clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

CGB HoF Sweet Sixteen: J.J. Arrington vs Leon Powe


The Sweet 16 rolls on! From here on out, the winners of these polls automatically enter the CGB Hall of Fame! Two of Cal's greatest modern athletes face off.

For each athlete, you can vote in the poll; it closes a week from today at midnight. After the jump, you can read the athlete profiles written up by our commenters, and discuss in the comments your memories of each athlete and which one deserves to move on.

Check out the full bracket here. To check out the original nomination thread, click here. For those who want to track the CGB Hall of Fame posts exclusively, click here or right next to the timestamp above where it says "Hall of Fame".

J.J. Arrington



Tightwad Hill encapsulated Arrington's 2004 season perfectly.

Cal fans were understandably anxious to see what Arrington would do carrying the full workload in 2004. What he did was have the greatest season by any player in the history of Cal football. That’s right. The greatest season ever.

In each of his 12 games, Arrington hit for at least 100 yards – the only back in America to make that claim. Against Air Force in the opener, he scored three times including an 89-yard run that set a Cal record. 3 more scores against NMSU, and then a couple of off games – 108 yards and a TD v Oregon State and 112 in the heartbreak loss to SC. Then J.J. got serious.

The first 1:19 are the only Cal highlights I could find of JJ. The run at :49 is my favorite. Nice tackling Ducks.

Leon Powe



Not many Cal fans can find a bad word to say about Leon. ragnarok has this classic story from the old blogsome of Powe's greatest performance in gold & blue:

Already demanding notice after setting a tournament record with 20 rebounds in avictory over USC the previous night, Leon Powe had what is probably his signature game at Cal during the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament. Seventh-seeded Oregon was fighting for its season; with a 15-17 record, the Ducks knew there would be no postseason for them if they didn’t win the Tournament. Still, they had managed to beat hapless Washington State and then upset second-seeded Washington the next night, and early on, it looked like they might pull off their improbable run to the title game, sprinting out to a 32-16 lead in the first half. Then they ran into Leon Powe.

Of course, it took a team effort from the Bears to battle back from a 16-point deficit, including trailing by 7 with less than 3 minutes to go, but it often seemed that most of that team effort involved feeding Powe in the low post over and over and over again. And why wouldn’t they? The man was virtually unstoppable that night, shooting 14 of 17 from the floor and 13 of 18 from the line. You don’t really need an offense when you have Leon Powe, but the Bears did need every one of his tournament-record 41 points (and two overtimes) to hold off the Ducks in a game that had me (alone at home) screaming at my television and nearly convinced me to drive down to LA for the final. These Bears should have been upset, but Powe put them up on his back and barreled them into the final virtually singlehandedly.

As great as that performance is, we love Leon for a lot more than his put back dunks or even being the Show in the NBA Finals. His story from rags to riches would have left Jamal Malik reeling and Latika swooning. Leon Powe is where amazing happens.

Vote it up!