(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.
Nick was wise to cherish the time Monty was with us, as the legendary coach has since retired. Will his retirement propel him into the Hall of Fame? His challenger may have something to say about that...
(4) Alexis Gray-Lawson
Video Bio: Alexis Gray-Lawson (via CalBearsWBB)
Alexis Gray-Lawson will be forever linked to Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton, as those three together were the core of Cal's most successful stretch in the program's history. Walker and Hampton definitely had the star power as two of the premier post players in the Pac-10. Gray-Lawson was the team's quarterback-and its heart and soul.