All for one, one for all.
The Pac-12 should steal that quote from the Three Musketeers because it puts into context the league’s galvanized approach as the non-conference season begins.
Just listen to Arizona coach Sean Miller at Pac-12 media day.
“It’s so important in this room – all of us – that we win the most games we can in November and December,” he said. “I can remember a logn time ago when I played, I would cheer against the teams in our conference because I didn’t want them to do as well as us. Those days ended a long time ago.
“This year in particular every time that a Pac-12 team plays a non-conference opponent, we want them to win. The most success that we can have as a conference, only helps each other.”
The Pac-12 is still recovering from last season’s embarrassing non-conference performance when it was 0-11 against ranked teams.
When the Pac-12 season began, the RPI of the teams in the conference was so low that it was no way for it to significantly improve. It was a perfect storm that ended with the regular-season champion Washington not receiving a NCAA tournament invitation. It was the first time a major conference regular-season champion didn’t make the Big Dance in the modern era.
The Pac-12 won’t have a chance to change its sorry reputation on this opening weekend. Every conference team is at home facing what appears overmatched opponents.
TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE (all times Pacific)
Wofford at COLORADO …….. 4 p.m. P12N
Niagara at OREGON STATE ….. 6 p.m. ….. P12N
Willamete at UTAH ….. 6 p.m. ….. P12N
Coppin State at USC ….. 8 p.m. ….. P12N
Indiana State at No. 13 UCLA ….. 8 p.m. ….. FSN
STANFORD vs. San Francisco ….. 8 p.m. ….. P12N
FRIDAY AFTERNOON LINKS:
— Washington can get a scouting report on its season-opening opponent Loyola Maryland tonight when the Greyhounds hosts Binghamton University. Here’s a story on Loyola, which won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament.
— When asked about Washington State’s NCAA tournament chances, coach Ken Bone told Bud Withers: “I don’t want to say we can’t this year, because you never know. I don’t want to count us out. We need to stay healthy and play well.”
— Renovated Pauley Pavilion makes its debut tonight.
— It should be a big crowd tonight at Coors Events Center because Colorado is expecting is first season-opening sellout.
— Can’t start the season without a column from legendary big man Bill Walton, who will call Pac-12 games this season.
— USC has 10 transfers, which is the most of any team in the major conferences.
— One of USC’s transfers is Omar Oraby, a 7-foot-2 center from Rice, who is expected to start tonight.
— Arizona State fans are expecting big things from freshman Jahii Carson.
— Washington State nearly landed Noah Allen, but the three-star forward who backed away from a commitment to Harvard is headed to UCLA.
— Former Washington standout Tony Wroten Jr. made his long-awaited debut Thursday.
— Another former UW star Terrence Ross is also struggling to make the transition to the pros. He’s averaging just 8.8 minutes and 3.5 points.
All for one, one for all.
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