Today, hours after UCLA lost its season opener to Loyola Marymount on Friday night, the Sports Illustrated college basketball issue arrived in my mailbox with Bruins forward Reeves Nelson on the cover. Wonder if Ben Howland is happy about that?
SI picks UCLA at No. 15 in the country, followed by Arizona at No. 18.
Cal checks in at No. 23 with Washington at No. 26. The magazine also projects Oregon reaching the NCAA tournament.
Meanwhile, two Pac-12 teams played Saturday . . .
— Washington 91, Georgia State 74: C.J. Wilcox scored 22 points and Darnell Gant added 18 to lead the Huskies. Freshman guard Tony Wroten Jr. had 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four turnovers in his debut.
— Oregon State 86, Cal State Bakersfield 62: Ahmad Starks and Joe Burton each scored 16 points and San Leandro HS product Jared Cunningham had 14 points and five steals for the Beavers in their opener.
CBSSports.com has ranked the top 100 players in college basketball this season and Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez is No. 47 on the list:
47. Jorge Gutierrez (senior guard, California). It’s hard not to love this kid. Terrific work ethic and can do it all for the Bears. — Jeff Goodman.
Allen Crabbe checks in at No. 77 on their list:
77. Allen Crabbe (sophomore guard, California). A lights-out perimeter shooter who needs to develop more versatility in his game this season. — J.G.
Curious that Oakland native and Oregon freshman Jabari Brown, who plays essentially the same wing position as Crabbe, is No. 49 — without having ever played a college game:
49. Jabari Brown (freshman guard, Oregon). Could wind up being Dana Altman’s leading scorer. Strong, athletic and can fill it up. — J.G.
Other top-100 Pac-12 players: No. 23 Terrence Ross, Washington; No. 24 Reeves Nelson, UCLA; No. 42 Josh Smith, UCLA; No. 46 Josiah Turner, Arizona; No. 85 Jared Cunningham, Oregon State; No. 88 Trent Lockett, Arizona State.
Two other players with local roots: No. 84 Damian Lillard (Oakland) Weber State; No. 94 Kevin Foster, Santa Clara.
The full list is here.
ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com have released their joint preseason college basketball “Power Rankings,” and they look awfully familiar. Compare them to both the preseason AP top-25 and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, and there’s hardly a difference.
Cal is No. 24 in the “Power Rankings,” the same spot it occupies in the AP and coaches polls.
Here are ESPN’s “Power Rankings:”
- North Carolina
- Ohio State
- Texas A & M
- Michigan State
Lost in the swirl of attention given Friday to coach Mike Montgomery’s announcement that he faced bladder cancer was the unveiling of the Associated Press’ preseason top-25 poll. The Bears checked in at No. 24.
Arizona and UCLA are ranked No. 16 and 17, respectively.
A few other things you might want to check out:
— Columnist Monte Poole says Montgomery gave us a rare glimpse of the man behind the coach.
Cal is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason coaches poll.
North Carolina secured 30 of 31 first-place votes to easily top the coaches’ first poll of the season, Kentucky got the other first-place vote and is No. 2. Rounding out the top 5: Ohio State, UConn and Syracuse.
Other Pac-12 teams in the rankings are No. 16 Arizona and No. 20 UCLA.
Voters include Arizona State coach Herb Sendek and Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s.
Cal ranks third among Pac-12 Conference schools and No. 41 on a list of Division I schools in the National Collegiate Scouting Association’s “power rankings.”
The Chicago-based company averages three factors to determine its rankings: Directors Cup athletics ranking, NCAA student-athlete graduation rate and U.S. News & World Report university ranking.
Cal ranked 22nd nationally on the U.S. News & World Report academic list, No. 3 on the Directors Cup athletic achievements and No. 239 according to NCAA grad rates. That averaged to a score of 88.0.
Duke was the highest-rated Division I school, followed by Stanford at No. 2. Washington checks in at No. 34 among D-I schools. The only other Pac-12 schools to make the top 100 are UCLA at No. 46 and USC at No. 90.
Here is the NCSA’s Division I rankings and their overall rankings, which combine Division I, II and III schools onto a single list.
I picked up two more college basketball annuals and Lindy’s has projected Cal to win the Pac-12 Conference and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez to earn conference player of the year honors.
Cal also is pegged No. 11 nationally by the magazine, the highest ranking we’ve seen from any publication.
“Mike Montgomery is coaching three of the best players in the conference,” veteran West Coast college hoops observer Frank Burlison writes in Lindy’s. “Jorge Gutierrez becomes a cult hero in Berkeley and below the border with a deep tourney run.”
(Burlison also admits he picked Cal to finish ninth in the Pac-10 last season, when they wound up tied for fourth).
Lindy’s remaining picks for the Pac-12: 2. Washington; 3. UCLA; 4. Arizona; 5. Oregon; 6. USC; 7. Stanford; 8. ASU; 9. OSU; 10. WSU; 11. Colorado; 12. Utah.
How did Thursday night’s Pac-10 result affect the computer rankings?
Here are Friday’s latest RealTimeRPI.com ratings for teams from the Pac-10:
18. Arizona, won at Stanford (improved one spot from the day before)
32. Washington, lost at Oregon State (dropped eight spots)
44. UCLA, idle (dropped three spots)
57. Cal, won vs. ASU at home (did not change)
74. WSU, lost at Oregon (dropped nine spots)
82. USC, idle (improved one spot)
142. Oregon, won vs. WSU at home (improved 15 spots)
143. Stanford, lost to Arizona at home (did not change)
157. ASU, lost at Cal (dropped three spots)
219. OSU, won vs. WSU at home (improved 16 spots)
Big winner: None, really. The Beavers made the biggest leap, but from nowhere to nowhere.
Big loser: WSU, which was falling off the NCAA bubble before this game and now is beginning to fade, at least as far as the computer is concerned.
Still in no No-Man’s Land: Cal. No. 57 ain’t’ bad, but it gets you nowhere on the big board, especially at just four games over .500. Lots of work still to do.
Here are Pac-10 leaders in several statistical categories, along with where Cal players rank:
1. Klay Thompson, WSU 22.9
2. Derrick Williams, Az 19.7
3. Isaiah Thomas, UW 16.5
11. Harper Kamp, Cal 13.8
17. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal 12.2
20. Allen Crabbe, Cal 11.1
1. Nikola Vucevic, USC 10.1
2. Alex Stepheson, USC 8.8
3. Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Cal 8.1
17. Harper Kamp, Cal 5.6
19. Allen Crabbe, Cal 5.5
1. Isaiah Thomas, UW 5.4
2. Jamelle McMillan, ASU 4.4
3t. Klay Thompson, WSU 4.0
3t. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal 4.0
9. Brandon Smith, Cal 3.4
1. Jared Cunningham, OSU 3.2
2. Maurice Jones, USC 2.2
3. Malcolm Armstead, Ore 2.0
9t. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal 1.4
Free throw percentage
1. Klay Thompson, WSU .850
2. E.J. Singler, Ore .836
3. Allen Crabbe, Cal .833
4. Harper Kamp, Cal .827
Entering a big week for Cal — with home games Wednesday against No. 17 San Diego State (8-0) and Sunday against Southern Miss (5-1), here’s where Cal sits in the Pac-10 non-conference standings and the latest Sagarin computer rankings:
1. Arizona 7-1
2. Washington State 5-1
3. Cal 5-2
5. Stanford 4-2
6. Oregon 5-3
7. USC 5-4
8. Arizona State 3-4
Oregon State 3-4
Sagarin ratings (with strength-of-schedule)
23. Washington (121)
33. Arizona (289)
38. Cal (25)
47. Washington State (312)
95. Stanford (277)
102. Arizona State (27)
117. UCLA (128)
123. Oregon (213)
125. USC (208)
284. Oregon State (341)