The Competition: A look around the Pac-12

Nicole Dimtsios


Coach: Herb Sendek, sixth year
Location: Tempe
Home court: Wells Fargo Arena (capacity: 10,734)
2010-2011 record: 12-19, 4-14

Last postseason appearance: 2010 National Invitational Tournament, First Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Dec. 31, time TBA; March 4, 1:30 p.m.

After a 12-19 record last season, it would be an understatement to say that head coach Herb Sendek is on the hot seat. After the graduation of Ty Abbott, Jamelle McMillan and forward Rihards Kuksiks, the Sun Devils return two starters in junior Trent Lockett and sophomore Kyle Cain. But the spotlight could be on freshman point guard Jahii Carson. The Mesa native should be an impact on the court and help ASU score in transition, but he is yet to be cleared to play by the NCAA.


Coach: Mike Montgomery, fourth year
Location: Berkeley, Calif.
Home court: Haas Pavilion (capacity: 11,877)
2010-2011 record: 18-15, 10-8

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NIT, Second Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Feb. 2, 8 p.m.

The Golden Bears return their top three scorers from last year’s team, who finished fourth in the Pac-10 Conference in scoring. With multiple threats from the floor, Cal’s veteran team should make a run at the conference title. Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe (13.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game), first team All-Pac-10 selection Jorge Gutierrez (14.6 ppg,, 4.5 assists per game), second team All-Pac-10 selection Harper Kamp (14.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and junior Brandon Smith round out Cal’s returners.


Coach: Tad Boyle, second year
Location: Boulder, Colo.
Home court: Coors Events Center (capacity 11,043)
2010-2011 record: 24-14, 8-8 Big 12 Conference

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NIT, Semifinals

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 21, 4 p.m.; Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Colorado joins the Pac-12 Conference coming off a one-point loss to Alabama that would have put the Buffaloes in the NIT Championship Game. Forward Alec Burks averaged more than 20 points per game before being selected in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. The Buffaloes return two starters Austin Dufault and Nate Tomlinson, both seniors who averaged more than 20 minutes per game last season.


Coach: Dana Altman, second year
Location: Eugene, Ore.
Home court: Matthew Knight Arena (capacity: 12,369)
2010-2011 record: 21-18, 7-11

Last postseason appearance: 2011 College Basketball Invitational Champions

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 14, 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

The Ducks return six players, including three starters from last year’s team. Like Colorado, Oregon will rebuild this season with five transfers and four freshmen. Head coach Dana Altman’s recruiting class was ranked in the top 25 by ESPN, Rivals and Scout.

Oregon State

Coach: Craig Robinson, fourth year
Location: Corvallis, Ore.
Home court: Gill Coliseum (capacity: 10,400)
2010-2011 record: 11-20, 5-13

Last postseason appearance: 2009 CBI Champions

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m.

Oregon State returns four starters to a team with a schedule that dodges second games against UCLA and Arizona. Although head coach Craig Robinson only has two new players on his roster, OSU will need others to step up on offense to help second-team All-Pac-10 selection Jared Cunningham.


Coach: Johnny Dawkins, fourth year
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Home court: Maples Pavilion (capacity: 7,329)
2010-2011 record: 15-16, 7-11

Last postseason appearance: 2009 CBI, Semifinals

Meeting with Wildcats: Feb. 4, noon

Stanford lost Jeremy Green, who elected to enter the NBA Draft in June 2011, but returns 12 total players. Forward Josh Owens averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Cardinal last season and will be the one of the team’s leaders along with senior Jarrett Mann. The Cardinal will only play at the Washington schools and will host the Arizona schools this season.


Coach: Ben Howland, ninth year
Location: Westwood, Calif.
Home court: LA Memorial Sports Arena (capacity: 16,161) Pauley Pavilion is under renovation (capacity: 12,819)
2010-2011 record: 23-11, 13-5

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NCAA Tournament, Third Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 5, 9 p.m.; Feb. 25, noon

The Bruins won’t be hard pressed to find offense this season. If Reeves Nelson, the Bruins leading scorer and rebounder from last season, returns from suspension, he’ll get help from Lazeric Jones (9.1 points per game) and Joshua Smith (10.9 ppg, 6.3 rebounds per game) to give head coach Ben Howland a steady and productive core group of starters.


Coach: Kevin O’Neill, third year
Location: Los Angeles
Home court: Galen Center (capacity: 10,258)
2010-2011 record: 19-15, 10-8

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NCAA Tournament, First Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 8, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 23, TBA

USC will have to look for help from new names this season as it returns just one starter in Maurice Jones. The sophomore guard averaged 9.9 points in 34.5 minutes per game last season. Jio Fontan, who led the Trojans in assists and was second in scoring, had a season-ending knee surgery on Aug. 16. Freshman guard Alexis Moore is one option to replace Fontan.


Coach: Larry Krystkowiak, first year
Location: Salt Lake City
Home court: Jon M. Huntsman Center (capacity: 15,000)
2010-2011 record: 13-18, 6-10 Mountain West Conference

Last postseason appearance: 2009 NCAA Tournament, First Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 19, 7 p.m.; Feb. 11, noon

Utah joins the Pac-12 with a lot of rebuilding to do. After former coach Jim Boylen left the Utes, 11 players graduated or decided to transfer. Two senior returners, center David Foster and point guard Josh Watkins, will have to provide stability for first-year head coach Larry Krystkowiak.


Coach: Lorenzo Romar, 10th year
Location: Seattle
Home court: Alaska Airlines Arena (capacity: 10,000)
2010-2011 record: 24-11, 11-7

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NCAA Tournament, Third Round

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 28, 5 p.m.; Feb. 18, 1 p.m.

After the departure of Isaiah Thomas and forwards Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday, Washington returns only two starters, including point guard Abdul Gaddy who tore his ACL in January. Sophomore Terrence Ross and the Huskies have won back-to-back conference tournament championships but will be tested early with Duke and Marquette in non-conference play.

Washington State

Coach: Ken Bone, third year
Location: Pullman, Wash.
Home court: Friel Court (capacity: 11,671)
2010-2011 record: 22-12, 9-9

Last postseason appearance: 2011 NIT, Semifinals

Meeting with Wildcats: Jan. 26, 8:30 p.m.; Feb. 16, 6 p.m.

The Cougars lost Klay Thompson, who entered the NBA Draft in June and DeAngelo Casto who is playing professionally in Turkey, who made 45 percent of WSU’s scoring. Three other starters return, but they only averaged about 20 points per game. Guard Reggie Moore averaged 9.1 points per game last season. WSU only plays at the northern California schools and the Utah and Colorado duo once.