Pac-12 M5: 03.21.13 EditionPosted by PBaruh on March 21st, 2013
- Oregon guard Dominic Artis says he’s now 100 percent healthy and will be ready for today’s game against Oklahoma State. The freshman guard has more than his health to worry about, however. Artis is a Bay Area native and as the game will be played at HP Pavilion in San Jose, he has been trying to get tickets for his friends and family noting that it’s like high school all over again. As far as conditioning goes, he said he’s finally up to full speed and is excited and ready for today’s game.
- Sean Miller has always been an intense competitor and that continues to be apparent as the head coach of Arizona. His fire and passion for the game led him to walk on at Pittsburgh in college and he accomplished much more than a typical walk-on usually does. Miller ended up starting at point guard as a freshman and although he never had a basketball playing career after college, it was clear that his drive would lead him to coaching. At only 44 years old, Miller has become a prominent recruiter and successful motivator and his teams have been mainstays in the NCAA Tournament. He may agitate others with his animated antics on the sideline — most recently after his loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament — but that’s what separates the Pennsylvania native from others and is a major reason for his continued success.
- Cal is coming off back-to-back losses to end the season, so getting off to a good start will be key for the Bears when they square off with UNLV today. The Bears have struggled in starting games with soft defense and stagnant offense, but at other times Mike Montgomery’s team has proved that they are a determined bunch. When they were thought to be finished in the Pac-12 race at 3-4, they then rolled off seven straight victories. This was due largely to tougher defense as the Bears held their opponents to just 33 percent shooting during their run. As they get ready for a rematch against UNLV, Justin Cobbs said their NCAA First Four blowout loss last year to South Florida is still fresh in their minds. Count on the Bears to be ready to get back on the court and play 40 strong minutes of basketball.
- The Pac-12 certainly isn’t the best conference in college basketball, but it is a league filled with parity. Just take a look at regular season champion UCLA. They lost to Arizona State, USC, and Washington State. Oregon lost to Stanford and Utah. Arizona fell to USC. Colorado lost to Utah and Oregon State. Additionally, almost every game that these teams played in the conference season came down to the wire. Because of this, Pac-12 teams playing today and tomorrow could benefit as they’ll be ready to play and are no stranger to close finishes.
- Arizona junior Jordin Mayes is playing his best basketball at the right time of the year. Prior to the Wildcats’ loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament, Mayes had scored 22 points in his past three games and showed his willingness to shoot from behind the arc. Arizona will need all it can get from its key bench player today and the junior has experienced some success in the NCAA Tournament. Back in March 2011, Mayes hit four three-pointers against Texas and also provided key minutes in Arizona’s upset of Duke that led to an Elite Eight appearance that season.