Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

It is tournament time, and every team in the Pac Ten except Oregon State will be playing extra games this post season.

Washington is probably the favorite to win the inaugural CBI tournament which doesn't really have much luster going for it. If Washington doesn't win this thing it means that they lack motivation. The same type of motivation they lacked mid season when they were blown out by Cal, and Stanford at home.

The Huskies have been a real disapointment the past two years, and while everyone loves Lorenzo it is obvious that he needs to step it up as far as coaching goes. There is really no excuse for a team to shoot foul shots that poorly. Foul shooting is all about coaching. There is nothing different between hitting a free throw in middle school than their is hitting one in college.

Away from the line the Huskies were hamstrung all year by poor ball movement, and lackluster defense out on the perimeter. While Washington is indeed deficient talent wise out there, they never made the type of adjustments neccesary to be consistent enough to win enough games to get in the tournament, and that again is coaching.

I don't think any of us confused this years edition as a championship contending team, but they did have enough talent to get into the tournament this year. All they had to do was hit some foul shots, and set some screens.

I expect better things from the team next year. We have some serious help coming in at guard. We gain experience because most of the team is coming back, and the league is going to be hit hard by early graduation. Most importantly they have eight months to work on shooting free throw.

Pac Ten Alley

Lets take a walk down the coast and see what the neighbors are up to.

I am surprised too, but the Duck's had a decent record in the one of the nation's toughest conference's.

Surprise, surprise. The Ducks got invited, much to my surprise, and the seeding wasn't that bad, until they get to the 2nd round anyway (if they make it past the first.)I know that doesn't sound too positive but, they haven't been exactly stellar this year. It will be fun to see if they make it by Mississippi St. on Friday. Time and place to be determined later. **They will be playing at Little Rock, Arkansas. The game is at 4:25 pm local time on Friday and is being broadcast live on CBS.

Stanford has the ability to go a long way in the tournament with their version of the twin towers.

I’ll have much more on the brackets and the match ups later tonight/Monday morning, but for now — with my deadline for the print edition looming large — here’s a real quick look at Selection Sunday winners and losers … First, I’d have to call Stanford a winner and a loser.
The Cardinal gets the Big Red, Cornell, in Anaheim, which is basically the anti-Louisville scenario in every sense.

Arizona has the longest tournament streak in the country, and to make it even more ridiculous they have three ex wildcats who are int he tournament playing for other teams.

There are three ex-Wildcats in the NCAA tournament. Can you name them? Most obvious is J.P. Prince at Tennessee. He's averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 rebounds for the second-seeded Vols. Score a bonus point if you remember that former UA walk-on guard Beau Muhlbach is at Texas A&M. He is averaging a little more than seven minutes per game. Now, it gets tough. Who's the third? It's Boise State forward Tyler Tiedeman.

James Montgomery has left Cal, but don't look for him to be wearing purple and gold. UW has plenty of depth at TB, and Montgomery severely burned Willingham during his recruitment. Don't expect Ty to forget that.

Cal's supposed depth at tailback doesn't look so extensive anymore after projected starter James Montgomery was granted a request to be released from his scholarship. Montgomery, who would have been a redshirt sophomore next season, was listed as the Bears' No. 1 tailback on the team's depth chart heading into spring practice later this month. But the right to replace departed starter Justin Forsett was believed to be up for grabs, with highly touted sophomore-to-be Jahvid Best providing the stiffest competition.

Oregon State hasn't exactly set the world on fire this Spring in baseball, but Northwest teams are usually notorious slow starters.

We're now a few weeks into the season, and Beaver baseball coaches and fans alike are starting to get a feel for the roster as we approach the Pac-10 conference schedule. Thirteen games are in the books, with Oregon State's record currently at 7-6. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the Oregon State Baseball Report, a feature that will hopefully run weekly on Building the Dam.

Here is an interesting read on the amount of work Tim Floyd puts into preparation.

Here's the secret: Tim Floyd locks himself in a basement. You can only picture it by thinking of one of those evil-genius scientists, cackling at every minute discovery. Not only does the USC coach have an armload of film, but three Bunsen burners, a complex set of tubes, gyroscopes, centrifuges, the works. But Floyd is no more genius in cooking up a game plan than any other conscientious coach would be, at least to hear him tell it.

Arizona State was snubbed by the NCAA, but the Sun Devils should be very solid in the future with the foundation that Sendek has built.

After taking a step back and a deep breath, I can still honestly say our men's basketball program has taken HUGE steps in becoming a solid team for the long run. Like our football program, we have a coach proving to be the difference maker.

The Bruins will go very deep in the tournament and challenge to win it all.

UCLA starting power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute did not practice Tuesday, but not because of his sprained left ankle. He was absent because of a final, but did some light shooting later in the afternoon.However, UCLA coach Ben Howland was uncertain if Mbah a Moute will be available when the top-seeded Bruins open NCAA Tournament play Thursday against No.16 seed Mississippi Valley State in the West region in Anaheim. "He missed practice, but he wouldn't have practiced anyway," Howland said. "If he's able to go, we'll play him on Thursday."

WSU starts the tournament in Denver, and every win will focus the spotlight on one of the best young head coaches in country.

Obviously the focus this week is on these guys, and for good reason. A 4-seed in Denver is nothing to sneeze at, as we wind up our best 2-year run ever in terms of NCAA appearances. I won't get too deep into it here, but as we commented yesterday, the message this week is simple - ENJOY this while it lasts. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no man, and that applies to this hoops program. We don't know what the future holds, so try to enjoy the gift that is the "precious present". That's easier said than done, and around 4:20 on Thursday many of you will be gnawing the fingernails and gnashing the teeth, but do everything you can to keep things in perspective!

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