Should be OK ro post this article as it is not a writeup of todays game. Very good article, the dealing with Al Grigsby, who son is a star player for Seattle. Deals largely with the great teams and players for Cal in the 1990's. Grigsby was a very good player for Cal and has his name on a banner above Harmon. I forgot Cal star player Ed Gray got hurt and couldn't play in the 1997 NCAA tournament. Grigsby said he thought Cal would have won it if they had had Ed Gray. First time I've heard of that.

Cal Basketball: A Grigsby Returns to Berkeley - Al's Son Riley Leads Seattle U into Haas

Grigsby Compares Cal's 1993 and '97 Sweet 16 teams, and tells us which was better

Riley Grigsby, a junior forward for Seattle University, will get the chance to play on the floor his dad called home a quarter-century ago when the Redhawks visit Cal on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s definitely special,” Riley said.

If he wanders through the main foyer of Haas Pavilion, he’ll see Al Grigsby’s retired jersey No. 4 on display. Al played in old Harmon Gym, but the address is the same.

Al Grigsby, 47, is a proud dad. He says Riley is a better player than he was. Certainly he’s a different player.

While Al was a 6-foot-9, 235-pound old-school power forward, his son is a 6-6, 220-pound small forward. Riley leads the Redhawks with a 17.4 scoring average, and shoots 43 percent from the 3-point arc.

Riley is appreciative of the support his dad provided him as he developed his basketball skills. Dad let him establish his own hoops identity.

"He made it seem like it was about me now, not really about him.” Riley said in the video below. “He kept his stuff out of it.”

Al coached his son as a youngster and enjoys watching Riley continue to grow as a college player.

“He's finally understanding what it takes,” Al said. “He had to wait his turn. His time is here now and he’s taking advantage.”

Al Grigsby’s time was the 1990s. He was a top-30 national prospect out of Houston, part of an elite recruiting class that also included Lamond Murray, Monty Buckley, K.J. Roberts and Stevie Johnson.

A year later, Jason Kidd arrived on campus.

Injuries cost Grigsby large portions of three seasons, which bought him two medical redshirt years, giving him a total of six seasons at Cal. But in two of the seasons he stayed healthy -- 1992-93 and 1996-97 -- he helped the Bears advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.

Grigsby has the distinction of being the only Cal player since 1960 who can claim that.

Grigsby scored 11 points in the Bears’ win over LSU in the 1993 NCAA opener and contributed eight points to the second-round upset of two-time defending national champion Duke.

Four years later, he averaged 10.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in three tournament games before Cal lost to North Carolina in the regional semifinals.

Which team was better?

“The first Sweet 16,” Grigsby said, without hesitation, of the team coached by Todd Bozeman and powered by Kidd and Murray. “We had two NBA guys who had long careers in the NBA. Plus you had that supporting cast around them that were pretty good as well.

“Not taking anything away from the second Sweet 16 team, but I think from an overall talent standpoint that ('93 team) was better. But I think from a team standpoint, the ’97 Sweet 16 team was probably more of a team with regards to us not having the two NBA guys and we did it differently.

“We relied on Lamond and Jason for everything. That ’97 team it was all of us. It was not one standout guy. Even with Ed (Gray), he was our leading scorer but we all relied on each other to bring the different skills that we had. It morphed into something.”

When Gray -- the Pac-12's leading scorer -- broke his foot late in the year the Bears’ postseason prospects appeared to dim. But first-year coach Ben Braun guided a roster that also included Randy Duck, Michael Stewart, Sean Marks, Prentice McGruder, Anwar McQueen, Kenyon Jones . . . and future NFL Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to NCAA wins over Princeton and Villanova for another Sweet 16 berth.

The run ended with a 63-57 loss to a North Carolina team that featured Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison. Despite all the injuries, Grigsby finished his Cal career with 858 points and 565 rebounds, playing 102 games.

He would have liked to play at least one more.

“It hurt not having Ed playing that Sweet 16 because I think we would have won,” Grigsby said. “We were doing a good job against North Carolina, but we just couldn’t score.

“We were great defensively, we just couldn’t score at times. That’s what Ed brought — that ability to score anytime.”

Expand full comment

Brown with a couple of 3's down the stretch. Who would have thought that?? Good job, mate.

Expand full comment