by Michael Duca and Morris Phillips
BERKELEY–The Cal Bears (18-12) finally put an end to a very disappointing season and one that is one of the most disappointing teams that head coach Mike Montgomery has had since being at Cal. To give you an idea how underachieving his team is three days ago the Brooklyn Nets signed former Cal star Jorge Gutierrez to a ten day contract and you can be assured that Gutierrez will end up sticking with that team.
Gutierrez was the first player that Montgomery ever recruited at Cal and he has turned out to be a quintessential Montgomery player who wakes up in the morning with rug burns on his elbows from nights where he has dived on the floor from many falls. For some reason you don’t see that from anyone on this Cal team this year. You don’t see the intensity from this team who ran a six game losing streak after beating Arizona at home and who started another losing streak at three games after beating USC in the last meeting of the season between the Trojans and Bears.
They let other teams take advantage of the Bears athletic ability on the floor and take away their skill sets play after play, game after game particularily after that Arizona win at home, the Bears have been simply very disappointing to watch. This is without question the most inconsistent and disappointing Cal team that has ever played under coach Montgomery.
They’ve got the ability that doesn’t materialize, that doesn’t show up, they had incredible intensity against Arizona at home and beat that perfect team by a Justin Cobbs buzzer beater, but doesn’t have anything against Arizona State and they lost to Utah. It’s no knock on Utah but Utah who has won only three road games in the conference in three years and while Cal was never more than six points behind them during that game.
The Bears never ever, ever had a defense and put on a little polish and took over the game, and they were out rebounded, they we’re out boarded, they were out played, all night long by the Sun Devils and at Haas Pavilion. That was embarrassing and that was really embarrassing at home and it’s super embarrassing on Senior day.
The Bears needed that win against Colorado on the last regular game of the season and you would think with two seniors graduating you would think they would want to come forward and make some kind of threat against Colorado of some kind. The Bears should have taken some kind of control against Utah and neither one of them did. It was just simply deplorable to watch.
The Golden Bears had some great moments earlier this season and it’s just a waste of talent to watch them finish up the season this way. You had Richard Solomon averaging a double double, and Solomon is one of six players in the country that is averaging a double double and if you got one of those players at the very minimum you should have been unbeatable at home.
If we’re not mistaken the Bears have lost three conference games at home and Cal never loses three conference games at home. Maybe they can make hay out of some of the tournament games.
Michael Duca and Morris Phillips cover Cal basketball for Sportstalk Radio