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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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April 6, 2008 10:03 AM

Pac-10 a disappointment?

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Pac-10 season is finally done and the last conference team went out like all the rest --- having gone no higher than it was seeded, and routed in its last game.

One person I was watching the UCLA game with said it proved the Pac-10 was the most overrated conference in the country this year. Agree or disagree?

The conference's six teams finished 8-6 in the NCAA Tournament, more wins than all but the Big East (11-8 with eight teams in) and the Big 12 (11-5 with six teams in).

I might argue the SEC, to name one, had a more disappointing tournament, going 4-6 with six teams in, getting only one as far as the Sweet 16.

But given that a lot of people viewed this as the best season ever for the Pac-10, you can't help but feel the conference ultimately underachieved. One theory I've heard is that the conference schedule was such a grind --- only Oregon State offered a night off --- that Pac-10 teams weren't at their best come the tournament. Not sure I buy that, however. WSU never looked better than in its first two tourney games before simply running into a better team and as I wrote before, it seemed to me like when every team lost, its weaknesses were ultimately exposed.

UCLA, which was seventh in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting this season, again struggled against Memphis going 4-13 and missing several open looks late. And Darren Collison, who was subject to some erratic games all year (like the loss at UW) was at his worst.

With the season over, it will be time to begin looking ahead, and we'll start doing that soon here.

For now, there is no question that UCLA will look a lot different next season as Kevin Love and Darren Collison are expected to turn pro, according to the LA Daily News, and Russell Westbrook is considering it as well (here's a good NY Times story looking at underclassmen around the country thinking of turning pro).

IN OTHER NEWS

--- Mike Mongtomery was officially introduced as Cal's coach Saturday, apparently getting a six-year contract and joking often about the feelings his move may create at Stanford. He becomes just the third person to coach at two of the existing Pac-10 schools --- Marv Harshman coached at both Washington and Washington State (and remains the only person to ever move directly from one conference school to another when he switched in 1971) and George Raveling at both WSU and USC (coaching at Iowa in between).

--- No definitive news yet on Oregon State, but the Beavers may be talking with Ron Hunter of Indiana Univerity/Purdue University/Indianapolis (he may just be tired of saying that name), according to the Corvallis Gazette Times. Hard to figure why they wouldn't just go with Ken Bone, but the Beavers don't seem to be hurrying to hire him.

All for now.


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Posted by jcc

7:06 PM, Apr 06, 2008

If you assume Chase and Westbrook go pro - talk about a crap shoot next year in the PAC 10. you'd have UCLA losing 57%/52%/59% of scoring/reb/asst - Arizona would lose 61%/51%/63% and Stanford down 52/58/33 and wsu down 49/42/48 lastly UW loses 23%/13%/22%. Granted the freshman class is always an unknown on immediate impact however you'd could see a balance of power shift with a ton of experience returning for UW vs. other teams which will be relying on relatively unknowns to pickup the slack.

Posted by bp

9:36 PM, Apr 06, 2008

I think the NCAA tourney is a hard way to assess a conference given it is more about individual match-ups of the moment rather than body of work. Both Kansas & Memphis were going to be a bad match up for UCLA and while I surprised how bad they played (especially Collinson), I am not surprised they lost. They seem to suffer from the same issue the Huskies have had the past few years (when their first/top option is taken away, they get lost and seem to forget there is this thing called running an offense).

That said, only the big East seemed to show the depth of the Pac-10 through the tourney and they didn't get anyone into the final four (as well as 2-1 in the head-to-head match-ups with the Pac-10 that did happen).

The Big 12 showed very well thanks to have the best 2 teams in Kansas and Texas, but not much after that. The ACC was a wash-out save NC and the Big-Ten was it's usual below-average self (can never resist a dig at the Big-Ten). You already mentioned the SEC.

So all that said, the Big-12 has probably had the best tourney of the majors with the Pac-10 close behind.

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