All-Time Cal Basketball Team

BeachedBear
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tthompson993;842837636 said:

I agree with you, Jeff82. Can't believe folks are forgetting about Kevin Johnson. The second best guard in Cal history and the second best all around guard in the NBA behind Magic for a number of years. He always ate up John Stockton.


I think people are letting his post-cal 'scandals' cloud their view of KJ. I tried not to do so, but still left him off of my list, because...

1. Overall, I think Kidd would be a superior PG than KJ for the current Pac12. I will add that KJ would probably be second on my list.
2. Alongside Kidd and Murray and Shareef, I included Midgley because how he fit with the rest of the starters (similarly Yogi over other superior centers). In my opinion, KJ is a far better player than Midgley, but in todays P12, roles would be important.
3. I actually got to know many of the payers on the list - and KJ has a similar attitude as Kidd in terms of being in charge on the court - not sure both of them on the court together means they each play at their peak level.
4. KJ is still probably one of the top 5 players of my era - just not as good as Kidd.
Jeff82
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tthompson993;842837636 said:

I agree with you, Jeff82. Can't believe folks are forgetting about Kevin Johnson. The second best guard in Cal history and the second best all around guard in the NBA behind Magic for a number of years. He always ate up John Stockton.


That's why I put him at the 2 alongside Kidd, who didn't shoot much from outside at all at Cal, as I recall. Gray at the 3, where he played at Cal, gives you a thread from beyond the arc. I tried to sort of split the difference in terms of the best athletes and also keeping them in what I felt were reasonable team roles.
UrsaMajor
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The 3-point shot was only introduced in KJ's senior season. He shot it at 39%. Jason didn't shoot 3's much as a freshman, but in his sophomore year he averaged taking just under 5 shots a game and shot a 36% average (I remember one game in Corvallis where he was 7-7 from 3).
kelly09
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+1000
CalHoopFan
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I'll only comment on players I saw live at Cal (1985 to present)

Kidd - PG
Gray - SG
Murray - SF
Shareef - PF
Jamal Sampson - Center

Here's the thing about Sampson - He only played one year and was not a strong scorer. Yet, he absolutely dominated the paint on defense and was a smart and able passer on offense. A game changer.

Next 5 (not position base): KJ, Powe, Anderson, Lampley and Randle
HoopDreams
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I'd say the top 3 surprises of all time were Jorge, R Anderson and Ed Gray
CalHoopFan
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HoopDreams;842838121 said:

I'd say the top 3 surprises of all time were Jorge, R Anderson and Ed Gray


Wasn't Gray a big time recruit out of HS? Anderson and Jorge were big surprises to me and so was Sean Lampley
joe amos yaks
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CalHoopFan;842838208 said:

Wasn't Gray a big time recruit out of HS? Anderson and Jorge were big surprises to me and so was Sean Lampley


Yes, and he started out at uTenn before transferring to Cal thru Southern Idaho.
concordtom
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Biggest recruits:

Kidd
Brown
Shareef
Powe
Rabb

Biggest surprises:
Jorge
Randle
Gray
Anderson
Lampley


What d'ya think?
ncbears
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concordtom;842838250 said:

Biggest recruits:

Kidd
Brown
Shareef
Powe
Rabb

Biggest surprises:
Jorge
Randle
Gray
Anderson
Lampley


What d'ya think?


I think Jelani Gardner still gets no respect! He was a big recruit (since i think his official name was "Parade HS All American Jelani Gardner) and big surprise at poorly he played.
71Bear
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That is a nice "best of the 90's team"; however I thought the idea was identify an all-time Cal hoops team.
concordtom
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71Bear;842838304 said:

That is a nice "best of the 90's team"; however I thought the idea was identify an all-time Cal hoops team.


Well, I think we kinda ran the table on that, unless you wanna offer some more of your thoughts.
It's just a chat room, man - if people can post about worldwide golf and hottie threads, we can expand to all-time recruits.
concordtom
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ncbears;842838280 said:

I think Jelani Gardner still gets no respect! He was a big recruit (since i think his official name was "Parade HS All American Jelani Gardner) and big surprise at poorly he played.


Well, Ayinde Ubaka was Parade All-American, and I'd rather have him, so....


[video=youtube;WD6D4MXoYTA][/video]

Too bad I couldn't find the photo.
You know the one - tongue out, arm up with hand follow-thru.
71Bear
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I did offer my all-time team earlier in the thread.

I always find it laughable that so many people think sports did not exist prior to the 1980's. All-time means ALL-time. At least I thought so......
71Bear
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A joke... No Ridgle? No Chenier? Your list is sorely lacking....
concordtom
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71Bear;842838349 said:

I did offer my all-time team earlier in the thread.

I always find it laughable that so many people think sports did not exist prior to the 1980's. All-time means ALL-time. At least I thought so......


Dude.
You're a hater.
I have stated that it's hard for me to rank people I have never seen before.
And the reason for the thread was for people to share their opinions. I am not God. I do not dictate who is on this ALL-time team.
Please go check yourself and your attitude. I'm sorry you're having a bad day.
mbBear
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UrsaMajor;842837350 said:

I an see Yogi over Imhoff only because he had a far better NBA career (personally, I'd take Imhoff); I can also see Jorge over Ransom, maybe. But not over Chenier. Not sure Crabbe is a top-6 either. Really? Crabbe and Jorge over KJ (an NBA all-star)???


I just had a chance to circle back here...maybe this was a typo?? NBA shouldn't matter in this survey anyway, but:
Imhoff, 801 games, Stewart 286. Imhoff better in points and rebounds.
mbBear
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UrsaMajor;842837125 said:

Among Cal centers, Yogi and Kiwi had the 2 best NBA careers. Of course, I assume this thread is about how they played at Cal...


This isn't accurate. As I posted above, Imhoff's career was much better than the other two. Stewart and McNamara were mirror images professionally. Marks would trail all 3 in games played...slightly worse than Stewart and McNamara stat-wise.
Also-Imhoff had a major presence on some great Laker teams.
UrsaMajor
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And Marquis Johnson yelling, "Ubaka! Yaka!" (still can't stand Marquis)
concordtom
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UrsaMajor;842838400 said:

And Marquis Johnson yelling, "Ubaka! Yaka!" (still can't stand Marquis)


I miss him, the Yaka, and all the references to the great players who came out of various LA high schools, like Fairfax and their coach Harvey Kitani.... (okay, joking, I don't miss the high school chatter - unless he expanded beyond LA)
71Bear
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Therefore, if you can't rate guys you never saw, you need to qualify your team as "the best in the last x number of years" rather than all-time. Believe it or not, Cal was playing basketball before either of us was born. Just because we weren't here doesn't mean those years should be ignored.

Sigh. I guess you weren't a history major. Oh well.......
concordtom
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71Bear;842838461 said:

Therefore, if you can't rate guys you never saw, you need to qualify your team as "the best in the last x number of years" rather than all-time. Believe it or not, Cal was playing basketball before either of us was born. Just because we weren't here doesn't mean those years should be ignored.

Sigh. I guess you weren't a history major. Oh well.......


Hatters gonna hat. Oh well.......
HearstMining
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How about George Raveling with his "Abdur Raheeeeeeeeeeeem!"
concordtom
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HearstMining;842838738 said:

How about George Raveling with his "Abdur Raheeeeeeeeeeeem!"


Raveling never played at Cal and so is not eligible for being part of any of these dream teams. :p
SFCityBear
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concordtom;842837510 said:

2. You seriously cannot rely upon much that Wilt says. If you think that he could score 75 in today's game, then, well, I don't know where to go with that. I simply disagree.


Of course I can rely on what Wilt says about basketball. He forgot more basketball than you and I will ever know. In his life, he did more, held more individual records than any players before or since. He knew himself and what he could do better than anyone else knew him. He went out one season to average 50 points, and he did that. He led the world in rebounds. One season, sportswriters said he was not a team player, so he announced that he would lead the NBA in assists that year. He then went out and did lead the NBA in assists. Many years later when Wilt was about 50 years old, Magic Johnson became HIV positive, and formed a team of NBA stars to barnstorming, playing games around the country, and Wilt joined the team for a while. In one game, he did not play in the first half, and the game turned into a racehorse fast-break game with no defense and lots of scoring. Magic put Wilt into the game to start the second half, and Wilt promptly announced, "There will be no more lay-ups in this gym," and he went on to completely shut down the other team's fast break, not allowing a single layup for the rest of the game. If Wilt said something about basketball, I'd believe it. As for the 20,000 women, well, we were all great lovers, according to us.

Quote:

3. Guarding Steph: Certainly, Curry is not the fastest or strongest guard around - either today or by alltime standards. But what Steph has is the best long range shot of anyone ever AND a team of long range shooters where the court is spread, which allows him to operate as a pretty damn good guard in the open court. I'll agree with the Big O if you draw Curry's range in 5 feet, and also pull in the spacing of his Warrior teammates. Then he becomes more average.


I remember Oscar saying he would pick up Curry in the backcourt, get up in his face, and harass him all the way up the floor. Now when Oscar played, carrying the ball was illegal, so Oscar has not played against a player very skilled at doing that. Curry, and all dribblers today, would have that advantage on Oscar, plus Oscar would not be allowed to hand-check. On the other hand, Curry hasn't seen many, if any, individual defenders of the caliber of an Oscar Robertson. I would buy a ticket to a game just to watch Oscar guard Curry and see what happens.

Quote:

5. I don't think I've ever seen a faster player than Russell Westbrook. Good luck, Jim Barnett.


Same comment. Westbrook has great speed, but speed only means something if you can fake the defender out in the first place and get by him. Quick is what counts. Barnett was very quick. I think K.C.Jones was quicker. He could get up inside your jersey and anticipate which way you were going to go. I'd pay to see K.C. guard Westbrook. Better yet, Jason Kidd guarding Westbrook. They must have played head to head, but Kidd was nearing the end of his long career when Westbrook came into the NBA.
Nastybear
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Wow, forgot about Jelani Gardner. What a huge disappointment he was.

Stud on his Cal team was Tremaine Fowlkes. Ended up transferring too if I recall. Got a car out of Bozeman I think.
sp4149
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Not much love for a really great little guy. I saw him many times at Cal and he wasn't close to 6'0";
but he didn't care. He had a no-arc jump shot from the top of the key, quick and pretty much on it's way down
when it left his hands. He was deadly with that shot in the NBA when the Ws won that championship back in
1975. Could possibly be the toughest pound for pound player in Cal Basketball history. He played defense and
ran the team and could score when needed (he scored 1000 points in three years at the University of California,
Berkeley). The complete package who died way too young ten years ago.
Nastybear
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No mention of Geno Carlisle, the self-proclaimed second best player from Chicago during the Michael Jordan era. LOL!
SFCityBear
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ncbears;842838280 said:

I think Jelani Gardner still gets no respect! He was a big recruit (since i think his official name was "Parade HS All American Jelani Gardner) and big surprise at poorly he played.


Not totally fair. The kid was ill when he played at Cal, and later revealed he often felt tired. He had a decent season in 1995 as a freshman, scoring 11 points, led the team with 6.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. Gardner then took the NBA pre-Draft physical and was diagnosed with kidney disease. He returned to Cal, played a year, not as well as 1995, and transferred to Pepperdine, where he did have two decent years. He turned pro, played in France, but then in 2002 had to have a kidney transplant, and retired from basketball.

If Wyking Jones can find a point guard who can give him 6.5 assists per game like Gardner, he should sign him right away. I don't think anyone has done that at Cal other than Jason Kidd. The tragedy of Gardner was his illness, and his parents taking money from Todd Bozeman, sending the Cal program onto NCAA probation.
SFCityBear
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concordtom;842837509 said:

I don't think I can create the correct intonation with just 26 letters, but, "Daaa'aaaaammmm!"

Dude, you are simply so wrong in your assessment of me. I do not have "An Agenda". That's laughable. I particularly do not have "An Agenda" which aims to insult older players, coaches, fans. Please tell me, what would I stand to gain by having such an agenda? Why would I bother with said alleged agenda?

I start all-time threads because they are fun. That's all. That's my agenda. Enjoyment of the sport, reliving memories in my mind.
I appreciate reading other people's posts, including yours, describing players that I did not get to see play, extolling their virtues. It's fun. I'm a fan, just like you.

One good thing has come from your long post, and that's that you offered plenty of opinion and fact from your era, which was the whole point.
Thank you!


OK, ConcordTom, if you say so. It sure seemed to me that you were trying to put down an earlier generation of Cal players. If not, then please accept my apology.

So I will play with you. Here is my all-time list of Cal players, by position, with the best player listed first, in descending order, IMO. There are a lot of players I left out. No offense meant. Either I forgot about them, or thought these guys were better.

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Charlie Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Gene Ransom, Jerome Randle, Justin Cobbs

Shooting Guard: Rusty Critchfield, Ed Gray, Phil Chenier, Bob Matheny, Denny Fitzpatrick, Jorge Gutierrez

Small Forward: Jackie Ridgle, Lamond Murray, Larry Friend, Allen Crabbe, Dan Wolthers

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, John Coughran, Sean Lampley

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Mark McNamara, Bob McKeen, Ansley Truitt, Leonard Taylor, Bob Presley


And my all-time Cal defensive team:

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Al Buch, Bernie Simpson, Charlie Johnson, Gene Ransom, Prentice McGruder

Shooting Guard: Jorge Gutierrez, Bob Matheny, Rusty Critchfield, Thomas Kilgore

Small Forward: Bob Dalton, Tandy Gillis

Power Forward: Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, Al Grigsby

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Bob Presley, Yogi Stewart, Don McIntosh


All of this is IMO, and subject to change in the future.
UrsaMajor
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SFCityBear;842840835 said:

OK, ConcordTom, if you say so. It sure seemed to me that you were trying to put down an earlier generation of Cal players. If not, then please accept my apology.

So I will play with you. Here is my all-time list of Cal players, by position, with the best player listed first, in descending order, IMO. There are a lot of players I left out. No offense meant. Either I forgot about them, or thought these guys were better.

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Charlie Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Gene Ransom, Jerome Randle, Justin Cobbs

Shooting Guard: Rusty Critchfield, Ed Gray, Phil Chenier, Bob Matheny, Denny Fitzpatrick, Jorge Gutierrez

Small Forward: Jackie Ridgle, Lamond Murray, Larry Friend, Allen Crabbe, Dan Wolthers

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, John Coughran, Sean Lampley

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Mark McNamara, Bob McKeen, Ansley Truitt, Leonard Taylor


And my all-time Cal defensive team:

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Al Buch, Bernie Simpson, Charlie Johnson, Gene Ransom, Prentice McGruder

Shooting Guard: Jorge Gutierrez, Bob Matheny, Rusty Critchfield, Thomas Kilgore

Small Forward: Bob Dalton, Tandy Gillis

Power Forward: Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, Al Grigsby

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Bob Presley, Yogi Stewart, Don McIntosh


All of this is IMO, and subject to change in the future.


Interesting list SFCity. Where I would do it differently is that the assignment of positions to players post-1990 is kind of arbitrary. For instance, Shareef probably played more of a small forward's game, and Crabbe, Gray, etc. were wings--there wasn't much distinction between 3's and 2's. I would also put KJ ahead of Charlie, but that's pretty picky.
concordtom
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Yes, that's a great collection, SFC!
Thanks.
Regarding the comparison between players of 50 years ago vs players of today... I guess that would be 1967 to 2017, just to pick a year, but go ahead and pick any year you like.... I seem to be saying that the average player today is better than the average player from then. I gave rationale for that belief, and so did you. So, do you think that the middle of the Pac team would beat the middle of the Pac team today?

I got into a discussion with another dad regarding a draft for an all-time nba greats team during a swim meet Saturday (lots of time to kill at those) and he asked what era of rules we were playing under. I suppose that's a fair question. Anyways.... Nice list of players there, SFC.
Jeff82
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SFCityBear;842840835 said:

OK, ConcordTom, if you say so. It sure seemed to me that you were trying to put down an earlier generation of Cal players. If not, then please accept my apology.

So I will play with you. Here is my all-time list of Cal players, by position, with the best player listed first, in descending order, IMO. There are a lot of players I left out. No offense meant. Either I forgot about them, or thought these guys were better.

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Charlie Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Gene Ransom, Jerome Randle, Justin Cobbs

Shooting Guard: Rusty Critchfield, Ed Gray, Phil Chenier, Bob Matheny, Denny Fitzpatrick, Jorge Gutierrez

Small Forward: Jackie Ridgle, Lamond Murray, Larry Friend, Allen Crabbe, Dan Wolthers

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, John Coughran, Sean Lampley

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Mark McNamara, Bob McKeen, Ansley Truitt, Leonard Taylor


And my all-time Cal defensive team:

Point Guard: Jason Kidd, Al Buch, Bernie Simpson, Charlie Johnson, Gene Ransom, Prentice McGruder

Shooting Guard: Jorge Gutierrez, Bob Matheny, Rusty Critchfield, Thomas Kilgore

Small Forward: Bob Dalton, Tandy Gillis

Power Forward: Leon Powe, Brian Hendricks, Al Grigsby

Center: Darrall Imhoff, Bob Presley, Yogi Stewart, Don McIntosh


All of this is IMO, and subject to change in the future.


I would add Bob McKeen and Bob Presley at center, and Sean Lampley at one of the forward spots. Hard to leave off two guys who were once the all-time leading scorers, and Presley was fairly dominating in the middle when he played.
SFCityBear
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UrsaMajor;842840974 said:

Interesting list SFCity. Where I would do it differently is that the assignment of positions to players post-1990 is kind of arbitrary. For instance, Shareef probably played more of a small forward's game, and Crabbe, Gray, etc. were wings--there wasn't much distinction between 3's and 2's. I would also put KJ ahead of Charlie, but that's pretty picky.


With all due respect, I didn't see Shareef's game in college as that of a small forward. He was a mostly a back-to-the-basket player, and it put me to sleep watching the Cal team clear out and four of them would move to the right side of the court, and on the left side, let Shareef work on his defender, one-on-one, jockeying back and forth with his dribble, inching ever closer to the basket, and finally turning and scoring. He also had a mid-range jump shot, but took only one three-pointer every third game. He was a fine rebounder, at 8.4 per game. All that is power forward stuff to me. He played like a center on that Cal team. I put Shareef high on the list out of respect to what most fans like, and he did put up great individual numbers, but the Cal team was much better the following season, when more players could share in the offense.

I agree with you that the positions are arbitrary. The position of point guard did not exist in the 1940s or 1950s, and it seems like we have come full circle to where most guards today are combo guards, and there is no one player directing traffic and tempo on many teams, and plays are made by both guards. It depends on personnel. There were some teams in the 1960s who had a guard who was a playmaker, and shot very seldom, and another guard who did not run plays, but was a scorer. But they were both listed as just "guards". Many teams had two guards who could do both. At UCLA, who was the point guard, Hazzard or Goodrich? At Cal, was it CJ or Chenier? There were no distinctions in the 1960s for small forward and power forward, and now we are closing the gap as well, and the lines are blurred. Usually, teams had a forward with a bigger body, and another forward who was a skilled scorer, but often times, both forwards were bruisers or both were mostly scorers. It seems like basketball is moving in that direction again, with combo forwards, who can do it all.

I put CJ ahead of KJ, but it is not picky to have the opposite view. I think you would be in the majority. KJ put up better numbers and could do more things, perhaps, than CJ. But CJ did a lot of little things that don't show up in a box score. Phil Chenier once said that CJ "taught me so much about playing defense." KJ put up terrific numbers and had a longer career in the NBA, but CJ has two rings, while KJ has none. CJ was a starting guard on two NBA championship teams, the 1975 Warriors and the 1978 Bullets. At Cal, KJ's teams were better than CJ's, but with a coach like Padgett, there was not much any of the players could do to make Padgett's teams better, IMO.
Jeff82
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UrsaMajor;842840974 said:

Interesting list SFCity. Where I would do it differently is that the assignment of positions to players post-1990 is kind of arbitrary. For instance, Shareef probably played more of a small forward's game, and Crabbe, Gray, etc. were wings--there wasn't much distinction between 3's and 2's. I would also put KJ ahead of Charlie, but that's pretty picky.


Correct. I would say that the blending of 3s and 2s is a result of the three-point shot, which put more of a premium on wing shooters, particularly given the prevalence of even-man-out zone defenses (2-3, 2-1-2) in the college game. Strategically, if the defense has two men out front on the zone, the offense puts three out to try and take advantage of the gaps. Shareef is sort of an anomaly, in that he was so athletic that he played both facing and posting up his man, depending on the situation.
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