Wrapping Up The Pac-12′s Summer Exhibition ToursPosted by Connor Pelton on September 13th, 2012
Seven Pac-12 schools took a foreign exhibition trip this summer. We recap them below with Drew taking UCLA, Utah, and Colorado, and Connor taking the rest.
- Where: The Bahamas
- When: August 11-13
- What: The Wildcats swept their two games against Bahamian competition.
- Why: As Arizona transitions from an NIT one-and-done to having at least NCAA Third Round expectations, this trip was all about integrating instant-impact newcomers Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett, Brandon Ashley, Gabe York, and Mark Lyons into the rotation. Setting lineups and seeing what groups of players meshed well together was much more important than the actual play against less than stellar competition.
- Who: Lyons and fellow senior Kevin Parrom were the stars of the trip, each averaging 18.5 PPG. The most anticipated freshman to don the cardinal red and navy blue in a while, Tarczewski, scored eight points in each game on the trip. Arizona absolutely destroyed their lowly competition, winning both games by a combined 112 points.
- Where: France, Belgium and the Netherlands
- When: August 11-22
- What: The Buffaloes went 2-3 in five games against European professional teams.
- Why: With CU breaking in six scholarship freshmen, the trip gave head coach Tad Boyle a chance to build camaraderie between the talented new guys and their six returnees from last year’s Pac-12 championship team. The trip also gave the freshmen a chance to build an identity of their own, evidenced by the fact that Boyle sat out the core returnees from last year’s squad – Andre Roberson, Askia Booker, Spencer Dinwiddie and Sabatino Chen – in one of the games, allowing five of the freshmen to start the game together.
- Who: While Roberson was his usual magnificent self – he averaged 14.4 points and 13.8 rebounds – freshman Josh Scott eliminated any doubt that he could be an immediate impact player. Scott led the Buffs in scoring in four of the five games, coming up a point short of the leaders in the opening game; he averaged 17.4 point per game for the trip. His classmate Xavier Johnson also made a statement, averaging more than ten points to go with seven rebounds for the game.
- Where: France and Spain
- When: August 21-27
- What: The Beavers swept their four games against European competition.
- Why: Jared Cunningham is gone to the NBA, and he leaves behind a scoring and stealing ability that the Beavers haven’t seen in years. Replacing his minutes was of highest priority on the trip, while coach Craig Robinson also wanted to eliminate the long scoring lapses that plagued the team at times last year.
- Who: With the exception of just a few, everyone on Oregon State’s roster contributed something big in at least one of the games on the trip. Senior center Angus Brandt was the star of the trip, averaging 15.8 PPG in Oregon State’s four wins.
- Where: China
- When: August 22-30
- What: The Bruins went 3-0 against Chinese competition during their seven-day trip.
- Why: With Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott hoping to gain inroads into Asia, the Bruins’ trip to China was the conference’s first step in breaking new ground. However, for head coach Ben Howland, it was as much about getting his young team a chance to play together in games and in the extra 10 practices allowed the team prior to the trip. It wasn’t all roses for the Bruins, however, as highly-regarded freshman wing Shabazz Muhammad was left behind, pending the NCAA’s investigation into his eligibility. Frehsman center Tony Parker made the trip, but did not play due to a hamstring injury.
- Who: Junior center Joshua Smith made a big impact with the Chinese, but Bruin fans hoping to see a newly slimmed down big man were disappointed. He did average more than 10 points per game against inferior competition, but still has plenty of conditioning work to tend to between now and season tip-off. Elsewhere, UCLA’s other big recruit Kyle Anderson had a couple good games, including a 21-point, 11-rebound and five assist effort in the Bruins final game, while the fourth freshman, Jordan Adams, bounced back from an opening-game stinker by averaging 19 points per game in the final two contests, despite going just two-for-13 from deep on the trip. Junior Travis Wear may have had the most impressive trip of all, averaging 19 points and eight rebounds in the three games.
- Where: Brazil
- When: August 4-15
- What: The Utes split their four games against Brazilian competition.
- Why: The nearly two weeks together as a team should help second-year head coach Larry Krystkowiak begin to fashion a cohesive unit out of a team that returns just two players who earned significant time last season. With 10 newcomers arriving and senior center David Foster returning from a season lost to injury, the extra practice time that the Utes got is likely far more important than the games and certainly the final scores there.
- Who: Foster made an appearance, playing in half of the Ute games, but it was the newcomers who generated the most interest. Highly-regarded freshman forward Jordan Loveridge may have been the star of the team, averaging 13 points and eight rebounds in the four games, but the coaching staff parceled out playing time pretty evenly, giving everybody a chance to show their stuff. Four different players led the scoring over the course of the four games (Aaron Dotson, Glen Dean, Jared DuBois and Renan Lenz, a native of Brazil), with DuBois putting up the biggest numbers, a 21-point outing in a loss.
- Where: Spain, France, and Monaco
- When: August 27-September 4
- What: The Huskies split their six games against European competition.
- Why: The Huskies lose their top two guards from 2011-12, both early entries into the NBA. Finding the guys to replace that production, especially after Tacoma Community College transfer Mark McLaughlin announced he would be leaving the team without even playing a game, is the top priority.
- Who: While a 3-3 record might not have been the desired result for the trip, much more important was the fact that three guards, Andrew Andrews, Scott Suggs, and C.J. Wilcox, emerged as big-time scoring threats. Building off of a strong 2011-12 campaign, Wilcox shined by averaging 14.6 PPG and was the most consistent scorer on the squad. While Washington definitely saw some positives on the trip, it’s obvious there is still work to be done in order to compete with the Connecticut, Arizona, and UCLA types dotted throughout the schedule. Its best opponent was Antibes, a squad that coach Lorenzo Romar compared to a Top 15 NCAA team. Frustrated by stifling defense that took them out of rhythm on offense, the Huskies limped to a 93-66 defeat.
- Where: Australia
- When: August 7-14
- What: The Cougars won their first two games before going on a three game skid to end the tour.
- Why: Ken Bone and company looked to build on a strong finish to the year, one that saw the Cougars make a run to the CBI Championship series. The trip was also needed to get used to playing without with their top defender and shooter from last season.
- Who: Perhaps the most anticipated newcomer, Demarquise Johnson, didn’t make the trip due to problems with the NCAA Clearinghouse (he was later determined to be a partial qualifier). As expected, senior forward Brock Motum was the MVP of the trip for Washington State, averaging 24.5 PPG and 10 RPG in the Cougars two wins. Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge looked at times like the breakout player many are expecting him to be, but he was nonexistent on the offensive side of the floor in key moments.