ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (14-15) Lost in first round of NIT
WHAT WENT RIGHT- The Sun Devils did a good job of beating the conferences weaker teams, thus getting their overall record to .500 and qualifying for the post season.
WHAT WENT WRONG- Losses to Portland State, Oregon State and Washington kept ASU from giving the tournament selection committee something to think about.
BIGGEST WIN- An 88-72 drubbing of Arizona in Tempe. The Sun Devils haven't had much success versus the Wildcats, so Rob Evans must have enjoyed this win.
TEAM MVP- Chad Prewitt led the Sun Devils in scoring and rebounding His size and strength will be missed by the Arizona State faithful.
WHO'S LEAVING- Prewitt, and Awvee Storey are the notable seniors. Tommy Smith and Curtis Millage should have ample opportunity to get shots in next year's system.
WHO'S COMING- Highly touted Center Ike Diogu from Garland, TX. Diogu chose the Sun Devils over Uconn.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR- This team is probably the most difficult to handicap. While Tempe might be the best place to live in the conference, the basketball job has proven to be a challenge to many. Rob Evans has done a decent job, but we're not sold that this program is completely headed in the right direction. It's doubtful that a team can lose it's leading scorer and rebounder and be expected to be much better in 2002-2003. A post season birth is possible, but not unless the Sun Devils get contributions from guys who haven't shown the ability to take their games up a notch.
WASHINGTON HUSKIES (11-18) Lost in first round of Pac Ten tournament
WHAT WENT RIGHT- The Huskies beat Oregon at home, thus winning the tie breaker with Oregon State and qualifying for the Pac Ten tournament.
WHAT WENT WRONG- Inconsistent guard play, a lack of depth, and an overall disinterest in the men's basketball program led to the eventual resignation of Head Coach Bob Bender.
BIGGEST WIN- The aforementioned win versus regular season champion Oregon.
TEAM MVP- Doug Wrenn, the transfer from Connecticut showed the ability to score, and score, and score. We love his athleticism and quickness. Can someone please give him some help!
WHO'S LEAVING- Senior Center David Dixon was a big force in the paint, but was never quite able to get over the hump offensively. His rebounding and blocked shots will be missed by the new Husky coaching staff.
WHO'S COMING- Brandon Roy decided to stay home and play for the Huskies. the 6'4" shooting guard should come off the bench and contribute during his freshman campaign.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR- Heck, we're not even sure what to expect next week. We will assume that Mark Few stays at Gonzaga. UW likes to dream big, and I know they want a big name head coach to come in. This program should be better than it is, and we believe that the right candidate will get the Huskies back to respectability. However, it won't be next year. The Huskies will struggle next season and battle cross state rival Washington State for last place in the conference.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (12-17) Did not qualify for conference tournament
WHAT WENT RIGHT- The Beavers were able to successfully dress at least ten players for every single game this season.
WHAT WENT WRONG- The youthful Beavers were unable to hold onto 2nd half leads in several games this season, including losses to NCAA tournament teams Texas, St. Johns, Arizona and California.
BIGGEST WIN- A 91-55 drubbing of conference doormat Washington State capped a week that saw starting point guard Jimmie Haywood quit the team, and Brian Jackson leave the program for 48 hours.
TEAM MVP- Phillip Ricci. The JC transfer who sat out last season with a knee injury did not disappoint. He led OSU in scoring and rebounding.
WHO'S LEAVING- Haywood, reserve guard Brandon Payton, Adam Masten and reserve guard Joe See, who is tranferring.
WHO'S COMING- Kevin Field, a 6'10" Center from Tacoma will provide immediate assistance in the paint for Phillip Ricci and Brian Jackson. Justin Holt, who was the Washington player of the year, might finally be the "off the dribble" scorer that Richie Mckay has longed for since he arrived in Corvallis in 2000.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR- The first order of business will be to select a new head coach. With the unexpected departure of Richie Mckay to New Mexico, OSU needs to find a replacement who can build upon the foundation laid. It will be critical for OSU to win soon, to avoid apathy on the part of the once proud Beaver basketball fans. Irregardless, OSU returns the core of it's team from 2002 and should be able to move up in the conference standings and perhaps experience post season play again.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (6-21) Did not qualify for the conference tournament
WHAT WENT RIGHT- The Cougars did not do anything to distract their loyal fans from following football recruiting.
WHAT WENT WRONG- Football season ended. This year's team was uninspired, lacked talent, and was overmatched night in and night out in conference play.
BIGGEST WIN- Beating UW in Pullman, how they did it we'll never understand.
TEAM MVP- Marcus Moore led the Cougars with a 16.5 PPG average.
WHO'S LEAVING- J. Locklier and Mike Bush
WHO'S COMING- The Cougars are desperate for an infusion of talent. Justin Kordsmeier from N. Arkansas College will probably step in and assume the starting center position, but there are still other holes to fill.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR- We hate to be so negative, but this program doesn't appear to have any direction. Phil Graham is a good guy, and we really want to see the Cougars improve, but it simply won't be in 2003. Marcus Moore has the ability to play at the next level, but unless Thomas Kelati and Jerry McNair take significant strides forward next season, the Cougars will have to be content with improving upon last season's wins versus Prairie View and Centenary.