Cal’s win at Stanford as a seven-point underdog wasn’t the only Pac-12 game that didn’t hold form on Thursday.
Here’s a quick rundown:
— Arizona 60, Washington State 25: The top-ranked Wildcats (14-0, 1-0) jumped out to a 21-2 lead as the short-handed Cougars (7-6, 0-1) missed their first 16 shots. The 25 points was the fewest scored by WSU since 1938. WSU played without top scorer DaVonte Lacy, who underwent an emergency appendectomy last Saturday.
— Washington 76, Arizona State 65: The Huskies (9-5, 1-0) led by as many as 20 on the way to knocking off the Sun Devils (11-3, 0-1) in Tempe. C.J. Wilcox led the Huskies with 17 points. Jahii Carson scored 15 points for ASU, which shot just 39 percent.
— Oregon 70, Utah 68: Damyean Dotson’s breakaway dunk with 1 second left in overtime allowed the No. 10 Ducks (13-0, 1-0) to escape Salt Lake with a win over the Utes (11-2, 0-1). Richard Amardi scored 14 points to lead the Ducks. Jordan Loveride had 21 points for Utah.
— Colorado 64, Oregon State 58: The No. 20 Buffaloes (12-2, 1-0) held the Beavers (8-5, 0-1) to 37.5 percent and forced 17 turnovers to win in Boulder. Roberto Nelson scored 23 points for OSU and Eric Moreland had 10 rebounds in his first game since his suspension was lifted.
Plenty of Pac-12 hoops to see on TV when the conference schedule begins on Thursday:
— No. 10 Oregon (12-0) at Utah (11-1), 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
— Washington (8-5) at Arizona State (11-2), 5 p.m., ESPNU
— Cal (9-4) at Stanford (9-3), 6 p.m., Fox Sports 1
— Oregon State (8-4) at No. 20 Colorado (11-2), 7 p.m., ESPNU
— Washington State (7-5) at No. 1 Arizona (13-0), 7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
Happy New Year everyone!
On the eve of the start of Pac-12 play, here’s how conference teams are ranked by RealTimeRPI.com, with strength-of-schedule ratings in parenthesis:
7. Colorado (7)
9. Arizona (76)
11. Oregon (83)
60. Arizona State (168)
65. UCLA (167)
70. Cal (75)
76. Stanford (97)
85. USC (107)
135. Oregon State (207)
138. Washington State (100)
165. Utah (349)
185. Washington (220)
In case you missed, lots of Pac-12 football news on Tuesday:
— To make sure Jim Mora Jr. didn’t bolt to his alma mater at Washington, UCLA gives him a contract extension that will keep him in Westwood through 2019.
— New USC coach Steve Sarkisian expects to be a powerhouse recruiter in the L.A. area.
— Columnist Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times says Sarkisian shouldn’t be confused with his friend and predecessor Lane Kiffin.
— Where does Washington turn for its next football coach?
— Quarterback Marcus Mariota assures that Oregon will remain a major player in the Pac-12 next year by announcing he will forgo the NFL draft and return to school.
Cal sophomore guard Tyrone Wallace was named Pac-12 Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 20 points in the Bears’ 83-64 season-opening win over Coppin State.
It’s Wallace’s first player of the week honor.
The Bakersfield native also contributed six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a blocked shot, and made 3 of 6 attempts from 3-point range.
The Bears return to action Tuesday night against Denver, making its season debut. Tipoff is 8 p.m. at Haas Pavilion
Maybe the TV football gods feel bad for the Golden Bears.
Whatever the reason, Cal’s home finale against USC on Nov. 9 has been set for a noon kickoff, the Pac-12 office announced. The game will be aired on Fox.
That will mark a second straight home day game for the Bears, who played five of their first eight games at night, including last Saturday’s 8 p.m. kickoff at Washington.
Cal ends a three-week run of late games when it hosts Arizona on Saturday at 12:30. The game will be aired by the Pac-12 Networks.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice Tuesday he still doesn’t know if quarterback Keith Price, nursing an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand, will be ready to face Cal on Saturday night.
Click here for the Seattle Times story.
Cal coach Mike Montgomery, peppered with questions about Jabari Bird, called the Bay Area prospect “probably the most high-profile freshman” he has brought to Berkeley and predicted, “He’s going to be a great player.”
But Montgomery said the job of helping Bird become that player falls to senior point guard Justin Cobbs.
“It’s going to be the responsibility of a guy like Justin to make sure that we take advantage of his abilities,” Montgomery said Thursday at Pac-12 media day in San Francisco.
In other words, as always with Montgomery, he wants his upper classmen to shoulder the pressure and leadership on his team.
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.
He is a reluctant celebrity, made instantly famous by the exploits of his Florida Gulf Coast basketball team during last season’s NCAA tournament. Now Andy Enfield finds himself living in the city where Kardashians set trends and TMZ shouts the news.
“I was never the life of the party. In fact, I’m still not,” Enfield said recently.
But as USC’s first-year coach and the guy with the former supermodel wife, Enfield is charged with creating a product that can escape the shadows of football on his campus and of basketball at the school across town.
USC hasn’t reached the Final Four since 1954, but Enfield believes players in one of the nation’s most fertile recruiting grounds will embrace the flamboyant “Dunk City” approach his Florida Gulf Coast team rode to the Sweet 16. He interrupted a recent scrimmage at the Galen Center’s practice gym to reinforce that point.
“We play up-tempo basketball here,” he told his players. “If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.”
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