Avinash: With Shareef graduating, might be a good chance for us to write about his spectacular freshman season at Cal (like we did with Kidd a few years back).
LeonPowe: With Jason Kidd and Lamond leaving school in 1994, we brought in a highly ranked recruiting class consisting of Jelani Gardner and Tremaine Fowlkes. And while the kids (mainly Folkes) were very good - with Folkes winning the Freshman of the Year honors, unfortunately our upper class leadership (Monty Buckley, Al Grigsby and Ryan Jamison) and returning players (Anwar McQueen / Randy Duck) wasn't good enough to lead Cal to the post-season in 1994-95; although that team probably would've done pretty well in last year's Pac-12.
OhioBear: I didn't attend many games during Reef's one and only season at Cal. But I saw most (if not all) of the televised games that season. (I was a second-year law student who took school waaaayyyyy too seriously. I attended every football game, but let my basketball attendance fall by the wayside. But I digress...)
Kodiak: Unlike OhioBear, I was a true Cal fan and saw all of Reef's games.
Ok, it wasn't THAT relevant (in fact, you can see why someone may have wanted to pay jelani $$$ - but there was a good stretch of reef highlights around the 5 minute mark
OhioBear: Just realized that if Shareef had stayed one more year, we wouldve had a nice lineup of Shareef, Tony G, Yogi Stewart, Prentice McGruder, and Randy Duck, with Grigsby, McQueen, and Sean Marks off the bench. Without Shareef (and without Gray in the NCAA tournament for that matter), Cal got to the Sweet 16 as it was.
LeonPowe: And if Dirk Nowitzki had come too (and number 1 overall recruit Julian Sensley - but he turned out to be not good for Hawaii)
Reef: The comments do a great job capturing what he was and why his short tenure at Cal was memorable. I would add a couple things, both of which stem from the same core: Shareef always seemed far older than his years.
Regardless of the time frame, regardless of the circumstances, graduating with a BA from the University of California at Berkeley with a 3.8 GPA is a towering achievement. But from that man, I would have expected no less. Todd Bozeman did a lot of things wrong, but seeing the pictures and watching the video of Shareef Abdur-Rahim in Lower Sproul in a cap and gown, I think this is one of the things he did right.