Pac-10 Wrapup & Tourney PreviewPosted by nvr1983 on March 9th, 2009
Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 Conference.
Pac-10 Final Regular Season Standings
1. Washington 14-4, 24-7
2. UCLA 13-5, 24-7
3. Arizona State 11-7, 22-8
4. California 11-7, 22-9
5. Arizona 9-9, 19-12
6. USC 9-9, 18-12
7. Washington State 8-10, 16-14
8. Oregon State 7-11, 13-16
9. Stanford 6-12, 17-12
10. Oregon 2-16, 8-22
Player of the Year: James Harden
The third sophomore in Pac-10 history to win player of the year. The others were Jason Kidd (1994) and Mike Bibby (1998). Harden is also the third ASU player to win it following Ike Diogu (2005) and Eddie House (2000).
Freshman of the Year: Isaiah Thomas
Thomas set the freshman scoring record for Washington with 477 points and is the fourth Husky to win the award.
Coach of the Year: Lorenzo Romar
This is the second time Romar has won the award, previously he was named coach of the year in 2005.
Defensive Player of the Year: Taj Gibson
He may come back for another year, thanks in part to his good friend O.J Mayo’s advice.
Most Improved Player of the Year: Justin Dentmon
First Team All-Pac-10
Jon Brockman F Sr. and Justin Dentmon G Sr. Washington
Darren Collison G Sr. UCLA
James Harden G So. and Jeff Pendergraph F Sr. Arizona State
Jerome Randle G Jr. and Patrick Christopher G Jr. California
Chase Budinger F Jr. and Jordan Hill F. Jr Arizona
Taylor Rochestie G Sr. Washington State
Second Team All-Pac-10
Isaiah Thomas G Fr. Washington
Josh Shipp G/F Sr. UCLA
Nic Wise G Jr. Arizona
Daniel Hackett G Jr. and Taj Gibson F Jr. USC
Pac-10 All-Freshman Team
Isaiah Thomas G Fr. Washington
Jrue Holiday G UCLA
DeMar DeRozan F USC
DeAngelo Casto F and Klay Thompson G Washington
Jeremy Green G Stanford
Pac-10 All-Defensive Team
Alfred Aboya C/F Sr. and Collison UCLA
Hackett and Gibson USC
Pac-10 Tournament Preview
Image courtesy of http://www.pac-10.org/
The regular season Pac-10 champions, Washington, find themselves in the drivers seat for the tournament. They are the favorites riding a five-game winning streak into the tournament. The Huskies fates will depend heavy on Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Isaiah Thomas. He is the best pure scorer and can create his own shot. Mr. Double-Double, Jon Brockman, will also need to play big for the Huskies to pull one out. Do not be surprised if they need a basket late in a game and the ball ends up in senior Justin Dentmon’s hands.
Contenders: UCLA and Arizona State.
This is the first year in Darren Collison’s career that UCLA did not garner the number one seed for the tournament. The Bruins are still a huge threat as the number two seed. They have a great coach who has a knack for getting his team to play better when it matters. The tournament is also right in their backyard, The Staples Center. Arizona State is always a threat with Player of the Year James Harden patrolling the court. They stumbled toward the finish with three losses in their final four games. The Sun Devils played up-and-down ball all year, so who knows what to expect in the tournament, they could lose their first game against Arizona or win the whole tournament.
Dark Horse: Washington State
The dark horse in all this is seven-seed Washington State. The Cougars have won three of their last four, the only loss at Washington. They won at UCLA and beat Arizona and ASU at home. They are playing their best ball at the end of the year and will be a tough matchup for UCLA should they get past Oregon in the first round.
Best game in the first two rounds: No. 2 UCLA vs. 7/10 winner (Assuming No. 7 Washington State beats Oregon)
The Bruins and Cougars split the season series with both teams losing at home. The first game was a two-point loss for the Cougars. They had a chance at the buzzer to win, but a 3-point attempt by Marcus Capers was off target. The second game was a loss for UCLA. It was only their second loss at home all year. In a high scoring game Taylor Rochestie led the Cougars to only their second victory in LA in their last 53 games. Josh Shipp had a buzzer-beater blocked. Both games went down to the buzzer and don’t expect anything less than this one.
Wednesday, March 11
- No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Stanford, 6 p.m. FSN
- No. 7 Washington State vs. No. 10 Oregon, 8:30 p.m FSN
Thursday, March 12
- No. 4 Arizona State vs. No. 5 Arizona, 12 noon FSN
- No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8/9 winner, 2:30 p.m. FSN
- No. 3 California vs. No. 6 USC, 6 p.m. FSN
- No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7/10 winner, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Friday, March 13
- Semifinal 1, 6:00 p.m. FSN
- Semifinal 2, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Saturday, March 14
- Championship, 3 p.m. CBS