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CGB Hall of Fame: (3)Mike Montgomery v. (14)Leonard Taylor

Our final matchup of the weekend comes out of the Pete Newell Region and features a couple of basketball folks going up against each other. Coach Mike Montgomery takes on big man Leonard Taylor as our current leader takes on a legend from the past. We'll take a closer look at both of them and then you can cast your vote to decide who moves on. You can take a look at the whole bracket here and voting will end Friday at noon. GO BEARS!


(3) Mike Montgomery

Bear in Mind: Mike Montgomery (via CalTV Berkeley)

NorCalNick shares his perspective:

Mike Montgomery has been at Cal for five years now, which means he has now reached the threshold of CGB hall of fame eligibility. Thankfully, Monty has been successful enough that such an achievement is very low down on the list of things he should be celebrating.

It's way too early to get nostalgic about the Monty era, seeing as how it's still going strong. But I suspect that in a decade or two, I'll look back and remember how much fun his teams were to follow. Granted, that's in no small part due to the players themselves. But how much did you love watching Jerome Randle get unleashed for two years under Monty, or how he helped turn Jorge Gutierrez from a defensive specialist into a Pac-12 player of the year? How much did you enjoy watching Allen Crabbe these past few years, and how much fun do you think Jabari Bird is going to be?

Monty has made four NCAA tournaments, won a Pac-10 title, finished in the top 4 of the conference every year, and consistently made basketball games fun, win or lose. That last part tends to get short-shrift, but this is an entertainment business, isn't it?

We might not have Monty for much longer - if he decided tomorrow to spend the rest of his life sipping wine and occasionally sitting in a Pac-12 network studio with Ernie Kent, it would be well deserved. But we still have him and he's going to have some talent over the next few years. Monty may not make the CGB hall of fame this year, but I'd like to think that he will add to his resume very shortly.

(14) Leonard Taylor

Taylor was a big man unlike any other at Cal. he was a first-team All-Pac-10 choice in 1989 and as of 2009 ranks sixth in Cal history with 1,608 points and seventh with 784 rebounds. He had consecutive 30-point games in December 1986 and won the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 1985. He was the team MVP in both 1985 and '89 and also Most Inspirational Player in 1987. And to close out his career, his 649 points in 1989 are most ever scored by a Cal senior.

Check out his career stats:

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SoCal Oski makes the case in the nominations thread:

For some reason, unlike Mayor Kevin Johnson, Leonard Taylor is almost an afterthought for Cal fans. Yet he was as important to the teams of the mid-late 80's as KJ, and was a huge part of the Cal team that finally beat the identity thieves from the southern extension.

Over the course of his Cal career he averaged:

33 minutes a game (including 33 min/game as a freshman)

15.5 pts a game (with a 19.6 ppg average as a senior)

53.9% FG

76.9% FT (with a 80% FT his Jr & Sr years)

7.5 rebounds/gm

Let those sink in for a few moments.

And, that was even with his chronic back problems limiting him to playing only 14 games during his Junior season, and continuing to bother him in his senior year.

Taylor isn't the most famous Cal big man ... in fact he probably suffered by comparison to his predecessor, Dave Butler (another stud who should be nominated), but when he was in his prime, Taylor was pretty much unstoppable. Just ask the eunuchs from Westwood.

ososdero shares a favorite Taylor moment:

My favorite LT play...

......was during a really crap game against USF at home one year. The team basically slept through the entire game, allowing a putrid USF game to stay right there throughout. Finally, with Cal down a bucket with 2 seconds remaining, a USF player fouled the Cal player with the ball. Cal player made the first one, but missed the second, but LT calmly rebounded the free throw and banked it in to win by one.