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November 2007 Archives


Monday, 11/26/07

Office Hours: Back At The Podium

Settle down, students. Thanksgiving break is over and The Professor is back at the podium. Lots to get to today so put away the newspapers, turn off the cell phones and pay attention.

The grade book is once again open:

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Posted by David Scott at 09:05 AM | Comment

Sunday, 11/25/07

Three Thoughts On Zona-KU

I'm getting a chance to sit and watch Arizona take on No. 4 Kansas at Phogg Allen Fieldhouse in the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Series, and there's a few things I'm learning while this game unfolds.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:09 PM | Comment

Saturday, 11/24/07

Who's Missing Durant Now?

NEWARK, N.J. -- Maybe Rick Barnes really isn't missing Kevin Durant.

OK, let's not be foolish, but for as much talk as there's been over the last five months about last year's Naismith Player of the Year leaving Austin, Texas, for the bright lights and showtime of the NBA, it's been almost forgotten that Barnes returns four starters, including two of the better guards in the Big 12, this season.

And after the way No. 15 Texas clobbered seventh-ranked Tennessee Saturday night at the brand new Prudential Center with a dominating 97-78 victory in the championship game of the StubHub! Legends Classic, it sure doesn't look like Barnes is missing his former All-American too much right now.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:51 PM | Comment

Friday, 11/23/07

Aggies Not Skipping A Beat

NEW YORK -- So who needs Billy Gillispie after all?

Texas A&M sure doesn't.

Not after the way the 16th-ranked Aggies played Friday night in the NIT Season Tip-off championship against last year's NCAA runner-up Ohio State.

"I wasn't expecting this," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon admitted after the Aggies' dominating 70-47 win. "I was expecting a high-scoring game out of them. They're so hard to guard. I thought we did a really good job of taking our defensive game plan and sticking with it."

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 10:30 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/22/07

Matta's Back To His Old Tricks

NEW YORK -- Thad Matta has been here before.

He's seen this scenario before, and he's been dealing with it for most of his career.

Because if there's one thing Matta has come to do best in becoming a head coach, it's been his ability to rebuild teams in a hurry.

After all, he's been doing it ever since he took over for Barry Collier at then-mid-major Butler seven years ago, when he led the Bulldogs to 24 wins and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 11/21/07

Nice Try Coach Izzo

Oh Coach Izzo, you thought you were so smart. You thought you were so clever.

You thought when UCLA took a timeout with 35 seconds remaining Tuesday night and the score knotted at 63-63 that your 2-3 zone -- after playing man-to-man the entire night -- would confuse the Bruins, that it would disrupt their offensive flow and force someone to score other than Kevin Love.

And you thought you had them when UCLA inbounded the ball, saw the zone and failed to penetrate it as Love struggled to find positioning on the block.

Then suddenly, your grand defensive scheme got burned to pieces.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 01:15 AM | Comment

Sunday, 11/18/07

Office Hours: Back To The Bell Curve

The Professor is back with Week 2 of our report card feature and we must say, we're getting pretty good at this Bell Curve stuff.

Without further ado, our grade book is once again open:

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Posted by David Scott at 10:30 PM | Comment

Saturday, 11/17/07

Mayo's Thunder Stolen

You all know about O.J. Mayo's little skirmish with Daniel Hackett, right?

You know, how Mayo supposedly elbowed Hackett "accidentally" during a pickup game back in September?

Or was it that Mayo and Hackett really got into a fist fight?

Whatever the story really was, one thing Mayo should know is that he'll desperately need Hackett's help if the Trojans hope to compete in the best conference in the country this year.

And in a game where 16 NBA scouts filled the seats to see Mayo, it was really Hackett who stole the show Saturday night in Columbia, S.C., as the sophomore guard recorded his first triple-double on 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a big 85-75 win over South Carolina.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:05 PM | Comment

Saturday, 11/17/07

Maui Invitational Announces 2009 Field

We haven't even seen a game of this year's EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, but we've already got the field set for 2009.

Tournament organizers announced early Saturday that Arizona (winner in 2000), Louisville and Gonzaga (runner-up in 2005) will be part of a monster eight-team field for the 26th edition of the tournament. Division II Chaminade will once again host the tournament for a lineup that also includes Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado and Vanderbilt (winner in 1995).

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:04 AM | Comment

Saturday, 11/17/07

Calipari Gets What He Wants

NEW YORK -- This was the kind of game that John Calipari wanted.

This was the kind of competition that No. 3 Memphis needed.

And after 40 minutes of hard-fought, chest-to-chest basketball, it was the kind of result that the Tigers and their head coach was ultimately looking for.

"These are the kind of games we schedule that we want to play," Calipari said after Memphis took the championship crown in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer with an 81-70 victory over UConn. "We don't want to play 'Popcorn State.' It does nothing for us."

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 01:35 AM | Comments (1)

Friday, 11/16/07

Beale Street Baskets: Coaching Rivals Square Off

NEW YORK -- They have not tweaked each other on the court in almost 18 years. Off the court, though, the tweaking and oneupsmanship has never stopped. Are John Calipari and Jim Calhoun mortal enemies? No, probably not. But are they golfing buddies who vacation with the wives?

Not on your life.

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Posted by David Scott at 03:59 PM | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 11/14/07

UNC Hangs Tough

Not a ton of action going on for a typical Wednesday night during the college basketball season, but North Carolina kept us on the edge of our seats for two-plus hours down in Charlotte.

After falling behind for much of the second half, the top-ranked Tar Heels survived a major scare from in-state rival Davidson to earn a 72-68 victory in its season-opener.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 10:05 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 11/14/07

Just What We Need...

Among the things America doesn't need any more of at this point are: another reality TV concept, another Britney Spears album, another presidential candidate and, as we were reminded on Wednesday, another post-season college hoops tournament.

The College Basketball Invitational is slated to start this March and will be run by the Gazelle Group, the same folks who have brought us the worthwhile in-season tournaments like the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York City and the College Basketball Experience Classic in Kansas City. The Group, based in New Jersey, runs a gamut of high school, college and pro sporting events and from the looks of its website has all sorts of expertise in running, promoting and presumably, making money off its ventures.

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Posted by David Scott at 06:31 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 11/13/07

West Coast Winners

Wrapping up another day at the office here in Hang Time, and there was some good action to catch out on the West Coast Tuesday night.

The state of Washington, in particular, saw its two Top 25 teams take the court tonight as No. 14 Gonzaga blasted Idaho, 80-34, with freshman Austin Daye leading the way with 18 points.

But the Bulldogs didn't exactly play mistake-free basketball, committing 18 turnovers and making just 22 of 36 free throws. Fortunately for Mark Few and company, Jeremy Pargo also stepped up, finishing with 14 points while Matt Bouldin added 12.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:35 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 11/13/07

Beale Street Baskets: Coaches v. Cancer

If things go according to plan on Thursday evening, then you can expect the NCAA's new bench decorum rules to have their very first, true test on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Coaches vs. Cancer basketball classic hits New York City this week and with UConn facing Gardnerella-Webb in the early tilt (7 p.m.) on Thursday and Memphis getting Oklahoma in the nightcap (9 p.m.), it very much looks like a Cal on Cal final Friday at 8:30 on the hardwood of MSG. A John Calipari vs. Jim Calhoun match-up would have New York City's back page tabloid writers licking their chops and could save face for tournament organizers who lost the big draw of Kentucky with G-W's upset special (a slogan made into t-shirts being worn all over the GDub campus in Boiling Springs, NC).

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Posted by David Scott at 09:30 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 11/13/07

Practice Report: University Of Rhode Island

KINGSTON, RI -- It's on his computer, accessible at the click of a mouse -- downloaded and deposited in the hard drive of his basketball mind.

Of course, this being a coach's son, it's not the festive URI take-out of No. 1-seed Xavier in the semis of last March's Atlantic 10 Tournament that Jimmy Baron chose to store on his Dell.

Instead, the jump-shooting junior chooses to relive a more painful hoops memory.

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Posted by David Scott at 03:18 AM | Comments (2)

Monday, 11/12/07

Freshmen Shine In Debuts

Week 2 of the 2007-08 college basketball season kicked off with a full slate of action from around the country Monday night, and while there's so much to talk about already, I'll try to keep the rambling to a minimum -- at least for now.

Freshmen seemed to be theme of the night as Syracuse's Johnny Flynn and Indiana's Eric Gordon both shined for their teams in early-season victories at home.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:30 PM | Comment

Sunday, 11/11/07

Office Hours: Getting Started

Since we are always talking so much about the "student-athletes" (as mandated by the small chip the NCAA implanted in our scalp during last year's Final Four which we're not supposed to know about), it probably makes sense to keep with the whole schooly theme for a new feature here in Hang Timeville.

Creative we're not, so we'll settle for calling it the "Monday Report Card," unless you have something more compelling. Without further ado, peek into the grade book after Week One of College Hoops 2007-08.

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Posted by David Scott at 11:48 PM | Comment

Saturday, 11/10/07

Hold The Mayo...

This wasn't what O.J. Mayo was expecting when he called Tim Floyd last year and told the USC coach that he wanted to be a Trojan.

And it certainly wasn't what Floyd had in mind in bringing in the nation's No. 1 recruit from the Class of 2007.

But for as well as Mayo played in his college debut Saturday against Mercer, it was a bittersweet finish for the freshman phenom.

While Mayo impressed with a game-high 32 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, it was Mercer in the end who shocked No. 18 USC in its season opener with a 96-81 upset at the Galen Center.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 06:09 PM | Comment

Friday, 11/09/07

Duke, Stanford Hit Century Mark

While the surprise of Gardner-Webb has got a lot of people anticipating next Thursday's semifinals of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic, Friday marked the start of the season for many teams.

Two teams in particular, No. 13 Duke and No. 23 Stanford, stood out from the rest, as the Blue Devils and Cardinal hit the 100-point mark in both their games.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:20 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/08/07

Calhoun's Scheduling Trick Has UConn In NYC

Good ole' Jim Calhoun. Yep, that savvy UConn coach.

That is, savvy enough to realize that having Holy Cross in the first two rounds of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic would have been a mistake.

After all, he wouldn't want to embarrass himself against a school from the Patriot League, right?

So when the Gazelle Group first called Calhoun and presented him with the four-team field that would make up the Storrs Regional, he quickly dismissed Holy Cross as one of the potential teams scheduled to play at the Huskies' Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:29 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 11/07/07

Another Cinderella Born In Lexington

So much for Billy Gillispie getting that honeymoon vacation in the Big Apple next week.

The former Texas A&M coach, instead, will be watching Gardner-Webb play under the lights of the world famous Madison Square Garden next Thursday after shocking No. 20 Kentucky Wednesday night at Rupp Arena with a 84-68 upset in the second round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

And after taking the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, Gillispie certainly didn't want to start his tenure in Lexington this way.

But for the last five minutes of the game and following the sound of the final horn, it was a constant stream of boos for the Wildcats, who never found a rhythm against the Runnin' Bulldogs after falling behind by double digits at halftime with the scoreboard reading 38-27.

"A lot of people will think this is a misprint, but I hope not," Gardner-Webb coach Rick Scruggs said. "I hope they get to see it and can enjoy it. It's going to take a few days to settle in."

Gardner-Webb, after all, finished last season at just 9-21 overall while tying for seventh place in the Atlantic Sun Conference -- not exactly the kind of resume that would hint at a potential upset over a traditional blue blood like Kentucky in the first week of the season.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 11/07/07

Kentucky Feeling NYC Too

So Memphis is headed to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic next Thursday, and No. 20 Kentucky is hoping to do the same tonight when the Wildcats host Gardner-Webb in the second round of the preseason tournament.

Billy Gillispie made his debut as Kentucky's coach last night at Rupp Arena with a solid 67-40 victory over Central Arkansas, who managed to shoot just 20 percent from the floor and score a total of 12 points in the paint.

Despite not coming into the game until the seven-minute mark in the first half, senior Joe Crawford led the way for Kentucky with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 03:34 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 11/07/07

Big East To Expand Tourney Field In 2009

The Big East today announced that the league's tournaments (both men and women) will be expanded for the 2009 season to include all 16 teams. As it is currently structured, only the Top 12 schools are eligible for the respective tournaments.

The exclusion of the bottom-feeders was a hot topic of discussion every post-season and the move will eliminate the debate. It's always been unjust in our eyes, to leave four teams at home and not give any of them that chance at catching lightning in a bottle. Is the potential there to "steal" a bid from your own league? Of course, but that's what March Madness is all about. If you're fearing the No. 14, 15 or 16 team in your league, you've got more issues than whether you're in the NCAA Tournament or not.

Contents of the press release, follow:

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Posted by David Scott at 11:26 AM | Comment

Tuesday, 11/06/07

Beale Street Baskets Debuts

Because of a lot of serendipity, CSTV.com is getting some special access to the 2007-08 Memphis Tigers basketball team of John Calipari. With that access comes a lot of material that might not quite fit into our regular coverage of the Top 5 Tigers.

That in mind, we're opening up the floodgates on a regular feature we're calling (until and if a better name surfaces): Beale Street Baskets.

While we'll certainly have our fair share of anecdotes, observations and insight into the Tiger's potential title run, we also urge you to share your thoughts for a recurring, season-long dialogue. Our comments section is always open for business.

. . . Some "Rose Petals" after the jump. . .

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Posted by David Scott at 11:50 PM | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 11/06/07

Buckeyes Are Feeling Michigan State's Pain

So last week I was asking what was up with Michigan State.

Now I'm asking, what is up with the Big Ten?!?

Oh, how Thad Matta misses Greg Oden. And Michael Conley, Jr. And Daequan Cook. And Ron Lewis. And Ivan Harris.

The list just seems to go on and on...So why am I a little bit hysterical?

Because in the first four days of the season, two teams from the Big Ten have lost exhibition games to Division II schools!

That's right people. Michigan State isn't the only one after last Friday's debacle to Grand Valley State.

Ohio State joined the Spartans Tuesday night, as the Buckeyes were stunned at home by Division II Findlay, falling 70-68.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 10:12 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 11/06/07

More Tiger Bait On Season's Second Night

Welcome to Night #2 of the 2007-08 college basketball season.

After seeing third-ranked Memphis run all over Tennessee-Martin in the first round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic last night, the second round of games at the Memphis Regional begins tonight with the host Tigers facing off against Atlantic 10 foe Richmond.

The Spiders are coming off a 44-42 win Monday afternoon over Maine, who almost won at the buzzer on a half-court shot from Mark Socoby that rimmed out, but they'll have their hands full in matching Memphis' athleticism and overall depth.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:16 AM | Comments (1)

Monday, 11/05/07

First Night Brings Excitement

The 2007-08 season kicked off with two games in the Memphis Region of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Monday night, and third-ranked Memphis showed in its season opener why many people are picking the Tigers to cut down the nets in San Antonio this spring.

After staying close in the early going with last year's Conference USA champion, Tennessee-Martin couldn't keep pace with Memphis as the Tigers ran away with a 102-71 victory at the FedEx Forum.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 08:14 PM | Comment

Monday, 11/05/07

Kicking Off 2007-08

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the 2007-08 college basketball season.

After seven long months of anticipation, we open up the season with two games tonight in the Memphis Region of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

Third-ranked Memphis opens its schedule in the nightcap of two games at the Tigers' FedEx Forum against Tennessee-Martin, while Richmond takes on Maine in the first contest at 4 p.m. ET.

While Memphis shouldn't have a problem against Tennessee-Martin, it will be interesting to see how the Tigers play with all the hype surrounding them over the offseason.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 02:27 PM | Comment

Saturday, 11/03/07

More Michigan Woes

What is up with college sports in the state of Michigan these days?

Seriously folks.

First, it's Michigan football losing its season opener to DI-AA "power" Appalachian State in the Big House, and now, it's the other Michigan school who's started off the year with its own catastrophe on the hardwood.

So much so, that when I woke up this morning and logged on to CSTV.com to briefly check up on the rest of the news from Friday night, my eyes almost bugged out my head.

If you haven't heard...

Grand Valley State 85, No. 8 Michigan State 82

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:15 AM | Comments (1)

Friday, 11/02/07

Heels On Top Of AP Poll

So I'm feeling even better about myself now that the AP released its preseason Top 25 earlier today, and as I predicted last month in my own preseason rankings, North Carolina stands for now as the No. 1 team after receiving 1,728 votes, including 29 first-place tallies.

UCLA, with No. 1 recruit Kevin Love coming to Westwood, took second in the poll with a total of 1,710 votes (24 first-place votes), while Memphis, who returns four starters from last season's Elite Eight run, followed in third and received 18 first-place votes from the writers.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 02:23 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

A Whole Lot Of Love

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA coach Ben Howland didn't seem to mind talking about freshman center Kevin Love, who is considered by many to be the top recruit in the country.

When asked what Love would do for the offense, he smiled and said, "Well there will be more post feeds for sure," and also said Love should open things up for players on the perimeter and said he's shown already he will command the double team and isn't afraid to "kick it back out."

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 03:30 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Conference Showdown Comes To West Coast

LOS ANGELES -- The Pac-10 and Big 12 announced the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which features 12 games every season between the conferences for the next four years.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 03:24 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Foundation Building For Wazzu

LOS ANGELES -- Washington State was picked second in the Pac-10 Conference preseason media poll but Coach Tony Bennett first heard about another poll earlier this summer.

"A friend called and told me we were picked seventh and I thought, OK, well we were 10th in the conference last year so we have moved up a little bit," Bennett said. "Then he told me, 'No, you were picked seventh in the country."

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 03:16 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Pond Is Deep For Ducks

LOS ANGELES -- There might be a few teams in the Pac-10 concerned about experience, but it's not a concern for Oregon coach Ernie Kent, who has five seniors including Malik Hairston, who graduated in three years, and talented shooting guard Bryce Taylor.

"As he goes, we will go," Kent said of Hairston.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 03:10 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Floyd Has Been Here But Not With OJ

LOS ANGELES -- USC has no seniors and just three juniors on its roster which could make some coaches very nervous and likely explains why the Trojans were picked sixth in the Pac-10 Conference preseason media poll. Coach Tim Floyd even admitted his past experiences with young teams weren't the best -- citing a young team at Iowa State in his last year and a team at UTEP, which both didn't do so well.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 02:50 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

No Secrets In Southern California

LOS ANGELES -- Players like Miles Simon, Hassan Adams and Gilbert Arenas left the Los Angeles area to play at Arizona, but Coach Lute Olson admitted it has gotten much more difficult to lock down the top players in the most important recruiting area for the Pac-10 Conference since UCLA and USC have found strong recruiters in Ben Howland and Tim Floyd.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 02:11 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Stanford's Washington Unappreciated

LOS ANGELES -- Stanford senior Fred Washington might not have the name recognition of other top-notch Pac-10 Conference seniors but the 6-foot-5 forward has the respect of his coach, Trent Johnson, who called him one of the most underappreciated players in the league.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 02:05 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Thumbs Down

LOS ANGELES -- Most media days are light affairs with a couple chuckles and a few yawns from the bored reporters in the audience. This year's Pac-10 Media Day isn't much different as most coaches are fielding just a few questions and the large ballroom isn't even half-full this morning.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 01:55 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Healing and Growing

LOS ANGELES -- There's a date on California coach Ben Braun's calendar and it could be seen as an early Christmas gift.

Jamal Boykin, a former Parade All-American from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, will be eligible to play for the Bears on Dec. 21. Boykin transferred to Berkeley after starting his college career at Duke.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 01:41 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

John On The Hot Seat

LOS ANGELES -- Oregon State coach Jay John could have a rough season. If it's not bad enough his team was picked last in the Pac-10 Conference preseason media poll, he is also the coach under the most pressure to win in the conference.

The Beavers have had just one winning season (2004-05) this decade and haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 1989-90 season. Last year, Oregon State went 11-21 overall and won just three games in conference.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 01:31 PM | Comment

Thursday, 11/01/07

Side Stepping

LOS ANGELES -- Arizona State men's basketball coach Herb Sendek kicked off the Pac-10 men's basketball media day at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport with a bit of a snafu.

Sendek started his talk at a secondary podium, placed on one side of the room before a Pac-10 official stopped him and pushed him to the main podium.

"With our record last year, I thought that was where I was supposed to stand," Sendek said while pointing to the secondary podium.

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Posted by Bob Holtzman at 01:20 PM | Comment
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