Junior Jorge Gutierrez, the starting point guard in Cal's exhibition opener Wednesday night, says he's unclear why coach Mike Montgomery has some reservations about using him there.
"When he talks about it I really don't understand what he's saying. I really don't," Gutierrez said this week. "I think I can still be the point guard and be as aggressive as I am. But he probably sees it different, so I don't know."
Everything went smoothly enough in the Bears' 106-76 victory over Division II Sonoma State -- at least until Gutierrez developed cramps in his right calf 90 seconds into the second half.
He did not play again, but when he was on the floor Gutierrez was Cal's best player, contributing 11 points and six assists and no turnovers in 18 minutes.
The Bears' five freshmen combined for 58 points, including 22 and 17, respectively, by shooting guards Allen Crabbe and Gary Franklin.
Montgomery's concern with Gutierrez is that by playing him at the point full time, he may not have the energy to play the type of ferocious defense that has been his hallmark the past two seasons.
"He can handle the position," Montgomery said Tuesday at Cal's media day. "We talked early on about not wanting to lose the intangibles that Jorge brings to the table. So far it looks like he's OK out there."
Montgomery said this week he hopes sophomore Brandon Smith can evolve into a capable backup point to Gutierrez. Smith played the entire second half after Gutierrez went out, totaling eight points and three assists.
Ben Washington, a senior guard from Newark Memorial High, led Sonoma State with 18 points, all of them in the first half.