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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 30, 2008 8:09 PM

UCLA's Stanback to transfer

Posted by Bob Condotta

UCLA's roster overhaul continued today with the news that freshman forward Chace Stanback has decided to transfer.

Here are details from the LA Daily News.

Stanback, who went to high school in Los Angeles, is a cousin of former Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback.

Chace Stanback had UW on his list of five finalists before choosing UCLA in April of 2006. The story doesn't mention where Stanback might be looking now and I have no idea if UW is an option, but I would point out again that UW has no room for scholarship players for next season.


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April 29, 2008 12:52 PM

UCLA team to beat next year?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com released his pre-season top 25 today and has UCLA as the top-rated Pac-10 team at No. 8.

The only other Pac-10 teams rated are Arizona State at 16 and USC at 22, a bit of a difference from a year ago when as many as six conference teams tended to show up in these things.

With Darren Collison deciding to return to UCLA, I would agree that UCLA is the team to beat in the Pac-10 next year, and ASU certainly has the most returning otherwise, and USC, if all the recruits show up as scheduled, will probably be as talented as anyone other than the Bruins. So that all makes sense to me.

Maybe most eye-raising is Goodman's rating of Gonzaga at No. 6.

Luke Winn of SI.com has his own post-early entry ratings here with UCLA and USC the only Pac-10 teams among his top 15.

AS FOR IN-STATE PROSPECTS IN 2009, Scout.com currently lists just three as being recruited by the Huskies --- Peyton Siva, Avery Bradley and Aaron Dotson, though only Siva and Bradley with offers.

Scout lists just six Washington players in its current list of prospects.

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April 27, 2008 6:35 PM

Collison stays, Jefferson gone

Posted by Bob Condotta

Today is the deadline for early entry declarations, leading to a bit more news around the Pac-10.

And in a little twist, a player everyone thought was gone, Darren Collison of UCLA, is staying; while a player some thought might stay (though not me) is gone, USC's Davon Jefferson. I'd heard a couple of times Jefferson had little interest in school and in the end, wouldn't stay, even if it might make some sense long-term. As the story says, Jefferson is signing with an agent and is gone for good.

Collison, meanwhile, says he will undoubtedly return, giving him a chance to exorcise his Hec Ed demons. He's played two horrible games there in UCLA losses to UW the last two seasons, including three points and eight turnovers this season.

UCLA's Josh Shipp also announced today that he will at least explore the waters, though he's expected to return.

Here's a complete list of early entries via Sportsline.com.

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April 26, 2008 10:46 PM

Stanford finally makes its choice

Posted by Bob Condotta

Stanford has hired Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins as its new head coach.

Here's a good look at the hire from the San Francisco Chronicle.

As the story points out, Dawkins is the first coach from the Mike Krzyzewski tree to take over a Pac-10 program since Bob Bender at UW in 1993.

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April 24, 2008 5:14 PM

Wallace on road to recovery

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar was a visitor to Washington's football practice today and spent a few minutes talking with reporters.

Maybe the most noteworthy thing he said is that Artem Wallace is now off crutches and beginning to walk on his own. Romar said at the moment the thought is that he could be ready for the start of the season, though he cautioned there are still a lot of hurdles to clear.

Wallace suffered a torn knee ligament in the season-ending CBI loss to Valparaiso.

Romar said no other players had health issues to deal with after the season.

Romar also said that center Matthew Bryan-Amaning could spend up to six weeks or so this summer trying out for the British national team (read details on that here). He said MBA's obligation for that team could last until mid-September --- like all college teams, UW won't start official practice for next season until Oct. 15.

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April 24, 2008 8:46 AM

Larry Brown to Stanford?

Posted by Bob Condotta

After I noted yesterday that the Stanford coaching search, according to available reports, seemed pretty devoid of big names, the San Jose Mercury News reveals today that Larry Brown could be a candidate.

That would be fun.

Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports also says Brown could be in the mix and reports that Mark Few is among those who has spurned interest from Stanford.

UPDATE 9:30 A.M. --- And in some interesting scheduling news around the Pac-10, Washington State and LSU have apparently agreed to play a home-and-home series the next two years, with the Cougars making the trip to Baton Rouge next season.

LSU played at both UW and Oregon State two seasons ago and hosted both last season.

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April 23, 2008 8:17 PM

A few links

Posted by Bob Condotta

Sorry some of this may be old, but just in case, a few notes from around the Pac-190:

--- The Oregonian has a good breakdown of Oregon's point guard situation after the signing of Garrett Sim. A position that seemed thin this year could be deep next season.

--- Mike Montgomery added a couple of interesting names to his staff at Cal --- former Oregon State coach Jay John, and Travis DeCuire, a former head coach at Green River CC and Sammamish High and a former player at Mercer Island High under Ed Pepple.

--- Lute Olson's divorce could get ugly, and ugly in public, according to the Arizona Republic.

--- Speaking of Arizona, Kevin O'Neill, who coached the team this season and was once called the heir apparent to Olson, has been reassigned within the department.

--- The latest mock draft on NBADraft.net has 10 Pac-10 players going in the first round.

All for now.

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April 23, 2008 9:43 AM

The prize for our winner

Posted by Bob Condotta

So just in case you thought we promised a prize for the NCAA Tournament pool just for show, here it is --- a basketball purchased by the Times (well, me, actually) and graciously signed by the Washington Huskies (yes, including the much-rumored-about Quincy Pondexter).

UW HUSKY BB PICTURE.bmp


Here are the details of the contest and our winner, who will be getting the ball in a month or so depending on when I remember to take it to the post office.

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April 22, 2008 6:48 PM

Oregon adds a guard

Posted by Bob Condotta

The late signing period hasn't elicited much activity around the Pac-10.

But the Oregon Ducks added a guard today, getting a commitment from Garrett Sim, the Oregon 6A Player of the Year, who had signed with Cal but was released from his LOI when Ben Braun was fired.

The Eugene Register-Guard has details here.

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April 22, 2008 10:11 AM

Pendergraph says he's coming back

Posted by Bob Condotta

I thought it was a done deal that ASU's Jeff Pendergraph was returning for his senior season, but apparently he was at least thinking about it as the school sent out a press release yesterday saying he was returning.

Here it is, and it includes a decent rundown of the rest of the early-entries in the Pac-10, as well.

IN OTHER PAC-10 NEWS. ...

--- Jon Wilner has the latest on the Stanford coaching search. Not exactly a ton of big names there.

--- Ray Ratto has this take on the Stanford coaching situation.

--- The Corvallis Gazette-Times has a good Q-and-A with new OSU coach Craig Robinson.

--- Drake hired Arizona State assistant Mark Phelps as its new head coach, a job for which Washington State assistant Matt Woodley --- regarded as an up-and-comer in the business --- also applied.

All for now.

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April 21, 2008 8:55 PM

Pondexter says he's not going anywhere

Posted by Bob Condotta

Had a quick chat with Quincy Pondexter today as he was walking down the hall with the rest of his teammates to a conditioning workout and asked him about the report in the Kentucky newspaper yesterday.

"I'm staying right here,'' he said with a laugh, adding quickly he had no idea where that story came from.

So sounds like that's that on that one.

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April 21, 2008 3:14 PM

New look for UW floor

Posted by Bob Condotta

Often times when we are here doing football interviews we can look out at the basketball floor and see a beehive of activity.

Not this week as the floor is getting its annual check-up --- new coats of paint, etc.

It's a task that is a little more complicated this year, however, as the workers must also color in a new three-point line.

In case you've forgotten, the three-point line is expanding to 20 feet, nine inches beginning next season. Here's a story detailing the change pointing out that the women's three-point line will remain the same, so all floors will now have two sets of lines.

As noted in this story a year ago, UW coach Lorenzo Romar doesn't think the new line is going to make a big difference saying that "guys who can make it at the other line can make it at this line.''

We'll know for sure in a year.

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April 21, 2008 9:26 AM

USC's Jefferson gone, Gibson back?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Two of the still-unresolved pro-or-college decisions among Pac-10 players are USC's Davon Jefferson and Taj Gibson.

However, Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News reports today that Jefferson is leaning toward declaring (though uncertain if he will hire an agent) with Gibson likely expected back.

So let's recap where it appears we are with Pac-10 early entries:

ARIZONA --- Jerryd Bayless gone never to return, Chase Budinger declared but with option to return (though probably unlikely to come back)..

CAL --- Ryan Anderson has declared but with option to return, which may be more likely now that Mike Montgomery is the coach.

STANFORD --- Brook and Robin Lopez gone for good.

USC --- O.J. Mayo gone for good, Jefferson probably gone for good if he declares, Gibson apparently returning.

UCLA --- Kevin Love, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Russell Westbrook have all declared without hiring an agent and Darren Collison is expected to later this week. Conventional wisdom is that Love, Westbrook and Collison will all remain in the draft.

The biggest losers are Stanford and Arizona, as UCLA and USC each appear to have planned pretty well for the future, knowing that Love and Mayo weren't going to stay long (and the Bruins also doing a nice job of preparing for life without Collison, as well).

There's no way to adequately replace the Lopez Twins, who were a unique package, and now also facing a coaching change, Stanford appears headed for a big fall. And while Arizona has a nice class coming in, its overall depth doesn't make it as well-equipped to handle these losses as are the Bruins and Trojans.

How Cal comes out of all of this is obviously solely dependent on Anderson.

No one else in the Pac-10 has lost anyone to voluntary early entry (an acknowledgment that C.J. Giles will officially be an early-entry case, as well).

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April 20, 2008 5:53 PM

Apparently nothing to Pondexter transfer story

Posted by Bob Condotta

There's apparently nothing to support a brief mention of UW forward Quincy Pondexter potentially transferring to UNLV in this story today in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

A person close to the UW program assured me tonight that "No, there's no truth to it'' and that Pondexter is not looking to leave.

Pondexter was on the court working out on Thursday and has given no indication he is thinking of transferring, having actually said just the opposite on several occasions this year, including just over a month ago when he insisted he would finish out his college career at UW.

The Huskies, in fact, have been attempting to schedule a game for next season at Fresno State, Pondexter's home town, though those plans have apparently fallen through.

The Huskies remain one over the scholarship limit for next season but I've been told the potential ways that may be solved do not involve Pondexter leaving.

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April 20, 2008 9:32 AM

UW class 29th in latest CSTV rankings

Posted by Bob Condotta

With the spring signing period having begun, CSTV.com has revised its recruiting rankings, and has UW's four-man class 29th in the country.

Here's the link, and as you can see, there are five other Pac-10 schools on the list --- UCLA at No. 2, Arizona (5), Oregon (14), USC (18) and Washington State (30).

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April 19, 2008 9:56 AM

Another player leaves women's team

Posted by Bob Condotta

This is never going to be a blog that regularly covers the UW women's basketball team since there's just no way I can adequately do it. With the schedules of the two teams being essentially reversed --- when one is on the road the other is at home, etc. --- I never see any women's games, so it's not an area of expertise.

I write that as a preamble to pass along this article today by Steve Kelley on the latest player to leave the women's team, which may be of interest to some of you and which you may want to comment on. And since we don't have any other forums for that, I'll post it on this blog so you can comment here, if you'd like.

Kali Bennett is the fourth player to transfer from the team since the start of the season, and unlike the other three, she says she wants to go to Washington State to play for the coach who recruited here at UW, June Daugherty.

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April 18, 2008 11:54 AM

A few items of interest

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here are a few notes to pass along that may be of interest to UW fans:

--- Here's another story on Scott Suggs earning the Mr. Show-Me Basketball award as the top player in the state of Missouri. There's an impressive list of past winners there, including Tyler Hansbrough, JaRon Rush, Kareem Rush and Larry Hughes.

--- Danny O'Neil of our staff wrote a good story today on former Oregon State center C.J. Giles and his plans now to play professionally.

--- Remember Lorrenzo Wade, the swingman from Louisville who announced at one point in the spring of 2005 that he planned to transfer to UW but then ended up at San Diego State instead? He announced this week he will declare for the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.

--- Chad Dollar, the brother of UW assistant Cameron Dollar, will apparently become the associate head coach at Arkansas State. He was on the staff at LSU this year but head coach John Brady was fired in mid-season. Brady is now the head coach at Arkansas State and bringing Dollar with him.

All for now.

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April 18, 2008 9:52 AM

Roy named Grand Marshal

Posted by Bob Condotta

In case you missed it, former Husky Brandon Roy was named earlier this week as the grand marshal for the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade in June.

Here's a story with details.

Also, to the question on scholarships for next year --- as far as I know, all the incoming frosh will qualify. Scott Suggs and Tyreese Breshers are already eligible and it's thought that Isaiah Thomas and Elston Turner will eventually make it. That means a spot has to be created somewhere. But as the coaches always say, it tends to find a way to work itself out. And it doesn't have to be someone leaving the team --- it could just be someone moving off scholarship for a quarter or two, something like that.

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April 17, 2008 10:09 PM

Drew Viney leaves Oregon

Posted by Bob Condotta

Forward Drew Viney, who figured to be a key player for the Oregon Ducks next season, has decided to transfer and has been granted his release.

Here's a story with some details from the Oregonian.

Viney seriously considered Washington out of high school and had an offer from the Huskies, but the story says he wants to play closer to his home in Villa Park, Calif. (which is in Orange County). So maybe he'll end up at a Big West school or somewhere, ala former Cougar Josh Akognon, now at Fullerton State.

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April 17, 2008 3:48 PM

Casto signs with Cougars

Posted by Bob Condotta

A couple of quick Pac-10 notes to pass along, including this story from the Spokesman-Review reporting that DeAngelo Casto has signed a letter-of-intent with Washington State.

In terms of in-state products, Casto is probably the biggest name to sign with the Cougars since Mark Hendrickson of Mt. Vernon in 1992. It will be interesting, to say the least, to watch how well Tony Bennett can mold Casto into his system, assuming Casto's academics allow him to get there (as the story indicates, there are still questions about that).

There's also this from LA where Luc Richard Mbah a Moute also said today he is declaring for the draft, but not signing with an agent, joining Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook said he's staying in if he projects as a top 20 pick, which means he's likely done in Westwood since most projections I've seen have him higher than that.


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April 17, 2008 8:31 AM

Love, Westbrook to announce today

Posted by Bob Condotta

UCLA's Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook are expected to announce today that they will enter the NBA Draft.

However, Westbrook will likely not to hire an agent, meaning he could be back. The story also says Darren Collison has yet to make up his mind. The deadline is April 27.

Interestingly, the latest mock on NBADraft.net has Westbrook going before any of the other Bruins, at No. 9 with Love at 14 and Collison at 20.

That mock has 10 Pac-10 players going in the first round, including Chase Budinger and Ryan Anderson, who have also said they are not hiring an agent and could return to school, as well as WSU's Kyle Weaver, who is usually listed as going a little bit lower in these things.

HoopsHype has seven Pac-10 players going in the first round, not listing Westbrook (maybe they didn't expect him to come out) Weaver or Anderson.

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April 16, 2008 10:29 AM

Schedule update

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few of you have asked about Washington's schedule for next season.

The quick answer is that it still isn't finished so there is nothing official yet to pass along (and it's not uncommon for schedules to not be completed by this time --- it often takes until May or June, if not later, to get it all done).

UW's scheduling has actually gotten a little more complicated of late as a hoped-for game at Fresno State has fallen through. UW wanted to play there next season to give Quincy Pondexter a chance to play in his hometown. But FSU apparently pulled out of the game so the Huskies now have two dates they need to fill.

As stated earlier, they are apparently hoping for a home-and-home with a big-name national opponent (apparently not Gonzaga) to fill one of the spots.

Much of UW's schedule is done, however, and the two most notable aspects of it are a home game against Oklahoma State in the Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge, as well as a spot in the CBE Classic.

The CBE Classic has a format similar to the NIT Season Tip-Off the Huskies played in this year with four teams serving as host sites for the first and second-rounds. UW will be one of those four hosts and will play two games at home likely against teams similar to what it played at home in the NIT (though hopefully more like Utah and less like New Jersey Tech). If the Huskies win both, they will advance to the semifinals and finals in Kansas City.

One of the other confirmed hosts is Syracuse, meaning the Huskies and Orange could meet for the second straight year in a pre-season tournament. Others rumored to be hosts are Florida, Texas and Kansas (obviously only two of the three would be).

Either way, it means the Huskies, if they can win two home games to advance to Kansas City, will play two big-name teams before November is through --- ESPN's Andy Katz has Syracuse, Florida, Texas and Kansas all ranked in his early look at the top 25 for next season.

Throw in the sure game against Oklahoma State and a possible road game against another national-type opponent and UW will likely have at least four non-conference games against BCS-level teams.

Teams like Portland State and Portland are also on the schedule for next year and the rest of the non-conference slate is likely to be similar in nature.

Jeff Compher, the UW associate AD who announced this week he is leaving to become the new AD at Northern Illinois, oversees scheduling for basketball. However, he will remain at UW through June so his departure shouldn't impact scheduling.

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April 15, 2008 9:51 PM

Harvey Perry update

Posted by Bob Condotta

This week marks the beginning of the spring signing period for college basketball, something that won't impact the Huskies as they are done signing players for the class of 2008.

However, there are lots of players out there for other schools to sign, among them former Husky Harvey Perry who recently finished up his sophomore year at the College of Southern Idaho, a two-year school in Twin Falls.

Here are Perry's stats for this season, showing he averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

This story says Perry will visit the University of New Orleans. I was also told that there may be interest in Perry by the likes of Colorado State and South Florida.

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April 15, 2008 9:09 AM

Lunardi has Huskies on the cusp

Posted by Bob Condotta

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has a pre-pre-pre-season proposed bracket for the 2008 NCAA tournament (link here) and lists the Huskies as one of his "last four out.''

Lunardi doesn't view it being a banner year for the Pac-10, including just four conference teams --- UCLA, USC, Arizona and Arizona State.

Most eye-popping is his listing of Arizona as a No. 2 seed. That seems pretty optimistic projection for a team that may be losing its two best players from its 2008 roster, not to mention any possible hangover from the coaching turmoil from last season.

Maybe it's simply a nod to the obvious potential of Brandon Jennings, who if the hype is to be believed, may be good enough on his own to get the Wildcats back to where they were a few years ago.

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April 14, 2008 9:50 PM

Aguilar unsure about basketball

Posted by Bob Condotta

I had a chance today to talk with Husky receiver Devin Aguilar and in our conversation I asked him about whether he wants to play basketball at UW, as well.

Aguilar, you may recall, was also a D-I college basketball recruit out of Mullen High in Denver, reporting that he had offers in that sport from the likes of Utah, Iowa State and Wichita State.

Aguilar said he would like to play basketball at UW but that he'll only try to do it if he can make it work without conflicting with football.

"I would (like to), but it's based on how long the season goes for football,'' said the 6-foot, 185-pound Aguilar, who played point guard at Mullen.

"I love basketball. But as far as football, I just feel it's my job. It's a better way for me to go where I want to go at the next level rather than basketball, which I think is a little bit harder.

"I've talked to coach (Lorenzo) Romar and (assistant) coach (Cameron) Dollar, and they all want me to come out. I've watched some practices and I've played with some of the guys when I have spare time.''

He said he has become particularly good friends with Venoy Overton, counting him as one of his best friends at UW along with Husky cornerback Quinton Richardson.

The best-case scenario for the UW football team this season is obviously that it makes it to a bowl game, which would stretch its season into at least late-December. That could make it difficult to then try to play basketball, especially while also balancing the rest of the demands of being a football player and student.

But Aguilar said he will leave his options open.

"I'll just have to make that decision at that time,'' he said.


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April 13, 2008 10:00 AM

Suggs wins Mr. Show-Me Basketball Award, more

Posted by Bob Condotta

Washington recruit Scott Suggs was honored this week with the Mr. Show-Me Basketball Award, given to the top high school player in the state of Missouri.

Here's an article detailing the award.

Suggs celebrated by scoring 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out five assists while playing for a team of Missouri All-Stars against a team from Illinois in the McDonald's Riverwar High School Basketball All-Star Games.

For those who haven't seen Suggs play, here are some clips courtesy of YouTube.

WILL CONROY UPDATE --- The former Husky is back in the NBA D-League and had a big game last night, scoring 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds.

HAWES STARTING TO SHINE --- Speaking of former Huskies, in case you haven't noticed, Spencer Hawes is beginning to prove his worth as an NBA player. Due to an injury to Brad Miller, Hawes has been starting of late for the Sacramento Kings and playing well.

As his stats here show, he's averaging 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in just over 31 minutes in April, shooting almost 47 percent from the floor.

Most impressive are performances in wins on back-to-back nights this weekend as he hit 12-19 shots and averaged 13 points, six rebounds and three assists in victories over Portland and New Orleans. With Hawes playing regularly, the Kings have won four of six games.

CRAZY PAC-10 --- Bud Withers of our staff had a good column today analyzing some of the craziness in the Pac-10 since the end of the season.


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April 12, 2008 9:50 PM

Jones back where he started

Posted by Bob Condotta

The strange NBA season of former Husky Bobby Jones continued this weekend when he was signed by Denver for the remainder of the season after not being re-upped by San Antonio.

Here's a story from the Denver Post detailing the signing.

Jones has already set an NBA record for most teams in a season with five.

He began the season in Denver before being waived in January, setting in motion his many moves.


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April 11, 2008 10:51 AM

So what does Stanford do now?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Somewhat oddly, sounds as if no one there has a clue.

As Jon Wilner pointed out today, you would have thought that if things were so bad between Trent Johnson and the Stanford administration Johnson was thinking of leaving, that said administration would have at least some idea of what it wanted to do if Johnson, in fact, left.

Instead, sounds as if the folks at Stanford never thought Johnson would really leave and have no plan what to do now.

As a private institution, Stanford isn't compelled to release salary information. But it's thought Johnson was making only $600,000 or so, making him one of the lowest-paid coaches in the conference. He's thought to be making $1.2 million per at LSU, which isn't huge money anymore and one reason the LSU job wasn't quite as attractive to some coaches as it might seem from the outside.

Here's a fun take from Ray Ratto on the chaos in the Bay Area with Stanford having no coach and Cal having a coach who might wish he could be at Stanford, instead.

As for who coaches Stanford now, ESPN's Andy Katz mentioned Mark Few, Mike Brey and, you guessed it, Tony Bennett as possibilities. He also threw out Davidson's Bob McKillop and Tulsa's Doug Wojcik, whose claim to fame is leading his team to the CBI title (so take that, those of you who said that tournament was meaningless).

The San Francisco Chronicle mentions Randy Bennett, Mark Fox, Bill Grier and one wildcard --- Bob Knight. That would liven up those Tuesday morning Pac-10 coaches conference calls, that's for sure.

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April 10, 2008 8:21 PM

Artem Wallace update

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW forward Artem Wallace had what was termed "successful'' surgery earlier this week to repair the ACL tear suffered in the season-ending CBI tournament game against Valparaiso.

I'm told a ligament was taken from his hamstring and used to repair the knee.

UW trainers originally estimated a 6-9-month recovery time and with the surgery having apparently gone as well as hoped, he could be on the short end of that span, which could have him ready for the start of the season. Even at nine months he would be ready for the Pac-10 schedule.

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April 10, 2008 10:32 AM

Assessing the Pac

Posted by Bob Condotta

It's fairly insane to try to guess what might happen next year at this early date.

But then it's also insane to offer college basketball coaches $6 million, as Oklahoma State is reportedly doing to Bill Self.

And hey, it's all part of the drill these days, right, to start speculating about next year the minute one year ends?

So here is my first look at the Pac-10 next season in order of finish (subject to multiple changes):

1, UCLA --- Best guess is that Kevin Love and Darren Collison are gone and that Josh Shipp and Luc Mbah a Moute return (and who really knows yet about Russell Westbrook). Should Westbrook return, UCLA will be a no-brainer to pick at the top. Even if he leaves, and the rest return, UCLA should still be the favorite considering a standout recruiting class and a proven philosophy. (Here's a good update on UCLA's current situation).

2, Arizona State --- Everybody's back, and that should be a big advantage next season in a conference that doesn't figure to be as deep or strong as it was this year. James Harden should take the next step to stardom, Jeff Pendergraph could be the best defensive player in the conference, and the rest of the cast should be able to provide a little better support.

3, USC --- O.J. Mayo is gone (was there ever really any doubt?) but sounds like Taj Gibson and Davon Jefferson could be back. If so, those two (as well as Daniel Hackett and some other quality guys) will welcome the nation's top-recruit, swingman Demar DeRozan, who may be an even better fit than was Mayo.

4, Cal --- Taking a hunch here that the addition of Mike Montgomery may also compel Ryan Anderson to return. If so, Bears could take a pretty big leap as they seemed to almost play better this year without DeVon Hardin, indicating they won't miss him all that much. Return-to-health of Theo Robertson will help, and Montgomery should add a defensive emphasis missing this year.

5, Arizona --- A really hard team to assess until we know if Chase Budinger stays. If he goes, Arizona will drop in this ranking. If not, a trio of Budinger, Jordan Hill and Brandon Jennings will make the Wildcats more than capable of a top five finish. And don't forget that the Wildcats are also bringing in two quality freshmen big men in center Jeff Withey and forward Emmanuel Negedu.

6, Washington --- Return of just about everyone plus the addition of three guards that should solidify the backcourt will make the Huskies again a contender for an NCAA Tournament berth. If one or more of the young big guys makes a big leap in production (or an immediate impact in the case of the freshmen) Huskies could climb higher (especially if the team figures out a way to make free throws again).

7, Washington State --- Cougars lose a lot, but they aren't going to fall off the edge of the earth, either, bringing in a solid recruiting class and possibly getting some big help from guys who sat out this season such as Fabian Boeke and Abe Lodwick. And there are yet more stories saying DeAngelo Casto wants to become a Cougar.But it figures to take some time to adjust to life with Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver.

8, Oregon --- Ducks could finish a whole lot higher than this if a fabulous recruiting class pays immediate dividends. And the Ducks are still hoping to add standout local point guard Brad Tinsley, which might solve a lot of their playmaking problems. But the Ducks lose a lot of production and experience and the M.O. at Oregon under Ernie Kent has been that even the best of classes take a year or two to mature.

9, Stanford --- Really hard to judge right now given the coaching uncertainty. Stanford brings in some decent players but the loss of the Lopez Twins will obviously be hard to overcome quickly --- and until we know who the coach is, hard to figure exactly how they plan to do it. Speaking of their coaching situation, Jon Wilner has another good piece assessing what went wrong with Trent Johnson and what happens now.

10, Oregon State --- Still a mess, and we still wonder why they didn't go with Ken Bone, though at least there's now the off-chance that the future President of the United States will be in attendance. The Corvallis Gazette-Times is reporting that there is no chance that C.J. Giles will be back and that he is preparing for a pro career.

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April 9, 2008 8:25 PM

Brockman wins team MVP award

Posted by Bob Condotta

Jon Brockman earned his his second straight KJR Radio Most Valuable Player trophy tonight at the annual Washington men's basketball banquet.

Here's a link to the official release.

Brockman was a first-team all-districtselection and a second-team All Pac-10 pick averaging 17.8 points and 11.6 rebounds per game to lead all Pac-10 players for the second straight season. Brockman was also a repeat conference leader in double-doubles with 23.

Along with the team's MVP honor, Brockman received the Tyee Sports Council Community Service award and shared the Coaches Award with freshman forward Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw), who sat out the season as a red-shirt. Brockman also garnered the Harshman Trophy, recognizing the team's top rebounder, for the third consecutive year. Next season, he will try to become the first player in school history to lead UW rebounders four times.

Here are the rest of the awards:

KJR Most Valuable Player -- Jon Brockman
Hec Edmundson Most Inspirational -- Joel Smith
Harshman Trophy (top rebounder) -- Jon Brockman
Wurster Award (top hustler) -- Justin Holiday
Tyee Sports Council Community Service -- Jon Brockman
John Meyers Defensive Player -- Artem Wallace
Most Improved Player -- Quincy Pondexter
Playmaker of the Year -- Venoy Overton
Industrial Award (hardest worker) -- Quincy Pondexter
101 Club Scholar-Athlete -- Justin Dentmon
Coaches Award -- Jon Brockman & Darnell Gant

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April 9, 2008 3:53 PM

Dollar to remain at UW

Posted by Bob Condotta

Sacramento State University has decided to hire Brian Katz as its new head coach, meaning that Cameron Dollar will remain with the Huskies as an assistant.

Dollar was one of three finalists for the job and had an interview with Sac State officials last week, but said today that he is no longer in the running for the job.

Dollar has been an assistant at UW for all six years of the Lorenzo Romar era. This is the second straight year he has fallen just short of getting his first Division I head coaching job, having also been a finalist at Long Beach State last year.

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April 9, 2008 10:05 AM

Trent Johnson to LSU?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Just when you think the Pac-10 coaching carousel has ended, it's apparently getting ready to kick back up again.

A TV station in Louisiana is reporting today that Stanford coach Trent Johnson is leaving The Farm to become the new coach at LSU. Here's that report.

The San Jose Mercury News is also reporting Johnson is talking with LSU.

Our paper reported on Tuesday that Johnson had interviewed with LSU officials at the Final Four as part of a story that also detailed how LSU had spoken with WSU coach Tony Bennett. Bennett yesterday said he was staying at WSU, which might have been a tipoff that LSU had focused on someone else. (And trust us when we say Bennett and LSU spoke).

On the face of it, this might seem like a strange move.

But rumblings have been that Johnson has not been on the best of terms with Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. As one person told me recently "he's not feeling the love there.''

Here's an old blog post from Jon Wilner detailing Johnson's contract issues with Stanford. Getting kicked out of the NCAA tourney game against Marquette also surely didn't help Johnson's situation at Stanford.

We'll see where Stanford goes from here, but this is obviously an attractive opening.

What we do know is that with the departure of the Lopez Twins and now Johnson, who is a Franklin High graduate, the Cardinal will be starting over next season.

This will be the third Pac-10 coaching job to turn over this season after Cal and Oregon State (and now you wonder if Mike Montgomery doesn't wish he had waited a few days so he could just return to The Farm).

UPDATE --- Here's an early list of potential candidates from the Mercury News.

Here's another --- Mark Few. Here's a story from four years ago detailing how people close to Few said then that Stanford was a job he would consider. He didn't then, but you wonder if he might not get another chance.

UPDATE NO. 2 --- Trent Johnson will become only the third Pac-10 coach to win Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors and not to return to coach his team the following season. The others are Montgomery, when he left Stanford in 2004, and George Raveling, when he left WSU for Iowa following the 1983 season.

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April 9, 2008 8:38 AM

Huskies getting started on next year

Posted by Bob Condotta

With coaches back in town from the Final Four (which also serves as the national coaches convention) the Huskies officially began work on next season this week, beginning off-season conditioning and some allowed individual workouts.

Here are a few thoughts from head coach Lorenzo Romar on some of his players as they head into next season:

JON BROCKMAN: "I think after he steps away from the season and has a spring and summer, he'll come back improved. Even if Jon Brockman were not to improve at all, he would come back as the nation's leading returning rebounder and a two-time All-Pac-10 guy. But from his freshman year to his sophomore year there was huge improvement. And from his sophomore year to his junior year there was huge improvement. So I like to think he's going to get better. And then we're talking about an All-American candidate for us coming back.''

JOE WOLFINGER: "He wasn't able to play at that level (of the Cal game where he had 17 points) the last couple of games. But you know what he brings to the table now and this year he will have a full spring and summer where he can work.''

MATTHEW BRYAN-AMANING: "Early on he was maybe not being where he needed to be defensively. But those are things you anticipate out of a freshman. Where he needs to improve the most now is catching the ball and relaxing and not rushing things. He was shuffling his feet, doing everything too fast without realizing where everything is around him on the floor. But when he is relaxed he is awfully good. And after playing a year I think that he will come back much more relaxed. And he can block shots. I think everyone can see the potential is there.''

VENOY OVERTON: "He has to become a better shooter. And you have to realize with Venoy, he came in getting into school at the last minute. Now he's got a year under his belt where he's played and he got to play a lot of minutes. So he's got a chance to make great improvement. Next year he will be even better defensively and I think we'll force more turnovers as a team and that will get us in transition more. We'll have a more veteran team and with the players coming in, I think we'll have better opportunities to get out and run and finish on the other end.''

QUINCY PONDEXTER: "I thought he finished very strong. Last year he started out strong and didn't finish as strong. This year, I thought he finished strong and that will help him (heading into next season).''

JOEL SMITH: "He'll be a fifth-year senior and he's one of the best 'team guys' I've ever coached. He's just always so enthusiastic and upbeat. His inspiration definitely helps your team.''

JUSTIN HOLIDAY: "Justin hopefully will have an injury and illness-free year (next year). He's kind of a wild-card guy. He's one of those guys who is a glue guy. He really is a lot like Bobby Jones, a glue guy who can come in and play with many different combinations of guys on the floor. He's got to work on his ballhandling and outside shooting, but he is a smart basketball player and obviously a good defender.''

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April 8, 2008 8:45 PM

Mass exodus from UCLA?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Sorta sounds like it as the LA Times reported today that Kevin Love and Darren Collison will enter the draft, and hire agent, meaning they won't be able to change their minds later.

The paper also says Russell Westbrook is likely gone and that Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute may also at least declare for the draft so they can be evaluated.

With Love and Collison apparently gone for certain, we can no unequivocally declare that the Pac-10 will be a whole lot more wide open next season. In a day or so, we'll look at that more closely.


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April 8, 2008 3:15 PM

Bennett says he's staying

Posted by Bob Condotta

After a report in our paper today that he had talked with LSU officials last week at the Final Four, WSU coach Tony Bennett announced this afternoon that he is staying in Pullman.

Here's the official release from WSU.

The LSU job had intrigued Bennett due in large part to his wife's ties to the area --- he was married in a church in Baton Rouge.

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April 8, 2008 2:18 PM

Budinger to explore NBA options

Posted by Bob Condotta

Arizona could look a lot different next season as Chase Budinger said today he will explore his NBA options.

Here's a good overview from the Arizona Daily Star noting that Budinger won't hire an agent, leaving him the option to return to school.

Pac-10 underclassmen who have said they will definitely at least explore their options, or our outright headed to the draft, are --- Budinger, Jerryd Bayless, Ryan Anderson and the Lopez Twins.

Expected to but haven't yet said anything are O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison and Kevin Love.

Still apparently on the fence are Russell Westbrook, Taj Gibson and Davon Jefferson.

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April 8, 2008 10:33 AM

We have a winner

Posted by Bob Condotta

The first (maybe annual?) Husky Men's Basketball Blog NCAA Tournament Pool (got to come up with a better name) is over and we have a winner --- Chris Wofford, who correctly picked Kansas to take the whole thing and also correctly picked all four of the Final Four.

I finished in a dropping-like-a-rock 32nd place after picking UCLA and North Carolina to advance to the Final.

For those who played and have a password, you can also access the bracket of the guy who won the entire ESPN tournament here. His big master stroke was picking Davidson to get to the Elite Eight. He also got almost a direct hit on the final, calling for Kansas to win 77-71 (real final was 75-68).

Otherwise, however, he mostly just picked a lot of the higher seeds to win, pointing out that it was a pretty by-the-book tournament that other than Davidson and the final game and a few buzzer beaters here and there, didn't yield a lot of memorable moments.

Thanks again to Matty Simone for organizing this, and our winner should contact me privately about our (alleged?) prize.


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April 7, 2008 3:42 PM

Monday p.m. notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few notes and links:

--- The NCAA tournament challenge will obviously end tonight and the games Saturday created a lot of turnover at the top --- I fell from 15th to 28th by missing both games (I had a UCLA-Carolina final with the Bruins winning it all, so I will fall even further from here). Here's the link to the page.

--- Oregon State will make the hiring of Craig Robinson as its new coach official at 4 p.m. (you can watch it here).

--- Brian Dohn has a few interesting UCLA-related notes in his blog, including that Alfred Aboya might skip hi senior season to go to grad school and that Taylor King, who has transferred from Duke, is considering USC, Gonzaga and Villanova.

--- Anthony Gimino has a good column on the decision facing Chase Budinger and how that could impact Arizona (he thinks it could be a bigger deal than Jerryd Bayless because the Wildcats have another good PG coming in in Brandon Jennings but no obviously replacement for Budinger).

--- USC recruit Leonard Washington has gotten academically eligible, reports Scott Wolf.

--- Call it Memphis 74, Kansas 71 as a somewhat-blah NCAA Tournament yields at least a fascinating finale.

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April 7, 2008 9:21 AM

NBA, NCAA want to reform youth basketball

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here's a good story about some interesting news coming today as the NBA and NCAA are announcing a partnership to try to overhaul youth basketball.

Sounds like they have noble intentions, anyway, though if the NBA can't figure out a way to make a franchise work in Seattle not sure how it is going to be able to overhaul youth basketball. And I always look toBilly Packer when I want some fresh, innovating thinking about basketball.

Guess I'm saying I'd like to see some details first.

But getting the two sides working together on something like this can only be a good thing. UW fans probably hope the first thing they address is free throw shooting.

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April 6, 2008 9:50 PM

Apparent new OSU coach almost played for Huskies

Posted by Bob Condotta

I was doing some reading tonight on Craig Robinson, the Brown head coach who is reportedly set to become the new coach at Oregon State, and learned to my surprise that he almost played for the Huskies.

Here are two stories that detail how Robinson --- who is now the brother-in-law of Barack Obama --- was set to attend UW on a full-ride scholarship out of high school before his father helped convince him he should attend Princeton.

The first is from the Providence Journal and the next is from The New York Times.

Robinson is a Chicago native who graduated from Princeton in 1983 which means he would have been recruited to UW by Marv Harshman. He apparently would have been a Husky during Lorenzo Romar's senior season meaning Romar might have gotten to know Robinson during the recruiting process (I'll have to ask that when I next talk to Romar).

The Corvallis Gazette-Times is reporting Robinson's hire at OSU is a done deal.

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April 6, 2008 6:31 PM

New OSU coach reportedly hired --- and it's not Ken Bone

Posted by Bob Condotta

John Canzano of the Oregonian is reporting tonight that Oregon State is set to hire Craig Robinson of Brown as its new head coach. Here's more from the Beavers Beat blog.

Robinson has almost been better known as late for being the brother-in-law of Barack Obama.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times also has this report on the apparent hire.

Brown finished 19-10 this season and was invited to the CBI, where it lost in the first round to Ohio University.

Here's a bio on Robinson. And here's his Wikipedia entry which has some links to other stories about him. As you can see, he's only been a head coach for two years.

This is definitely an off-the-radar hire as I never saw Brown's name mentioned once in any of the stories I read on this.

But maybe this is the kind of outside-the-box hire the Beavers need to revive their program (while acknowledging that Robinson was likely at least the third choice after Randy Bennett and Bill Grier).

And too bad for Ken Bone, the former UW assistant now at Portland State who seemed like he would have been a perfect fit for this job. Bone's best revenge now will be continuing the resurgence at PSU, where his team next year could be as good, or better, than this year with former Husky Phil Nelson becoming eligible.

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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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April 5, 2008 2:08 PM

Jerryd Bayless turning pro

Posted by Bob Condotta

Little surprise in the news today from FoxSports.com that Arizona's Jerryd Bayless is turning pro.

Arizona coach Lute Olson had held out hope Bayless would return, but no one else seemed to think that would happen. Arizona now waits to see what Chase Budinger will do. If he doesn't come back, Olson will have a big job on his hands.

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April 5, 2008 9:50 AM

Romar lauds Montgomery hire

Posted by Bob Condotta

The hiring of Mike Montgomery as Cal's new head coach will become official today, and only make the Pac-10 that much tougher --- he has the sixth-most conference wins of any coach in history with 213 (against 111 losses).

This story from the San Francisco Chronicle details the hiring and also includes this quote from UW coach Lorenzo Romar: "It'll be a shock if they don't do well. Montgomery could take four guys from down at the boy's club and do pretty well and I think Cal was going to be good anyway.''

Here's more on the hire:

--- San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami points out that the Pac-10 is a lot stronger now than when Montgomery left it after the 2004 season.

--- This story from the Contra Costa Times also includes a quote from Romar, calling Montgomery "one of the best coaches in the history of the Pac-10.''

--- Romar is also included in this roundup of quotes, saying "I think it's a great hire.''

IN OTHER NEWS:

--- While former UW assistant Ken Bone might seem like an obvious choice for Oregon State now, the school continues to interview other candidates as well, reportedly talking with former Saint Louis head coach Brad Soderberg. Interestingly, Soderberg has ties to both Romar and the Dick Bennett family tree of coaches. He spent one year at Saint Louis as an assistant under Romar, then took over when Romar came to UW. Soderberg played for Dick Bennett and later was an assistant for him, and took over for the elder Bennett when he retired early in the 2000-2001 season at Wisconsin. When he didn't get the head coaching job there, Romar hired him to be an assistant at Saint Louis.

--- Now that LSU has finally hired an athletic director, the school is getting serious about hiring a new basketball coach, and Tony Bennett remains in the mix, according to this story.

All for now.

ONE LAST LINK:

--- Also found this today from the Arizona Daily Star that Bellarmine Prep High guard Abdul Gaddy says, through his AAU coach, that he remains solid in his commitment to Arizona.

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April 4, 2008 10:32 PM

Contest update

Posted by Bob Condotta

With the Final Four on tap, there are just three games left in what will hopefully become an annual Husky Men's Basketball Blog NCAA Tourney contest (you can check it out here).

I see Bomberboy is ahead and has UCLA beating North Carolina in the final (the same as my bracket, so I guess there's no way I can catch up.)

Pretty sure it's Bomberboy who I met at the Mariner game the other day so not sure if I want to give him the prize I had considered awarding to the winner (joke hopefully gotten) --- a basketball autographed by as many as the Husky players and coaches who I could get to do it in the next week or so (I figured that would be an especially fitting award should a Cougar or Zag fan win it).

I quickly glanced at the top six entries and noticed all picked each of the Final Four teams correctly, all of whom are No. 1 seeds. That might seem like the easy way out, but until this year, all four No. 1 seeds had never made it so it was still a little of a risk (I almost did it but picked Texas to beat Memphis, leaving me in a still-respectable-considering-my-history-in-these-things 15th).

I'm thinking we might not have to wait long to see all four No. 1 seeds get to the Final Four again, however. Two of the Final Four are led by one-and-done players (Memphis and UCLA) who likely wouldn't be in school if not for the new NBA rule mandating they have to attend college for at least one season.

The winners of that rule appear to be the big-name schools who can best attract big-time recruits. And the recruits who go into college thinking (hoping?) they are only going to be in college one year will always be more likely to pick the big-name schools. They're going to want a sure thing, to make the biggest splash as quickly as they can.

The 2006 NCAA Tournament, when George Mason got to the Final Four and a few other off-the-beaten-path schools made deep runs was deemed by many as a breakthrough for the mid-majors, the schools who get the lower-tier recruits and could use experience and teamwork to beat more talented teams.

Instead, it might have simply been a last stand as the traditional powers have just gotten more powerful, something this year's Final Four appears to prove.


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April 4, 2008 1:47 PM

Rodrick Stewart hurt at Final Four

Posted by Bob Condotta

Unfortunate news concerning Seattle native Rodrick Stewart, now playing at Kansas, as he was hurt during a practice at the Final Four today.

Here's a link detailing the injury.

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April 4, 2008 10:00 AM

Montgomery to Cal?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Well this will shake up the Pac-10 a little bit if reports that Mike Montgomery is going to be the next coach at Cal prove true.

Here's a report from ESPN.com.

Not only will that spice up the Cal-Stanford rivalry --- Montgomery was still on staff at Stanford this year as assistant to the athletic director --- but also possibly finally give test just how competitive Cal can be in basketball. Some coaches have said they think Cal could be a really good job because of the ability to get in special admits (something that has helped the football program return to prominence under Jeff Tedford).

If Montgomery can convince Ryan Anderson to return, the Bears could be an NCAA Tournament team next season, otherwise losing only the underachieving DeVon Hardin and sometime starter Eric Verneisel.

Montgomery stayed close to the game this season as an announcer --- one time this year he wandered up to press row at UW to chat with reporters beforehand, appearing especially relaxed.

IN OTHER NEWS

--- Sacramento State is done conducting interviews with the three finalists for its head coaching job (a group that included UW assistant Cameron Dollar) and the Sacramento Bee says "there doesn't appear to be a front-runner.''

--- And here's the latest on the search at Oregon State, which may now turn to former UW assistant Ken Bone, now at Portland State.

--- Also, one of you asked for a rundown of next year's schedule. There's nothing new at the moment than what I have previously reported. Oklahoma State is coming here as part of the Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge, and UW will play in the CBE Classic (with UW's opponents still unknown). UW is trying to get a home-and-home with a big name (not thought to be Gonzaga) that will start on the road next year. Other than that, it will similar to this year's schedule with teams like Portland State and Portland again coming in.

All for now.

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April 3, 2008 6:38 PM

Cal's Anderson declares for draft without agent

Posted by Bob Condotta

Another big-name Pac-10 player may take the early NBA plunge as Cal sophomore forward Ryan Anderson said announced Thursday that he has made himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. He does not plan to sign with an agent, leaving him the option of returning to the Golden Bear program for his junior season, according to a release from the school.

Anderson averaged 21.1 points per game and 9.9 rebounds for Cal in 2007-08.

"I am excited to have the chance to see where I stand in the eyes of NBA scouts,'' Anderson said in a statement. "This is a great opportunity for me to get out there and get feedback on my game and see what I need to work on to improve myself as a player. I am still attending classes, so this will not affect my standing at Cal; I will use the information I gain from this experience to make a more educated decision on my basketball future''

Other Pac-10 players who have publicly declared their future plans include Stanford's Robin and Brook Lopez, each turning pro; and Arizona State's James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph, each staying.

A number of other players remain publicly uncertain, such as Arizona's Jerryd Bayless (likely turning pro) and Chase Budinger (seems 50-50) and USC's Davon Jefferson (latest report said leaning to pro) and Taj Gibson (seems 50-50). USC's O.J. Mayo is also expected to turn pro but hasn't said anything yet.

None of the UCLA guys considering it will obviously say anything until after their season is concluded.

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April 3, 2008 3:29 PM

Grier says no to Oregon State; Bone in picture?

Posted by Bob Condotta

According to FoxSports.com, Bill Grier has decided to turn down the Oregon State job.

The same report says Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett has also withdrawn from consideration for that job. Bennett appears to be angling for the Cal job.

All of which could mean the Beavers will now turn to former UW assistant Ken Bone, now the head coach at Portland State. This post from the Oregonian's John Canzano earlier in the day said Bone "would become a candidate'' if Grier said no, as has apparently happened.

Here's a bit more on the OSU situation from the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

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April 3, 2008 10:18 AM

Sac State update

Posted by Bob Condotta

A day after interviewing UW assistant Cameron Dollar, Sacramento State officials spent Wednesday interviewing local junior college coach Brian Katz.

Katz is the coach at San Joaquin Delta in Stockton but lives in Sacramento and is selling that local knowledge in his attempt to get the job. Sac State is due to interview another JC coach, Tony Marcopulos of Cabrillo College, today. A decision could come any time after that, though it's not expected until early next week.

IN OTHER NEWS

--- Bill Grier is said to have been offered the Oregon State job and likely to make a decision today.

--- Bud Withers of our staff reports that Tony Bennett has called recruits and said he's not leaving.

--- Jon Wilner writes there is still some uncertainty about the future of Trent Johnson at Stanford.

--- Here's a brief update on the Cal coaching job.

AND AS FOR DEANGELO CASTO and UW, the Huskies don't have room for any more recruits in the class of 2008. As mentioned on here a lot, the Huskies are actually already one over the limit for next season. UW coach Lorenzo Romar said on signing day the Huskies were done and would sign no more players for the Class of 2008.

All for now.

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April 2, 2008 3:19 PM

Wednesday afternoon notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

Just in case you caught CBI fever two weeks ago when the Huskies hosted their lone game in that tournament (and really, was it just two weeks ago?) here's a quick reminder that it could all end tonight if Tulsa can win at Bradley in game two of the three-game championship series. Here's more info.

--- This SF Chronicle story today maintains that Tony Bennett is still a candidate for the Cal job despite a lot of public pronouncements to the contrary. One reason that job is thought to hold a little more appeal than maybe it would seem on the surface is the ability to get special academic admits into school.

--- One Milwaukee columnist says Marquette should call Bennett, as well, noting his ties to the area.

--- The Elkins High team that included UW recruit Elston Turner Jr., was rated 43rd in the country in the final rankings by CalHiSports.com.

--- UW recruit Scott Suggs is one of eight Missouri high school players nominated to be the state's Mr. Show-Me Basketball.

--- TV ratings for the NCAA tournament are down 7 percent so far. Stated reason is all the blowouts in what has been a rather dull tournament other than Davidson and a few other upsets. Will four No. 1 seeds, three of whom are among the most famous names in the history of the sport, lead to better ratings this weekend? You'd think.

--- One of you asked who might be a candidate for a UW assistant's job if Cameron Dollar leaves. Here's one possibility. Here's another.

All for now.

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April 2, 2008 9:43 AM

Sac Bee story on Dollar interview

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here's a story from the Sacramento Bee on Cameron Dollar's interview on Tuesday with Sacramento State. Dollar is one of three finalists vying to become the new head coach at that school.

Word is the interview went well and Dollar has put himself in a good position to get this job. A final decision may not come until early next week.

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April 2, 2008 9:29 AM

Spurs sign Jones

Posted by Bob Condotta

In case you missed it, the Spurs on Tuesday signed former Husky Bobby Jones to a 10-day contract.

This story details the signing as well as all of the transactions this season involving Jones, which have been numerous ---- this is now the fifth NBA team he has played for this year.

He played six minutes and 50 seconds last night in San Antonio's rout of Golden State.

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April 1, 2008 10:17 PM

Tuesday night notes

Posted by Bob Condotta

A couple of notes to pass along:

--- UW assistant Cameron Dollar did indeed have his official interview at Sacramento State today. One source said it went well and that Dollar is "well-positioned'' to get the job as the new head coach of the Hornets. A decision, however, may not come until early next week. Dollar is not commenting until after the process is complete. For more background on that situation you can read our story from last Saturday.

--- Kevin O'Neill is officially out as an assistant at Arizona, which also apparently means he won't be the heir apparent to Lute Olson as head coach. That was some of the news that emanated today from Olson's first press conference with local media since taking a leave of absence in November. You can read a writeup of it here as well as watch the video. Here's another take on that from the Associated Press. Olson said it was still uncertain whether Jerryd Bayless or Chase Budinger will return next season.

--- Bill Grier says he's looking at the Oregon State job but hasn't yet accepted it. One rumor making the rounds is that Grier has been offered $4.6 million over six years.

--- Jon Wilner has a good look at a number of coaching openings in his College Hotline blog.

All for now.

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April 1, 2008 4:16 PM

Grier to Oregon State?

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Oregonian's Paul Buker is reporting that one source has told him that Bill Grier has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Oregon State.

Here's the link.

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April 1, 2008 1:19 PM

Bryan-Amaning playing for his country

Posted by Bob Condotta

Husky freshman center Matthew Bryan-Amaning has been named as one of about 20 players who will be invited to try out for a British national basketball team that will attempt to quality for the 2012 Olympics.

You can read details here.

Bryan-Amaning is a native of London.

The 2012 Olympics will be held in London so there is a particular motivation and urgency for the British team to qualify.

It's common for college players to participate in such tryouts and on national teams, similar to Jon Brockman's attempt to make the Pan-Am Games team last summer.

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April 1, 2008 8:55 AM

News around the Pac-10

Posted by Bob Condotta

A lot of interesting stuff out there today so we'll get right to it:

---- Oregon State is apparently narrowing its field of candidates for a new head coach and may have settled on either Bill Grier of San Diego or Randy Bennett of Saint Mary's, according to this from the Corvallis Gazette-Times. That's an interesting choice between a longtime Gonzaga assistant (Grier) and a longtime friend of UW coach Lorenzo Romar (Bennett). Portland State coach Ken Bone, a former UW assistant, is not mentioned.

--- John Canzano of the Oregonian has more on the OSU search, calling Grier and Bennett the two leading candidates.

--- Jeff Faurado of InsideBayArea.com analyzes how the Randy Bennett situation may impact the Cal coaching search.

--- Here's more from Jon Wilner on the departure of Brook and Robin Lopez from Stanford.

--- The San Francisco Chronicle also has more on the Lopez twins.

--- Arizona coach Lute Olson is scheduled to hold his first press conference today since returning as coach and may also address the futures of Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger.

--- Taylor King, who is leaving Duke, may consider Gonzaga as his next home.

--- As noted earlier, UW assistant Cameron Dollar is scheduled to interview for the head coaching job at Sacramento State today.

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Recent entries

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