Cal Takes On Personality Of Mike Montgomery
LOS ANGELES -- Asked to be interviewed about the news of the day, Cal coach Mike Montgomery wondered aloud with his tongue firmly planted in cheek if there had been a development regarding the NBA lockout.But try as he might with his usual sense of humor, Montgomery couldn't keep himself from turning serious when discussing how he was diagnosed with bladder cancer about a month ago and is now cancer-free following treatment.
Sean Miller Lowers Expectations For These Cats
LOS ANGELES -- The morning after Arizona fell to Division II Seattle Pacific in the Wildcats' first exhibition game loss in 27 years, coach Sean Miller spoke in ominous tones.He said Seattle Pacific was the better team. He called his own team a work in progress. The Wildcats had eaten a slice of humble pie and hit a speed bump coming off a season in which they went to the Elite Eight.
The Bull's-Eye Is Back On UCLA
Just Like That, Oregon Has High Hopes Again
LOS ANGELES -- When Oregon coach Dana Altman introduced himself to the conference last year by tempering expectations at media day and good-naturedly accepting the last-place preseason projections, that wasn't necessarily an expression of his aw-shucks personality."I was honest," said Altman, who, due to transfers following the coaching change, wasn't sure at that point what kind of team he had. But after the Ducks surprised by not only coming through with a winning record, but also capturing the CBI championship while Altman worked to stockpile talent for this season, there is little doubt that more is expected these days. Oregon added Jabari Brown, the nation's seventh-ranked shooting guard, for the recruiting class of 2011, and also brought in three transfers -- Olu Ashaolu, Tony Woods and Devoe Joseph -- who will all become eligible this season. "It's a talented group, and I think we've just got to establish roles and kind of settle into those roles," said senior Garrett Sim, who will have an opportunity to start at point guard. "I think the potential for this group is through the roof." At the same time, Altman is quick to point out that a team with eight newcomers will still go through its share of growing pains. The team went on a preseason tour of Italy, and while Brown made a statement by leading the team in scoring, the Ducks were also very much turnover-prone. But perhaps Altman's excitement level about the team is better reflected in his promises to bring his full-court pressure defense to Matthew Knight Arena this season. As Sim said, "We're going to press all game." After all, the amount of talent on the team allows for it. "We like our increased athleticism," Altman said. "We like our increased depth. It will take some time for us to jell as a team. I think team chemistry is going to be important. But I like the direction that our guys are heading." Consider that to be progress. Altman wasn't one of Oregon's top choices when he was named to the position and inherited a depleted roster that wasn't expected to create much excitement in that first season. The conversation is no longer about rebuilding. "I think our goals are much higher than last year," Sim said. "Last year we were dead last in every poll, and this year I think people are expecting some things." Said Altman: "All we talk about is getting better."
Oregon State's Jared Cunningham
Cal coach Mike Montgomery
They Said It
Arizona: "It was five weeks ago to the day that [Kevin Parrom] got shot. When he got shot, below his right knee didn't work. He had no feeling, no movement, and there was no guarantee that it would ever come back. Five weeks from Friday, he can run this week."
-- Coach Sean Miller
Arizona State: "Trent is our leading returning scorer from last year. And really other than Trent, we don't have somebody who has put a lot of points on the board yet in their career. So I don't know that we can look to any one individual in particular."
-- Coach Herb Sendek
California: "Where we had question marks before, we have answers. We've got strong players at least at four of the positions that we're pretty sure can play at a high level."
-- Coach Mike Montgomery
Colorado: "I like the makeup of our team. I like the toughness, and the unselfishness of our team. I think we're going to surprise some people this
-- Coach Tad Boyle
Oregon: "Jabari [Brown's] a very talented young man. We took a trip to Italy in August, and Jabari was our leading scorer, so he can score baskets. He's working very hard at all phases of the game. He'll definitely play for us and will play a significant role."
-- Coach Dana Altman
Oregon State: "Over the past few years, as you know, we've been rebuilding the place at Oregon State, and I've sort of had to had to couch my statements with terms like, 'Well, we're going to try our best' and all that kind of stuff. For the first time, I think I've got a team that can compete in every single game we play this season, and I couldn't be more excited."
-- Coach Craig Robinson
Stanford: "We have, I think, very good leadership. Probably the best leadership that we've had since I've been there, and I'm really proud of what these young men have done in the senior class to make sure that we're all on the same page and all understanding the culture that we want to have at
-- Coach Johnny Dawkins
UCLA: "Everything [twins David and Travis Wear] do together. It's unbelievable. These guys take every class together. They share the same bedroom. I mean, everything's together. They're really close."
-- Coach Ben Howland
USC: "If [Maurice Jones] is in trouble and gets hurt, we're in real trouble. Don't come to the games. It will be ugly. Don't show up because if we don't have this guy, it will be difficult for us to be competitive in major college games."
-- Coach Kevin O'Neill
Utah: "I'd be really surprised if a team made more progress than we have in the last 10 days. That's our goal is to try to get better from one week
to the next, and one month to the next."
-- Coach Larry Krystkowiak
Washington: "The fact that [Terrence Ross] is paying a lot of attention to being more well-rounded, I think is going to help his cause. I think he's embracing the fact that he's not a freshman anymore. He's one of the guys that we are going to be counting on to have an impact on our season."
-- Coach Lorenzo Romar
Washington State: "We've been asked numerous times what are we going to do without Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, but it's a new team. It's a new time for different guys to shine, and I think we have those players that are capable of doing that. We're excited about what's going on right now at the Palouse."
-- Coach Ken Bone
UCLA's Lazeric Jones
Washington State's Marcus Capers
Pac-12 Preview Content
For a Blue Ribbon breakdown of every Pac-12 team, click here.
More Pac-12 coverage:
• Diamond Leung's "Five Things I Can't Wait To See" in the Pac-12
• Doug Gottlieb with five burning questions in the conference
• Andy Katz catches up with Pac-12 newcomers Utah and Colorado
• Katz on Tony Wroten Jr. as the next star guard at Washington
• Joel Francisco gives the scoop on the top incoming freshmen in the conference
• Leung details how a staid Pac-10 transformed into a dynamic Pac-12 under the direction of Larry Scott
• Katz is giving Oregon and its host of newcomers full national sleeper status
• Katz on the high expectations UCLA coach Ben Howland is placing on this season's Bruins
• Kevin O'Neill predicts JC transfer Dewayne Dedmon will be a double-double guy and future first-round draft pick
• Leung on the changing fortunes of the Stanford basketball and football programs and whether hoops can reclaim its campus status
• New Faces, New Places: Leung on the latest challenge for the well-traveled Larry Krystkowiak
• Leung catches up with Arizona State incoming freshman Jahii Carson
• ESPNLA's coverage of UCLA and USC
Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins
Oregon's Garrett Sim
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar