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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pac-10 preview

    The Arizona men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the Pacific 10 Conference after four straight seasons of being picked No.1, according to a preseason poll of media members.

    What follows is a breakdown of each Pac-10 team (listed in order of the Wildcat’s predicted finish):

    Arizona

    2005- 06 record (Pac-10): 20-7 (11-7)
    Conference finish: Third (tie)
    Head coach: Lute Olson, 24th season
    Returning players: 10

    Key losses: Hassan Adams(G): 17.5 points per game, 5.0 rebounds, 47.8 percent field-goal shooting last season; and Chris Rodgers (G): 8.9 points per game, 2.16 steals

    Key returns: Marcus Williams(F): 12.7 points per game, 6 rebounds, 2.8 assists; Mustafa Shakur (G) 11.2 points per game 4.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds; and Ivan Radenovic (F) 12.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 46.1 field goal percentage

    Key additions: Chase Budinger (F): (McDonald’s All-American) 34 points per game, 11 rebounds and 4.5 assists as senior at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, Calif.; and Nic Wise (G) 19 points per game, 8 assists, 6 rebounds as a senior at Kingwood (Texas) High School

    Coach Olson says: “”As far as our team goes, our biggest concern has been injuries as we haven’t been able to get our big guys out there together a whole lot. We have good depth as a result, and the practice environment has been such that we can put good players against good players for challenges every day.””

    UCLA

    2005-06 record: 32-7 (14-4)
    Conference finish: First
    Head coach: Ben Howland, fourth season (Pac-10 Coach of the Year)

    Key losses: Jordan Farmar (G): 13.5 points per game, 5.1 assists

    Key returners: Aaron Afflalo (G): 15.8 points per game, 4.2 rebounds; and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (F) (Pac-10 Freshman of the Year) 9.1 points per game, 8.2 rebounds

    Key additions: James Keefe (F): (McDonald’s All-American) 19.0 points and 11.5 rebounds as a senior at Santa Margarita (Calif.) High School

    Coach Howland says: “”We are optimistic with our returning players, but we did lose three players from last year’s team who led us to the Pac-10 title and the NCAA finals. If the team can do what they did last year, play good defense, take good shots and compete in the Pac-10 championship, then I will be real pleased.””

    Washington

    2005-06 record: 26-7 (13-5)
    Conference finish: Second
    Head coach: Lorenzo Romar, fifth season

    Key losses: Brandon Roy (G) (Pac-10 Player of the Year) 20.2 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists last season; and Jamaal Williams (F): 13.8 points per game, 4.7 rebound

    Key returners: Jon Brockman (F): 8.4 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, 51.8 percent field-goal shooting; and Justin Dentmon (G): 8.3 points per game, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds

    Key additions: Spencer Hawes (C): (McDonald’s All-American) averaged 19.9 points per game, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 blocks as a senior at Seattle Prep High School; and Quincy Pondexter (G) averaged 23 points per game, 7 rebounds and 6 assists as a senior at San Joaquin Memorial High School (Fresno, Calif.)

    Coach Romar says: “”What jumps out with our team this year is our youth. It is going to take us a while to get some experience. Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon are possibly going to be two of the most improved players in the conference. We expect those guys to have big years for us.””

    Oregon

    2005-06 record: 15-18 (7-11)
    Conference finish: Seventh
    Head coach: Ernie Kent, 10th season

    Key losses: None

    Key returners: Malik Hairston (G): Averaged 15.0 points per game, 4.7 rebounds; and Aaron Brooks (G): 10.8 points per game, 4.4 assists

    Key Additions: Tajuan Porter (G) averaged 26.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 5.0 steals per game as a senior at Renaissance (Mich.) High School; and Churchill Odia (G) averaged 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds for Xavier in freshman season in 2004-05

    Assistant coach Scott Duncan says: “”The team wants to get back to scoring and more of that fast-paced basketball we like. Not everything is perfect, but we are pleased with their progress, their work ethic and their determination.””

    California

    2005-06 record: 20-11 (12-6)
    Conference finish: Third
    Head coach: Ben Braun, 11th season

    Key losses: Leon Powe (F): 20.5 points per game, 10.1 rebounds, 49.6 percent field goal shooting; and Ayinde Ubaka (G): 14.5 points per game, 3.8 assists

    Key returners: Devon Hardin (C) 7.3 points per game, 6.6 rebounds; Omar Wilkes (G): 7.6 points per game, 1.5 rebounds; and Theo Robertson (F) 6.0 points per game, 2.5 rebounds

    Key additions: Patrick Christopher (G) Compton Dominguez (Calif.) High School; and Ryan Anderson (G) Rainier Beach (Wash.) High School

    Coach Braun says: “”I would imagine everyone wants to know what life is like without Leon Powe. He is doing great in Boston, and now the team has the challenge of playing without him. DeVon Hardin has been a strong player for us, as he is able to hit the boards both offensively and defensively. A challenge for him is to stay in the game and not get into foul trouble.””

    USC

    2005-06 record: 17-13 (8-10)
    Conference finish: Sixth
    Head coach: Tim Floyd, second season

    Key losses: Ryan Francis (G) (Murdered in Baton Rouge, La.) 7.1 points per game, 3.7 assists per game

    Key returners: Gabe Pruitt (G): 16.9 points per game, 4.0 rebounds; and Nick Young (G): 17.3 points per game, 6.6 rebounds

    Key additions: Taj Gibson (F) 21.0 points per game and 15 rebounds per game as a junior at Stoneridge Prep (Calif.); and Daniel Hackett (G) (St. John Bosco High School, Calif.)

    Coach Floyd says: (On Ryan Francis) “”We remember Ryan, we love Ryan. He was our energy, our heart and our leader. Guys respect a guy that plays hard. He was the all-time giver, and that’s where we’re going to miss him. I’ve always said, you can replace points, but you have a real hard time replacing leadership.””

    Stanford

    2005-06 record: 16-14 (11-7)
    Conference finish: Fifth
    Head coach: Trent Johnson, third season

    Key losses: Chris Hernandez (G): 14.0 points per game, 3.3 assists; and Matt Haryasz (F): 16.2 points per game, 8.7 rebounds, 1.68 blocks; Dan Grunfeld (G): 12.0 points per game, 4.8 rebounds

    Key returner: Lawrence Hill (F) 4.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds,

    Key additions: Brook Lopez (F) and Robin Lopez (C), McDonald’s All-Americans (San Joaquin Memorial High School, Calif.)

    Coach Johnson says: “”My enthusiasm for this year is tempered, as we have an extremely young team. The positive of all the injuries that we have had is that we have been able to juggle guys and play people out of position and have a competitive practice. I really do like our group; we have decent talent.””

    Oregon State

    2005-06 record: 13-18 (5-13)
    Conference finish: Eighth
    Head coach: Jay John, fifth season

    Key losses: Nick DeWitz (F): 11.6 points per game, 4.8 rebounds

    Key returners: Sasa Cuic (F): 13.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 49.3 percent 3-point shooting

    Key additions: Roeland Schaftenaar (C) 6-foot-11, 240 pounds (Netherlands)

    Coach John says: “”This team has the most physical and basketball skill talent I’ve had. For us to be successful, our front line needs to step up and play strong so the back court can get their legs underneath them. I’m excited about our young guys. Sasa Cuic, Marcel Jones and Kyle Jeffers are better than they were a year ago.””

    Washington State

    2005-06 record: 11-17 (4-14)
    Conference finish: Tenth
    Head coach: Tony Bennett, first season

    Key losses: Josh Akognon (G): 10.3 points per game, 2.5 rebounds

    Key returners: Derrick Low (G): 7 points per game, 1.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists; and Robbie Cowgill (F)

    Key additions: Thomas Abercrombie (G): (Auckland, New Zealand)

    Coach Bennett says: “”People always ask me: Are you going to be different than your dad (last year’s head coach Dick Bennett)? We will do a lot of similar things; the team will play hard-nosed defense, (and) they will take care of the ball and hopefully execute better.””

    ASU

    2005-06 record: 11-17 (5-13)
    Conference finish: Ninth
    Head coach: Herb Sendek, first season

    Key losses: Kevin Kruger (G): 15.6 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game; and Bryson Krueger 12.3 points per game, 3.4 rebounds

    Key returners: Jeff Pendergraph (F): 10.9 points per game, 6.1 rebounds; and Sylvester Seay (F) 4.7 points per game, 2.1 rebounds

    Key additions: Jerren Shipp (G): (Fairfax High School, Calif.); and Christian Polk (G): (Deer Valley (Ariz.) High School)

    Coach Sendek says: “”We are a collection of individuals right now, trying to become a team. We are hard-pressed to put in a new system under limited time constraints. We are trying to get everything up and running. We have relative balance in terms of classes. Jeff Pendergraph is coming off a tremendous freshman year. Some of our other freshmen will have a baptism by fire, as we ask them to step up.””

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