Things just wrapped up here at Pac-12 media day. Here’s a rundown of the day’s events.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott
— Scott said last season was a turnaround season for the conference. He sees the trend continuing and touts the three teams in the top 25 USA Today coach’s poll that was released Thursday.
— Scott welcomed Alford and Enfield into the conference.
— Scott said the Pac-12 Tournament was “a huge success.” He said it’s a “must-see” event and something to circle on the calendar.
— All Pac-12 games will be televised on some format. Two seasons ago, there were 90 games that weren’t televised. This season, 45 games will be broadcast on ESPN. There’s 25 games on Fox Sports 1, which will televise the Pac-12 Tournament. And there’s 221 games are on the Pac-12 Networks.
— Still no movement on negotiations with DirecTV.
— Scott talks about hiring Dibler to oversee officiating. He said: “Our objective is to attract the best officials possible.”
— Scott said the NCAA will take a look at the one-and-done rule, which “threatens to make a mockery” of the student-athlete ideal.
UCLA coach Steve Alford and Kyle Anderson
— The Bruins have had 14 practices and are mostly healthy.
— On Enfield’s verbal jab at UCLA, Alford said: “Whether that was motivation or whatever, we’ve already nicknamed Kyle ‘Slo-Mo.’ Anderson said: “It’s up to us to focus on what we have to do. We know how we want to play.”
— UCLA has two sets of brothers on the roster, Travis and David Wear and Kory and Bryce Alford.
— Alford said the most challenging aspect so far has been blending the six players who helped UCLA to a title last season blending with the newcomers. Chemistry is a question on Westwood.
— Anderson said he’s a playmaker, but acknowledges that some games he’ll have to score more than others.
— On the coaching change, Anderson said the players have built trust with the new staff.
— UCLA doesn’t have a prototypical point guard, but Anderson thinks the Bruins are versatile at the position. He noted freshman Zach LaVine is also a combo guard.
Arizona coach Sean Miller and Nick Johnson
— Miller said Johnson is the natural leader of the team.
— Johnson said there’s numerous teams that will challenge for the Pac-12 title. He said: “As far as us, we’re just working hard every single day and honoring the process. We’ll see what happens.”
— Miller sidesteps question about officials.
— Miller said Gordon is a very easy guy to deal with. “His greatest strength he’s given his teammates and us is he’s an extremely hard worker and very focused,” Miller said. “He’s a fun guy to have as a teammate.”
— Johnson said newcomer T.J. McConnell “will pass up an open layup to get you a shot.” Johnson said they’re gaining a connection on the offensive end. Johnson calls him a defensive “bulldog.”
— Johnson on Gordon: “I call him a little kid because he plays with so much energy. … He’s a joy to be around. I look forward to playing with him.”
— Miller said there’s 7-8 teams that can finish first or second in the Pac-12. He worries about Arizona’s experience.
Oregon coach Dana Altman and Johnathan Loyd
— No update on Joseph Young. Oregon is still waiting on his waiver. There’s no timetable on when there’s going to be a decision. Altman is confident he’ll be eligible.
— Altman on transfers: “We came into a situation at Oregon and we felt like we needed to drastically change our talent level. … It worked out because they’re really good guys. … We’ve been just really fortunate. Guys come in and just really care about our team.”
— Altman grilled about Nike and asked if there should be a cap on outside financial contributions. He said everyone has benefactors.
— On South Korea trip, Altman said the players are excited about going on the trip and playing Georgetown.
— Loyd said the college game will be more high scoring due to the new hand-checking rule.
— Loyd, who own the Pac-12 Tournament’s most outstanding award, is probably the only reserve representing his school today.
— Altman said rebounding is a concern because Oregon lost is front court.
California coach Mike Montgomery and Justin Cobbs
— When asked about Pac-12 newcomers, Montgomery said Gordon is a monster. He said freshmen still have things that they don’t know.
— On freshman Jabari Bird, Montgomery said he’s leery about the attention freshmen receive. Still, he said Bird will be a great player. Montgomery said: “I want to be sure that we’re not pushing him. I want him to learn the game because I think he has a great future. … He’s a very, very talented player. I would suspect that as we move through the season … the better he’s going to be.”
— Cobbs said he’s about 80 percent healthy from offseason foot surgery. Said he’s pretty sure he’ll be ready for the season opener.
— Montgomery gets a little uncomfortable fielding so many questions about Bird.
— Cal needed a win going into the last week of the season in each of the past two years to win the Pac-12 regular-season title and came up short. Cobbs said Cal has the experience to finish better this season.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle and Spencer Dinwiddie
— Boyle thinks Dinwiddie is one of the premier point guards in the country.
— Colorado has six freshmen and 10 underclassmen on the roster.
— Dinwiddie talked about the standout Pac-12 guards and names Carson, Kyle Anderson and Justin Cobbs. “Every team across the board is going to have those guys that make this conference tough,” he said.
— Boyle said he doesn’t worry about the high expectations. “We can’t worry about what the outside world is thinking about us,” he said. “We got to come to work every day. At the end of the day, all the matters is the performance on the court.”
— Dinwiddie said he doesn’t view Arizona as the favorite. He believes CU is the favorite.
— The Buffaloes participated in a Navy SEAL two-day program for the second straight year. Boyle said: “It’s not fun. It was cold and rain the first night. … You learn so much about your team. Leadership. You learn about toughness. Who wants to step up. … It’s something that we refer back to during the course of the season.” Dinwiddie said: “It brings us together as a unit. … It also makes you look at yourself and be very honest with yourself. … You’re going to know what you were weak at going through the program.”
— Colorado has a the third-most difficult non-conference schedule, Boyle said.
— Redshirt freshman Wesley Gordon has a chance to start, Boyle said.
Arizona State coach Herb Sendek and Jahii Carson
— While talking about Pac-12 player of the year candidates, Sendek said Dwight Powell is a NBA power forward.
— Carson said he spoke with Sendek and his family who helped him to decide to return to school.
— Sendek said the Pac-12 has replenished its talent after a few down years.
— Sendek said he learned today how much the new hand-checking rule will be emphasized. Said he’ll have to call practices much closer. Said it could have a revolutionary affect on the game.
— ASU practices with a 24-second shot clock. The college shot clock is 35 seconds.
— Sendek said every guy on the roster may be there for one year. “That four-year plan … no longer exists. You have guys who graduate and have started and decide they will transfer as a fifth-year senior almost like a free agent. … You have to build your team each year.”
— Sendek said Carson makes everybody on the team better.More