Pac-10 Preview, Part 2

The second part of the conference preview might discount the Oregon Ducks who, at times, have looked like the most impressive Pac-10 team this season, but they're a bit Jekyll and Hyde...

6.   OREGON (5-3)

This could be the dumbest prediction in this entire preview. Why? Because Oregon, quite frankly, has often looked as impressive than any team in the Pac-10 except for Arizona. They are a deep, balanced, unselfish team that has been whipping opponents by an average of 19.5 ppg, the best in the conference. They are also 1st in the Pac-10 in scoring (83.6 ppg), FG% (49.1%), and FT% (75.1%). 3-point shooting? 3rd in the Pac-10 at 42.4%. Rebounding margin? 2nd at 10.5 per game. FG% defense? 2nd again, at 37.9%. How does this team lose? Turnovers? Nope, they're right about in the middle of the pack in that category.

Here's the problem: Ernie Kent's Oregon squad has a Jekyll and Hyde personality, and they had the same diagnosis last year heading into the Pac-10 play, and then the monster took over. Hence, our shaky prediction. They've blown out Louisville and UCLA & USC killer Pepperdine. They've lost narrow games on the road to UMass, Minnesota and, um, Portland. Sometimes they play brilliantly, like a team with a capital "T". Sometimes, they're just plain less than average. Now they have 18 Pac-10 games and a Pac-10 Tournament on top of it to show everyone who the real Oregon Ducks are.

Last year, Fred Jones, 6-4 210 SR SG, was supposed to be a star, and maybe that was part of the Webfooted One's problem: Too many people wanted to be stars, and no one bothered to play defense along the way. This year, Jones appears to be comfortable just being a player on a team, and that team appears to be playing some really good defense and really sharing the ball on offense. Jones is leading the team at 13.6 ppg, but his 3.1 apg and 1/4/1 A/TO ratio if more impressive, He also snags 4.6 rpg. Jones just isn't a really good shooter (29.2% from 3) and never will be, but he's taking more good shots this year and passing it around more and playing better d, and that's what the game is all about.

The two Lukes are two guys who know what the game is all about. Luke Ridnour, 6-2 185 SO PG (13.6 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Luke Jackson, 6-7 215 SO SF (12.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 apg) are now both vets and in charge of the team along with Mr. Jones. Both have excellent assist to turnover ratios, both can drill it (Luke R is at 46.3% from 3, 85.3% from the FT line; Luke J is at 37% from 3, 87.5% FTs) and both can hit the spotup J or break people down off the dribble. James Davis, 5-10 170 SO PG/SG (6.6 ppg, 1.6 apg) is another excellent player from last year's recruiting class. He's a very fast guy who can just nail it from downtown (44.1% from 3) with one of the quickest releases around. Add in Anthony Lever, 6-3 185 SR PG/SG (6.6 ppg, 41.9% from 3) and you have another versatile and unselfish two-way player in the backcourt for the Ducks.

Up front, the Great Dane, Chris Christofferson, 7-2 300 SR C, who actually played his high school ball at Nordhoff High in Ojai, California, has developed into one of the top post players on the west coast. He's averaging 10.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 0.9 bpg, while making 57.4% of his FGs. Christofferson will have his share of 15/10 games, sometimes has foul trouble and the consistency of his performance will be a big (no pun intended) key for the Ducks this season. Robert Johnson, 6-8 235 JR PF (10.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.9 bpg) might be the Pac-10's best newcomer who isn't a true FR. He's a transfer from Santa Rosa JC who's already established himself as an excellent rebounder and interior defender, and his play has been a huge part of Oregon's seeming improvement, especially on the defensive end. The Ducks love to run, and this guy keys their fastbreak more than anyone else.

Another JC transfer, Brian Helquist (I wonder if one of his ancestors ever took an axe to one of Chris's ancestors?) has also given the team a major contribution inside. Brian is a 6-9 275 JR PF/C Viking brute from Florida CC, and he's smashed his way to 4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and an interesting 1.0 spg. I say "interesting" because how many 6-9 275 reserves average 1 steal per game? 2, in the whole country? Brian has also made 65.2% of his FGs, so you can see that the Oregon big men are taking a lot of high percentage shots, which was not at all the case last season.

Continuing this Scandinavian theme, Ben Lindquist, 6-4 195 SR SG (2.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 37.5% from 3), Mark Michaelis, 6-10 230 SR PF (3.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 40% from 3) and Jay Anderson, 6-9 220 SO PF (2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 50% from 3) have all contributed valuable minutes for the Ducks off the bench. Lindquist, in particular, is a fine all-around player and veteran who adds leadership and still more versatility to this team.

In short, Oregon goes 11 deep, deeper than any team in the conference. They certainly seem to have the potential to finish in the top 5 of the Pac-10 and make the NCAA Tournament this season. They were there two years ago, so I don't see why Ernie Kent won't do it again. In fact, this team is so deep, Ernie's son, Marcus, doesn't get to play. At least, he can't get accused of favoritism. Which is the whole point: Coach Kent and his staff have seemingly gotten a team with a lot of talented and interchangeable players to play together as a team at both ends of the floor. They mostly play straight-up man on defense, will press, and use a classic motion on offense. If they can keep up their balanced, unselfish, defense-oriented, fastbreaking play through the Pac-10, they will either finish ahead of the some of the teams we've picked ahead of them, or else the NCAA might just have to take 6 teams into the Tournament this year…


Give Bob Bender credit for stick-to-it-iveness. He could have fled the nest (den?) up in Seattle awhile back after taking the Huskies to the Sweet 16 and become the head coach at Michigan. Instead, he stayed at UDub, found himself mired in back to back 20-loss seasons and got the unfair rep of being unable to recruit locally. Apart from beating UCLA in Seattle every year, it couldn't have been much fun. Now, Bender has a team which consists almost entirely of local talent, two of his three losses are to nationally ranked or soon-to-be nationally ranked teams (Gonzaga and Butler), he did a lot better against Santa Clara than Stanford did, and his young team will likely make a quantum leap upward over the next two seasons. Of course, even with improvement this year, it will be hard for the Huskies to move over .500, but 15-15 is a lot better than 7-20, I kid you not.

Doug Wrenn, 6-8 220 SO PF, is one of those guys who originally gave Bender such a bad rep for recruiting local talent. Doug, who is really closer to 6-6, was a big star at O'Dea High in Seattle. He signed with UDub out of high school, got the wrong people in his ear (SOP for Doug), deliberately failed to graduate from high school so he could void his LOI (this is the guy who used to call me at midnight three times a week so we could go over his calculus and poetry homework, and believe me, he didn't need any help), went to prep school at bb factory MCI, signed on with UConn, had a horrible time on and off the court and finally transferred back to Washington. And Bob Bender got the blame for Doug's perambulations! Whatever. Hopefully, Doug will stay put and out of trouble for the next 3 years. He's averaging 16.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 2.2 apg. He scores mostly on slashes to the basket and post-up moves. He's a good ballhandler and passer, but lacks the consistent jumper to play wing, at least so far. He reminds me of former Bruin Mike Sanders a lot in style, though not in temperament. Doug's temperament is too far off the charts for anyone to measure or compare to anyone else's…

Washington leads the Pac-10 in 3-point FG% at 44.5%, and their outside shooting is the key to their success or failure (just ask Gonzaga). Curtis Allen, 6-0 170 SO PG, a remarkably fleet-footed player, perhaps the fastest player from end to end in the entire conference, is hitting 45.7% of his 3s as he averages 12.8 ppg and 4.3 apg. His 1.3/1 A/TO ration reflects a Husky weakness: They make a lot of mistakes, unforced and otherwise (17.2 turnovers per game). Grant Leep, 6-7 SR PF (8.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg) shoots an unreal 66.7% from 3. That will change as the Pac-10 season gets underway, but Grant is an excellent outside shooter and someone on UCLA will have to be aware of where he is at all times. He's a solid player fundamentally, but only an average athlete. Curtis is from Tacoma and Grant from Mount Vernon.

Errol Knight, 6-7 FR SG/SF (7.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg) of Seattle and Josh Barnard, 6-5 SO SG/SF (7.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg) of Tacoma fill out UDub's 3-point arsenal. Errol (pronounced "Earl") was recruited by both UCLA and Arizona, among other schools, and he's a very exciting player, a great athlete with excellent wing skills. He is right up there with Childress and Thompson as a promising freshman wing in the Pac-10. An injured ankle limited him early in the year, so we haven't seen his best play yet. Josh is a JC transfer who can really flat-out shoot it as a spot-up shooter, but he's also a very good passer who played some PG in high school and AAU ball. Errol is hitting 42.9% of his 3s, Josh is hitting 45% of his 3s. These guys can really shoot it.

Up front, David Dixon, 6-11 280 SR C (9.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.4 rpg) lost 50 pounds from last year and has become a much more mobile player and a solid all-around post man and tough shotblocker as a result. He might even make the NBA with that huge body of his. He's got a decent turnaround jumper and is good on the offensive glass. He's also from Houston, a holdover from the days before Bender started garnering most of the in-state talent. Jeffrey Day, 6-9 FR PF/C (3.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg) of Seattle via San Diego is a very athletic 240-pounder with a great potential. He's already given the Huskies another shotblocker underneath the hoop and he should develop into a starter in the not-so-distant future. He's really playing out of position in the low post, and could be more of a combo forward by his JR year, but with 6-10 SR C Marlon Shelton and promising 6-8 FR PF Mike Jensen out for the season with injuries, he's doing what his team needs him to do.

CJ Massingale, 6-4 SO SG (5.9 ppg) of Tacoma and Will Conroy, 6-0 FR PG (2.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg) of Seattle complete the Huskies' bench. CJ is a terrific athlete who just hasn't found his shot or position yet in college. He torched UCLA for 25 down at Pauley last year, so he can get hot from the outside. He's also one of the few players on this team who can penetrate effectively off the dribble.. Will is a cat-quick little guard who sometimes plays out of control. His speed sometimes works for the Huskies and sometimes it works against them. In the future, it will work more and more for them, as Bender is recruiting a much more athletic team than he's had in the past.

Washington runs a motion offense that depends heavily on getting open looks from 3, isolation matchups for Curtis, Doug and Errol, and Doug's presence inside with David in the paint to take pressure off the wings and guards when the defenses become too extended. Defensively, UDub mixes things up, but they, too, play a 1-2-2 matchup zone mostly, though they will also play straight zone and a very soft man that sags inside. The Huskies make a lot of mistakes on offense, and they're one of the worst rebounding teams in the conference, so they usually have to make the most of their limited possessions. They don't cause many turnovers because their defense just isn't that aggressive or quick. Their defense is soft. Or it has been so far this year. If the Huskies, who are very young, can tighten up defensively, they will upset somebody big in the conference this year. If they can tighten things up defensively and continue to blister the nets from the outside like they've done so far, they might surprise even more.


I'm not sure why I'm picking ASU to finish ahead of OSU and WSU. Maybe it's because "A" comes before "O" and "W" in the alphabet. Maybe it's because ASU has the 2nd best FG% in the Pac-10 and the best turnover margin in the Pac-10 (5.1 tpg; they're causing a staggering 21.7 tpg) and they're also 4th in rebounding margin, a good sign that they'll get more possessions than their opponents. OTOH, like everyone else in the Pac-10 except Arizona and UCLA, their preseason schedule really sucks. They have defeated Utah, and they lost to BYU, but a 9-point win over UC-Riverside doesn't inspire confidence. I mean, c'mon, even UCLA could beat Riverside by 15…

Paul Evans has been experimenting with multiple lineups and frequent substitutions, and that's why I think I'll pick them for 8th: They're bound to get more coherent and efficient as the season wears on, whereas neither OSU or WSU has that luxury or potential. ASU's strength is in its frontcourt. Chad Prewitt, 6-9 240 SR C (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg) has developed into a very solid player for the Sun Devils. He still has trouble guarding true big men and doesn't block shots, but this guy can flat-out shoot the ball (66% from the field, 45.5% from 3). He's a gifted passer, does a good job of fronting people as ASU switches between a zone and a man and he has developed some solid power moves inside to compliment his sweet shooting touch.

Tommy Smith, 6-10 215 JR PF (12.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 spg, 55% from the field) still hasn't become an all Pac-10 player like I and some other people believed, but the potential is definitely there, and don't be surprised if he starts playing some big games as Evans shortens his bench and Smith's PT increases as the Sun Devils face stiffer competition in conference. He's a mobile, athletic big man, a guy with the quickness and ballhandling skills of a wing and the size of a PF. Actually, he's taller than most college PFs, and has real NBA potential, but he must focus and become a more physical, disciplined player to achieve that goal, and the goal of becoming his team's go-to man. Awvee Storey, 6-6 225 SR SF/PF (9.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.9 spg), continues to give the team more bang for its buck than anybody else on the squad. He's strong, athletic and mobile, with improved ballhandling skills. He's still not much of a jump shooter (in fact, the Sun Devils are the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference to date), but he's an excellent defender and real fighter who sometimes can go off as a scorer.

Added to the mix up front, we have the still mysterious Donnell Knight, 6-7 200 JR SF (5.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 60% from the field) and solid Sean Redhage, 6-7 225 JR SF/PF (5.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 66.7% from 3). Evans has been trying to get Donnell to just play tougher defense, and play tougher all-around. He seems to be rebounding better, but this guy was close to being a h.s. All-American and most observers pegged him for future NBA stardom. Of course, Evans is a defensive-minded coach who doesn't play you if you don't play defense and put the team ahead of your individual goals, so Donnell continues to hold his own fate in his hands. Sean played more under the basket last season, but he seems to be playing a midrange game now, setting picks to open up driving lanes and open jumpers in ASU's motion/high post offense.

If the Sun Devils want to see real improvement in the conference, it will most likely come from the backcourt, though both Smith and Knight continue to be underachievers up front. Curtis Millage, 6-2 175 JR SG (11.9 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.0 spg) seems to have grabbed the starting "2" guard spot as transfer from LA Southwest JC (Curtis originally played his h.s. ball at Manual Arts in LA). He's cat-quick, an excellent defender and can create his own shot rather easily. Unfortunately, Curtis is more of a midrange player and driver than a deadeye shooter, and his 15.8% 3-point percentage reflects that. However, I think he'll improve that number a lot as the season wears on; he should be able to knock down at least a 1/3 of his treys and is probably just experiencing growing pains as he adjusts to big-time college basketball from JC. Tanner Shell, 6-6 215 SO SG (4.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg), is a tall, strong, athletic guard with a lot of skills who is still shaking off the rust from a year missed because of injuries. Tanner can also do way better than his 10% from 3 mark. These are two talented players, and I think Sun Devil fans haven't seen anywhere near to their best basketball yet.

ASU is struggling to find consistent PG play. Holdover Kyle Dodd, 6-0 175 JR PG (3.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.6/1 A/TO ratio) and Mormon mission returnee Kenny Crandall, 6-3 195 SO PG (6.0 ppg, 1.3 apg, 2.2/1 A/TO ratio, 50% from 3) have been battling it out for the starting job. Kyle is quicker and the more natural fit at the position and a deceivingly good athlete. Kenny is much taller and stronger, and the better outside shooter, and right now ASU needs all the good outside shooting it can get. Jason Braxton, 6-2 180 FR PG (3.4 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.2/1 A/TO ratio) probably has more long-range potential than Kyle or Kenny, but right now he's making too many mistakes, shooting abysmally and not playing good enough defense to take over the position. Jason has a lot of promise and talent, however, and I think he will assume the starting job next season for the Sun Devils, but he just needs this year to adjust to college. I think Kyle and Kenny will see increased minutes as ASU enters the Pac-10.

Evans has got this team pressing and scrambling and forcing turnovers. With no legit shotblocking force inside and not much height, it's not unexpected that ASU also has the second worst FG% defense in the Pac-10. That's a trade-off, and I don't see anyway around it this year. Evans just needs for Smith to step up and then he needs a couple of 6-9 guys to step in. For this year, if ASU can keep forcing the turnovers and start getting some consistent outside shooting, they can pull off an upset or two and make some overall progress, but the Pac-10 is strong and deep and balanced once again and ASU still seems to be on the outside looking in…


OSU gets the nod for 9th place over Washington State simply because they've played a much tougher preseason schedule. Like WSU, they have a "good loss" to Texas (blowouts), but they also have a good loss to a surprising Cal Poly SLO team. When you're talking about a Pac-10 team having a "good loss" to a Big West team, you know you're in trouble…

This is just Ritchie McKay's second year with the Beavers, and he needs more time to recruit more players, although the guys he's got are a solid foundation for next year if he can bring in a couple of big-time recruits this season. You can't run a race if you ain't got the horses, and it doesn't get much more complicated than that. Philip Ricci, 6-7 250 JR PF/C, who was Eddie Payne's last big-time recruit, has emerged as OSU's go-to guy after sitting out last season with a torn ACL, and Coach McKay just has to go out and get a few more like him. Ricci is averaging 16.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.6 apg and 1.4 bpg. He's sinking 54.9% of his FGs, and he's a bear underneath who can step out and hit the 17-footer and run the floor like a wing. Don't let his bulk fool you; this guy can hop and he could start for any team in the conference. Unfortunately, he just doesn't have enough help. Or the help is too young, yet.

Brian Jackson, 6-9 240 JR SF/PF (12.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Adam Masten, 6-5 200 JR SG (10.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.5 spg), and Jimmy Haywood, 6-2 175 SR SG (8.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg) are the holdover vets from last season. Brian, despite his size and athleticism, would rather switch than fight, and rather shoot fade away jumpers then dunk it. He's making 61.5% of his FGs and 41.7% of his 3s, but I think the Beavers would be happier if he was getting about twice as many rebounds as he is and playing a lot tougher defense inside. The Beavers are dead last in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin and 6th in turnover margin, so they need to make every shot count. Unfortunately, they're also just 9th in 3-point percentage (31%), so that doesn't help much. If BJ isn't going to step it up inside, the Beavers ain't going anywhere but down. Adam is a very solid all-around player, a good defender and shooter (43.8% from 3, 86.4% from the FT line). If McKay had 4 Adams to surround Philip with, he'd be fighting for the upper division in this conference. Jimmy is sinking 40% of his 3s and can make his own shot off the dribble, but he isn't doing much better at the FT line and doesn't create much for his teammates. Jimmy needs Adams' attitude and he could be a pretty good player. Brian would be a star…

After that, OSU gets small and inexperienced. Floyd North, 6-4 215 FR SG/SF, has been starting up front, ready or not. Floyd is a very athletic and powerfully-built player from San Diego whose skills don't match his physicality yet, but they'll get there and then McKay will have himself a real player. Floyd is averaging 5.0 ppg and 3.1 rpg while hitting 51.7% of his FGs, 33.3% from 3. He can slash and drive, he's improved his J every year, he plays very tough defense, and he will give Ricci someone to play off of by next season, provided someone can get them the ball consistently. Brandon Payton, 6-0 170 SR PG/SG, brother of you know who and a transfer from UCSB, has also gotten some starting time. Brandon is averaging 5.9 ppg. He's more of a slasher and driver than a pure point or shooting guard, but he plays solid defense and he brings some needed toughness, if not necessarily great skills, to this squad. It's a big step up from the Big West to the Pac-10 (but don't tell that to UC-Irvine, Cal Poly SLO or UCSB).

Joe See, 5-11180 FR PG, has also gotten himself thrown into the fire. Joe is a little fireplug, a tough nut who can hit the outside shot and make like a pure PG, though he lacks great quickness and, well, he's short. He's averaging 4.9 ppg and 2.5 apg, with an A/TO ratio of 1.7/1, which is quite good for a FR. He hasn't found his shot yet (26.3% from 3), but he will. Beaver fans just need to be patient with Floyd and Joe. JS Nash, 6-1 195 FR SG (3.1 ppg) is still another youngster from California (Joe was at Concord De La Salle, JS at Rancho Verde out in the mysterious Inland Empire). JS is hitting 7.7% of his 3s. This guy is a terrific shooter, but Beaver fans probably won't believe me until they see it. Again, just give him time. The only other guy who sees significant PT for OSU is JC transfer Jarman Sample, 6-7 205 SO PF (1.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg). Jarman has a great name, but not a great game.

In short, OSU is pretty small and inexperienced. They use a motion offense, try to stay patient and control tempo while they pray for Brian to wake up. Defensively, I'm not sure what they do, as I've only seen them play once this year. They used both a man defense and a 3-2 zone against Portland State, and it didn't work. But Philip Ricci is legit, Adam Masten has the skills and attitude, Floyd North is getting there fast and the FR are playing hard. So, I think the Beavers will stay out of the basement.


Paul Graham probably has an ulcer. Surely, Eddie Sutton's right-hand man should be in Tulsa or Murray State right now instead of Pullman. What was this man thinking? Well, coaches wouldn't be coaches if they shied away from challenges or didn't believe in themselves. But Pullman will always be Pullman, and this job has buried a lot of good men. The Cougars are 4-4, but that's not the story. When your 4 wins are against Prairie View, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Texas Pan-American and Idaho, that's the story.

Now, WSU has some good players. Redondo Union's/Dominguez's Marcus Moore, 6-6 180 SO PG (14.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.0 apg, 3.1 spg, 2.2/1 A/TO ratio, 34.8% from 3) is one of the best PGs in the Pac-10 (though don't tell any UCLA fans that, because of course 6-6 guys can't play PG). Marcus is a very creative, exciting player who's really improved his outside jumper. He'll put on some Magic-like moves and WSU likes to isolate Marcus and several other players in their offense and just let them do their thing. Marcus's thing can be quite dazzling at times. Jerry McNair, 6-2 183 JR SG (14.2 ppg, 1.2 spg, 41.5% from 3) sometimes starts and sometimes comes off the bench as the 6th man. He can really shoot it, and with his quickness he's hard to guard and match up with. Mike Bush, 6-6 200 SR SG (9.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 spg) is back from the football team and still trying to find his jumper, but he can slash and score and he's also a pretty good one-on-one player. Both Marcus and Mike have long arms and they love to pick off passes or just pick pockets in WSU's man d.

Jay Locklier, 6-9 240 SR C (13.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 51.4% from the field) is the rock in the middle for the Cougars. He's a pretty mobile player with sound post fundamentals and moves. He has to stay out of foul trouble, and that limits him somewhat defensively. He's a very good rebounder who doesn't get the numbers for the same reason. The problem is, there's not much behind him. Former Compton High player Milton Riley, 6-7 215 JR PF (5.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg) seemed poised to have a breakout year after really improving last season, but it's been hack city with Milton (4.2 fouls in 20 mpg) and he's been in and out of the lineup both literally and figuratively. Tom Kelati, 6-5 175 FR SG/SF (3.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 31.6% from 3), from Walla Walla (I love saying that!) has been playing out of position a lot, and Cedric Hughey, 6-6 195 JR SF (3.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 33.3% from 3) has been doing the same. These are a couple of athletic wing players who hopefully won't have to go up against the likes of Sam Clancy and Luke Walton too much in the future. But this year, they might be out of luck.

More starters, in and out of the lineup: Justin Lyman, 6-5 185 JR SG (8.6 ppg) is another JC transfer who came in with a rep as a shooter. So far, he's been shooting it okay at 34%, but he's at 32.8% overall and has to get better. Another guy with a great name, Shaminder Gill, 6-7 220 FR PF, is a Canadian banger (2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg) who's also not ready to start, but he's been starting anyway. So, Graham has definitely upgraded the depth and athleticism of this team, but with Mike playing football and Milton fouling anything that moves, he hasn't been getting the level of veteran play he was probably counting on, and his youngsters are a lot more raw than the newcomers on the rest of the Pac-10 teams.

WSU has the worst FG% defense in the Pac-10. They're also one of the worst rebounding teams in the league (7th). They're 8th in FG% and FT% and 6th in 3%. Their long-armed, quick athletes have caused a lot of bad teams to turn the ball over 18.9 times per game, but the good teams have done the same to them and they're averaging 16.1 turnovers per game for the season. In short, WSU is the worst team in the conference. Oh, well. Hopefully, Coach Graham can bring in some more players this season. It can get pretty cold in Pullman. All year round…

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