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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Pac-12 Media Day Live Thread

WASHINGTON ON STAGE — Coach Lorenzo Romar and senior guard Abdul Gaddy representing the Huskies.
Romar said it’s a fun time of year.
On home court advantage at Hec Ed, Romar said the building has been there a long time. He said it’s very intimate. He said there’s been some fun times in that building.
On Jernard Jarreau, Romar said he was a 6-3 freshman guard in high school. He’s grown seven inches and put on weight. Romar said he’s more consistent shooting the ball and better in the low post. Romar is pleased on his development.
On Arizona, Romar said he’s not sure if it’s a rivalry but noted the past few games have been fun because they’ve been hard-fought games that have been decided at the buzzer.
On expectations, Gaddy said he want to be the best leader possible. He said he’s learned from Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter and Jon Brockman about how to lead off the court and on the court.
On chemistry, Gaddy said UW has great team chemistry. He said the team doesn’t have a dominant personality. “The team is the face of the team,” he said.
On chemistry, Romar said Scott Suggs and C.J. Wilcox will also help to lead alongside Gaddy.
CALIFORNIA ON STAGE — Coach Mike Montgomery and junior guard Allen Crabbe representing the Golden Bears.
Montgomery said he was disappointed not winning the conference championship last season. He said there’s a good nucleus of players returning, noting five players who have started at one time or another. “We got the pieces to be competitive. … Now it’s the job to put them on the same page and win big.” Montgomery expects 8-9 players to contribute.
On Richard Solomon, Montgomery said it was a tough deal when he was ruled academically ineligible last year. He said Solomon has grown up and is much more mature. “That’s not to say he won’t dunk and pound his chest every once in awhile,” Montgomery added.
On David Kravish, Montgomery said he’s up to 220 pounds from 170 when he first arrived. He’s stronger than ever before. Montgomery said Kravish has been pushed and will continue to push him to do more on the floor.
On leadership role, Crabbe said the upperclassmen will need to step up.
More on leadership, Crabbe said there’s more opportunities for him to step up and lead by example.
On health issues, Montgomery said. at this time last year he was 10-12 days out of surgery. He said the health scare was a wake-up call.
On the freshmen, Montgomery said he has a lot of veterans and his policy is to have first-year players learn. Freshman guard Ricky Kreklow is out with a broken foot. Montgomery said Tyrone Wallace will likely receive early minutes.
On the new TV deal’s impact on recruits, Montgomery said “people are going to get interested in you that probably in the past wouldn’t because our television coverage was very poor.”
On the Pac-12 contenders, Montgomery said a lot of what’s being projected is on NBA upside, which was a nod to UCLA. He said Arizona is loaded “there’s no question about that.” He said the league has gotten a lot better. He said Stanford is very good. “There’s a lot of people to like in this league,” he said. “The league should be a lot better from top to bottom so it should be pretty exciting.”


OREGON ON STAGE — Coach Dana Altman and senior forward E.J. Singler representing the Ducks.
Altman said he’ll rely on Singler, Tony Woods and Carlos Emory to lead the newcomers, including six freshman.
On the veterans, Altman said it’s important to have guys like Singler. Altman said Singler has missed some practices, but didn’t say why. Without Singler, Altman said Oregon struggled some in the workouts.
On the newcomers, Altman said freshman Dominic Artis will have an opportunity to play early. He also said Damean Dotson has been impressive early. Altman said transfer Waverly Austin, a 6-11, 240-pound big man will add depth to the front court.
On his role, Singler said he may have more ball-handling duties on the wing because of the dearth of back court players.
ARIZONA ON STAGE — Coach Sean Miller and senior forward Solomon Hill representing the Wildcats.
Miller said Arizona is divided by an influx of talent and hungry veterans.
On Hill, Miller said he’s going to rely on him because of his experience. Said he started on a team that went to the Elite Eight. He said Hill has worked hard and should have a big breakout year.
On leadership, Hill said he’s teaching the young guys about sacrifice.
On Hill, Miller said he’ll play the wing with two front court players.
On newcomer Mark Lyons, Hill said their relationship is great. He said Lyons is hungry. They push each other in practice. Hill said he likes his energy on the court. “It’s great to feel confident in our point guard knowing he’s going to be there day in and day out,” Hill said.
On which place is the toughest to win, Miller said Washington is the place he respects the most noting he’s 0-3 at Alaska Airlines arena. “Their fan base. It’s hostile in a very good way,” he said.
On Lyons, Miller said he’s hungry to become better in playing the point guard spot. He said it’s refreshing having him around. He said Hill and Lyons are very competitive and Miller pits them against each other in practice.
On the top of the Pac-12, Miller said it’s important every team in the conference wins as much as it can in the non-conference season. Miller points to Colorado, which was under the radar last season, but won the Pac-12 Tournament and won a game in the NCAA tournament.
UCLA ON STAGE — Coach Ben Howland and junior forward David Wear are here for the Bruins.
Howland said the China trip was a good experience for bonding and players developing chemistry. He said he likes the Pac-12 Networks because of the exposure it gives the conference.
On Kyle Anderson, Howland said he’s pleased the NCAA investigation has been resolved. He said Anderson and Larry Drew II played together on the China trip and said he likes having two point guards on the floor. He pointed to Russell Westbrook and Darren Collison. Anderson handles the ball well, but he doesn’t match up well defensively against other point guards. When Drew is not in the game, Norman Powell will be on the court to defend opposing point guards.
On Anderson, Howland said he’ll use him as a small forward and a point guard. He’ll typically defend opposing small forwards.
On Drew, Howland said he’s going to expect the North Carolina transfer to carry a major role, especially on the defensive end. He said Drew has not shot well in the early practices, but expects that will turn around. He said Drew is happy to be back home in California. Drew will graduate in the winter quarter.
On Shabazz Muhammad, Howland said he’s patient and cooperative with the NCAA investigation. He’s optimistic and confident about a positive outcome.
On practice, Wear said they’ve been competitive. He said the Bruins have been working on becoming more up-tempo.
On preseason prediction, Howland said: “That’s nice, but it really doesn’t mean a whole lot. The bottom line is how you finish.” He noted UW has a good team. He said Cal may have the best pair of guards and Stanford returns the bulk of its team. He said Colorado will be tough. He said Oregon State will be handful. Howland said he’s rooting for everyone to get quality wins in November and December.
On Joshua Smith, Howland said he had a very good freshman year. He said going into last year there were a lot of expectations and he didn’t meet them in part because of conditioning issues. “He has a body type that is a blessing and a curse. If he eats anything that inappropriate it’s going to show up on the waist line,” Howland said. UCLA is moving to an up-tempo and it’s been difficult for Smith. Howland said he’s excited about Smith going into the season.
COLORADO ON STAGE — Coach Tad Boyle and junior forward Andre Roberson representing the Buffaloes.
Boyle, a second-year coach, said there’s a lot of excitement coming off of last season’s NCAA tournament run.
On the home 32-4 record, Boyle said he wishes they were 38-0. He admits altitude is a part of the home dominance, but also points to the fan base. The Buffs are 200 seats away from selling out the season opener, which is pretty amazing considering where the program has been.
On the Gangnam video, Roberson said a student suggested the video to get everyone excited for Midnight Madness. Boyle said he loved it because it showed the personality of the players.
On the Navy Seals exercises, Roberson said it was great for the guys. He said he emerged as one of the team’s leaders.
On Roberson, Boyle said he’s the most underrated player on the national season. He said he’s the best defensive player in the Pac-12. Boyle said his game has evolved. He’s making three-pointers. But the best thing he does is get extra possessions such as offensive rebounds and steals.
On the top of the conference, Boyle said it’s hard to predict how young players will make an impact. He believes the conference is improved. He said the conference has to win games in November and December to get the mojo back. “We have to prove it, talk is cheap,” he said. On preseason predictions, “nothing is more irrelevant this year.”
On freshman Josh Scott, Boyle said he’s a special player who can score in the post. He’s a good free throw shooter. Averaged 17 points on the European trip.
On finding new leaders, Boyle said Roberson has stepped up. He also noted the team’s only senior Sebatino Chen. Boyle said he doesn’t name captains. “I don’t like to do that because I think our team needs to be hit in the mouth a few times to see who steps up and lead,” Boyle said.
STANFORD ON STAGE — Coach Johnny Dawkins and junior guard Aaron Bright representing the Cardinal.
Dawkins said he’s excited about the upcoming season, the conference, the Pac-12 Networks and his team. He said Stanford won eight of the last 10 games and said the NIT title bodes well for this season.
On backcourt, Dawkins said he’ll play different lineups and has 7-8 starters.
On playing best basketball at the end of last season, Bright said the momentum will carry over to this year. He said guys knew their roles and didn’t cared who scored.
On replacing Josh Owens and Andrew Zimmerman, Dawkins said he’s looking at Dwight Powell, Stephan Nastic, Grant Voerhoeven and Josh Gage. Dawkins said Voerhoeven can find his way on the floor because of his ability to defend and rebound.
On Powell, Bright said he’s playing with more confidence and is hitting more mid-range jumpers. On Anthony Brown, Bright said he’s starting to hit his shots and not passing it up.
On Josh Huestis, Dawkins said he’s improved every year and thinks he can be a good rebounder and good defensive player. That appears to be his role for this season.
On Roscoe Allen, Dawkins said the 6-9 foward play a versatile role. He can shoot the three.
On Ray Lewis, Bright said that experience was crazy. Players thought he was a look-alike when he came into the locker room. Dawkins said Lewis was an inspiration. He said Stanford sent Lewis a video to help him recover from his injury.
WASHINGTON STATE ON STAGE — Coach Ken Bone and senior forward Brock Motum representing the Cougars.
Bone said it was good WSU was in the CBI and learned a lot from the experience. Also talked about the exhibition trip to Australia and said it benefited the team.
On going home, Motum said it was fun because the games were in front of friends and family. Bone said it gave the WSU players a chance to understand their Australian teammates. During the trip, the Cougars played against older players.
On Reggie Moore, Motum said it was difficult to release him because he’s known Moore since he was 10. He said Moore ended the year on a great note and did a good job this summer in Australia. He said he’s a great, great kid and it hurts not to have him around.
On being the Pac-12 returning leading scorer, Motum said he’s looking to achieve more wins.
On assistant Ray Lopes, Bone said he always liked the way the old WSU teams played when he was on the staff with Kelvin Sampson.
On Royce Wooldridge, Bone said he’s not sure if WSU has a point guard, but said it has good guards. Wooldridge has a chance to start. DeVonte Lacy also has a chance to start. The same with Mike Ladd. Bone said they’ll handle the position by committee.
OREGON STATE ON STAGE — Coach Craig Robinson and senior forward Angus Brandt represent the Beavers.
Robinson also praises Scott and the new TV digs. He said: “Even without Jared Cunningham, I’m pretty excited.” Robinson said OSU loses prolific scorer, but said the scoring won’t be hard to replace. Wonders if the Beavers will be able to defend as well without Cunningham. Robinson said Brandt’s confidence is higher than ever. Robinson is happy with the team’s experience.
On if any 7-footers called after the DNC, Robinson said he’s fielded some calls.
On the upcoming election, Robinson said his personal life doesn’t get in the way of his professional life. He says he campaigns on off days, when the team is off. He said OSU will practice Election Day.
On Election Night, Robinson said he’ll be in Chicago. But repeats OSU will practice.
More on the election, Robinson said it will probably be pretty close.
On replacing Cunningham, Robinson expects Ahamd Starks, Devon Collier and two others will likely get Cunnigham’s 18 points.
On front court, Robinson said Joe Burton could start. He said he has four players who could start.
When asked who is the best defender, Robinson said Starks. He noted freshman Jamal Reid is long and has a knack for playing defense. His defense will get him on the court earlier.
ARIZONA STATE ON STAGE — Coach Herb Sendek and senior forward Carrick Felix represent the Sun Devils.
Sendek said he’s impressed by the Pac-12 Networks. Felix has graduated and is working on his Master’s degree. He’s also the captain and Sendek said he’s the leader of the team. Sendek said Felix is poised for his best year.
On being a leader, Felix said it means a lot to him. “I’m in a good spot right now,” he said. “It’s a great compliment by the coach and I appreciate that.”
On assistants Eric Musselman and Larry Gree who have NBA experience, Felix said they “bring in a new flavor and a new vibe.”
On transfers (specifically Trent Lockett), Sendek said it was unfortunate. Sendek noted Lockett wanted to be closer to his mom for medical reasons.
On playing faster, Sendek said he’s opening the floor in transition for freshman point guard Jahii Carson. But he worries if the players understand what it takes to run. Also said the Sun Devils need to be able to run half-court offense.
On Carson, Sendek said he’s eager to learn and has been “a complete and total team guy. He’s very unselfish.”
More on assistants, Sendek said he set out to hire coaches with NBA experience. He said the players respect them because “they’ve been where our players want to go.”
UTAH ON STAGE — Coach Larry Krystkowiak (who’ll refer to as Coach K) and Jason Washburn represent the Utes. Coach K said expectations are high from the people locally even though the Utes are picked to finish last in the media poll. He said the focus is building a culture in Salt Lake City. He said it’s important to move forward, fix what’s broken and the wins will take care of themselves. He says the team is much better than last season.
Washburn, a fifth-year senior, wants to elevate every level of his game. He said he has to improve as a defender and on defensive rebounds. Washburn said he’s seen it all. He’s had a lot of coaches and teammates. He said he believes in Coach K. He said Utes are headed in the right direction. He said he has no regrets about decision to stay at Utah.
On a fast start, Coach K said he’s not worried about winning games early and is not putting pressure on the team. He said he’s concerned about not being at practice today because the Utes play an exhibition tomorrow night.
On coaching staff continuity, Coach K said he has an offensive and defensive coordinator.
On Jordan Loveridge, Coach K said he was the first person he saw as Utah coach and offered him a scholarship immediately. He said Loveridge has an appetite to get better and has a motor to find loose balls. The 6-7 freshman is a natural power forward, but is playing more small forward at the moment due to injuries. Loveridge was the top player in the state and Coach K said it was important to land him.
USC ON STAGE — Coach Kevin O’Neill talks about the returning players. The Trojans were hit hard with injuries last season. He thinks there will be 5-6 NCAA teams and 3-4 NIT teams. He predicts a great year for Pac-12 basketball and welcomes Ed Rush to the officiating crew. O’Neill said the conference has upgraded everything basketball-wise.
USC senior guard Jio Fontan likens O’Neill to a scientist. Fontan missed last season due to a knee injury and said he’s not going to hold back during his return.
O’Neill said the new practice polices have helped USC get the new guys up to speed. He says he likes what he sees in terms of maturity and work ethic.
On the departure of Maurice Jones who transferred to Iowa State, O’Neill said Fontan and walk-on PG Chaz Bryant will fill the void. O’Neill praised Jones and wished him good luck.
On Aaron Fuller who is recovering from shoulder surgeries, O’Neill said he leads the team in rebounds in practices and thinks he’ll be a major player. Fuller is a fifth-year senior and is expected to give valuable minutes.
TIP OFF — The Pac-12 Networks will air five games Nov. 9, which is the season opener.
AZIZ N’DIAYE — Nice feature on Aziz N’Diaye who returned home to Senegal this summer with the Huskies is being aired. Look for it to air on the Pac-12 Networks.
MORE TV IS GOOD — Pac-12 Enterprises president Gary Stevenson said the studios have been operating for 78 days. He said 90 games weren’t televised last year.
THE COMMISH — Commissioner Larry Scott said the Pac-12 studios opened four months ago. He says all games will be available in some form or fashion whether it’s being aired on ESPN, Fox or the Pac-12 or the Pac-12.com. He said the conference began its China initiative with UCLA’s trip to Shanghai.
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MORE ON OFFICIALS — The Pac-12 added five officials, including three who officiated in the Final Four.
HELPING OFFICIALS — Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent went to a Pac-12 officials clinic to help the refs understand what the coaches are doing, including high-ball screens.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS — The NCAA wants officials to take emphasis block/charge, bench decorum, start/develop/finish and player positioning/flop. On bench decorum, the NCAA felt there was too much celebration,which seems somewhat odd.
OFFICIATING OVERVIEW — The media and players seated in the back of the room are getting a tutorial on officiating from Pac-12 officials coordinator Ed Rush (above). He’s going over the difference between offensive fouls and charge calls. Pac-12 says it will rely more on team officiating this season.
NICE DIGS — In addition to holding Pac-12 media day, it’s an open house of sorts for the conference which is showing off its new broadcast studios in downtown San Francisco. We’re located on the third floor. It’s a pretty swank office space.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Pac-12 Media Day

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