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Basketball: Az picked to win Pac-12, Cal 5th

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 9:52 am in Basketball, Pac-12 news, Pre-season.

Arizona was picked to win the Pac-12 men’s basketball title in a poll of media members who cover the conference. The Wildcats collected 21 of 23 first-place votes.

The others went to UCLA and Colorado, who finished second and third in the poll.

Oregon was fourth, just two points ahead of Cal.

The rest of the poll: Stanford, Arizona State, Washington, Utah, Oregon State, USC and Washington State.

The media has correctly predicted the Pac-12 champion 12 of the past 21 seasons.

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  • Woj

    5th place in basketball would seem like nirvana for Cal after finishing dead last in football. Let’s hope Monty delivers better than expected results from the bball team like he usually does. He’s the anti-Tedford, anti-Dykes.

  • CalBearister

    Montgomery is the “anti-Tedford, anti-Dykes.”

    1992-93 – Montgomery’s seventh season at Stanfurd. 7-23 (2-16 Pac-10), dead last. Not his first season, his seventh. So how exactly do you explain that one, other than the fact that not every coach wins every game, every year? Leading up to that, Monty had one good year (1988-89) at Stanfurd, and five mid-Pac finishes. He took a 14-16 (8-10 Pac-10) team (under Davis in 1985-86) and went 15-13 (9-9 Pac-10) his first season – virtually no change. It wasn’t until his 11th year at Stanfurd that he made a Sweet-16.

    So let’s take all the BCS National Championship coaches and see their records six games in at new schools?

    Nick Saban (2003, 2009, 2011, 2012): Went 3-2-1 at Michigan State in 1995
    Gene Chizik (2010): Went 1-5 at Iowa State in 2007
    Urban Meyer (2006, 2008): Went 4-2 at Bowling Green in 2001
    Les Miles (2007): Went 2-4 at Oklahoma State in 2001
    Mack Brown (2005): Went 0-6 at Tulane in 1985, then 0-6 at North Carolina in 1988
    Pete Carroll (2004): Went 2-4 at $UC in 2001
    Jim Tressel (2002): Went 1-5 at Youngstown State in 1986
    Larry Coker (2001): Went 6-0 at Miami in 2001 (but then 2-4 at UT-San Antonio in 2011)
    Bob Stoops (2000): Went 4-2 at Oklahoma in 1999 (but finished 3-3)
    Bobby Bowden (1999): Went 2-4 at Florida State in 1976
    Phil Fulmer (1998): Went 6-0 taking over for Johnny Majors mid-season/early next season

    So what can we learn from this? 11 head coaches have won a BCS title. More than half (6) had a losing first half of their first season with a team. Three had a first season as bad as Sonny Dykes (Mack Brown did twice…plus Gene Chizik and Jim Tressel). So why doesn’t everyone put down the crack pipe and just ride this thing out for a few years to see if Coach Dykes and build a program. Maybe y’all will be a little surprised.

  • me

    how short our memories are. Before a few bad seasons, Tedford produced better than expected results year in, year out. At some point, unfortunately, he checked out.

  • wehofx

    Woj, if you judge BB anything like FB, last year you were calling for Monty’s firing – like many were – after the loss to Harvard and all the way up to the 2nd half win streak that started w wins at pku/osu and then Zona.

    JF, thanks for the hoops coverage. Why the pac media always picks our Bears too low is beyond me, esp w this year’s frosh class. Monty will once again confound their predictions and make a run for the Pac title, esp if, by Pac play, rooks is giving the team productive Thurminator-like minutes in 10 to 14 range.

    CalBearister, good stats. Well said. I remain confident Sonny is going to bring winning FB to our Bears. Probably next season but I remain hopeful, we’re going to upset one of the ranked opponents remaining on our schedule.

  • rollonubears

    wow, calb, if all that data is accurate, that’s solid research and persuasive perspective. i’m on board with giving sonny more time. the season is lost, and it hurts. i really miss seeing our name, at least in the “others receiving votes” column. so nice to see it in hoops, although i feel we are severely overmatched in that too.

  • discdude

    In this world of instant news, people want instant results. You just typically don’t see that in sports. Cal football is a big ship, it might take a year or two, so it’s good to see that others struggled similarly, good stats. Yeah, there are your Moras, but they are anomalies.

    And for the Monty haters that still seem to be out there, you really need to step away from the booze.

    “Cal, which has tied for second place in the Pac-12 each of the last two seasons, is the only team in the league to finish in the top four and win at least 10 conference games each of the last five seasons. The Golden Bears are coming off their winningest five-year stretch in more than 50 years with 109 total victories over the span. ”

    I think 5 is a nice slot to be in right now, kinda hidden and they will likely exceed expectations again. This team, barring injuries, is going to be very good this year. And the recruits know it, they will follow. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m kinda excited for hoops to start.

  • noah

    one thing about being 5th: i think the general consensus is that the pac-12 is the top 5 and the bottom 7. at least cal’s on the right side of that line.

  • Gobears49

    Wrote a comment a few days ago which agrees with Calbearister about the Cal football team. Just be patient. The current offensive scheme is light years ahead of the ancient one Tedford ended up with.

    But what Calbearister had to say certainly was not complimentary to Monty. I think the most recent year’s performance is the most relevant and what Monty has done in recent years has been stellar.

    If Cal is picked fifth but returns four of five starters, gets a healthy Kreklow, a freshman, Bird, who will by the end of the season is probably going to be better than departed Allen Crabbe, along with other top freshmen, the Pac 12 is going to be a powerhouse basketball league this year. Personally, I don’t think we will finish as low as fifth.

  • CalBearister

    Thanks all – slow day at the office.

    @GoBears49 – I certainly didn’t mean it to be anything but complimentary to Monty, so just to be clear, I think he’s a great coach. I was just trying to say you can’t measure a coach based on his first season or any single season. Had Stanfurd given up on Monty after the first few years of mediocrity, they wouldn’t have experienced the later success. I hope that’s the case with Dykes too, as it was with all those other coaches.

  • Woj

    Wrong! I NEVER EVER called for Monty’s firing. NEVER. That’s just wrong and made up by the pro-Dykes crowd here. Why are any of you supporting Dykes at this point? Did you enjoy that narrow win over FCS Portland St. thatm uch? What a joke. You or I could have coached Cal to a narrow win over Portland St. and Cal would have been $5M richer.

    Tedford came in with Holmoe’s players and went 7-5 vs. 1-10 the prior year. Cal was competitive every game I believe in 2002. Dykes’ team has not been. And the 27 point drubbing to UCLA was not comeptitive.

  • Woj

    @6.discdude Says:
    October 17th, 2013 at 2:44 pm
    In this world of instant news, people want instant results. You just typically don’t see that in sports. Cal football is a big ship, it might take a year or two, so it’s good to see that others struggled similarly, good stats.

    I didn’t know expecting 1 or 2 or even 3 BCS Bowl Games in 30 years is asking for instant results.
    There are Bear fans born in 1959 who are going to die if they exert any more patience waiting for a Cal Rose Bowl or BCS Bowl berth. These people are 54 years old and you preach more patience. Good grief!

    If you didn’t go to Cal and aren’t stuck with the excuses and consistent losing I say jump ship at this point – several of my family members went to Fresno St. and they are rolling with a far less expensive and far better coach – Tim DeRuyter http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/​deruyter_tim00.html
    Go nationally ranked Bulldogs!

  • drizzlyboy

    This conversation isn’t going to end well.

  • SteveNTexas

    One of the CBS Sportswriters picked us to be #10 in the nation., so there has to be potential.
    As for Fresno State -is that an accredited college?

    Monty did have a good run at the end of last season just as he had choked the year before or maybe the year before that too.

    That bought him another year in my book -but I dont worship him.

    I always wanted Kidd and the NBA thought enough of him to give him some sort of job. I like that Jason has for many years made notes on interesting game situations and strategies- so far he is doing well.

  • Gobears49

    Woj,

    Regarding your criticism of Dykes, I think you are totally off base. The offense is performing well. Jeff needs to run an article comparing Dykes’ performance per game so game vs. Tedford’s for all of last season and mention that our average competition this year has been much better than last season’s. Would love to see those comparative offensive stats.

    And our defense has been really beat up. We’ve probably lost more key players on offense and defense than any team in the country and WILL LIKELY LEAD THE NATION THIS YEAR IN STARTERS BEING LOST THROUGH INJURIES. Please get someone to read this article to you, and slowly –
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/sports/ci_24341709/pac-12-football-cal-bears-facing-injury-epidemic

    In addition to setting records in losing starting players to injury and facing probably the toughest, or one of the toughest, schedules to date this season, our team is young and wasn’t deep to begin with.

    I have faith that Dykes will turn this around next year, and may surprise people a bit this year, as i think morale is still good. But this assumes he will have a good recruiting class for next year, which he has no excuses for if he fails there. In any event, you have to to give him at least two years to show what he can do. Still say anyone with a brain can see our offensive philosophy and production is light years ahead of Tedford’s. A comparison by Jeff of offensive stats this year and last year should prove that, again against much better competition that Tedford faced, overall. The Pac 12 is a much tougher conference this year from last year and we have played a tougher non-conference schedule this year compared to last.