Gutierrez is the straw that stirs the Bears and seemingly has been for a good chunk of the past decade. He does few things great but everything well and might just be the peskiest defender in the Pac-12.
He can score, too, as well as orchestrate an offense better than most guards in the conference. Gutierrez is second on the Bears in both scoring (14.3 points per game) and assists (4.3) and leads the team in steals (1.3). The UW won’t really have to build its game plan around stopping Gutierrez, but you can be sure he’ll be doing his best to disrupt whatever that game plan proves to be.
The likely front-runner for Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, Crabbe is a dynamic scorer in the mold of Terrence Ross, although perhaps without Ross’ world-class athleticism. Crabbe leads the Bears in scoring (15.7 points per game) and does so efficiently, shooting 46 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range.
Like the Huskies, Cal is a largely guard-dominated club. It will be strength against strength in the backcourt. Duties of slowing down Crabbe will likely fall to some combination of Ross and, potentially, Hikeem Stewart.
Reach reporter Kevin Dowd at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kevindowd.
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