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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Some More Thoughts On Basketball

Since I'm hopefully going to be doing another football post later today, I'm going to lead off today's linkpost with a quick followup on yesterday's Pac-10 media day.

First off, here are the full standings from the media poll:

2010-11 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll 
(First place votes in parentheses)
1. Washington (33) 348 
2. Arizona (1) 296
3. UCLA (1) 281
4. Arizona State 215
5. Washington State 191
6. USC 178
7. California 151
8. Oregon State 120
9. Stanford 98
10. Oregon 47

No. 5 seems about right for the Cougs, a sentiment echoed by Ken Bone:

"Being picked fifth in the media poll is probably about where we should be," WSU Head Coach Ken Bone said. "It's quite a jump from finishing 10th in the conference last year, but we do have some really good players coming back along with some new kids that should be able to contribute right away. I don't feel like the Pac-10 is back to where it was a few years ago, but we are going to be stronger this season as a conference than we were last. I think Washington and California represented us well in the NCAA tournament last year. I'd be surprised if at least Washington doesn't do extremely well this year along with whoever else rises to the top."    

My quick thoughts on the poll:

  • Washington should be the overwhelming favorite. Not sure how anyone could justify Arizona or UCLA, but that's just me -- I don't think anyone is in the Huskies' class right now. I suppose someone is projecting development.
  • I'm not sold on Arizona, as I didn't think MoMo Jones came even close to living up to the considerable hype last year, making point guard a major question mark for the Wildcats. I probably would have ranked UCLA No. 2. But as you can see, those two are basically in a dead heat for 2/3, and I can see reasonable cases made for each.
  • ASU and WSU are pretty clearly the best of the rest in my book, although I probably would have flip-flopped them. I think the Sun Devils really end up feeling the sting of losing Derek Glasser and Eric Boateng. Both were vastly underrated at their positions last year for myriad reasons. (Does losing Taylor Rochestie and Aron Baynes ring a bell, Coug fans?) Replacing them will not be an easy task.
  • As for 6-10, HOLY WOW the rest of the conference is not good. This league is still a year away from being anything near elite again.
  • If you're looking for two teams in that bottom half that could jump up and surprise, keep an eye on both OSU and Stanford. I think the Beavers might be a little underrated thanks to their flop in the face of expectations last year, while Johnny Dawkins brought in a very good class. Granted, they're replacing Landry Fields, but most everyone else is back. Experience matters, and Jeremy Green is awesome. 

Here are some other links for you on media day:

WSU picked fifth in Pac-10 basketball - SportsLink - - Oct. 28, 2010
Vince transcribes the quotes from the appearance of Ken Bone and Klay Thompson at media day.

Pac-10 Video > Wash St Coach Bone
Video of the appearance if you'd rather watch and listen than read.

Husky Basketball | Pac-10 will honor late UCLA legend John Wooden | Seattle Times Newspaper
A roundup of media day.

Huskies near-unanimous choice to win Pac-10 hoops title | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
Same deal.

On to the rest of the links!

WSU Football News

Long pass still big part of Cougars' game - - Oct. 28, 2010
For more than 20 years, Washington State University’s offense has been renowned by the ability to do one big thing. Since Dennis Erickson was head coach in the late 1980s, WSU has made a living with the long pass. And nothing’s changed.

WSU on the way to Tempe - SportsLink - - Oct. 29, 2010
Wulff answered my question about ASU running similar offensive and defensive schemes as WSU and if that helped preparation with a qualified yes. The qualification came from not having the depth to do what the Sun Devils are doing, not using scout teams but using the two versus the ones to prep.

I've seen enough: Paul Wulff must stay - Jim Moore,
Here's all I want from the Cougs -- play to your potential down the stretch, win a couple games and make Moos' decision as difficult as possible. At that point, whatever the WSU AD chooses to do is fine by me, but I'm going to hope that Wulff builds an iron-clad case to keep his job. D-line: Rotation ready
WHAT WILL THE interior of the d-line look like on Saturday when the Cougs line up against Arizona State? Will last week's starting change at DT still be in place this coming Saturday, or is a first year Cougar with seven starts under his belt ready to jump back in?

WSU football: Pac-10 picks, including WSU | Moscow-Pullman Daily News Blogs
Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always thought there’s a lot of danger in a rebuilding team putting all of its hope into that one, shimmering game that everyone thinks they have a chance of winning. What happens if they lay an egg, and Arizona State covers the 21-point spread?

WSU Weekly Show Highlights, Stanford Edition - WSU Football Blog

Other WSU News

Cougar Soccer Heads to Los Angeles for Final Road Trip - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State soccer team (6-11-0, 1-5-0 Pacific-10) travels to Los Angeles to face USC and UCLA.

Coach Potter Quotes and Gurveen Clair Update - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE - Blog
In this installment of the Cougar Soccer Blog, Washington State Head Coach talks about the weekend ahead in Los Angeles and we can an update from Gurveen Clair. The freshman goalkeeper is with the Canadian National Team in its quest to qualify for the World Cup.

Pac-10 News

Pac-10 football: Picks of the Week (Will USC and Oregon score 80 … or 90?) | College Hotline
WASHINGTON STATE (plus-21) at ARIZONA STATE: Cougars have covered four weeks in a row. At some point, the line will catch up to their not-atrocious existence. But not this week. Pick: Washington State.

Husky Football | Bud Withers' Pac-10 power rankings and predictions | Seattle Times Newspaper
Arizona State 35, WSU 13: Might be spot where rigorous October catches up to Cougars.

Other Stuff We Like

College Football Buffet, Week 9: Michigan State vs. Iowa, Missouri vs. Nebraska Are Must-Eats -
Previewing every game of college football's Week 9, including the huge match-ups between Michigan State vs. Iowa and Missouri vs. Nebraska.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS | Varsity Numbers Talks Trade with KenPom
A must-read if you love Ken Pomeroy's work with basketball. Fascinating.