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Archive for the ‘ARTICLES’ Category


Restaurant Brawl, Starring Tim Thomas? [Tim Thomas too lazy to throw a punch... throws chair instead]

December 9th, 2009

Tim Thomas has been (rightly) accused of dogging it his whole career. One thing that doesn’t lack intensity, though, are his fights (allegedly): ‘Thomas, another man and three women entered the Denny’s. Damien Pettie, 29, recognized Thomas and told police that he stated, ‘What’s up?’ Thomas told him not to talk to him, using curse words and racial and anti-gay epithets. Pettie responded with profanity. The man with Thomas then struck Pettie twice in the face, splitting his lip. ‘Then all parties within both groups began to throw chairs, knock over tables, and fight each other’ until the store manager told them he was going call police. A suspect, identified as Thomas, threw a chair that struck Moya Kissick in her left side. Thomas and his group then left the restaurant before police arrived. Colleen Kissick, 29, said she and her mother had been out celebrating her mother’s 65th birthday, which was Tuesday. They had just gotten their food when the fight suddenly erupted without warning and her mother got hit with a chair.’

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Michael Heisley on “divorcing” Allen Iverson

December 3rd, 2009

By Henry Abbott

The owner of the Grizzlies, Michael Heisley, tells Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue his version of how Allen Iverson came to have just a three-game stay in a Memphis Grizzlies uniform.

Heisley says he surprised by Iverson’s complaints about playing time. He says Iverson had come into training camp not in very good shape, and then injured his hamstring. The team then played him slightly more than the trainers recommended — nevertheless Iverson was upset. Heisley explains:

The trainer said I don’t want him playing in the first two or three games but when he starts to play we should play him about 15 minutes. We’re going to watch him very closely and bring him along slowly otherwise he’s going to injure this leg again. So that’s the directions Lionel got. He played him 18 minutes in the first game when we told him 15 minutes. Which was fine and Allen did well. He scored 11 points in 18 minutes I think.

So in the 2nd game, if I remember correctly, he played 25 minutes and he scored like 17 points. Now he went to the press and started bitching about not being the starter. I think he was being a little ridiculous to think he could be put out there after he’s coming off that leg injury and be the starter and that he had earned it like he said he wanted to do.

Lionel then had a meeting with him and the team; with all of the stuff that was going on around the team and Allen was very upset. I was in the Middle East when this took place and I flew for 29 hours and when I got home I heard there was a problem and I flew out to the West Coast. I met with Lionel and I met with Allen and I thought things were going to be straightened out.

Allen came to me that night and said he had a problem at home that he had to take care of, which I believed to be true and I still do believe, and I told him to take as much time as he needed to take care of his personal problem and so he left.

Heisley then says that when he heard Iverson wanted to retire, he decided to ‘divorce’ (or, release) him, so that Iverson could pursue other NBA opportunities because ‘I want Allen to play in this league.’”

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Ron Artest admits he used to drink Hennessy at halftime

December 2nd, 2009

Leave it to Ron Artest(notes) to try and steal a little of Tiger Woods and Allen Iverson’s(notes) headline thunder.

In a lengthy and candid interview for the upcoming issue of Sporting News magazine, Artest — best known as the central figure in the infamous Malice at the Palace in Detroit — bares all, including a startling admission that he drank alcohol during games as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

‘I used to drink Hennessy … at halftime,’ said Artest, who played with the Bulls from 1999-2002 and now is with the Los Angeles Lakers. ‘I (kept it) in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store (near the stadium) and get it.’

And David Stern is worried about halftime tweets

For those unfamiliar with the’prestigious alcohol landscape, Hennessy is a brand of cognac, which is a French variety of brandy. It contains 40% alcohol, and is reportedly North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s drink of choice. (Of course it is.)

And that’s not all.

Artest speaks openly in the interview on many other sensitive topics, including his life as a St. John’s college basketball star (‘I was a single pimp!’); his feeling towards The Brawl’s’instigator Ben Wallace(notes) (‘I’m always in the mood to fight him’); and his plans to become a professional boxer (‘In four years, I’m going to try to have my first fight’).

Andrew Sharp is right: Ron-Ron should be obligated to give a feature-length interview at least once a month.

What a character.

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Brandon Jennings’ 55 Points Sets NBA Record

November 14th, 2009

Brandon Jennings dominated tonight’s game against Golden State, scoring 55 points — including 29 in the third quarter. Jennings’ amazing performance set an NBA record, passing LeBron James as the youngest player ever to score 50 points.

Jennings was drafted 10th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing in Europe for one year instead of attending college in the U.S. Stay tuned for video — we will be adding it to this entry as it comes in.

The AP has more:

(AP) MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings scored 55 points, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise rookie record, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a come-from-behind 129-125 victory Saturday over the Golden State Warriors.

Jennings poured in 29 points in the third quarter, then scored 10 in the final 2:15 to hold off the Warriors and become only the third Bucks player to score more than 50. The last player to do it was Michael Redd, who set the franchise record with 57 points against Utah on Nov. 11, 2006.

Jennings scored 15 straight points during the third period to help the Bucks overcome a nine-point deficit and win four straight for the first time in more than two years. The Bucks (5-2) are off to their best start since 2005, the last season the team made the playoffs.

The 29 points by Jennings were the most ever scored in a quarter against the Warriors. During the period, Jennings hit four 3-pointers and an assortment of jumpers and driving layups as he took over the game. At several points after scoring, he waved his arms in the air to get the crowd to cheer louder. In all, he hit 12 of 13 shots in the quarter, his only miss a 3-point attempt with 5.9 seconds remaining.

Abdul-Jabbar scored 51 points on Feb. 21, 1970. The NBA rookie record was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 58 points for Philadelphia against Detroit in a January 1960 game in Bethlehem, Pa.

Andrew Bogut added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors (3-6) with 26 points and Corey Maggette added 25.
Story continues below

Jennings hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:15 to give the Bucks a 117-115 lead. Luke Ridnour then hit a driving layup with 1:40 remaining to increase the Bucks’ lead to 119-115.

After an offensive foul on Maggette, Jennings hit another jumper to make it 121-115.

Maggette made a layup, was fouled and hit the free throw to cut the lead to 121-118, but Jennings came back and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 34 seconds remaining and the Bucks held on to win.

The Warriors lost starting guard Kelenna Azubuike in the first quarter. Azubuike drove across the lane with 9:12 remaining in the quarter and slipped on the floor. He immediately grabbed his left leg and screamed in pain. After a five-minute delay, Azubuike left the court on a stretcher cart and went to the Warriors’ locker room.

NOTES: Redd, sidelined with strained left patella tendon for the last four games, will try to return next week as the Bucks play Dallas on Monday and New Jersey on Wednesday. Bucks forward Kurt Thomas played in the 900th game of his career.

More on NBA

(Via The Full Feed from

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Timberwolves GM Wants Fans To Know He Is Aware Of How Much Team Sucks [Nba]

November 14th, 2009

Mired in a nine-game slide, the Timberwolves are struggling to get acclimated to Kurt Rambis’ triangle offense. Further, the team stinks. So, GM David Kahn did the only sensible thing – he wrote a letter to the team’s 10 fans.

Kahn provided the letter to the Timberwolves blog, On the Wolves, for dissemination. The new general manager for the T-Wolves wants the fans to know he is not happy about the way the season has started and he will not accept it, nor will he give up. In fact, he’s just going to dedicate himself even more to attempting to correct the team’s shortcomings.

At times like these, I am motivated to work harder. I want to scout more, watch more film, crunch more numbers, ask more questions. I know Kurt and the coaching staff feel the same. The coaches are the strength of our ballclub right now – I am proud to be working with them. We all recognized when we signed up for this mission that it takes a Herculean effort, from all corners, to turn around a franchise and make it championship-caliber.

I understand that it should be considered refreshing that a general manager would choose to be up front and honest with a team’s fans, and that a proactive approach such as this should be applauded. On other other hand, it has all the appearances of an act of desperation by an already beleaguered GM only 10 games into the season.

But who knows? Maybe Kahn can turn the crappy franchise around – as former Timberwolves star KG once said, ‘ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!’

But seriously, it aint going to happen.

From David Kahn [On the Wolves]

(Via Deadspin.)

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November 5th, 2009

by Joey Whelan

This story isn’t about Stephen Curry.

Not entirely.

This story is about moving forward, appreciating what once was and finding inspiration to continue the tradition.

It had been nearly 40 years since Davidson College had truly been relevant to basketball fans before Stephen Curry came along. The glory days of back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 1968 and 1969 under Left Driesell and Terry Holland had long since faded. The team was something of a prehistoric Gonzaga back then, the little team from the Southern Conference making all that noise with the bigger programs. The 1960’s were the best of times for the Wildcats: five regular season conference championships, three NCAA Tournament berths, three All-American selections and six consecutive seasons ranked in the AP Poll, including four times in the top ten.Davidson Duke Basketball

Then the school slipped from memory. Sure, there were a handful of first round exits from the NCAA Tournament over the next several decades, but Davidson was nothing more than that double-digit mid-major seed that gets eliminated in brackets before the game is even played. That all changed the day that a rail thin, boyish looking assassin from North Carolina put on a red and white uniform for the first time and put an entire program, an entire community on his narrow shoulders.

Maybe we should have seen it coming because his father was NBA gunner Dell Curry. Maybe we should have seen it coming when he demolished Michigan for 32 points in only his second collegiate game. The glimpses were there, but the meteoric rise of the tiny liberal arts school led by a modern day Pistol Pete could never have been anticipated. Curry may not have been an innovator or a dominant physical presence in the game, but his nightly displays of shredding opposing defenses captured a nation’s imagination. Suddenly the media was descending on this little school of 1,700 students tucked away just north of Charlotte, wanting to know more about the team and capture this budding star in action.

Then, seemingly as quickly as it all happened, the ride ended. Curry is beginning his career in California with the Golden State Warriors and the quiet campus of Davidson has returned to its traditional state – and that is where this story begins.

When Davidson takes the floor for its season opener at Butler next Saturday there will be little fanfare for the visiting team. There will be no swarm of reporters, there will be no ESPN cameras and the five-second attention span of this country’s interest in the latest media darling will have moved elsewhere. All that means for 21st-year head coach Bob McKillop is earning praise and attention the old fashioned way – the end result.

‘You had a player that was so wonderful to watch, so talented, so engaging and so charismatic,’ McKillop says of Curry. ‘That player has left, so what is there that is going to attract people – we have to win, that’s the bottom line.’

Most aren’t expecting the victories to come as free flowing as they have in each of the last two seasons when the Wildcats won a combined 56 games. Davidson was projected to finish third in the Southern Conference’s South Division, receiving just one first place vote after having won the division each of the last three years.

No one around the program is surprised by the lowered expectations after losing Curry who led the nation in scoring as a junior. Rather than focusing on the tremendous void that will have to be collectively filled by the returning members of the roster, many of Davidson’s players are looking at this season as a chance to once again prove their doubters wrong.

‘Obviously with Steph here the last couple of years there have been a tremendous amount of expectations,’ says senior guard Bryant Barr. ‘When he declared for the draft those expectations for this season went right out the window. We have no pressure on us, we’re not supposed to be any good in conference, we’re supposed to be a lot worse of a team now that he’s gone. In one sense that’s nice to not have any weight on our shoulders, but we feel like we’re going to surprise a lot of people.’

Butler Davidson BasketballBarr states that the strength of this team which used to be the explosive scoring of their star guard, will now lie with the tremendous cohesiveness the team developed in the off-season. Davidson took a two week trip to Italy this summer where the team had an opportunity to get a jump on practice time while also competing against professional teams from several different countries. The experience helped to solidify a unit that had already been exceedingly close as a result of the improbable run of the previous two years.

Still, the challenge for this Davidson team will be quickly adapting to life after Curry and learning how to redefine the roles of each player. While many of the returning upperclassmen were often relegated to the supporting cast over each of the previous two seasons, there was never a sense of division on the team. Senior swingman Will Archambault says that it was the desire to put the team and the program first before personal gains that led to the storybook run for the Wildcats.

‘We knew we were a team and we all had our roles, there was never any resentment of Steph,’ Archambault says. ‘Whether your job was to be a practice player or anything else, we knew that you helped the team reach where we did.’

‘Steph is going to be irreplaceable. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and a great player. But the fact that he brought leadership to the team and he always knew how to act on and off the court benefitted us a lot.’

And the reverberations of that presence are something that will be felt for quite a while according to those around the program. Recruiting has benefitted greatly, with a solid freshman core joining the team this year, including top-50 shooting guard JP Kuhlman. As a whole the school has benefitted from Curry’s star power as well, reporting a record number of student applicants for entrance into the school following the 2008 Elite Eight run.

The immediate success of the basketball program in the Stephen Curry-era are a great source of pride for all involved, but Bob McKillop knows from his more than two decades of coaching that the true mark of greatness will be the ability to extend the accomplishments in a post-Curry world. No easy task.

‘That’s the hardest thing for a program at the mid-major level to do, stay consistent and endure year after year,’ McKillop says. ‘That’s what makes those BCS programs as great as they are. They have the advantage of the BCS tag, the exposure and the recruiting that we don’t have. We’re constantly in a fight to keep our head above water.’

McKillop is quick to praise Curry for his dynamic – albeit short lived – presence at Davidson. While he points out that the balanced offensive attack the team will feature this season will ensure that players aren’t left watching the action (much as they did when Curry was at work), he knows that the current NBA rookie has forever written his name in college basketball lore while giving his school everything he had.

‘He’s given himself and there’s no greater gift – he gave himself completely to Davidson,’ McKillop says. ‘He wore it on his heart, he still carries with him out in California and he keeps in touch with our players. His presence will hang over this program for my lifetime and lifetimes beyond. He left an indelible mark that will be with us and he gave hope to guys who are in our program now. He is a burning torch that will stay forever burning bright in our program, with our players, our fans and our college.’

Those closest to the program will continue to support with a diehard passion the team that took them on a miraculous two-year journey. Whether or not it will be another 40 years before Davidson makes its mark again and whether or not they fade back into obscurity is still unanswered. But that isn’t what this story is about. It is about what one player gave to a team, to a school and the legend that will continue to grow the further removed from it we become.

No this wasn’t a story about Stephen Curry – not entirely. It was about life after the man who put Davidson back on the map and keeping that dream alive.

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(Via SLAM Online.)

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Another season, another Cavaliers rap song

October 23rd, 2009

Another season, another Cavaliers rap song: “

From the same group that brought you the hit ‘Notorious Cavs’ comes this new club banger set to the tune of Cleveland’s own Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s ‘Ghetto Cowboy’ — ‘A Ring For The King.’ Enjoy.’

As Waiting For Next Year said last season, fan videos are a dangerous thing. ‘Sometimes, they’re very creative and humorous. Other times, they can be downright awful and then stuck on the Internet forever for all to dig up when needed.’ We’ll let you decide where this one falls on the ol’ fan rap scale.

Cheers, Stepien Rules.

(Via Ball Don’t Lie – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.)

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6’10 Perry Jones Sickest Player In Vegas; Crazy Potential.

September 1st, 2009

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Long Live the Legend of Ray-Lew

March 13th, 2009

I Am Legend: Raymond Lewis

The LA Basketball Legend Lives On Through One Man’s Passion for the Game
Long Live the Legend of Ray-Lew
This is a story about a player and another man’s passion for the game. This discussion is hardly about just any ordinary player.

This is the legend of Raymond Lewis.

There have been many articles written about Raymond Lewis in recent years. This time, chose to speak with the man whose admiration for one player’s game changed his life. Meet Dean Prator, the man largely responsible with bringing the story of Ray-Lew to the masses.

Dean Prator grew up in Los Angeles and has been in awe of Lewis’ hardwood dominance since Prator was in high school at Dominguez High School in Compton. Lewis, meanwhile, was holding court crosstown at Verbum Dei, where he lead the Eagles to a 84-4 record while in high school, winning three consecutive California Interscholastic Federation titles from 1969-1971.

But it wasn’t just in high school where Lewis dominated. In fact, the prep years were just the beginning of the mythical presence Lewis would play in the Southern California basketball scene for years to come. It is this storied reputation that lead Prator to build, a place where Raymond Lewis’ story and achievements in hoops could draw inspiration for the next generation of ballers.

What is it about Raymond Lewis that lead you to follow his life and career so closely?
Raymond was just ahead of his time. He was local to the LA-area so people here knew about him, but back then we didn’t have ESPN. You really didn’t get the chance to see and hear about these other talents from other places. You hear people say all the time that someone was the best player to never have played in the NBA. Most of them, though, don’t have the backing for those claims. We have newspaper clippings that show just how great Ray’s game was.

I never saw him play a basketball game. We were in high school around the same time, he was a year ahead of me. The thing about Ray is that most of the things that you hear about him are all well-documented. That is the thing about his story–it’s all right there and very real. You don’t see numbers like those. I just felt that Raymond Lewis was too good not to be known. When I Googled his name, a few articles would come up. There was no place that was dedicated to his whole body of work.

When did you start the website and what has been the response that you have received from people, particularly players?
I actually began the website in October 2005.  The response that I have received has been tremendous. I have done hundreds of hours in research and interviews. People tried to put movie deals together on him, but it never worked out. Players like Paul Pierce and Baron Davis were interested in doing documentaries on him, but that’s the thing. There is no video footage of him. So I really decided to create this website because I wanted his story to be told, especially to younger players. They need to know this man. Magic Johnson said to me that he was glad that Raymond’s story was finally being told. I have talked with people like Jerry Tarkanian, Michael Cooper, and Marques Johnson who all had different stories to tell about the greatness of Raymond Lewis. Jerry Tarkanian, who tried to recruit Raymond to play for him when he was coaching at Long Beach State, called Ray the best player he had ever seen. Keep in mind, at that time, Tarkanian was a top-dog coach then. His team at Long Beach State was ranked like number three in the country. Raymond initially committed to play at Long Beach State. Tark was his boy and he probably would have played there if Cal State LA and Bob Miller had not bought Lewis a brand new red Corvette. Once that happened, Lewis ended up playing for Cal State LA.

I have received emails from family members or people who played against him who are now dentists, doctors, and lawyers–all of them attest to just how great of a player and what an impact that he had on the game for that time. Freeman Williams, who played in the NBA for 10 seasons, said that he is the greatest player he had ever seen, even better than Michael Jordan.

So what do you feel was Raymond’s biggest challenge? If he had all of that talent, why didn’t he make it?

I think that it all came down to that contract he had with the 76ers. He got drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers near the end of the first round of the 1973 NBA draft.  He signed what he thought was a guaranteed three-year contract for $450,000. Actually, it was for $190,000. A $25,000 signing bonus, $50,000 for the first season, $55,000 for the second and $60,000 for the third. There were things in the deal that he signed that he wasn’t aware of, like the fact that he wasn’t going to get all of the money his contract was worth immediately. So he gets to camp and is going up against Doug Collins, who was the number one pick for Philadelphia that year. He was just torching Collins, and it became such a big deal because the Philadelphia media started writing that Lewis was killing Collins, the number one guy.

The Philly and New York sportswriters watching the game discovered that Lewis looked better than Collins, the star of the Olympic Games and the club’s and NBA’s number one draft choice who had signed a $200,000 per year contract. In one full-court scrimmage, Lewis reportedly scored 60 points by halftime and coach Gene Shue called off the second half so that the number one draft choice and million-dollar rookie Collins would not be further embarrassed by Lewis. Here is Collins, who was getting $200,000, looking weak against Lewis. After all the publicity, Shue refused to let Doug Collins guard Lewis, and that’s when Raymond decided he wanted to renegotiate his contract. He was like he was insulted because he was killing Collins. It was like he had that Watts mentality of ‘You gotta pay me.’

There are contrasting stories on what really happened. When Philadelphia refused to redo the contract, Lewis reportedly walked out. Lewis, however, had said that Shue told him to sit out a year and mature. Nevertheless, after the alleged walkout, Lewis wasn’t able to get his professional career on track. Most people say he got blackballed. In my opinion, if he would have just played the contract out, his career would have been much different. He didn’t play one minute in the NBA. He then tried to go to and play in the ABA with the Utah Stars, but 76ers officials showed up and threatedned to sue if Lewis went into the game because he was still under contract with them. He tried to get on with other teams, but no one would touch him. At that is about the time when he just started taking out his frustrations on players in pick-up games on playgrounds and in Pro-Am leagues throughout LA. I mean, he was 29 years old an averaged 54 points per game in summer leagues. He went to the Spurs camp and scored 63 and 81 points. Why wouldn’t you want a scorer like that on your team?

I talked to Gene Shue, the coach of the 76ers at that time. He said that as gifted a player as Ray was, there was just something missing with him personality-wise. I think that became evident over the years and hindered him in the long run. But that could never take away from the player that Raymond Lewis was. And that is why I wanted to do the website. I wanted people to learn about this great player and to he was the greatest player, and outside of those circumstances, I felt that people, especially young players, needed to know about his relevance to the game. He was the greatest player and a lot of people would never even know his name.

Dean Prator and Raymond Lewis’ daughter, Kamilah

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PAC-10 in Review

March 5th, 2009 recently visited the University of California’s Haas Pavilion, where the Cal Golden Bears hosted the UCLA Bruins in a nationally televised game that held many implications as the PAC-10 quickly approaches. Cal came into the game 16-1 at home and the Bruins needed a win to stay in contention for their fourth-straight PAC-10 title.

Cal controlled the tempo for most of the first half, but behind Darren Collison’s 16 second-half points, the Bruins were able to hold off the Bears late, winning 72-68. More importantly, the Bruins were able to secure sole possession of second place in the PAC-10 and are still in the hunt for a share of the conference title. In order to do that, UCLA must knock off Oregon and Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion next weekend while hoping Washington State knocks off the Huskies. Even still, the Bruins recognize the real: the PAC-10 title is nice, but really, it’s all about the Big Dance in late March.

With that in mind, TheHighPosts has formed a PAC-10 breakdown that gives a quick analysis of where the teams stand as the PAC-10 conference quickly approaches March 11-14.

1. Washington
There is no doubt that the Washington Huskies (23-7, 13-4 conf) have been taking care of business on the hardwood this season. The Huskies did drop two games to Cal this season, as well as to UCLA, but they remain the PAC-10 front runners with a sweep of the Arizona schools this past weekend. It should be an interesting ride for Coach Lorenzo Romar as Selection Sunday nears.

The Almighty Bruins (22-7, 11-5 conf.)  have played consistent UCLA basketball most of the season, but some key conference losses in February to the Arizona schools as well as the bizarre ending to the Washington State game made it more challenging for the Bruins to claim their fourth-straight conference title. A strong finish in the regular season is all the Bruins need. Their experience should propel them ahead of the rest of the pack moving into the conference tournament.

3. Arizona State
The Sun Devils (21-7, 10-6 conf) have fared well against conference schools, with the exception of key losses Washington and Washington State both times they played the two teams. They have been able to walk away with wins in games against UCLA and Cal, but if ASU hopes to make some noise down the stretch, they are going to have to be able to close games late.

4. Cal
The Cal Bears (21-8, 10-6 conf) on paper are a strong matchup but it seems that something gets lost in translation too often with this team. They have played brilliantly in stretches, but key losses to USC, Oregon State, and Stanford this season have exposed this team’s vulnerabilities. The Bears need a great showing in the PAC-10 conference if they hope of getting a whiff of the Big Dance.

5. Arizona
This year, the Arizona Wildcats (18-11, 8-8 conf) have undergone a complete identity crisis. The Lute Olsen era is clearly over, but where do the Wildcats go from here? That is a question that is still begging to be answered. And with an NCAA investigation now looking overhead, it seems like Arizona’s focus is on making it out of this season without further incident.

6. Washington State
Washington State Cougars (16-13, 8-9 conf) have been an enigma to say the least, particulary in conference play. At times they have looked in need of direction (i.e. losses to USC, Stanford) while lately they have been able to turn the tide, capturing key victories against UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Look for the Cougars to be the x-factor in the PAC-10, a team very capable of knocking off top-seeded opponents.

7. USC
Oh what a difference a year makes. USC (16-12, 7-9 conf) started off conference play rather strong, stringing together early wins against Arizona State, Arizona, Cal and Washington. But then, it seems like the bottom fell out, exposing Coach Tim Floyd. The Trojans have been 1-6 with two games remaining on the schedule. They need to piece something together, and quickly, less suffer a quick exit in the counference tournament.

8. Oregon State
The numbers don’t lie. The Oregeon State Beavers  (13-14, 7-9 conf) have made an improvement under Coach Craig Robinson. They strung together some key victories early on, not to mention that they knocked off Cal last week. They have to finish the regular season on the road at USC and UCLA, so it remains to be seen if they will have anything left in the tank to make any noise in the conference tournament. Key recruits should improve this program in 2009-2010 season.

9. Stanford
It has been a tough debut for first-year coach Johnny Dawkins and the Stanford Cardinals (16-11, 5-11 conf). The team was certainly in rebuilding mode this year after losing the Lopez twins. They earned key victories against Cal and Washington State early in PAC-10 play, but clearly they are aiming for just to stand ground in the conference tourney, in hopes of building momentum for next year.

10. Oregon
All the Nike money in the world is not helping the Oregon Ducks (8-20, 2-14 conf.) win basketball games. After consecutive losses in PAC-10 play this season, the Ducks were able to piece something resembling an effective game plan and won their last two games against Stanford and Oregon State. They finish their season against USC and UCLA, and it is very likely they will be one-and-done when the conference tournament starts next week.

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Elgin Baylor: His Legacy and Why We Should Care

February 25th, 2009