Today, we have a matchup from the Pappy Waldorf Regional. Michael Mohamed, the #5 seed, and a Big Game legend, takes on Ed Gray, #12 seed, who was a great basketballer. The winner of this matchup will take on the winner of the Jahvid Best-Cameron Jordan matchup. Lotsa great matchups here!
You can see the full bracket here.
Voting ends on Friday, April 29, at noon. So, go vote. And GO BEARS!
Pappy Waldorf Regional
Michael Mohamed (5)
If a picture paints a thousand words, then all you need to know about MikeyMo is right here:
Royrules sums it up nicely:
"He of Big Game glory.
He went from an unheralded 2* recruit to a top-notch LB in the Pac-10." The pride of Brawley, CA, he was versatile and smart enough to play all three positions in a 4-3, or play either inside/outside in a 3-4. When fully healthy, he was an instinctive player who was a sure-tackler and equally adept defending the run or pass.
Hydrotech: " I remember when Mohamed first arrived on campus, there was a lot of talk about how the coaches thought he really was going to be special despite not being a big time recruit or the flashiest guy. Looks to me like they were right. I think Mohamed is definitely one of the best "diamonds in the rough" that the coaches found in the past five years or so."
Berkelium97: "In addition to remembering everything he did on the field, I remember his interesting background. He came from a small town in Imperial County, where he grew up on his family's farm. The farm was established by Mike's great grandfather, who left India, became a citizen, and bought 1000 acres of land. The farm has since been passed down through the family and played a big role in Mike's life when he was growing up. During his interviews at the Combine, Mike kept emphasizing his hard-nosed, blue collar work ethic. When asked about his life growing up, Mike says he learned these values by working at the farm. Off the field he works just as hard, as he was named to the Pac-10's all-academic team each of his four years. In a way, Mike is a lot like another recent Cal grad who earned great respect for his tremendous work ethic on and off the field: Alex Mack."
Ed Gray (12)
The best finisher and mid-range scorer that I've ever seen from the guard position. He just didn't miss from about 10-12 feet in. Although undersized for a 2-guard (about 6'3), he was broad-shouldered, strong, and had some explosive hops. Because teams had to respect his ability to finish and dunk, he was able to get off a quick mid-range pull-up whenever and wherever he wanted. He averaged over 24ppg and won Pac-10 POY in 1997, despite everyone knowing that he was our 1st, 2nd and occasionally 3rd scoring option. Went out with a blaze of glory dropping 48 points against a good Wazzu team before landing awkwardly after a dunk and fracturing a bone in his foot. Had some weight issues after the broken foot, but was still drafted in the 1st round(22nd) by the Atlanta Hawks. His NBA career didn't take off because the translation to the point didn't go well and he had some issues defensively as an under-sized 2.
MinerNiner talks about why Ed Gray deserves the CGB Hall of Fame accolades.
A transfer from Tennessee, Gray played only two years in Berkeley, but they were among the most memorable in school history. Gray’s senior season was perhaps the greatest individual season for Cal basketball. He averaged 24.8 ppg, and left Berkeley with the records for the highest career scoring average (20.0 ppg) and the most 30-point games (six). Gray was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.
And Tightwad Hill has a lengthy summary of his Cal career here.
Ed Gray also had the second most vicious in-game dunk by a Cal player I’ve ever seen. (First was Monty Buckley).
I’ve never seen a player that built to get buckets. Other big Cal scorers (Lampley, Murray, Randle) had a multitude of skills, but Ed Gray – put the ball in his hands – he’ll get you points. No ball handling. No passing. No rebounding. Little defense. But scores and scores of buckets.