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Basketball: How Thursday altered the RPI

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.

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Basketball: Pac-10 stat leaders

 Here are Pac-10 leaders in several statistical categories, along with where Cal players rank:

Pac-10 LEADERS
Scoring
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

Rebounding
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

Assists
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

Steals
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

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Basketball: Bears’ big homestand begins

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:

Pac-10 records
1. Arizona 7-1
2. Washington State 5-1
3. Cal 5-2
   Washington 5-2
5. Stanford 4-2
6. Oregon 5-3
7. USC 5-4
8. Arizona State 3-4
   Oregon State 3-4
   UCLA 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)

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Basketball: Understanding GSR scores

Four months after Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores showed Cal’s basketball program among the nation’s best, the Golden Bears ranked among the worst, according to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) results released on Wednesday.

Cal’s GSR score for men’s basketball was 30 percent, which ranked as the lowest among teams that finished in last year’s final Associated Press Top-25 poll, according to the AP.

That came on the heels of the program’s June APR score of 967 out of a possible 1,000, including a perfect 1,000 mark for the 2008-09 school year.

So what gives?

The GSR measures graduation success over a four-year span, allowing incoming freshmen a six-year period to complete their degree. But the most recent scores are derived from the incoming scholarship class of the fall of 2003, averaged with results of the three previous freshmen classes.

In other words, players who arrived on campus as long ago as 2000.  So drawing a connection between the latest GSR score and last year’s teams has no relevance because the players on the 2009-10 team are not part of the study.

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Basketball: Media picks Cal 7th in Pac-10

Defending champion Cal, sans four senior starters from a year ago, was picked seventh today in the Pac-10 Conference annual basketball media poll.

Washington secured 33 of 35 first-place ballots and easily earned the No. 1 spot. Arizona edged UCLA for the runnerup spot. Stanford is picked ninth. The Huskies should feel good about this — the media has correctly picked the Pac-10 regular-season champion three of the past four years and 14 times over the past 21 seasons.

“It’s flattering,” coach Lorenzo Romar said of UW’s spot atop the poll. “I like our team, but I don’t know if we’re ready to win a Pac-10 yet. We got a lot of work to do.”

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Basketball: Brackets, computers, rankings

Here’s the latest . . .

— BRACKET PROJECTIONS: ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Cal as a No. 7 seed in his mock bracket today. He has the Bears facing No. 10 Old Dominion in Oklahoma City (ugh), with Kansas State looming in the second round.

Lunardi has two Pac-10 teams in the field for the first time, with Arizona State as a No. 12, facing Maryland in San Jose. Washington is among the “first four out,” meanng the Huskies have some work to do.

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Basketball: Bears crack top-20 . . . in RPI

Cal’s victory over Stanford — that’s four wins in a row and seven of eight for the Bears — has boosted it to No. 19 in the latest RealTimeRPI ratings.

LOCAL HEROES

Omar Samhan (Danville-San Ramon Valley HS) had 16 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, leading Saint Mary’s College (25-5) to a 69-55 win over Portland and into Monday’s championship game of the West Coast Conference tournament final against Gonzaga . . . Cory Higgins (Danville-Monte Vista HS) won Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors after averaging 24.5 points in two victories.

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Basketball: Is it RPI or R.I.P.?

With one day left in the Pac-10 regular season, here are the sorry RealtimeRPI.com ratings for the conference:

23. Cal
53. Washington
54. Arizona State
86. Arizona
105. USC
145. UCLA
149. Washington State
158. Oregon
169. Stanford
174. Oregon State

Consider that No. 74 Sam Houston State (18-6) and No. 82 Indiana State (16-13) are ranked ahead of all but three Pac-10 teams and No. 99 Duquesne (14-14) is  higher than six of them.

Amazing.

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Basketball: Brackets, computers and polls

Lots going on today, so I’m a little late with this. But here goes . . .

BRACKETOLOGY: ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi still has Cal as the only Pac-10 team in the NCAA field. He projects the Bears as a No. 9 seed, matched against No. 8 Texas (Jamal Boykin, meet Damion James) at Jacksonville, Fla. This scenario would have the winner facing No. 1 Duke in the second round. A tough arrangement all around.

(My personal theory is most teams are better off being seeded No. 10 than No. 8. A No. 10 is probably only marginally inferior — if at all – -to the No. 7 team it will play. The No. 7 team beat No.10 in three of four matchups last year, although No. 7 was 15-5 the previous four years. Either way, the 7-10 winner isn’t rewarded by a matchup with No. 1, as the No. 8-9 winner is.)

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