 in 1993, but served notice that it was a team to watch for the following year. Cal was ranked 6th in the preseason polls, but didn't quite live up to that lofty ranking. But Kidd delivered more than enough "oooh" and "aaahh" moments. My most enduring memory is probably the UCLA game at the Oakland Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday 1994. UCLA came into the game ranked #1 in the country. But for a 3 or 4 minute stretch in the second half, with the game in the balance, Kidd reduced UCLA to the equivalent of the Washington Generals. Kidd dominated with rebounds, steals, coast-to-coast layups, dazzling dimes -- you name it, he did it in that game. It was an incredible performance.

There was about a 3 minute stretch of the UCLA game in 1994 at the Oakland Coliseum that was epic. It was all Kidd all the time -- a drive and dish here, a steal here, a rebound and coast-to-coast there, etc. I don't remember if Cal was leading at the time the onslaught started, but when it was over, Cal had broken the game open and led by double digits. I was not in attendance, but was sorry I wasn't there.

Toward the end of the barrage, after Kidd had made another play (I want to say it was a steal), ABC Sports play-by-play announcer Mark Jones said:

"It's Jason's world right now and we're just living in it."

It was such a "nailed it" description.

kidd from cal - part 3b - sophomore season (via adlee78)

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