Category:NCAAB
Posted on: October 27, 2009 2:55 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2009 10:26 am
 

PAC-10 Preview

Despite the prognostications that the PAC-10 would have down years, six teams have received NCAA Tournament bids in each of the past two seasons, including three Sweet-16 finishes and one Final Four.

But thanks to a mass exodus of talent (27 NBA draftees in three seasons) has the four-season streak of 60% of the conference in the NCAA Tournament in jeopardy, and appears that the pundits prognostications will prove that the third time truly is a charm.

The biggest reason why the PAC-10 could have a down year is because of their youth and lack of quality veteran players. The PAC-10 lost ten players to the NBA draft in 2009, seven of which were first-round picks. If that’s not bad enough, only two players (Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle) from the All-Conference team will return for a 2010 encore. Don’t take a down-year for the PAC-10 to mean they won’t be competitive – after all, this isn’t C-USA.

With a large influx of young talent, including four Top-25 recruiting classes (UCLA, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon State) according to both Rivals.com and Scout.com, the PAC-10 as a whole is staving off the rebuilding process.

In the conference only three teams can be considered to be on the rise compared to a year ago, three more remained stagnant, while four teams have taken a hit on the talent front and have no sure replacement for it.

If the player changes aren’t enough to cause some concern for a lull in the performance of the conference, the coaching changes should. The conference continues to get its coaching make-over with three new coaches taking the sidelines bringing the total to half the league in the past two years.

With all the changes occurring during the off-season, the conference will likely get off to a bumpy start, and fans every where will have to withhold judgment until the end of the season when the obstacles of coaching changes, and youth have all been overcome.

The biggest trend to be aware of is what team can get solid frontcourt play. If any team solid gets surprising dominance in their frontcourt they could have an fast-track to the top of the conference since there is but a select few quality big men in the conference.



Arizona – It was an unfortunate end to a well respected and endeared coach, but it had to happen sometime. Arizona improves their situation as they were finally able to go away from the interim coaches and bring in Sean Miller. They dodged more than one bullet in the process though.

Washington State – The final day for Bennett in Pullman was rumored to have been on the horizon for over a year before he finally left. The Cougars get a solid coach in Bone, but the transition will take a few years before the Cougars could become truly competitive.

USC – The biggest losers in all of the off-season changes were spared the changes at coach either. Scandal, or rumor of one at the very least, ran of Tim Floyd. To replace him they brought in the ever-wandering Kevin O’Neill who has had limited success any where he has gone.

Pre-Season Predictions
Standings:
1. Cal (NCAA)
2. Washington (NCAA)
3. UCLA (NCAA)
4. Arizona (NCAA)
5. Oregon (NIT)
6. Oregon State (NIT)
7. ASU
8. Washington State
9. USC
10. Stanford

Player of the Year: Jerome Randle
Freshman of the Year: Abdul Gaddy
First-Team All PAC-10:                       First All-Freshman Team:
*Chosen by position
PG - Patrick Christopher (CAL)             PG - Abdul Gaddy (UW)
SG - Jerome Randle (CAL)                  SG - Trent Lockett (ASU)
SF - Quincy Pondexter (UW)                SF - Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)
PF - Joevan Catron (OU)                     PF - Reeves Nelson (UCLA)
C - Michael Dunigan (OU)                   C- Kyryl Natyazhko (UofA)
Team by Team:

Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats aren't the same team they were a year ago. They've lost Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, and Lute Olson is now completley out of the picture. But new head coach Sean Miller has done a sensational recruiting job bringing in a Top 25 recruiting class with just under a month's worth of work.
The 'Cats are young and will be relying on freshman or returning role players for significant production, so expect a rough start to the season. But once PAC-10 play rolls around, expect the 'Cats to be ready to compete for a finish in the top half of the conference.

The Big Question: Can the 'Cats over-come the adjustment to their third coach in three seasons, and needing impact play from former role players and incoming freshman to make it to their 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament?
Key Departures: Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Zane Johnson
Key Additions: Kyryl Natyazhko, Solomon Hill, Lamot "MoMo" Jones

 

Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils are the second team to lose their best two players, James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph, to the draft, but they did little to compensate for it. The Sun Devils will return to their meticulous, slow-down offense hoping to grind opponents down with fundamental play.

The Big Question: Can the Sun Devils compesate for the loss of Harden and Pendergraph with a turnaround performance by Eric Boateng and a Freshman of the Year type performance from Trent Lockett?
Key Departures: James Harden, Jeff Pendergraph
Key Arrivals: SG Trent Lockett, SF Victor Rudd

California Golden Bears
With five seniors and two juniors, Cal is by far the most experienced team in the conference. Thanks to that, and returning All-Conference players Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle, the Golden Bears should be the odds-on favorite to win the conference.

The Big Question: With no major changes to their lineup, can the Golden Bears rely on their experience and depth to push them to the top of the conference in Mike Montgomerey's second year in Berkeley?
Key Departures: None
Key Arrivals: None

Oregon Ducks
The Ducks were a surprising disappointment in 2008-2009. Be sure to keep that in mind as they the Ducks have plenty of young talent on their roster, but simply failed to capitalize on it a year ago. The biggest improvement should come from center Michael Dunigan who was a non-factor for much of the year last year. With rumors swirling aobut Ernie Kent's job, the clock could be ticking.

The Big Question: Can Kent capitalize on the young talent he has to save his job?
Key Departures: Franz Dorsainvil
Key Additions: SF Jamil Wilson, SF E.J. Singler

Oregon State
Klay Thompson and the Beavers are good. They're not great, but they are good. With a weakened PAC-10 and a solid recruiting class for the Beavers, they could have etched a top 5 finish for the first time in decades. It won't be easy, but they could fight it out. You have to like the progress they've made in just one year under Craig Robinson, and because of that it makes you wonder how high their ceiling will be in years to come.

The Big Question: After making significant strides last year, can the Beavers continue to surprise in 2009-2010 by jumping into the top five of the with the additions of some solid recruits?
Key Departures: Rickey Claitt
Key Arrivals: Roberto Nelson, Jared Cunningham

Stanford Cardinal
Landry Fields is the star for the Cardinal who enter their second year under former Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal are likely hurting the most after their off-season losses, especially since they relied on bringing in transfers and only one recruit to replace Kenny Brown, Anthony Goods, Lawrence Hill, and Mitch Johnson..

The Big Question:
Can the Cardinal take a step in the right direction despite losing 3 of their 5 starters and a key bench player or will they continue to suffer heavily for another year?
Key Departures: Kenny Brown, Anthony Goods, Lawrence Hill, Mitch Johnson
Key Additions: Gabriel Harris, Andrew Zimmerman

UCLA Bruins
The Bruins once again have reloaded in the off-season. And thanks to arguably the best recruiting class in the conference they look to be in the mix for conference champs come late February. The boys of Westwood are one of only a few teams that managed to stave off a huge drop in talent thanks to their recruiting.

The Big Question: Can the freshman and role players from the past two years turn the Bruins into a serious contender, or will they be like seven of the other teams looking for table scraps after Cal and Washington have cleared through?
Key Departures: Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison, Josh Shipp, Jrue Holiday, James Diefenbach
Key Arrivals: Tyler Honeycutt, Brendan Lane, Mike Moser, Nelson Reeves, Anthony Stover

USC Trojans
Scandal has been associated with USC for the past several years, but that was football … or so we thought. When Tim Floyd basically admitted to the major violation by stepping down, the entire program effectively went with him. The Trojans still have some talent, and a new coach in Kevin O’Neill who demands hard work out of his players, but its not enough. This will be their best year for a while, but they’ll still be in the bottom-half of the conference.

The Big Question: It's not really if, but how far will the Trojans fall without a premier freshman on the wing and no threat to speak of inside the paint.
Key Departures: Tim Floyd, DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson, Daniel Hackett, Terence Green, Marcus Johnson, Keith WilkinsonTheir entire 2009 recruiting class.
Key Arrivals: Kevin O’Neill – wow, that’s SAD that he isn’t just a key arrival, but the only key arrival

Washington Huskies
The Huskies electrified people with their backcourt a season ago, and with the addition of Abdul Gaddy, they’ll look to do it again this year. The Huskies, however, are now without Jon Brockman and look to Matthew Bryan-Amaning to fill the void.

The Big Question: Can the Huskies get enough production out of their frontcourt to overcome the Golden Bears for top spot in the conference, or will the loss of Brockman be too much?
Key Departures: Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Artem Wallace
Key Additions: Abdul Gaddy, Charles Garcia, Clarence Trent, C.J. Wilcox

Washington State Cougars
The Cougars were successful the past few seasons thanks to “Bennett-ball.” The Cougars took another hit with the graduation of Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes and others that made that offense work. With all the departures, new head coach Ken Bone will give the Cougars a different look as he wants to push the ball and become an up-tempo team. Sure, they have Klay Thompson, but they don’t have the personnel across the lineup to make an up-tempo team work with the success they’ve come accustomed to in Pullman.

The big question: Can Ken Bone capitalize on players like Klay Thompson to make this team a viable running team and prevent the Cougars from falling into the 8-10 spots in the conference?
Key Departures: Tony Bennett, Aron Baynes, Caleb Forrest, Daven Harmeling, Taylor Rochestie
Key Additions: Xavier Thames, Anthony Brown, Reggie Moore


Posted on: July 4, 2009 9:30 am
 

A PAC-10 Look Ahead: Arizona Wildcats

Okay, so the season doesn't actually start for a little over four months from now and there is still the possibility that significant changes could still occur... but I doubt it. Last time I simply broke down the changes and roster movements for each of the teams. Now it's time for a bit more of a break down.

Arizona -

HC - Sean Miller
PG - Nic Wise. Bench: Lamont Jones - Wise is the key to this team, but it's nice to have a back-up and a guy to rest him this year.
SG - Kyle Fogg. Bench: Brendon Lavendar, Garland Judkins  - Even if Fogg doesn't become a continual offensive threat, his defensive prowess will keep him in the starting lineup.
SF - Solomon Hill. Bench: Kevn Parrom - Hill is the more athletic, more well rounded of the two recruits and should provide us with a more aggressive counter wingman than what we had with Budinger. Not better, mind you, just more aggressive.
PF - Jamelle Horne. Bench: Derrick Williams, Darnell Shumpert - Horne is once again forced into the low block because of Arizona's lack of depth in the frontcourt. But he'll see his fair share of time out on the wings as well. But please, no bone-headed mistakes this year, huh?
C - Kyryl Natyazhko. Bench: Alex Jacobson - Natyazhko is no Jordan Hill, but I don't think Jacobson will ever be anything but a role player - although he did show growth last year.

The Arizona fans who almost religiously follow the recruiting and changes of the program won't be surprised by anything said here at this point. But even until shortly after Sean Miller arrived in Tucson, if someone had pulled a Nostradamus and claimed Arizona would be this deep with talented wings and forwards, they'd be looked at as if they had three heads.

With such versatile guards and forwards, Arizona will be able to give teams two different small lineups - including time where there are two scoring PG's on the court - as well as some larger lineups with Horne, Hill, and Parrom all on the court simultaneously. I wouldn't expect to see either of those lineups too frequently, but the point is that Jones, Fogg, Lavendar, Hill, Parrom, and Horne can each play two or three different positions depending on current team needs. We haven't seen that in Arizona for some time.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 8, 2009 1:55 am
Edited on: June 11, 2009 3:14 pm
 

PAC-10 Off-Season Changes

The deadline for draft declarations has now passed, and any underclassman not listed for their respective schools will be returning barring a decision to transfer - though I don't see that happening on any account unless their name happens to be D.J. Shumpert. Players who have declared for the draft now have until June 15th to withdraw and return to school. Many of the players who have declared have not hired an agent and are eligible to return (including Nic Wise, Patrick Christopher, Taj Gibson, and Jrue Holiday).

The recruiting is still changing and there are a lot of circumstances currently brewing that could significantly change the face of their respective teams. If I'm not mistaken, recruits have until May 30th to sign a Letter of Intent. After that date, players can still verbally commit to a school, but it will not be a binding commitment.

It appears as though this off-season will have more changes to the conference than previous years, especially with Arizona's sudden attack on the recruiting trail and the huge list of underclassmen that have declared. There is certainly enough going on to keep things interesting until the final day to withdraw from the NBA draft.

Arizona
Out: Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, David Bagga, Fendi Onubon
Unknown:
In: C-Kyryl Natyazhko (4 Stars), SF-Solomon Hill (4-Stars), PF-Tremayne Johnson (NR)

Arizona State
Out: Jeff Pendergraph, James Harden
Unkown: None
In: SG-Trent Lockett (4-Stars), C-Ruslan Pateev (3 Stars), SG-Demetrius Walker (3 Stars), PF-Victor Rudd (3 Stars)

California
Out:
In: PF-Markhuri Sanders-Frison (3 Stars), PF-Bak Bak (3 Stars), PG-Brandon Smith (3 Stars)

Oregon
Out: Frantz Dorsainvil, Churchill Odia
Unkown: None
In: SF-Jeremy Jacob (3 Stars), SF-E.J. Singler (3 stars), SF-Jamil Wilson (4 Stars)

Oregon State
Out: Kyle Bjornstad, Rickey Claitt, Joey McConnell
Unkown: None
In: C-Joe Burton (3 stars), SG-Roberto Nelson (4 Stars), PG-Jared Cunningham (4 Stars), C-Angus Brandt (3 Stars), SF-Rhys Murphy (3 Stars)

Stanford
Out: Anthony Goods, Lawrence Hill, Mitch Johnson
Unkown: None
In: PF-Andy Brown (3 Stars)

UCLA
Out: Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison, James Diefenbach, Josh Shipp, Jrue Holiday*
Unkown: None
In: SF-Tyler Honeycutt (4 Stars), SF-Mike Moser (4 Stars), PF-Reeves Nelson (4 Stars), PF-Brendan Lane (3 Stars), C-Anthony Stover (3 Stars)

USC
Out: Terence Green, Marcus Johnson, Keith Wilkinson, DeMar DeRozan$, Taj Gibson*, Daniel Hackett$
Unkown: None
In: PG- Lamont "Momo" Jones (4 Stars), PF-Derrick Williams (3 Stars), SF-Evan Smith (NR)

Washington
Out: Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Artem Wallace
Unkown: None
In: PG-Abdul Gaddy (5 Stars), PF-Charles Garcia (3 Stars), PF-Clarence Trent (3 Stars), SG- C.J. Wilcox (3 Stars)

Washington State
Out:Aron Baynes, Caleb Forrest, Daven Harmeling, Taylor Rochestie
Unkown: None
In: SG-Anthony Brown (3 Stars), Xavier Thames (3 Stars), PF-Brock Motum (NR)

*-Player has declared for the draft, but has not hired an agent and is eligible to return to college.

 

 

Category: NCAAB
Tags: PAC-10
 
Posted on: April 8, 2009 12:44 am
 

PAC-10 Pick 'Em: Final Standings

 

 

  1. Roverfish:  68 (4) 6.18
  2. StevePhoenix   67 (5)  6.09
  3. The Wedge - 66 (4) 6.00
    Duckbill30 66 (5) 6.0
  4. CAPAZCATS - 65 (5) 5.91
    Arizona91   65 (4)  5.91
  5. CATIZONA 63 (4) 5.77
    Badgers 63 (4) 6 5.7
  6. Kamikaze Kid 62 (4) 6 5.6
    mckusa6 62 (3) 5.66
  7. FertiCat 61 (5) 5.55
  8. Naterb - 60 (3) 5.45
    Hosh 60 (4) 5.45
    N8dawg3333 60 (7) 6.00
  9. cats2007 - 59 (3) 5.36
    ninersdd - 59 (dnp) 5.90
    cats2007 - 59 (3) 5.36
  10. catgolf - 58 (3) 5.27
    Roosterbbt:  58 (3) 5.27
  11. Lute_Rulz 56 (4) 5.6
  12. EagleMtnAirtax - 53 (4) 4.82
  13. JPQuizno:  52 (DNP) 5.78
  14. AnaheimAngels:  50 (5) 5
    Donbedouin     50 (3)  5.00
  15. Wild95Cat 49 (3) 5.4
  16. azwildcat 47 (DNP) 5.4
  17. mcpherzen 41 (DNP) 5.86
    Zonastone:  41 (DNP) 5.13
  18. Aeffect:  40 (DNP) 5
  19. AZFaninMO 39 (4) 4.8
  20. mjdoc  25 DNP 5.00
  21. Kdeezy 24 (DNP) 4.8
  22. lovemywildcats 21 DNP 5.25
    Catfink 21 (DNP)
  23. Diggory Huffle 17 (DNP)
  24. vikings3214      6 DNP 6.00
  25. kk1390:  4 (DNP) 4
  26. Azfurface:  3 (DNP) 3
    El Sombrero del:  3 (DNP) 3
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 8, 2009 3:03 am
Edited on: March 10, 2009 1:55 pm
 

PAC-10 Pick 'Em Standings: Week 10

  1. Roverfish 64 (7) 6.4
  2.  The Wedge 62 (8) 6.2
    StevePhoenix 62 (8) 6.2
  3. Arizona 91 61 (7) 6.1
    Duckbill30 61 (7) 6.1
  4. CAPAZCATS 60 (6) 6.7
  5. Badgers 59 (7) 5.9
    mckusa 59 (7) 5.9
    CATIZONA 59 (6) 5.9
    ninersdd 59 (6) 5.9
  6. Kamikaze Kid 58 (6) 5.8
  7. NaterB 57 (6) 5.7
  8. Hosh 56 (5) 5.6
    cats2007 56 (6) 5.6
  9. Hosh 55 (5) 5.5
    catgolf 55 (7) 5.5
  10. Roosterbbt 54 (6) 5.4
  11. N8Dawg3333 53 (DNP) 5.89
  12. Lute_Rulz 52 (6) 5.8
    JPQuizno 52 (DNP) 5.8
  13. EagleMtnAirtax 49 (5) 5.4
  14. azwildcat 47 (5) 5.4
    Donbedouin 47 (5) 5.2
  15. wild95cat 46 (5) 5.75
  16. Anaheim Angels 45 (DNP) 5.0
  17. AZCATSFAN 42 (DNP) 5.25
  18. mcpherzen 41 (DNP) 5.86
    Zonastone 41`(DNP) 5.86
  19. Aeffect 40 (DNP)
  20. AZfaninMO 35 (6) 4.8

All results are in for the regular season. If I missed you, or your totals are wrong let me know!

I also want to apologize for not getting the complete results up for last week. I did receive them all, but neglected to compile them all and get them posted. That was my fault. Sorry everyone.

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 2, 2009 1:07 am
Edited on: March 6, 2009 12:45 am
 

PAC-10 Pick 'Em Standings: Week 9

  1. Duckbill30 54 (5) 6
    TheWedge 54 (4) 6
    Arizona91 54 (5) 6
    StevePhoenix 54 (6) 6
  2. N8Dawg3333 53 (3) 5.9
  3. Badgers 52 (7) 5.8
    Kamikaze Kid 52 (3) 5.8
    CATIZONA 52 (4) 5.8
    mckusa6 52 (3) 5.8
  4. NaterB 51 (4)5.7
  5. Hosh 50 (3) 5.6
    Hosh 50 (2) 5.6
  6. Ferticat 49 (4) 5.4
  7. Lute_Rulez 46 (5) 5.75
  8. azwildcat 42 (5) 4.7
    donbedouin 42 (5) 5.25
  9. Wild95Cat 41 (DNP) 5.1
    mcpherzen 41 (DNP) 5.86
  10. AZfaninMO 29 (3) 4.1

More to come.

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2009 12:21 am
Edited on: February 24, 2009 1:59 am
 

PAC-10 Pick 'Em Standings: Week 8

  1. Roverfish:  51 (5) 6.4
  2. N8Dawg3333 50 (6) 6.3
    TheWedge 50 (5) 6.3
  3. Duckbill 30 49 (6) 6.1
    Kamikaze Kid 49 (6) 6.1
    Arizona91 49 (6) 6.1
  4. StevePhoenix 48 (5) 6.0
    CAPAZCATS 48 (5) 6.0
    CATIZONA 48 (5) 6.0
    Hosh 48 (5) 6
    mckusa6 48 (4) 6
  5. NaterB 47 (4) 5.9
    ninersdd 47 (6) 5.9
    JPQuizno:  47 (5) 5.9
  6. Badgers 45 (5) 5.6
    Cats2007 45 (5) 5.6
    FertiCat 45 (5) 5.63
  7. Roosterbbt:  44 (5) 5.5
  8. catgolf 43 (5) 5.4
  9. AZCATSFAN 42 (3) 5.3
    AnaheimAngels:  42 (4) 5.3
  10. Lute_Rulz 41 (4) 5.9
    Anaheim Angels 41 (6) 5.1
    wild95cat 41 (6) 5.1
    mcpherzen 41 (DNP) 5.86
    Zonastone:  41 (3) 5.13
  11. EagleMtnAirtax- 40 (4) 5.0
  12. azwildcat 37 (4) 4.6
    donbedouin 37 (4) 4.6
  13. Aeffect:  34 (6) 4.9
  14. azfaninmo 26 (6) 5.2

I believe everyone should be listed and should have the accurate number of picks credited to them. If you're not on the list or your picks are wrong let me know so I can get it rectified.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 16, 2009 12:15 am
Edited on: February 17, 2009 7:51 pm
 

PAC-10 Pick 'Em Standings: Week 7

  1. N8Dawg3333 44 (6) 6.2
    mckusa 44 (7) 6.2
  2. NaterB 43 (6) 6.1
    Arizona91 43 (6) 6.1
    Hosh 43 (6) 6.1
    Kamikaze Kid 43 (7) 6.1
    Duckbill 30 43 (5) 6.1
    CAPAZCATS 43 (7) 6.14
    CATIZONA 43 (7) 6.14
    Arizona91 43 (7) 6.1
    StevePhoenix 43 (7) 6.1
  3. mcpherzen 41 (5) 5.86
    ninersdd 41 (7) 5.86
  4. cats2007 40 (7) 5.71
    FertiCat 40 (6) 5.71
    Badgers 40 (5) 5.7
    Yhe Wedge 40 (7) 5.7
  5. AZCATSFAN 39 (6) 5.5
  6. Anaheim Angels 38 (5) 5.4
    catgolf 38 (7) 5.43
  7. Lute_Rulz 37 6.2
    EagleMtnAirtax 36 (5) 5.14
  8. wild95cat 35 (5) 5.8
  9. azwildcat 33 (DNP) 6.6
    Donbedouin 33 (7) 5.5
  10. mjdoc 25 (DNP) 5.0
  11. KDEEZY 23 (DNP) 4.6
  12. lovemywildcats 21 (DNP) 5.25
  13. AZfaninMO 20 (8) 5


More rankings to follow

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com