Robert Hwang: He put the program back on the map at least recruiting wise and with multiple guys soon to be in the NBA, it definitely will help in recruiting in pointing to them and saying they were Cal players. He left us wanting more on the court and understandably so. He showed we could compete for the top recruits and compete for the top seeds. We got a glimpse at potential powerhouse stardom. Whether he would've been able to achieve that here? We will never know. But at the very least we now know. Cal can have nice things too.
thedozen: The frustration hasn't yet worn off. I genuinely liked Martin, and watching the All-Access segment produced by Pac-12 Networks solidified that feeling in my mind. Now, I feel like I'm a fan of a small-market professional team that just lost its star player via free agency. I'm not saying Cal won't succeed with Martin's successor. I certainly don't blame Martin for heading closer to home and being paid handsomely for the opportunity. However, I believe that the Cal community deserves the pursuit of hot coaching commodities, not vice versa. Despite the lack of national tournament success, it was fun getting to watch Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird, and Jaylen Brown.
mpeters10: I'm appreciative of the time and effort Cuonzo put into trying to take Cal to the next level. The stunning double coup of Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb saw expectations skyrocket. There were, as we all know, unforseen rotten occurrences that led to the disappointing first round exit for a team I thought had a legit shot at making a deep run. Losing Ty and Jabari was a blow, but the sudden loss in form from Jaylen, and the lack of development in Ivan's unexpected second season point to some of the shortcomings Cuonzo has as a coach. Player development is a question mark, while offensive sets are probably the biggest issue, not to mention the seemingly routine late-game mistakes and second half reversals of fortune this season.
Cuonzo is a young coach and those shortcomings could certainly be rectified, but we'll never know if that could have happened at Cal. With all of that being said, my lasting impression of the Cuonzo era at Cal will be one of missed opportunities. We had three 5-star All-Americans on the same team as Ty Wallace and Jordan Matthews and we didn't win an NCAA Tournament game against Hawaii when we had Brown AND Rabb on the court. He did some good things on and off the court. He put Cal in position where we're in frequent contention for top notch recruits and that's been good to see, but I'll always feel like we should have achieved more.
Berkelium97: Cuonzo was a good coach and a great man. I'll look back fondly on the way he developed his players on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. I especially appreciate his "Why not Cal?" attitude that countered much of the pessimism that pervades Cal fandom. However, the Cuonzo era was plagued by an inability to achieve expectations.
The Monty era showed us that Cal can regularly compete for Pac-12 titles and earn NCAA tournament berths. We didn't expect to go too far in the tourney, but we could usually have a decent chance of winning a game. Cuonzo built on that by bringing some elite recruits to Cal--the kinds we never expected to sign with Monty at the helm. The talent influx raised expectations, but we never seemed to meet them. An exceptionally strong Pac-12 and inopportune injuries kept us from achieving these expectations. The failure to win a single postseason game will be an unfortunate black mark on an otherwise exciting and optimism-building era of Cal basketball.