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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 8, 2009 at 3:37 PM

So how’d we do?

The end of the regular season also raises the inevitable question among media who cover the conference — how’d we do predicting how it would turn out last fall?
So let’s review.
First, here is the media poll from last October.
1, UCLA
2, Arizona State
3, USC
4, Arizona
5, Washington
6, Washington State
7, Oregon
8, Cal
9, Stanford
10, Oregon State
UCLA got 37 first-place votes, Arizona State one.
Now, the final standings:
1, Washington 14-4
2, UCLA 13-5
3, Cal 11-7
(tie) ASU 11-7
5, Arizona 9-9
(tie) USC 9-9
7, Washington State 8-10
8, Oregon State 7-11
9, Stanford 6-12
10, Oregon 2-16
So what happened?
A quick assessment for each team:
Washington Isaiah Thomas provided even more of a lift than might have been thought, particularly in allowing Justin Dentmon to concentrate, and thrive, at shooting guard; and players such as Darnell Gant and Justin Holiday gave the team a lot more depth than it had previously.
UCLA — Bruins weren’t quite as salty on defense as in the past and didn’t have a dependable big man to make up for off-shooting nights from the guards. Still, if second-place is a down year, most programs would like to be that healthy.
Cal — Actually made the biggest leap in the conference from prediction to finish as Mike Montgomery pushed all the right buttons to get some talented young players to mature quickly. All those players also stayed healthy allowing the Bears to get away with a lack of depth.
Arizona State — For much of the season, lived up to its advance billing for falling off a bit at the end. James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph didn’t get quite as much consistent help from their supporting cast as was needed to make a real title run.
Arizona — Many voted in the poll before it was known that Lute Olson was retiring. Still, finished right about where people expected as what everyone wondered — whether the team could get enough help from players other than its big three — indeed proved to be a problem. Needs to win at least two games in the Pac-10 Tournament to have a chance at the NCAA Tournament, you’d think.
USC — As big a disappointment as there was in the league due to injuries and illness, as well as shaky chemistry and a lack of dependable shooters. Probably needs to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA’s.
Washington State — Lost three Pac-10 games by three points or less — all at home — otherwise would likely have finished a little better than was predicted. Basically, were about what people thought — competitive, but less talented after the heavy losses from the previous year.
Oregon State — From 10 to eight doesn’t seem like a huge jump, but in terms of overall impact on the league, made as big a leap as any other team. Craig Robinson’s style proved a good match for the talent on hand and he was able to get the players to play hard every night, which hadn’t been the case the previous year.
Stanford — The only team that finished right where predicted. Everyone figured it would be hard to make up for the loss of the Lopez Twins, and everyone turned out to be right.
Oregon — All that talented youth didn’t jell as quickly as some thought it might, and the veterans weren’t good enough to compensate.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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