Awards from Day One
Player of the Day: Sam Clancy, PF-USC. Clancy dominated Stanford for the third time this season with 25 points and nine rebounds in USC's 103-78 dismantling of the Cardinal. The Pac-10 Player of the Year made nine of 13 shots with a series of his patented fall-away jumpers on the baseline. He clearly outplayed Stanford center Curtis Borchardt once again as well.
All-Day One Team:
POD: Sam Clancy, PF-USC
2. Luke Jackson, SF-Oregon
3. Luke Walton, SF-Arizona
4. Desmon Farmer, SG-USC
5. David Bluthenthal, SF-USC
6. Ryan Forehan-Kelly, SG-Cal
7. Jason Gardner, PG-Arizona
8. Brandon Granville, PG-USC
9. Erroll Knight, SG-Washington
10. Curtis Borchardt, C-Stanford
Others: Jerry Dupree, SF-USC, Ryan Walcott, PG-UCLA, Freddie Jones, SG-Oregon, Doug Wrenn, SF-Washington, Chad Prewitt, C-ASU.
Freshman of the Day: Erroll Knight, SG-Washington. Knight scored all ten of his points Washington's very impressive first half against Oregon. With his athleticism, defense and outside shot, the Huskies were able to go into the half with a 42-35 lead over the top-seeded Ducks. He made four of five shots including both of his three-point tries and showed why Washington has quite a few reasons to look forward to the 2003 season. Wrenn and point guard Curtis Allen will only be juniors, Knight and forward Jeffrey Day will be sophomores and star recruit Brandon Roy will join the Huskies on the wing to form one of the most athletic teams in the nation.
Game of the Day: Cal 68, UCLA 61. The Bears win this award by default because none of the first three games were decided by less than 17 points. UCLA overcame a ten-point deficit late in the second half behind the inspired play of freshman point guard Ryan Walcott and tied the score at 59 before self-destructing down the stretch. Brian Wethers, Forehan-Kelly and A.J. Diggs were keys to Cal's win.
Play of the Day: Luke Jackson stole a Washington pass and took it the other way for a powerful two-handed dunk…and then fell and landed on his back. He got up immediately and showed no signs of being hurt after the game but he turned a good play into a humorous one when he failed to land on his feet. He told the press, "My pride is hurt a lot more than my back."
Most Impressive Moment of the Day: Doug Wrenn standing completely still under the hoop and then jumping up and slapping his hand ABOVE the square on the backboard. Wrenn found time for his rim-bounding when the shot clock malfunctioned early in the second half and there was about a ten minute delay in the action. Wrenn has the kind of explosive athleticism that only Freddie Jones shares in the Pac-10.
Quote of the Day: A reporter asked Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery if he felt his team played poorly because of Washington State and Oregon State not being included the tournament. When Montgomery realized the man was serious, he laughed and said, "YES! It was definitely their fault!"
Cheerleading Squad of the Day: Oregon's. One of life's most pressing questions came into play yesterday during the Oregon-Washington game. How do the girls from the rainy Pacific Northwest stay so tan and so blonde while the USC and UCLA girls are pasty and pale? If you get a chance to watch the Oregon-USC game tonight, don't miss the Duck cheerleaders.
Fans of the Day: USC's. The Trojan faithful came out early and stayed late and made noise the entire time. During the USC-Stanford game, the Fans of Troy showed that their decibel level was going to be tough to match when they continuously erupted (loudly!) as the Trojans went on each of their several runs. USC fans stayed and joined Cal's contingent and made it difficult for hated-rival UCLA to get any kind of a home court advantage.
You Know You're in L.A. Award: My dad and I went up to the concession stand during halftime of the UCLA-Cal game to get a beer and next thing you know we had spent $18 dollars on two 16-ounce Foster's drafts. That's right, nine bucks a pop at the Staples Center. Think the cost of living has gotten a bit out of hand in the "Big Smog"? I thought I was getting a bad deal at Diamondbacks' games where beer is around five dollars a cup. Now that seems like a deal.
Most Interesting Prediction for 2003 Award: ASU head coach Rob Evans talked about what would happen if his team didn't get an NIT invitation when the field is announced on Sunday night. He took the time to make a statement and looked ahead to next year.
"I don't have any control of (an NIT invite)," he said. "If we go, we're going to play and play hard. If we don't, I'm going out to recruit. We'll have a much better brand of basketball the next time we come back here I can promise you that."
Well, seeing as how Chad Prewitt, ASU's only reliable and consistent player, is graduating this year, it's hard to believe ASU will be that much better next season.
The "We're Going A Long Way From Home Now" Award: Goes to UCLA. The Bruins first round tournament loss to Cal probably means that the Bruins are going to be shipped way out east or down south instead of playing somewhere like Sacramento. Even with an RPI in the low-20's, UCLA will probably be lucky to get anything higher than a six or seven seeding from the Tournament selection committee.