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July 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Seattle bids for Pac-12 Tourney; Recruiting season heats up

Officials from the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center are working with Washington to bring the Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to Seattle possibly as soon as 2013.
Ralph Morton, the executive director of the Seattle Sports Commission, said he’s drafting a proposal to bring the four-day event to KeyArena and Edmundson Pavilion.
“With KeyArena, it would be a great place for the tournament,” Morton said. “It would be downtown. And the experience the conference would have in the city. You could walk or take the monorail to the arena. There’s a lot of good options and I feel really good about our opportunity here.”
The Pac-12 has a five-year open window after 2012 and it’s accepting bids before an August 12 deadline. Los Angeles and Phoenix have informally expressed a desire to host the tournament, according to a conference official.
Rotating the tournament among several sites in the conference is a popular idea among Pac-12 basketball fans and coaches, but it’s a risky idea. Between 1987-90, the Pac-10 men’s basketball tournament was held in Los Angeles, Tucson, Ariz., Inglewood, Calif, and Tempe, Ariz.
The tournament was discontinued for several reasons including poor attendance and low revenues. The conference revived the tournament in 2002 and it’s been held at Staples Center largely because sponsors and Fox Sports wanted the tournament in Los Angeles.
Commissioner Larry Scott has said he’s open to rotating tournament sites.


FRIDAY MORNING LINKS:
— July marks the beginning of what coaches call the most important month in recruiting. There are two live periods (July 6-15 and July 22-31) this month, which allows coaches to watch recruits on the AAU circuit. This period became even more important when the NCAA eliminated a live evaluation period in April and things could change next year.
— CBSSports.com gives a primer of the top AAU camps and tournaments this month.
— 2012 recruit Gabe York visited Arizona on Wednesday and reportedly he was impressed with the Wildcats. The 6-2, 170 combo guard made an informal visit to Washington and has also made trips to Marquette and Notre Dame.
— Washington sophomore Terrence Ross was among select company this week at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago.
— ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan covered the Nike Skills Camps in Chicago last weekend and he was impressed with incoming freshman Tony Wroten Jr. Brennan wrote: “(Wroten) might have been the most impressive player during scrimmages Saturday. He hit outside shots. He beat defenders off the dribble. He ran the fast break with impressive ease, and on several occasions — including one lightning-quick, no-look pass perfectly placed in the arms of a rim-running forward — he got the NBA scouts in the audience murmuring about his court vision and decision-making.”
— Wroten and Ross are also expected to participate in the LeBron James Skill Academy as counselors.
Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com provides his 2012 mock NBA draft and UCLA sophomore Josh Smith is the only Pac-12 player among his first-round picks.
— Midwest Sports Fans gives an early look at the Pac-12 in two installments. Here’s Part I and Part II.
—- Washington State welcomes Chukwuemeka Iroegbu, a walk-on freshman guard from Elk Grove, Calif., while the Cougars basketball practice facility received a new paint job.
— And finally, former Washington guard Isaiah Thomas will wear No. 22 with the Sacramento Kings. Here’s a video (below) of Kings fans welcoming rookies Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and Thomas.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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