Huskies Done For Now, Cougs Maybe Not

May 26, 2010, 3:55 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

After the drama that was Terrence Jones, the Huskies look around to realize that all is not lost by any means. There is still a need for inside scoring on the UW team, but otherwise this is one exciting team on paper and with the Pacv-10 still in rebuilding mode to a great degree, one that should at least contend once again for the conference title.

Rivals Arizona site came out with a fresh look at the Pac-10 post Jones going to Kentucky titled, “Jones decision means Pac-10 is wide open” in which they made the argument that the Huskies had talent, but that coaching was a question mark.

“Someone has to replace Quincy Pondexter’s 19.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, which won’t be easy to do. Gaddy needs to take a big step forward and the rest of the roster is also going to need to really improve. Lorenzo Romar has talent to work with but is still going to need to out-coach others, which has been a problem at times. Washington will also need to win away from home.”

I understand Josh Gershon, the publisher of GoAZCats, wishing for this type of scenario, but this statement about Romar is off base. Romar coached his team to an outright Pac-10 title two years ago in what was a masterful job of managing talent and games. Last year he brought a team back that had lost the leading rebounder and 2nd leading scorer in school history, plus an All Pac-10 senior guard, to finish the season winning 14-16 games leading up to a Sweet-16 match-up with eventual Final-Four team West Virginia (who lost a close one to eventual champion Duke) and a Pac-10 Tourney Title.

I find it arrogant that Gershon would choose to argue with that type of coaching demonstration, but the overall vibe that his site puts out is that Arizona is somehow better by virtue of the legacy of Lute Olson, who I don’t believe ran a clean ship and wasn’t the white knight that these dogmatic ‘Cat fans always try to build him up to be. Isn’t what Calipari just did in the Jones recruitment similar to the “Midnight Lute” legacy?

I don’t believe that it is any coincidence that ‘Zona strongly considered Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jeff Capel and Tim Floyd when they replaced Olson, ultimately with Nike yes man Sean Miller. If you want to know what’s going on with Oklahoma in the wake of “Tiny” Gallon being caught red handed taking in a $3K payment while there, Gregg Doyel at CBS has a brilliant analysis of the situation.

According to Gershon, who picked Washington in a toss up among the top-5 teams in the league that includes ‘Zona, ASU, UCLA and WSU, losing Jones takes the Dawgs out of the conference driver’s seat. I agree with Josh that Mr. Jones could have helped soften the blow that will be felt by the loss of Q, but I do not feel that there is this much of a log jam at the top. I feel that UW is still a bit better than the rest of these “Tier I” teams, but I do agree that the gap got smaller than it would have been with Jones.

The real story here is that this is just another premature still life. Washington has a scholarship open still and look to be waiting for inside scoring. Two players became available this week in former two time Husky commit guard Roburt Sallie and former UW small forward recruit (and JC team mate of new Dawg post Aziz N’Diaye) Carrick Felix. Washington is not a good fit for either, from what we are hearing at this time. Gershon also reported that Sallie is likely headed to Oregon, which really could help the Ducks.

Felix’s JC coach Steve Gosar confirmed that UW is not happening Tuesday morning and though we have not yet spoken to Sallie, who is an old friend of ours, sources have confirmed that Carrick or Roburt would only serve to complicate the dynamics on the team at their respective positions. Washington needs inside scoring. If they can’t find that at this late date, they could opt for a transfer, should there be one that is too good to pass up. A transfer would also serve as a good practice player and even a guard or a wing should not hurt team chemistry at UW.

Knowing this UW staff from watching them do their thing for years now I think it’s reasonable to assume that they will keep looking for that and that this off-season will include the large possibility of one of those scenarios coming to fruition. Lorenzo and his guys are always recruiting and UW is a great destination for a transfer, should the right type of guy become available. Another interesting choice that Gershon made for his “Tier 1” schools was ASU.

“If Rihards Kuksiks returns – he’s leaning towards leaving – then he would make up one of the best senior duos in the Pac-10 with Ty Abbott. Combine that with expected improvement from impressive freshman Trent Lockett and incoming five-star Keala King and you have some nice pieces to work with. Also, ASU will play defense as well as anyone else in the league.”

If Kuksiks is “Leaning towards leaving”, the Sun Devils will still be a team that contends, as they showed they were last year in the face of the loss of James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. They do play great defense and have a senior point guard returning in Seattle’s Jamelle McMillan, which is actually a more important reason than any given by Gershon. ASU must find front court help in the worst way though and the loss of Rihards will literally seal their doom as an NIT type of team because they just plain have no proven strength down low.

To expect sophomore Ruslan Pateev, who averaged 2 points per game in basically garbage time appearances to all of a sudden be a top Pac-10 pivot is a huge reach, nor even greener Canadian frosh ‘footer Jordan Bachynski. With all of the attrition that ASU suffered through this off-season, there is still room though and perhaps more than any other team in the Pac-10, Herb Sendek’s group could improve themselves greatly between now and fall.

As far as Josh’s picks of ‘Zona, the Bruins and the Cougs in his top-5, I don’t disagree with that. UCLA should be improved, now that we are reasonably certain that Malcolm Lee is going to stay for another year. Word from our sources in Westwood is that Lee, sophomore wing Tyler Honeycutt and Kent WA’s Josh Smith all intend at this point to be in the 2011 draft a year from now so UCLA’s improvement after the dismal and rare losing season we just witnessed could be a case of one step forward and two steps back.

I find it hard to believe that the addition of a sorely needed point guard in JC transfer Lazeric Jones, high school senior to be Matt Carlino, All-Star wing Tyler Lamb and currently grossly overweight Smith are going to be that big of an upgrade after the loss of seniors Mike Roll, Nikola Dragovic and James Keefe, plus transfers Drew Gordon, Mike Moser and J’mison Morgan.

Howland is struggling to find players that can handle his style. Our sources in Westwood have indicated to us that Brendan Lane, who is sitting out almost until the season starts while rehabbing after surgery is also on the fence about staying at UCLA. The Bruins should be better with at least a functional compliment of guards on the roster, but a huge improvement from a 14-17 record is not likely. A lot of things will have to go right for Howland to get them back into the NCAA tournament in my opinion. In light of today’s headlines they are going to really have to “Pump it up”.

The next team that Josh picked for his “Tier 1” was WSU. I like that choice and believe that the Cougs will be much improved over last years team which started off hot, but froze up to a dead stop as the league season wore on. I would expect the strong core of All-American candidate Klay Thompson, defensive specialist Marcus Capers, irrepressible point guard Reggie Moore and feisty center DeAngelo Casto to find a fitting addition in JC scoring machine combo guard Faisal Aden.

The Cougs will have part time starter Abe Lodwick back, but freshman Patrick Simon, scrappy forward James Watson and Brock Motum will provide much greater front court depth to go with greater overall experience in Pullman. The loss of Xavier Thames, who according to Fox Sports is “Headed to San Diego State”, will be greatly mitigated by Aiden.

Gershon failed to mention that Oregon and OSU are going to have a lot of talent this year, especially the Beavers, who I would pick in my top-5 instead of ASU or UCLA. It will be very interesting to see how all of the talent assembled in Eugene responds to the new coach, but in Corvallis there is talent AND a system that has had a chance to gel. Adding Roberto Nelson, Devon Collier and Ahmad Starks to last year’s star freshmen Jared Cunningham and Joe Burton is going to pay dividends this year in my mind.

Senior to be and leading scorer Calvin Haynes returns along with veteran big men Omari Johnson and Daniel Deane, as well as senior to be Lathen Wallace. The Beavs have a look of experience to go with dynamic young talent and in my opinion have to be considered in the teams that will contend for the conference title and an NCAA bid. Cal will be better than many think, as Allen Crabbe and Gary Franklin are way better then most think, but winning with freshmen starting at both guard spots is going to be tough.

Jorge Gutierrez, Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Harper Kamp will lead the young Bears, but they are too early in the process to contend, despite great coaching. USC will also be good, if they don’t get yet another shake up from sanctions. Like Cal I see them as a year away, but don’t be surprised to see Fordham transfer Jio Fontan to have an effect similar to that of Mike Gerrity this past year.

The Trojans have Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson up front, Marcus Simmons on the wing and two outstanding freshmen in the back court to help Fontan in Bryce and Maurice Jones (no relation). Starting the year with an all-frosh back court should be once again embarrassingly difficult for Kevin O’Neill, but once Jio gets in the mix and the kids have a chance to get some experience, this USC team could take down some Pac-10 teams in early 2011.

Stanford will also beat some teams, as they did last year, but the loss of Landry Fields, despite a highly ranked group of frosh, will put them at or around the bottom of the league. As far as ‘Zona, the team whose chances of winning the Pac-10 title Josh is so excited about now that Jones has been spirited off the Kentucky under the ether of the blue vodka, there is reason for optimism but I would wait to start hauling out the usual “We’re ‘Zona, you’re not” Rhetoric.

The ‘Cats will feature Lamont “Momo” Jones at PG, who could be a very good Pac-10 floor leader. We’ll see how well he does without the senior Wise. History tells us that guys often look better in their freshman year when they play along side dominant seniors than they do in their sophomore campaigns without them (see Justin Dentmon). Jamelle Horne, Solomon Hill and Derrick Williams will be a solid front court as well. Freshman shooting guard Daniel Bejarano could provide some nice depth, along with Kevin Parrom.

Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender provide adequate production at the off guard. The season revolves upon the ability of “Momo” to run the team and if he falters and needs a back-up all there appears to be at this point is freshman combo guard Jordin Mayes. Overall ‘Zona is the best team in the Pac-10 after UW and if things go well for them while UW has problems adjusting to life after Pondexter, they could make a run at it.

Gershon didn’t need to hide behind the Bruins, Sun Devils and Cougs to say that and in the end I feel that Washington is still the best team in the league overall at this point. To summarize my feelings about the league here after the Spring Signing Period, I would have to pick it this way.











Quincy Gears Up For Draft

Quincy Pondexter is going to be picked in the late 1st round or early 2nd of the NBA draft according to all of the mock drafts and expert analysts. has Q at #34, going to the Wizards in the early 2nd round. Draft Express has Pondexter going to the Magic with the 29th pick of the 1st round. The Sports XChange has him going to the T-Wolves at #23

If Quincy does get picked in the 2nd round, UW fans should remind him that his former team mate who found himself what appears to be a permanent NBA home for himself was a 2nd round lick only a year ago. Jon Brockman has become the sentimental favorite of the Sac-Town fan base and one only needs to read this summary of what he has accomplished in his rookie season to see what kind of continued success that Jon will have at the next level.

Brockman led the NBA in offensive boards per minute, which is actually no surprise to any UW fans who watched him dominate down low at Washington and regardless to any other facets of the game that he will doubtless work hard to improve on in his inimitable style, that alone will probably keep him in the league. Quincy showed UW fans a will to win and a confidence that was unmatched by any Dawg since Brandon Roy last season. He should have a great pro career as well.

Turner to join Aggies

Little did we know when Elston Turner went 0-5 in 9 minutes against Texas A+M in the huge UW win at Hec-Ed on December 22nd 2009 that this audition would lead to the Aggies offering him a scholarship. That may not have been the reason that Mark Turgeon allowed “ET” to become an Aggie, but he will join them after spring quarter.

Being close to his dad (Elston Sr.), who is an assistant for the Houston Rockets, had to be a factor in Turner’s decision to transfer, but with the addition of Terrence Ross and N’Diaye, Washington seems to have landed on their feet. Turner is a great kid, who was always good to me at Husky Digest, where we broke his commit nationally back when we were part of Rivals. He had a big hand in the awe inspiring run that brought Washington from 3-5 in the Pac-10 to the Sweet-16.

It will be tough to see him on the sidelines at College Station and I expect him to have a great career in the Big-12, but I am also very optimistic about Ross, who I feel has a chance to be a better fit for the Dawgs than Turner right out of the gate. Ross, who obviously urged his friend Mr. Jones to join him at UW, told Zagsblog that it was not much of a shock.

Naw, not really, I knew something like this could happen since he hadn’t signed so late in the year.”

Strictly as an analyst and talent evaluator, I would think that UW fans should be very happy with the way things turned out. Ross was committed to Maryland and broke their hearts, much the same way that Jones broke many of the purple and gold. I feel that Ross is a better player, just smaller than Jones, which in the case of NBA scouts, mock drafts and subsequently the recruiting rankings services is a major factor.

One need only look at the effect that four years of Jon Brockman, Quincy Pondexter and more than likely Isaiah Thomas has had on the UW program to realize that a guy that is more likely to stick around is better in the long run than the one and done type of player way more often than not. Ross is actually a better recruit on points for the Dawgs in my opinion than Jones. Many will say that is just a homer fan trying to make himself feel better after being snubbed, but if you look at my column over the past few years you will see that this is actually my feeling.

Ross is a better shooter than Jones. He is a great young defender who has that athleticism, instinct and great hands that the best Husky defensive players in the Romar era like Bobby Jones, Justin Holiday and Nate Robinson have had. He is not small at jut a shade under six-foot-six and a solid 200 lbs. and should be able to be a factor on the boards, as well as get to the basket on offense. The best news of all for Husky fans is that sub-six-foot-six 200 lb. wings are not usually going to get the big push to enter the draft like a six-foot-nine 220 lb. one like Jones would.

Like I said, Ross is a better player overall than Jones. Unlike Jones he will not be expected to start, but will probably play long minutes off the bench in support of Justin Holiday and Isaiah Thomas. He will fit a UW defensive system , which has been improved markedly with the addition of Aziz, to a tee.

Washington is going to be a better team than Kentucky in the final evaluation in my opinion and if the Dawgs had to pick one of the “Terrence’s” I feel they picked the right one, just as they did last year when they ended up with Abdul Gaddy, while losing Avery Bradley who is one year later projected in the mid-1st round of the NBA draft.

Another newcomer to next year’s squad is forward Desmond Simmons. Simmons is a bigger player at six-foot-eight and 220 lbs., according to my conversation with him by phone a few weeks ago. He was the best player in Northern California over the last couple of years in the opinion of many, not because of flashy dunks and showboating, but for his ability to lead his team to wins. He steps into a Husky program that has win out right or won the conference tournament and automatic bid two years in a row.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times did a nice Q+A with “Dez” and the title, which includes the quote, “I’ll Fit In … Because I’m A Winner” says it all.

The entire quote says it even better.

“I think I’ll fit in fine with this group of guys because I’m a winner and I play hard and I work out hard. And I don’t mind putting in any amount of work so I think I’ll fit in fine.”

According to the piece Simmons will start school at UW on July 11th. According to Romar Aziz will arrive earlier than that in June, while Ross will also arrive on July 11th.

So what about Jones? Simmons, who is only one inch shorter than Jones, but a lot more drama free is sort of the anti-Jones. He chose his school early and was not interested in all of the hype. Jones on the other hand milked it as far as one could in a media circus environment that would make Madonna jealous. Is the drams finally over? Has the curtain come down on Jones and his will he won’t he sub-plot behind a game that NBA scouts feel has potential?

Don’t count on it. As soon as the story of his signing a financial aid agreement with Calipari, which obligates Jones to nada and frankly could have been signed next month of any time between now and the fall, start being moved off the front pages of ESPN, Fox, Rivals and Scout, another set of stories about Calipari looking at NBA jobs and other headline fillers splashed out across the media universe.

“Coach Cal” even had to come to the NW to attempt to clear his name for the way that he conducted Jones recruiting, after he publicly committed to Washington. He went on 95.5 The Fan radio in Portland and stated emphatically that he was not looking at other jobs.

“I am not out looking for jobs. I have got in my opinion the best job in the country.”

Sorry Calipari, a close contact and regular contributor to Husky Digest saw you in Gibson’s with Jerry Reinsdorf for a Thursday lunch meeting earlier this month. Sources also had you in Lexington earlier in the day and later that afternoon. I guess you always fly into Chicago just to have a steak just for fun with a guy who is looking for a new coach.

It’s also just a big coincidence I guess that Reinsdorf and the Bulls have room under the cap for your buddy Lebron James, who the Chicago Tribune reported is being shopped with you to them as a package deal by William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley. Yes, that same “Uncle Wes” who helps you land recruits like Jones by doing literally anything he can regardless to the rules.

Calipari also tried to deflect criticism that he intimidated and coerced Jones after his public commitment to Washington on April 30th.

“Well we thought that he was coming with us and when he said ‘Washington’ we were like ‘what just happened?’ That was the first thing. Then he called about an hour later and said ‘Cal, I made a mistake. I don’t know what I was doing.’ That is when the thing went like ‘You what?’ So we talked to him and said that we are going to do whatever you want. I am holding your scholarship.”

This guy is funny. He thought Jones was coming with them. That’s rich. If you want more details as to what I think happened based on accounts by people in the business who are close to the situation go to Husky Digest. I’ll just summarize here to say that I believe that “Coach Cal”, “Uncle Wes” and others including very possibly James and John Wall said and did a lot more in Jones behalf, his dad and his mom.

I believe that rules were broken in a very shocking way and I believe that history will prove this too be true not only in regards to Jones, but also in regards to Demarcus Cousins, John Wall and others.

The Fan printed out the full interview, if you want to get an idea how a world class con man does his thing.

Cousins admitted to being pushed out by Calipari, during an interview at the NBA Draft Combine.

“(Cousins) took moments to take parting shots at former coach John Calipari, the only of the Kentucky prospects to do so. Cousins stated that, along with him feeling he was basketball ready and with his other teammates declaring, one of the deciding factors in his decision to turn pro was ‘Cal pushing him away’. This wasn’t exactly a revelation. It’s been brought up before, but the fact that he brought it up without provocation was cause for concern. Later in the interview, when asked whether he would want to play for Calipari someday in the NBA (if Calipari decided to go that route), Cousins refused to comment.”

Lebron’s Head Coach in Cleveland Mike Brown was fired, despite GM Danny Ferry not wanting to let him go according to ESPN, who also ventured that Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was a focus for Cleveland to replace Brown.

Not so strangely Calipari’s name was mentioned here as well.

“Adding to the drama in Cleveland’s final home game was the sight of Kentucky coach John Calipari, a friend of James, sitting in a courtside seat — next to James’ agent — adjacent to Cleveland’s bench.”

What did Calipari promise Jones to get him to sign and finally commit to Kentucky after publicly committing to UW? One small and entirely ethical thing may have been a trip back to Portland this season courtesy of the Portland Pilots.

Portland took down UCLA, Minnesota and others this past year and I would not put down Kentucky and its starting five of 1st round picks based on potential as clear favorites in that match-up on the road against a WCC team.

What else did “Coach Cal” promise Jones? It appears that he may have promised and has now delivered on it that the Oregon Assistant Coach who has been most involved with Jones, Kenny Payne will replace 4-time DUI offender and former NBA guard Rod Strickland.

Fox’s Jeff Goodman tweeted this on Monday.

“Source told that it’s basically a done deal with Kenny Payne to Kentucky. Source also says he will take a pay cut to go to KY.”

Why a pay cut? I believe that it is because there is so much more happening under the table anyway in Phil Knight-Uncle Wes-Calipari-land.

What is not happening in Ashley Juddville is studying. Kentucky reported another very bad grades report for the Men’s Hoops team. It went up from 2.025 to 2.18, which is way below any sort of reasonable performance. All John said was that things are going in the right direction.

“A GPA just under 2.2 is not what we hoped for. But for the most part, every player improved from the fall semester and most finished strong. With all that was swirling for this team and all the scrutiny and pressure, our guys buckled down and did what they had to move our GPA in the right direction.”

This guy needs to get out of college basketball. He is undermining the very essence of the sport, as a game played by student athletes. He is promoting a culture of “One and dones” that don’t have to do school work. I believe he sells kids on the idea that they don’t have to go to school, just play ball and be treated like rock stars in the lap of luxury. Calipari is a new level of bad for the game.

Husky Recruiting Corner

Rivals released its class of 2011 player rankings and there were a number of kids with UW interest.

The top ranked UW recruit is Jabari Brown at #12, followed by Angelo Chol at #19, Josiah Turner at #22, Anthony Wroten at #25, Norvel Pelle at #40 and Jahii Carson at #61.

2012 UW recruit T.J. Bell told Rivals that Indiana and Virginia are the schools talking to him the most but that, “He also has offers from four West Coast schools: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State”.

2012 UW wing recruit Jordan Tebbutt from Portland was given a bright review by the UCLA Rivals site for his performances at the “May Double Pump Tournament”.

“Tebbutt is an explosive, powerful wing who uses his high athletic ability and strength to dominate the defense. He is a very good player who is being watched by all the west coach college programs and will be offered by most of them when it is all said and done. Tebbutt shoots well and runs the floor fast. He gets to the hoop with ease and has all the moves to make plays.”

Another 2012 UW recruit from the PDX, post Landen Lucas, got more of a mixed review.

“Lucas is a rangy power forward who looks the part but lacks the skills to be a highly regarded prospect at this time. He is very raw offensively and has poor footwork on defense and rebounding. Still, Lucas is a big sophomore who could develop into a high D-1 player with more strength and much more offensive improvement.”

A 3rd 2012 UW recruit, Grant Jarrett, was given a rather poor review at Pump.

“Jerrett is still very much a work in progress. Many scouts have projected him as an elite level of recruit, although that certainly is not completely visible yet. Jerrett does have an array of moves around the basket and is a pretty good defender and shot blocker. He needs more physical development and a growth spurt to reach elite level status as a post prospect.”

2012 UW guard recruit Kevin “Yogi” Farrell of Indiana is still listing the Dawgs to reporters. He told Rivals on Wednesday about his UW offer as well as all of laundry list of suitors.

“I’ve been offered by Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Butler, Virginia, Washington, Notre Dame and that’s about it. Michigan, they said they would offer when they hit the date in June and then Xavier, that’s about it. I’d always love to hear from schools like Kentucky or North Carolina and places like that.”

UW 2011 recruits Jahii Carson and Norvel Pelle and 2012 recruit Gabe York were named to the 1st team all-tournament at the “Elite 8 in the Desert” event in Phoenix AZ over the weekend of May 15-16, according to Rivals. Carson and York were co-MVP.

Cougar Corner

According to ESPN, WSU signed Australian shooting guard Dexter Kernich-Drew. According to Coug Center, this means that the Cougs are full at this time.

Don’t be so sure Coug fans. I spoke to CSI Head Coach Steve Gosar today, who confirmed that Carrick Felix, who just decommitted from Duke is getting strong interest from WSU, among a laundry list of D1 schools from across the nation. According to Bone himself at his end of the season press conference, Mountlake Terrace WA’s Charlie Enquist is on scholarship, but could be pulled off of it. Would Ken do that if he were to land a recruit with the ability to help his program that Felix could provide.

Felix was the buzz as analysts and message board “Experts”, including ESPN’s recruiting site, ventured the opinion that Washington would be a great place for him, with Jones spot being still open.


“We just got the news that JC transfer Carrick Felix will not be attending Duke as planned. Where might a 6-foot-6 wing from the College of Southern Idaho end up? Seattle seems like a nice place. The chips could fall into place for Lorenzo Romar, who lost small forward Terrence Jones to Kentucky despite the Portland product’s verbal commitment to the Huskies. Felix would be an excellent two-year solution to that particular problem. One recruiting inducement Romar has that nobody else can boast is the presence of Aziz N’Diaye, who was Felix’s teammate at College of Southern Idaho. If Felix can be swayed by a familiar face and the chance to play alongside Terrence Ross, Washington is once again a Final Four threat in 2011.”

Here is how ESPN broke down Carrick’s game:

“Felix is a high-flying wing-type that excels in transition where he can get to the rim utilizing his bounce and length. His ball handling has improved, but it will need to get better when defenders get into him. He’ll be an excellent defender out on the perimeter utilizing his quick hands and lateral quickness and offensively he’ll be able to utilize the pump fake and quick first step to score in the mid-range area. If his jump shot continues to improve, he may have a chance to play in the NBA someday.”

Charges have been dropped against Deangelo Casto for an incident that took place at a party in Pullman after this past season.

Sim and Tanveer Bhullar are two giant brothers. According to Rivals, “Sim, 17, is 7-4, 285 pounds” and “Tanveer, only 15, is 7-2, 260 pounds”. There are numerous schools already on their trail according to Rivals.

“West Virginia has already offered Sim a scholarship. Duke plans to visit him. Duquesne, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Texas, UMass, USC and Washington State have expressed interest in both brothers.”

The brothers attend The Kiski School in Western PA.

The Cougs are one of 5 favorites in 2012 center Demetris Morant of Tucson AZ’s Rivals profile. Demetris originally comes from Florida.

Pac-10 Round Up

Rivals did a feature on Oregon, now that Dana Altman is settled in as head coach.

The article was written prior to Jones signing with Kentucky and talked about Jones getting away from Oregon and expected to sign with either UW or UK. It is funny how things change so much in the space of a week with this stuff. From what we are hearing over at Husky Digest, if Calipari goes to the NBA, which is certainly a possibility at this point, Jones (according to reliable sources) will likely end up at Oregon.

Andy Katz, who really seems to have a soft spot for USC, did a feature on the Trojans that outlines very intelligently the state of the program at this point. Katz picked the Trojans to do well last year, when everyone else thought they would be a doormat and to his credit a lot of what he predicted turned out to be the case.

As Coach Kevin O’Neill attempts to pick up the pieces of the Tim Floyd era which brought unprecedented recruiting to USC, but as we found out a series of red flags that had nothing to do with the school colors. One such questionable deal that went down during Floyd’s tenure was giving “Lil Romeo” (real name Percy Miller), the son of rapper/producer “Master P”, a scholarship. According to many this was a package deal to get current Toronto Raptor to sign with Southern Cal.

This was sleazy of Floyd, but not illegal or against NCAA regulations. It will be interesting to see what the NCAA does to the USC program when the final decision is rendered in what some feel will be a few weeks.

No it is not an Elton John impersonator, but actually ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek in those crazy 70’s style glasses.

Sendek has a reputation as an excellent coach, who loses a lot of players with his demanding style, but also recruits some pretty good players like incoming freshmen guards Keala King and Corey Hawkins, who will join last year’s frosh star Trent Lockett, senior point guard Jamelle McMillan and senior returning scoring leader Rihards Kuksiks. Finding post help is the problem for Herbie, but with glasses like those, maybe he can dazzle some big men like a Wayne Newton floor show.

Cal took in Justin Cobbs, a transfer from Minnesota, who originally hailed from the Golden State.

Cobbs was originally being watched by a number of Pac-10 schools including the Dawgs and Cougs.

Incoming freshman shooting guard Allen Crabbe was picked by Rivals as one of 10 freshmen who will make a big impact this season.

We have heard from sources that Allen’s shooting touch from distance is legit and though he is only 165 lbs at six-foot-four, Cal fans could be sitting on a player with a huge future. I have heard comparisons to Reggie Miller used, if what I’ve said already to describe him is not enough of a superlative.

UCLA is the confirmed destination of the Wear twins, who hail from the LA area, but spent their freshman seasons at North Carolina.

This great news for Bruin fans whose team will need post help more than likely in 2011-2012. As I mentioned previously frosh center to be Josh Smith is hoping seriously to be one and done. The bad news for Howland is that his buddies and I believe accomplices in NCAA rule breaking, the Pump Brothers, just got a huge chink taken out of their armor by Yahoo sports.

I know that some will say that this is just ticket scalping, but it is symptomatic of a larger MO. I hope that this opens up an NCAA investigation into their operation to which Ben Howland and his machine I believe are tightly connected.

NW Notes

Lenny Wilkens, the legendary coach of the only major Seattle pro team to win a world championship in the 1979 Sonics, is being mentioned as a possible candidate again in the NBA. Wilkens has been working as a color analyst for Fox Sports NW on UW, WSU, Seattle U and Gonzaga games recently.

Kansas Scandal Rocks College Hoops

The AP is now reporting more about that ticket scalping scandal at Kansas that involves college hoops power brokers the Pump Brother’s who are also involved hugely with the UCLA program.

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Eric Mandel

Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss named to Wooden Award list

University of Washington freshman Markelle Fultz and Gonzaga junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss are among the 20 finalists for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award.

6 years ago

Kyle Wiltjer and Gonzaga are a win away from a second straight trip to the Elite Eight. (AP)...

Brent Stecker

Gonzaga is back in the Sweet 16, but it’s not the same old Zags

The Zags have been up to their old antics with a pair of upset wins in the NCAA Tournament, but their strength is not the play of their guards like in previous years.

7 years ago

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Washington men take control early, defeat Montana 92-62

Marquese Chriss scored 22 points and Dejounte Murray added 16 as Washington took control early and rolled to a 92-62 non-conference victory over Montana on Saturday.

8 years ago


No Author

Washington QB apologizes for off-field incident

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles apologized Wednesday for his involvement in an off-field incident after the Super Bowl that led to his suspension for the Huskies' season opener at Hawaii.

9 years ago

Huskies Done For Now, Cougs Maybe Not