Basketball: Pac-10 picks, etc

Here is my story from this morning’s editions, projecting the Pac-10 race.

Also, my account of coach Mike Montgomery’s 600th win and a great slideshow of the game from photographer Ray Chavez.

The Pac-10 opens tonight with two games:

   — Washington (8-3) at USC (8-5), 7:30 p.m.: USC swept both meetings last season.

   — Washington State (10-2) at UCLA (8-4), 8 p.m., CSNBA: UCLA has won 12 of the past 13 in the series.

Jeff Faraudo

  • uh oh

    ASU at 7th?
    But they’ve got some good returning players (Abbott, Kuksiks, McMillan, Lockett), and the productive freshman Cain. So, how come only 7th?

    A look at their roster and playing time stats shows it’s likely two things:
    1) weak bench.
    2) no true bigs.

    Too bad for Coach Sendak their biggest player Ruslan Pateev from Moscow plays like Max Zhang from China did for us his first year. You can see that Sendak was hoping the 7 footer would be the answer inside, as Pateev started the first 3 games of the year, but could only manage:

    16 minutes, 4 fouls, 2 pts on 1-5 shooting, 2 boards vs. New Mexico
    9 minutes, 2 fouls, 2 pts on 1-2 shooting, 2 boards vs. UAB
    7 minutes, 1 foul, 0 pts on 0-3 shooting, 1 board vs Houston Baptist
    …and didn’t get to the foul line once. That’s disappointing!

    Since then, Cain took over Pateev’s spot, who in now averaging:
    10.8 min, 2.5 pts, and 1.8 rebounds. Very Max-like.

    ASU should look pretty good in games where interior play is not key, and will look bad when it IS and their perimeter shots aren’t falling. How will they do against Cal? I’ll say it all depends on MSF’s feet and how long it takes for Solomon to become a factor. Could that happen this season? Hmmm…