I did my game preview a little different today, writing about Cal senior guard Jorge Gutierrez. It was pretty easy because he’s so respected among opposing coaches and players.
When opposing fans talk about Gutierrez, they mutter, “How long has that guy been in school? 10 years?”
“I feel like he’s never leaving,” Washington sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox said. “I was surprised that he was back for another year. It seems like he’s been there forever.”
Even opposing players refer to him as “that guy.”
“He’s that guy you hate to play against, but would love to have on your team,” UW junior guard Abdul Gaddy said.
“That guy” will lead the Pacific-12 Conference co-leading California Bears into Alaska Airlines Arena today for a key conference showdown.
Gutierrez’s numbers aren’t gaudy. He ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 14.3 points per game and fifth in assists at 4.3 per game. He also pulls down 4.8 rebounds per game and picks 1.8 steals per game.
Yet he’s still considered a Pac-12 player of the year candidate. If you add up the numbers, plus the little things he does, you get a player opposing coaches love and hate.
“He plays so hard, he plays so competitive, he’s one of the greatest warriors this league has ever had,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I didn’t say greatest player.
“But it terms of being a competitor and a warrior, wow, he’s just impressive.”
Here’s Tim Booth’s game preview …
Here’s Jeff Faraudo’s game preview from the Bay Area News Groups