RTC Live: John Wooden ClassicPosted by rtmsf on December 12th, 2009
Before the season started, the Wooden Classic in Anaheim appeared to feature four probable NCAA Tournament teams in a double-header that oozed with potential — #13 Georgetown vs. #16 Washington in the first game, followed by Mississippi State vs. UCLA. That was before the local draw UCLA crapped the bed in the 76 Classic during their last trip to Anaheim, and Mississippi State lost to the two Rs — Rider and Richmond. Still, the season is only a month old, and there’s reason to believe that both UCLA and MSU will get it together to make a push back toward the Big Dance before it’s too late. UCLA had a solid showing in a loss against #1 Kansas in Westwood last weekend, and there’s enough talent here that it’s just a matter of time before Ben Howland figures out his team and maximizes his personnel. Mississippi State dominated DePaul in their last outing, which may not sound like much, but the Blue Demons had played fellow SEC teams Tennessee and Vanderbilt very tough in two previous losses. There’s one thing we know for sure about this game, though, and that’s the fact that local Fairfax product Renardo Sidney will not be making a homecoming debut for the Bulldogs — which is unfortunate. As for the early game, it will feature Georgetown’s first visit to the west coast in eight years, and the Hoyas will be looking to build on their strong showing at MSG in the Jimmy V Classic earlier this week by feasting on the smaller Huskies’ frontline and shutting down the inside (#3 in FG% defense). Washington, on the other hand, will attempt to save some Pac-10 face within the league’s regional footprint by knocking off an unbeaten Big East foe. This will not be an easy task, as Georgetown is getting superb production from its starters, including the kind of all-american numbers (15/11) from Greg Monroe that everyone expected from the talented center. It should be a fun afternoon on a rainy day in Anaheim (yes, it actually rains in SoCal!), and we hope you’ll take some time out of your weekend to spend it with us.