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Pac-10 Notebook

December 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Pac-10 Conference Notebook

by Scott Allen

Jayhawks Rocked, Out-chalked by Cardinal

Stanford proved at least two things with its 64-58 upset of Kansas at the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim on Saturday. First, the Cardinal provided the latest support to Kansas coach Bill Self’s proclamation that polls this early in the season mean next to nothing. Second, and more importantly, Mike Montgomery’s squad showed it could very well find itself near the top of the same polls come March.

Stanford jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as 12 in the first half. Kansas took its only lead of the game on a three point play by Keith Langford with 8:23 to play but a 7-0 run put the Cardinal back in front for good.

Stanford overcame a dismal 33 percent shooting performance by disrupting Kansas’ inside game. Wayne Simien and David Padgett combined for just 17 points and 11 rebounds and had trouble establishing position down low throughout the game.

On the offensive end, senior guard Matt Lottich led the way with 18 points, including five three-pointers. Point guard Chris Hernandez, the Cardinal’s leading scorer coming into the game, struggled from the field (0-for-6) but was a perfect 11-for-11 from the line and added three assists. Stanford also got 10 points from reserve forward Joe Kirchoffer and held Langford to just 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Perhaps the most impressive part of the victory was that Stanford did it without the services of All-American candidate Josh Childress, who remains sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot.

Wounded Fox

A season that started so promising for Arizona forward Isaiah Fox must unfortunately be put on hold. The 6-9 forward, who recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Wildcats’ season-opening victory over Northern Arizona, underwent surgery this week after tearing his left meniscus in Arizona’s loss to Florida last Friday. According to reports, the Arizona athletic department will seek a medical redshirt designation for Fox, who would sit out the entire season if one were granted. The normal recovery time for the surgery is three to four months, meaning Fox could potentially return to the floor in March.

In his absence, freshman Kirk Walters will see more time. “I’m not worried about Kirk,” said Arizona head coach Lute Olson in a press conference this week. “He needs time and experience. I think his confidence level has gotten better and better as we’ve gone through the practices and the early games.”

Bond, Erik Bond

Cal forward Erik Bond, rated one of the top small forwards on the West Coast when he arrived at Berkeley two years ago, asked for a transfer earlier this week. He will finish the semester at Cal and has not indicated where he intends to transfer. The Seattle native started the Bears’ opener against Cal Poly but has come off the bench in the past two games. He was averaging 1.7 points and .7 rebounds per game, similar to the 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game he averaged last season in 31 games.

Bond redshirted the 2001-2002 season after suffering an ankle injury that required surgery. “It just wasn’t working out for him there,” Bond’s father told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It was just not a good fit. Erik is more of an uptempo guy, and it’s not that at Cal. The Cal group of people are really good people, so that’s not it at all.”

Uptempo or not, Bond’s lack of playing time was potentially part of his motivation to leave. He was averaging only nine minutes per game this season, and freshman forwards Marquise Kately and Dominic McGuire will only see their minutes rise as the season progresses. Braun has already inked another forward, 6-7, 190-pound Eric Vierneisel for next year, adding to Cal’s surplus of frontcourt players.

Player of the Week:

Luke Jackson, F, Oregon

The senior is averaging 21 points and eight rebounds per game, and Jackson will look to replicate these numbers in the Ducks upcoming clash with Kansas this Saturday.

Inside the Pac-10

Arizona Wildcats (2-1)

One week removed from an upset loss to Florida, the Wildcats were nearly dealt a second consecutive defeat, instead overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit to escape Saint Louis with a 68-67 victory.

After Salim Stoudamire sank two free throws with 12 seconds left to put the Wildcats up by three, Billikens guard Reggie Bryant knocked down what, at first glance, appeared to be a game tying three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left. Bryant’s foot was on the line, however, and the shot was correctly ruled a two-pointer. With several Saint Louis players on the court believing the game was tied, Arizona ran out the clock without being fouled.

Andre Iguodala led the way and was one of four Wildcats in double-figures, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Stoudamire rebounded from a tough outing against the Gators to score 19 points, while adding five rebounds and four assists. Freshman point guard Mustafa Shakur, who came into the contest averaging 13.5 points per game, was limited to just two points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Up Next: Tuesday, Dec. 9 vs. Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN); Saturday, Dec. 13 vs. Marquette

Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1)

Nebraska took an 11-point lead into halftime and held on in the second half to hand the Sun Devils their first loss of the season, 66-60. The Cornhuskers scored 25 points off 16 Arizona State turnovers and limited Ike Diogu to 13 points. Steven Moore shined in the losing cause, drilling five three-pointers and scoring a game-high 22 points to make the game close in the second half.

Up Next: Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Temple

California Bears (2-3)

Forward Amit Tamir broke out of a season-long slump with 22 points and seven rebounds and freshman Leon Powe recorded his fifth-straight double-double, but it was not enough for the Bears to avoid their third loss of the season, 78-60, at Colorado. Cal was held to just 37 percent shooting while the Buffaloes shot at a 55 percent clip.

Tamir, a preseason All-Pac-10 selection, came into the contest averaging just 8.5 points per game, far less than the 14.9 he averaged last season. Despite the double-double, Powe shot just 3-for-15 from the field. Earlier in the week, Powe had a career-high 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds in Cal’s 65-57 victory over UC-Irvine. Powe’s dominance made up for the sub-par game from Tamir, who had just four points.

Up Next: Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Wyoming

Stanford Cardinal (4-0)

In addition to Saturday’s upset of Kansas, the Cardinal survived a scare at Rice last weekend, rallying from a nine-point half-time deficit behind the hot shooting of sophomore guard Chris Hernandez. Hernandez was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and has provided every reason to believe he is fully recovered from the foot injury that kept him out all of last season.

Up Next: Saturday, Dec. 13 vs. UNLV

Oregon Ducks (3-0)

Luke Jackson scored 43 points over the span of two games as the Ducks remained perfect with non-conference victories over Portland State and Marshall. In the 90-61 win over the Thundering Herd on Saturday, Jackson scored 21 points and dished out seven assists.

The Ducks had five scorers in double figures and shot 12-for-25 from beyond the arc. James Davis was responsible for four of those treys and tallied 16 points on the night and senior guard Andre Joseph scored 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Against Portland State, Jackson scored 22 points and Ian Crosswhite added 14 as the Ducks held off the Vikings 62-55. The rest of the team combined to shoot just 6 for 22 but Oregon won the battle of the boards 32-26 and the Vikings shot just 47 percent (7-for-15) from the free throw line.

Up Next: Saturday, Dec. 13 vs. Kansas

Oregon State Beavers (2-2)

If the first part of the season is any indication, the next few months could be a lot more exciting in Corvallis than anyone originally expected. One week after losing a double-overtime affair to Portland, Chris Stephens had 23 points and Kevin Field hit the go-ahead jumper in the third overtime Saturday night as the Beavers defeated Kansas State 87-82. The Wildcats chipped away at the Beaver’s 14-point lead in the second half to force the extra periods.

In their only other game last week, the Beavers played Colorado tough in the first half but succumbed down the stretch, falling 81-66 on the road. Stephens kept things close with 15 points, including three three-pointers, but John Jay’s squad was no match for the Buffaloes inside. Michael Morandais and David Harrison combined for 39 points and 19 rebounds down low, as Colorado shot 56 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Beavers 42-30.

Up Next: Friday, Dec. 10 vs. Willamette State

UCLA Bruins (2-1)

It’s a good thing the score of the first game of the John Wooden Classic between No. 9 Kentucky and UCLA was close, because neither team provided much reason for excitement.

Tubby Smith’s Wildcats came away with a 52-50 victory despite shooting 27 percent from the field. UCLA didn’t shoot much better, firing at a 34 percent clip. The Wildcats led by 10 at the break after jumping out to an early 23-6 lead. Cedric Bozeman played all 40 minutes and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins, as head coach Ben Howland was forced to go with a seven-man rotation with freshman Trevor Ariza out with a collapsed lung. Dijon Thompson was the only other Bruin in double figures, scoring 14 points and pulling down eight rebounds.

Earlier in the week, Brian Morrison, a transfer from UNC, hit six three-pointers and scored a game-high 28 points as the Bruins held off UC-Riverside, 84-70. Thompson and Bozeman combined for 35 points and UCLA out-boarded the Highlanders 39-24.

Up Next: Saturday, Dec. 13 vs. Loyola

USC Trojans (2-2)

After winning their ninth consecutive home opener, 75-69, over San Diego, the Trojans were involved in a couple of overtime battles.

USC first dropped one to UNLV, 93-82, at the Sports Arena, and than rallied from five points down in the final 26 seconds to force overtime and defeat host St. Mary’s 84-83 on Saturday.

UNLV put five players in double figures and shot 13-for-26 from beyond the arc. Jeff McMillan scored a team-high 20 points and Rory O’Neil had 15 points and six rebounds for the Trojans as USC shot a dismal 1-for-23 from beyond the arc. Against the Gaels, guard Desmon Farmer led the Trojans with 19 points as Henry Bibby’s squad shot 50 percent from the field. Lodrick Stewart and Derrick Craven added 13 and 16 points off the bench, respectively, as O’Neil was held to just three points on 1-for-8 shooting.

Up Next: Saturday, Dec. 13 at BYU

Washington Huskies (3-2)

After starting the season 3-0, Lorenzo Romar’s squad has dropped two straight, including a 92-76 home loss to Wyoming on Saturday.

The Huskies trailed by as many as 38 points in the second half before whittling the deficit to 11 points with a full-court press and five three-pointers from guard Curtin Allen with 5:32 remaining, but it was too little to late.

Last weekend, Washington couldn’t solve Gonzaga’s zone defense as the Bulldogs dominated the second half en route to an 86-62 victory in an intrastate battle. The Huskies got 15 points from Will Conroy and 13 more from sophomore guard Brandon Roy but not much else, as the ‘Zags held what should be one of the Pac-10’s most improved teams this year to a season-low 31 percent shooting from the field (including a woeful 6-for-26 from beyond the arc). Washington was nearly doubled up on the glass, getting out-rebounded 46-28. Gonzaga had four players in double figures and shot an astounding 61 percent from the field.

Washington State Cougars (4-2)

The Cougars shot nearly 60 percent from the field and forced 17 turnovers in an impressive 73-52 victory over TCU at home on Saturday. Marcus Moore scored 18 points and sophomore guard Randy Green came off the bench to score 19. Washington State committed only seven turnovers and shot 8-for-17 from beyond the arc. The 73 points were the most Dick Bennett’s traditionally low-scoring offense had scored this season and TCU’s 52 points were a season low.

Up Next: Saturday, Dec. 13 at Montana


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