Pac-10: Moving on to Thursday

By Jason Owens - March 08, 2007

With a sparse crowd and a not-so-impressive display of basketball from the Pac-10’s bottom four teams, Wednesday felt like a warm-up day at the Pac-10 Tournament. But, to be fair, that’s exactly what it was. With UCLA and USC both playing virtual home games, rivals Washington and Washington State squaring off in a one-and-done setting and a marquee second-round matchup between Oregon and Arizona, Thursday has the potential to be electric. I can’t wait. Here’s the rundown for round two:

(All times Pacific)
Noon: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Arizona
2:30 pm: No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 8 Cal
6:00 pm: No. 3 USC vs. No. 6 Stanford
8:30 pm: No. 2 Washington State vs. No. 7 Washington

But before we move on to Thursday, here’s a final roundup from day one.

What I learned today:

-Ryan Anderson is a stud: Cal may roil in obscurity, but there’s no reason not to know about this freshman baller who seems to play in two places at one time. At 6-10 he was able to find shots on the perimeter with the wing players and bang down low with the big guys. He hit five 3-pointers en route to 27 points and was able to snag 15 rebounds, seven of them on the offensive glass.

-Arizona State is oh so close: The Sun Devils lost yet another heartbreaker tonight. They didn’t play pretty and they didn’t play exciting (as is often the case with Herb Sendek’s Princeton offense), but they played tough. ASU lost 11 games by fewer than five points in Sendek’s first season and brings in a quality recruiting class next year. Look for a big improvement next season in Tempe. Just ask Washington coach Lorenzo Romar.

“I’m so impressed with the job that Arizona State’s coaching staff and players have done this year. I watched them quite a bit and they never put their heads down, they continue to press. Unfortunately for them, this type of game has happened to them all too often. They’re so close, right there. They found a way to be competitive in almost every game in the conference.“

-Jon Brockman is a prime-time player: While much of the basketball nation knows Spencer Hawes, those that pay attention to Husky basketball know that Brockman is Washington’s go-to guy. The first-team All-Pac-10 player showed why on Wednesday as he kept his team afloat while many of his teammates seemed to crumble around him. He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and was one of just two Washington players to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (Justin Dentmon being the other).

And with that, I’m off to find some late-night L.A. food. Good night.

Posted by Jason Owens at 02:46 AM on March 08, 2007

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