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Husky Men's Basketball

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

October 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Pac-12 Media Day live thread

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IT’S A WRAP — Formal interviews are complete. We’re off to one-on-one interviews and lunch at the ESPN Zone. That’s it for the live thread. Check back later for more notes from Pac-12 Media Day. Also checkout the Pac-12 website for complete transcripts.
FRESHMAN BLUES — Miller noted freshman Nick Johnson could give the team an immediate lift. He said freshmen bigs Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson have to learn what it’s like to play in college.
PICKED THIRD — Miller on being picked third in Pac-12: “There’s no way in the world we’re the third best team in the Pac-12.”
KEVIN PARROM — Miller said yesterday’s defeat revealed how important Kevin Parrom is to the Wildcats. He’s recovering from gunshot wounds below his right knee. He could return late November and early December. Parrom was shot five weeks ago. He also had his mother and grandmother pass away in the last four months.
ARIZONA — Coach Sean Miller joked: “I guess I’m the only coach up here who’s 0-1.” … Miller said: “Guys probably learned a lot last night.” He said Arizona got better last season and that’s the goal of this year’s team.
HIGH ALTITUDE — Howland said Utah has a homecourt advantage being “5,000 feet above sea level.”
VERBAL SLIP-UPS — Howland corrected a reporter who referred to the conference as the Pac-10. That makes about six times today for the mistake.
RING, RING, RING — Howland’s phone chimed during press conference. He said it was the UCLA trainer with an update on Stover’s injury.
JOSHUA SMITH — Howland on Smith: “(He) has got to get in better condition. … When he finally reaches his potential on condition he’ll be unstoppable.”
TEMPORARY DIGS — Jones noted the Sports Arena, UCLA’s new home while Pauley Pavilion is being renovated is close to USC. “I just hope we don’t get booed,” he said.
CHINA-BOUND? — Howland is looking into a trip to China next September. The Bruins haven’t taken an international trip since 1992.
LAZERIC JONES — Jones is friends with Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. The NBA MVP told him to make sure he gets his college degree.
WEAR TWINS — Howland said they’re similar. They take every class together and share the same bedroom. They do yoga together three days a week and lift four days a week. Howland wants them to play together.
BIG LINEUP — Howland: We got to get back to dominating the boards.”
INJURIES — De’End Parker suffered a knee injury and concussion. Anthony Stover also has a shoulder injury.
UCLA — Coach Ben Howland said sophomore center Joshua Smith has improved in the offeseason as far as back-to-the-basket moves. The Bruins will play big, Howland said. David Wear, a 6-10 transfer, will likely play at small forward.
ROMAR ON SPU’S BIG WIN — Romar commented on Arizona’s loss to Seattle Pacific. He said in an exhibition it’s a time to experiment, a time to teach and a time to learn. Said hes’ very fortunate he didn’t have a game last night.
GANT — Darnell Gant said he has no plans to do any acting any time soon.
RULE CHANGES — Romar said the recruiting changes may help with retention.
WASHINGTON — Coach Lorenzo Romar said team has to stay healthy and the younger guys have to pick things up. Talked about creating chemistry and being on the same page is very important.
JONES REPLIES — Jones said he’s twisted his ankle three times in recent weeks. O’Neill joked: “I told him to stop going to classes so he doesn’t get hurt.”
MORE HONESTY FROM O’NEILL — “If Mo gets hurt we can’t really play the game. … We’d have to start a freshman point guard and that would be a disaster. … I need him (Jones) to do more all the time. … His impact on our team is unbelievable. If he’s in trouble or gets hurt, don’t come to our games because it will be ugly.”
MORE TEXTS, A GOOD THING. — O’Neill favors recruiting deregulation.
LOSING JIO FONTAN — O’Neill: “We’re not going to be able to replace him. He was our point guard. He was our leader. … A guy that really made us go. We don’t have a second ball handler now. … You just don’t lose a guy like that when you’re in the throes of replacing everybody we lost from last year.”
BLUNT HONESTY — O’Neill: “Sometimes we look very good and sometimes we stink and it’s going to be that way because we stink.”
MORE ON MONTY — O’Neill on Montgomery: “I actually like him. … It’s great to see him healthy.”
USC — Coach Kevin O’Neill said he’s returning 11 points and 4 rebounds on the roster. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones will likely play 40 minutes, O’Neill said. Forward Evan Smith out 6-8 weeks with a shoulder injury.

AILING STARS — Montgomery said Cal has to keep Harper Kamp and Gutierrez fresh and healthy. Kamp missed his sophomore year with a knee injury. Montgomery said Harper’s knee is “not great. He puts an enormous amount of time to get ready for games. … There will be sometimes when it hurts him. Tries to protect himself so he doesn’t jump all the time. Jumping bothers him. … We’ll keep a close eye on him.”
GUTIERREZ’S DRIVE — Gutierrez said he’s a competitive guy who doesn’t like to lose. “Winning is everything and I don’t like to lose,” he said.
HE’S HUMAN — Senior guard Jorge Gutierrez said Montgomery’s cancer scare allowed the team to connect with the coach on a personal level for the first time.
NEW RULES — Montgomery isn’t a fan of deregulating recruiting rules. He said: “I’m just not certain how this is going to work itself out.”
NEED FOCUS — Montgomery said PG Justin Cobb, Minnesota transfer, tends to lose focus.
MORE ON MONTY — Montgomery said he’ll have no physical limitations. Said he’s lost weight and has is strength back. He was in the office six hours Thursday.
DEPTH CONCERNS — Montgomery said: “If I had one concern we’re maybe short one or two players in depth in case something bad may happen.”
CALIFORNIA — Coach Mike Montgomery, underwent surgery for bladder cancer last week, said: “In lieu of recent circumstances it’s good to be seen.” He talked about the surgery and said he’s virtually cancer free. He expects to return full-time Monday.
NEW MEMBER — Dufault said he’s looking forward to playing at Los Angeles, Arizona and Seattle.
STATE SHIFT — Boyle said CU has changed its recruiting focus to the West Coast. The Buffs used to recruit Texas heavily, but now California is the main target state.
STEPPING UP — Boyle said senior forward Austin Dufault is a candidate to have a breakout year.
RECRUITING BUZZ — Colorado is doing well recruiting and Boyle said “there’s a lot of things coming together right now with Colorado basketball.” He noted a new practice facility and the new conference has “created a lot of buzz around the program. … And we’ve been able to see that to our recruits.” Boyle said Nov. 9, the first day of the early signing period, will be a big day for Colorado basketball.
COLORADO — Coach Tad Boyle said “we don’t know quite to expect, but we’ll figure it out as we go.” Boyle started coaching at Oregon 17 years ago. The Buffaloes lost 75 percent of scoring from last year. Boyle said there’s a lot of unknowns, but “I like the team we put together.”
HALFTIME — Six down, six to go. There’s a 20-minute break before the next session.
— Foster said he won’t miss traveling to Laramie, Wyoming and is looking forward to playing in California and at Oregon because “I’ve never played on a court with a bunch of trees.”
— Krystkowiak noted Utah finished “a distant last” in the media poll. “We’re the only team with double digits.” The Utes received 74 points. “Just because we were picked last has no relevance in my mind,” he said. “There’s always teams that exceed expectations. We’ll be competitive and we’ll find wins along the way.” Krystkowiak also noted 12 times in 19 tries the media has picked the winner, but asked how many times did the media correctly pick the last place team.
FOSTER SPEAKS — Foster set the Utah record for blocked shot, but said he’s worked on his offensive games this summer. Foster said this has been the healthiest he’s been in his Utes career. Foster on Krystkowiak: “I knew this was a great fit him being a big guy and playing in the NBA. I’ve been loving practice since he’s been here.”
NBA TO COLLEGE — Krystkowiak, a former Milwaukee Bucks coach, said his NBA experience doesn’t necessarily give him an edge against the other Pac-12 coaches. He worked for the New Jersey Nets last season. Krystkowiak said the biggest adjustment to returning to college is the lack of practice time. He’s looking forward to recruiting and said “now as a college coach you have a decision on who you coach.”
BABY STEPS — Krystkowiak said he’s impressed with the work in the weight room and conditioning.
UTAH — Coach Larry Krystkowiak walked on stage with 7-3 center David Foster, the conference’s tallest player, and said: “You’ll have a hard time finding a taller tandem.”
TOUGH MATCHUP — Capers said the most difficult player to defend in the Pac-12 is Cal’s Allen Crabbe.
THE NEXT THOMPSON — Bone said Faisal Aden spent a lot of time in Chicago this summer working out. Bone said Aden is not just a shooter, but a scorer. “He has a chance to put some points on the board,” Bone said.
TOUGH EARLY MATCHUP — WSU plays Gonzaga in the season-opener and Bone said: “We will embrace that challenge. It will be a competitive game.”
MOORE HEALTHY AGAIN — Bone said junior guard Reggie Moore, who was injured last season, “maybe he shouldn’t have played last season. … He’s a tough kid and he went for it.” Senior WSU guard Marcus Capers said Moore wasn’t aggressive last season, but has returned to his former ways.
LADD MAKE EARLY IMPACT — Bone said Mike Ladd deserves some credit for helping Klay Thompson develop into a NBA lottery pick. Ladd, the former Rainier Beach High star who transferred from Fresno State, played against Thompson in practice. Said Brone: “(Ladd) brings an element of toughness to our team. And grit on the defensive end.”
WASHINGTON STATE — Coach Ken Bone said “It’s a new team and it’s a different time for players to shine. We’re excited about what’s going on in the Palouse.”
POINT GUARD QUESTION — Altman said senior guard Garrett Sim will get the first chance to start at point guard, but said Jonathan Loyd is also a candidate.
OREGON — Coach Dana Altman said freshman Jabari Brown is a “very talented young man. … He’ll definitely play for us and play a significant role. How much is still to be determined. … I think he’s got a bright future and been very easy to work with.”
MORE ON RANDLE — Dawkins said: “When I first saw Chasson, I thought he was a winner. … Also saw a young man very versatile in his play. … Very unselfish player. Only out there to make his teammates better, but at the same has the ability to attack and create on his own.”
STANFORD — Coach Johnny Dawkins said Chasson Randle makes them better at point guard. Sophomore point guard Aaron Bright, the former Belleuve star, is the Cardinal’s most improved player.
GLOVE GIVING BACK — Robinson said OSU has received support from former players including Sonics great Gary Payton.
SECRET WEAPON — Robinson tabbed center Joe Burton as the team’s secret weapon. “He’s really improved in every aspect of his game. I’d like to see him score more and still be that playmaker.”
STILL PLAYING ZONE — Robinson said OSU will play more to man this year. He said: “We just haven’t had the athletes the and depth to do that. … But we would never ever stop playing the 1-3-1.”
WHO’S NO. 2? — Robinson isn’t sure who is OSU’s second best player. He mentioned five candidates.
OREGON STATE — Coach Craig Robinson said in the past he’s had to couch his statements, but feels the Beavers can compete in every facet of the game this season. Robinson said he’s learned to be “extremely patient” in his early years at OSU. He said the biggest issue is “changing a losing culture into a winning culture.”
RULE CHANGES — Sendek said “I’m a strong proponent of deregulation. … In many cases those rules have created chasms between coaches and players. I’m in favor of simplifying the rules.”
MORE ON CARSON — Sendek said the other players will need to “step up and produce” if Carson is unable to play. Carson has yet to be ruled eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
ARIZONA STATE — Coach Herb Sendek said: “We don’t have somebody who has put a lot of points on the board in their career.” The Sun Devils will rely heavily on junior guard Trent Lockett. Sendek is hopeful freshman guard Jahii Carson will be able to join the team this season.
SCOTT OFF STAGE — Scott leaves and doesn’t field questions.
VERBAL SLIP-UPS — I’m going to keep a tally on how many times folks say Pac-10. We’re 11 minutes into media day and already it’s happened twice.
AP POLL RELEASED — Arizona ranked No. 16. UCLA is No. 17 and Cal 24. UW receives 44 votes, but begins season outside top 25.
PAC-12 COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT — Scott is on stage. He welcomed Colorado and Utah to their first Pac-12 media day. Scott said expansion allowed the conference to secure the billion-dollar media deal with ESPN and Fox as well as the creation of the Pac-12 network.
Scott said next season 68 men’s basketball games next season will be seen on ESPN or Fox and every game will be televised.
READY TO START — We’re at the Conga Room at LA Live. Lots of Pac-12 coaches and players in the building. Things should get going any moment.

Comments | Topics: Reggie Moore, top 25, UCLA


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