Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:44 pm
By Matt Norlander
We have to start re-evaluating how long we consider proper rehab time should be for certain injuries. Used to be that something like an ACL tear meant, minimum, 12 months of recovery.
But Abdul Gaddy ripped apart his left knee in January. And he's now able to play, full-bore, on the basketball court. That's not even nine months away from the game he loves. What's more, Gaddy said he felt almost all the way back as early as June, but his expectations on a full clearance weren't high this soon before the start of the season.
"We were going into today (Wednesday) expecting to hear that I was going to have to gradually get back into action," Gaddy said through a school statement. "But [Dr. Wahl] was like 'No, you're good.' Coach Romar even asked that if we had two-a-days would I be able to go in both and he was said yes and that I was good to go. ... They pretty much told me it's like I have never gotten hurt now."
Great for Gaddy, even better for modern medicine and physical therapy. Gaddy was cleared to come back when the school announced its point guard's return to action Wednesday. Soon thereafter he was already busy getting back into form by going at it with locked-out NBAers Spencer Hawes (a former Husky) and Nick Collison (who used to play in Seattle, with the Sonics).
"We're very excited for Abdul," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement. "He did a great job of listening and working with the trainers and doctors. Pat Jenkins did a fantastic job of working him and bringing him along at the right pace. We're ecstatic to have him back 100 percent."
Gaddy's a positive force with a lot of potential and someone who'll be key for Washington this year. The junior guard recently took to Twitter to prove his work ethic's worth, writing that he'd set himself a goal of making 18,000 shots. The humble piece of paper and simple arithmetic was a nice touch. Gaddy was shooting 40 percent from 3-point range prior to his injury last season.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 7:35 am
In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.
By Jeff Goodman
It was simple for Cal's Mike Montgomery.
"It wasn't any more complex as I'd never been there before," Montgomery said.
And that's why the Bears played five games in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Montgomery said that if his team stays healthy, he doesn't see any reason why Cal can't contend for the Pac-12 crown this season.
"I expect us to have an opportunity to compete for it," Montgomery said shortly after returning from the trip.
What Montgomery learned: "We've got a long way to go fundamentally. We've got some talented kids, but sometimes you take it for granted. They just aren't there yet."
What/who impressed him the most: "It was a mixed bag. Allen (Crabbe) shot the ball well the first game, then disappeared. Richard Solomon played well the second game, then got hurt. Freshman David Kravish really knows how to play and seemed to be at the right place at the right time. It looks like he'll be able to help. Also, Robert Thurman was much more consistent and has really really improved - especially his knowledge of the game."
What his concerns are: "We've got to stay healthy. Jorge missed three games and we're a different team - night and day - when he's on the court. We need both him and Harper to be healthy."
- Bak Bak didn't make the trip because he had visa issues getting back to the country and arrived just days before the team left. Bak hails from the Sudan, but was arriving from Kenya. "I didn't want to risk it," Montgomery said. Montgomery said that Bak needs to make a step forward in his third year with the program and be more physical.
- Jorge Gutierrez sprained his ankle on the final day of practice and missed the first three games before playing the final two.
- Richard Solomon missed the final two games after suffering a minor eye injury.
- Harper Kamp, who has battled knee injuries for the past couple years, played two games because his knee was "acting up."
- Montgomery said Crabbe needs to be more aggressive and not just settle for the perimeter shot.
- Montgomery needs to be able to utilize his bench so that guys like Gutierrez and Kamp don't wear down late in games - and late in the season.
- Montgomery is hopeful that guards Emerson Murray, a sophomore, and freshman guard Alex Rossi can give the Bears quality minutes to give the team some depth in the backcourt behind the four core guards: Gutierrez, Crabbe, Brandon Smith and Justin Cobbs. Rossi, a skilled freshman, is still getting back to 100 percent after dealing with a sports hernia. "It's a tough injury. His body is still behind," Montgomery said. Murray, known for his athleticism, had a plate removed from his foot over the summer.
- It sounds as though Solomon, who was cut from the U-19 U.S Team earlier this summer, received a dose of humility. "He does a lot of flashy things," Montgomery said. "He needs to do more of the day-to-day things."
- Smith and Cobbs will likely share the role of running the team. Smith brings toughness and a stabilizing influence to the table while Cobbs may have more talent, but isn't quite as disciplined as Smith right now. "We can play them together, also," Montgomery said. "Cobbs can play some two."
- Montgomery will be smart with Kamp. "We can't run him into the ground in practice," he said. "We just can't do it. He's going to need some time off because we're going to need him on the court."
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 7:37 am
By Jeff Goodman
My fellow Arizona alums didn't want me anywhere near campus last year. I was the skeptic, the one who had the Wildcats ranked lower than any other AP voter, the one who just never believed in the cast surrounding Derrick Williams.
Now it's time to attempt to get back on the good side of my fellow alums.
Arizona will contend for the national title in 2012.
With the recent news that elite forward Brandon Ashley decided to commit to Arizona over Oregon and Kentucky on Monday, Miller has done the unthinkable.
He's taken Arizona from one of the most unstable programs in the nation just a few years ago back to where it's again a legitimate national power.
Check out this potential core group in 2012:
Point Guard - Josiah Turner, Jordin Mayes
Shooting Guard - Nick Johnson, Gabe York
Small Forward - Kevin Parrom, Solomon Hill
Power Forward - Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett
Center - Angelo Chol, Sidiki Johnson
And if Arizona can somehow beat out Kansas for 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, the Wildcats could be the favorites to win it all in 2012.
Even without Tarczewski, this will be a team capable of cutting down the nets. However, with him, they could be like the Wildcats of the old days, the ones that were loaded with future NBA'ers.
What Miller - who had absolutely no recruiting ties to the west coast - has done in his two years in Tucson has truly been remarkable. Not only is he a proven coach from his days at Xavier, but he showed he can get the most of his talent with the Elite Eight run a year ago.
He's also showcasing he can be an elite recruiter.
Miller's buddy, John Calipari, dug in on Ashley and came up short. Oregon has Nike backing and lost out to Arizona.
I was a skeptic a year ago.
That's no longer the case.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:41 pm
By Jeff Goodman
I graduated from a Pac-12 school, but it's still going to take me a while before I don't keep saying Pac-10. Anyway, here's the Pac-12 Offseason Report.
Pac-12 Offseason Report
Arizona – Archie Miller left to become the head coach at Dayton and was replaced by Joe Pasternak, who was previously the head coach at New Orleans. The Wildcats will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer and also have non-league games against San Diego State (11-23), at Florida (12-7), at Clemson (12-10) at Gonzaga (12-17 in Seattle). Lamont “Momo” Jones (Iona) and Daniel Berejano (Colorado State) both transferred out of the program.
Arizona State – The Sun Devils will play in the Old Spice Classic in Florida and have non-league games against New Mexico (11-18), at Tulsa (12-3) and against Nevada (12-7). Brandon Dunson (Azusa Pacific) and Corey Hawkins (UC Davis) both transferred out while Sendek & Co. added Eric Gordon’s brother, Evan, from Liberty.
California – The Bears will play in the CBE Classic in Kansas City and also have non-conference dates at San Diego State (12-3) and at UNLV (12-23). Mike Montgomery’s team will also travel to Sweden, Norway and Denmark from Aug. 12-22. Justin Cobbs is eligible this season after sitting out last season following a transfer from Minnesota.
Colorado – Tad Boyle & Co. will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (11-17/20) and also has non-league games set against Georgia (11-28), at Colorado State (11-30) and against Fresno (12-7). Carlon Brown (Utah) is eligible this year after sitting out last season.
Oregon – The Ducks will go to Italy from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. Dana Altman’s team will also host a four-team event from Dec. 20-22 that includes N.C. Central, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin and also play Virginia on Dec. 18. Three players left the program: Malcolm Armstead (Wichita State), Martin Seiferth (Eastern Washington) and Teondre Williams (Clayton State) while Olu Ashaolu (Louisiana Tech) came in and will be eligible to play this season and Tony Woods also decided to transfer to Eugene.
Oregon State – The Beavers will play in the Legends Classic and don’t have any big-time non-league games. Eric Moreland is eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from UTEP.
Stanford – Johnny Dawkins and his team will go to Spain from Sept. 3-14. Charles Payne was promoted to an assistant spot and replaces Rodney Tention (San Diego). The Cardinal will play in the Preseason NIT and also have non-league games against N.C. State (12-4) and against Butler (12-23).
UCLA – Scott Duncan left to join friend Larry Shatt’s staff at Wyoming and was replaced by former Atlanta Celtics summer coach Korey McCray. Ben Howland’s team will play in the Maui Invitational and also has non-conference contests against Texas (12-3), vs. Richmond (12-23) and at St. John’s (2-18). Larry Drew (North Carolina) transferred into the program and will sit out while two more former Tar Heels – David and Travis Wear – are eligible this season.
USC – The Trojans will take a trip to Brazil from Aug. 12-21. Ryan Hannick is out as the director of basketball operations and has been replaced by Jamal Bode, Kevin O’Neill’s former manager at Arizona. O’Neill & Co. will play in the Las Vegas Invitational (11-25/26) and the Trojans will also play at Minnesota (12-3), New Mexico at home (12-10), Georgia at home (12-17) and Kansas at home (12-22) in the non-league slate. Bryce Jones (UNLV) left the program while Ari Stewart (Wake Forest) and Eric Wise (UC Irvine) both transferred in. Aaron Fuller (Iowa) is eligible this season after sitting out last year.
Utah – New coach Larry Krystkowiak put together a staff of Tommy Connor, DeMarlo Slocum, Andy Hill and Norm Parrish (director of basketball operations). The Utes will play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and also have non-league games at Fresno (12-3), vs. BYU (12-10) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (12-7). Utah has added Glen Dean (Eastern Washington) and Aaron Dotson (LSU) while Will Clyburn (Iowa State) and J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State) left the program.
Washington – The Huskies are hosting an event with Florida Atlantic, Georgia State and Portland and will also play in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 6 against Marquette in NYC. Lorenzo Romar’s team will also play at Saint Louis (11-20), at Nevada (12-2) and against Duke at Madison Square Garden (12-10).
Washington State – Ken Bone’s team will play in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and also against Pepperdine in the Cougar Hardwood Classic on Dec. 22 in Seattle. The Cougars will also face Gonzaga on Nov. 14 on the road. Andre Winston (Portland State) left while Royce Woolridge (Kansas) transferred into the program. Mike Ladd (Fresno) is eligible after sitting out last year.
Offseason reports: Big 12
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:30 am
By Matt Norlander
On Wednesday, the Pac-12 made an announcement, its latest, that will change the way we see the conference.
For so long, the previously labeled Pac-10 was an odd entity to itself. A West Coast black sheep. In a way, its fans embraced that label; consider it the goth chick from high school who didn't give a damn. Its basketball was considered inferior and largely discounted -- dumb as that was -- because so many people rarely saw most, if any, of the league's games.
Soft hoop in a conference that was bereft of pros (Ben Howland's teams excluded). Again, to a definable extent, misguided and wrong, but the perception, nonetheless. Perceptions and reputations, mainly because they're earned in an honest way, are hard to overcome.
Going forward, the former excuse and train of thought won't be viable. The Pac-12 isn't going to be a ship in the night you can't see, a group of teams you only hear about up until March. The league is setting up a Pac-12 Network that will be national, and in addition to that -- this is where you really realize it's serious, and that the league is banking on ridiculously high revenue streams -- there will be six regional networks airing league games. This goes well beyond football and basketball. But we're a basketball blog, so we'll concentrate on that. The tentacles for these regional networks will only reach across the West Coast and Mountain time zones.
(As an aside, the Northeast, as much as it may not care, needs to have access to all games; it's almost as though, without Boston, New York and D.C. having the ability to see these games, then what's the point? These are major media markets and they must be catered to if the Pac-12 wants to bolster its reputation.)
The vision and ability to create such a network is going to be huge for the league. With the addition of Colorado and Utah, the conference also has the benefit of literal expansion. They've moved into the mountains and added a time zone. With more exposure for the teams, you don't think this will drive public opinion?
Go knock on the Big East's door and asks how it feels about having 16 teams and getting more airtime than any other conference. Then check the league's NCAA tournament appearance the past five years. The Pac-12 can't and won't become the Big East, but it can remove itself from what the Pac-10 was. I've already written about the upside Larry Scott and the conference has with the potential digital media integration. But nothing -- nothing, nothing, nothing -- is as powerful for a college program or a league as television exposure. The Pac-12 now not only has that, it has control of it, too. Any game that doesn't receive broadcast from a national network will be put on the Pac-12's signal.
Here's some more information on what's in store:
[The Pac-12 will work] in conjunction with the nation's largest cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks.That's big. There are other facets to this, like broadcast of Olympic sports (which will be cool), but the league is doing this to generate football money, naturally. Basketball's there to reap the rewards, hopefully, and expand the conference's reach and reputation. The whole undertaking is big, innovative and seems fairly gamble-free.
The teams are getting the stage and light to show themselves. When the time comes in 2012, it will be on them to make us want to watch. And if the league's good, we will. Sports fans almost never turn down competitive, high-level athletic television product.
Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:01 am
By Matt Norlander
The Pac-10 officially transformed into the Pac-12 Friday, when Colorado and Utah came aboard, beginning a new era in West Coast intercollegiate athletics.
And from the get-go, it's looking like the Pac-12 is going to be a trailblazer in the ways it goes about expanding its brand and making the conference available through a number of mediums, many of them unprecedented and wide-ranging.
In today's era of social media, insta-news and easy access to so many videos, articles, reaction, opinion, etc., it only makes sense for conferences to pair themselves with gigantic, well-known suppliers of that kind of digital media. In less than five years fans will be able to watch streaming, crystal-clear games from their smartphones.
Why not be ahead of the game, then?
There are talks and ideas with the conference right now that revolve around getting Apple or Google involved and using either one of those technology supergiantpowers to help expand the conference's reach, a deal that would tie into the Pac-12 Network, another fledgling enterprise birthed out of the new 12-team league. The impetus to team up with Google or Apple (and I wonder how competitive those talks will get) makes sense, as both companies are based out of California and have global -- not national -- appeal and familiarity.
It's revolutionary and could put the Pac-12 miles and miles beyond what any other conference is doing/has done in terms of corporate affiliation (in a digital sense, at the very least).
There's also a more tangible issue on the table: where to host the Pac-12 basketball tournament. It will be held in the Staples Center next March, but beyond that, it's looking like the conference will move out of Los Angeles and look to play the league's end-of-season tournament in a different arena. Makes sense to do this -- anyone who follows college hoop knows the Pac-10's tournament was the worst-attended one of any of the BCS conferences over the past decade.
So where's it going to be? And could many cities rotate? That's all on the table right now, apparently. Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, the Bay Area, Phoenix -- they're all in play, and others could be as well. There will be a new contract to be drawn up in time; it's unclear when the Pac-12 will decide which model it's going to use for hosting the tournament. Could it be a three-city, three-year contract and then it goes from there? Possibly. With more markets and more teams to tap into, it'd behoove the Pac-12 to hit three spots in three distinct areas of the conference. I'd suggest Seattle, Denver and Phoenix to start with.
Regardless, despite its relative lack of competitiveness at the top of basketball in recent years, no conference has brighter horizons, all things considered, than the newly branded Pac-12. Options are aplenty, and the conference is making realignment look like the shrewdest business decision its ever made, easily.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 11:58 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
The Church of Latter Day Saints comes in for a lot of ribbing these days. There's the BYU honor code scrap from this past winter, and a hit Broadway musical from the creators of South Park. Those of us who aren't members of the church don't understand the strictures believers willingly adhere to, so they seem like fair game to make light of.
One of those strictures is the requirement that young church members travel to perform a religious mission. It's the reason players for Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State, etc. are often older than their peers - they leave and come back to continue their playing careers.
Apparently, there's an unwritten rule that players on Mormon missions cannot be recruited by other programs. Utah - on its way to the Pac-12 - is accusing Brigham Young - on its way to the WCC - of violating that rule. 6-foot-7 forward Josh Sharp is a Utah signee who has been away for two years. He's enrolled in summer classes at BYU while still on his sojurn, though BYU has not officially signed him, and can't comment on his status as a result.
Here's a statement from new Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak (right), as cited in the Salt Lake City Tribune:
"We want Josh to be a part of our program and are disappointed that rival schools can take advantage of a loophole in the system should they choose," Krystkowiak said in the statement last week. "Josh attended classes here for a year, signed an NLI and financial aid agreement [but not simultaneously], and we want him to continue his education and playing career here. It is my understanding that there is an unwritten rule that players cannot be recruited by other schools while they are serving missions. To do so is not only inappropriate, but it creates an atmosphere of ill will."
The Tribune article is careful to note that there is no evidence clarifying whether Sharp contacted BYU of his own accord or was "recruited" by the school while he was away. However it happened, though, the in-state rivalry seems primed to bubble away in perpetuity, even as the two schools drift in opposite directions on the currents of conference realignment.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 5:13 pm
It may still feel like the Final Four just ended, but for most schools, the offseason is now more than two months old. With that in mind, all of us at the blog are going to take this week to give you what we’re calling “Conference Catch-Ups.” The motive is to recap the biggest storylines in college basketball’s offseason so far, plus keep your appetite whetted in what is the longest offseason in major American sports.
Twelve to tango: It’s the Pac-12 now, which might take some getting used to. At least it’s numerically correct, unlike the 10-member Big 12 and the 12-member Big Ten. In adding Utah from the Mountain West, the Pac-12 has brought aboard a once-dominant squad (The Utes reached the Sweet 16 in 2005 and the final game in 1998) that has fallen on hard times. Head coach Jim Boylen was jettisoned after a second straight losing season, and former Montana and NBA head coach Larry Krystkowiak was brought on board. Colorado, despite finishing out of the running in their final season in the Big 12, comes in with a lot of momentum, most of it attached to the person of second-year head man Tad Boyle, a Colorado native who calls the Buffs his “dream job”. Both squads may start out rough, but a change of scenery might do them good.
It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there: The Pac-12 still gets its share of top players, but stars continue to leave after spending just a year or two out West. This season saw the departures of Derrick Williams (Arizona), Alec Burks (Colorado), Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto (Washington State), Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Nikola Vucevic (USC) and Isaiah Thomas (Washington). Even Colorado’s Ryan Kelly and Jeremy Green of Stanford took the plunge, though neither has any real chance of getting the call.
Miller puts down roots in the desert: Who can blame the players for wanting to leave when the coaches are burning up the revolving door? With more than half the league’s head men logging less than five years at their respective jobs, sticking around almost seems like a bad career move. That didn’t stop Sean Miller from turning down overtures from just about every other power conference in the nation this spring. He flirted more heavily with Maryland than with anyone else, but eventually accepted an extension to stay in Tucson. It’s sunny there, and he just came off of an Elite Eight appearance. Sounds like a pretty good deal, no?
The Great Unknown
Can this conference recover? Ben Howland’s teams made the Final Four (or better) in every year from 2006 to 2008. Then success bred failure as all of the program’s most talented players jetted off to the golden shores of the NBA long before their eligibility could expire. The league is still reeling from frequent transfers, as well. The strongest programs right now look to be Arizona, Washington and, with more talent on the way, UCLA again. In fact, had the Wildcats broken through to the final weekend this past March, would we even be asking this question?
NBA Draft report
As pointed out above, half the darn league seems to be out the door each season. The superstar out of this bunch is Williams, who has the athleticism and size to throw down some nasty inside dunks, paired with a sweet outside stroke that keeps opponents whirling. Toss in a tendency to make the big, sometimes game-winning play on offense and defense and you’ve got an easy lottery pick.
Alec Burks, who played his career in the Big 12, is considered to be a likely first-rounder, as are Klay Thompson and Tyler Honeycutt. Big man Nikola Vucevic looks like a high second rounder, and everything else is a crapshoot. It would be one thing if all those players left for obvious gain, but so many of them are unlikely to see their dreams come true.
--Glen Dean (from Eastern Washington to Utah)
--Aaron Dotson (from LSU to Utah)
--Evan Gordon (from Liberty to Arizona State)
--Malcolm Armstead (from Oregon)
--Teondre Williams (from Oregon)
--Daniel Berejano (from Arizona to Nevada)
--Will Clyburn (from Utah to Iowa State)
Team commentary in 20 words or Less
Arizona: The Derrick and MoMo show is no more, but Miller is staying put. Wildcats rebuilt fast, however, and look good to go under Sean Miller.
Arizona State: Herb Sendek is playing small-ball with guys who can’t shoot straight. Will freshman PG Jahii Carson be able to turn the bus?
Cal: The Bears struggled with a wet-behind-the-ears starting lineup, but all that teaching time could pay off this year.
Colorado: The Buffs have a couple of decent young players, a hot head coach and a little momentum going into their new digs. With little certainty at the top of the Pac-12, they could have opportunities.
Oregon: Dana Altman proved he can coach by building a CBI championship team out of E.J. Singler and duct tape. Year two could be fun.
Oregon State: Craig Robinson is going to be up for re-election around the same time as his brother in law. Running mate Jared Cunningham could make the race exciting.
Stanford: Johnny Dawkins reeled in one of the best young point guards in the nation in Chasson Randle. Still looking for a reliable scorer with Jeremy Green gone.
UCLA: The Wear twins plus Josh Smith makes this a huge team, but the Bruins are still in need of a reliable point guard.
USC: The Trojans are losing Nikola Vucevic to the NBA and don’t look to have anything spectacular on the way in.
Washington: Top scorers Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning are gone, but the Huskies have a loaded freshman class coming in.
Washington State: Klay Thompson was a predictable loss, but the toughness of DeAngelo Casto will be missed as well. This team needs to find a new personality.
Utah: With a new head coach and transfers going in and out all over the place, this team is starting from scratch.