COACHES VS. COACHES
Washington’s Lorenzo Romar was asked an intriguing question at Thursday’s Pac-12 media day: Who would win a 1-on-1 tournament between the Pac-12 coaches?
It is certainly a deep field.
The favorite — and Romar admitted that everyone in the league would have trouble staying in front of him, even now — is Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins. Dawkins, the 1986 national player of the year at Duke, was the No. 10 pick of the 1986 draft by the San Antonio Spurs and spent nine years in the NBA.
He’d probably advance to the final to square off another college hoops legend, Steve Alford, the new UCLA coach who was Indiana’s career leading scorer when he exited the program.
Romar isn’t too shabby a pick himself, having parlayed a three-year career at the team he now coaches into a five-year NBA career.
Larry Krystkowiak offers a big threat, though, as the No. 28 pick of the 1986 draft (out of Montana), and Arizona’s Sean Miller has a shot, at least if the ball is in his hands.
A renowned dribbler and shooter, Miller remains in the top 20 in career scoring at Pittsburgh, where he averaged nearly six assists per game for his career.
Oregon State’s Craig Robinson (Princeton, 1979-83), USC’s Andy Enfield (Johns Hopkins, 1987-91), Oregon’s Dana Altman (Eastern New Mexico, 1978-80), Colorado’s Tad Boyle (Kansas, 1981-85), Washington State’s Ken Bone (Seattle Pacific, 1980-82), Cal’s Mike Montgomery (Long Beach State, 1966-68) and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek (Carnegie Mellon, 1981-84) all played college hoops, but unless some pulled hamstrings happen, they don’t appear to have a shot to knock off the favorites.
MOSER ON OVER
Pac-12 basketball fans might not remember the name Mike Moser, but conference coaches certainly haven’t forgotten him. Now that he’s back in the league – with Oregon, after transferring from UNLV – he’ll be at the forefront of their minds.
Moser spent one mostly forgettable season at UCLA in 2009-10 before he transferred to UNLV, where he dominated for the Rebels in 2011-12. After fleeing Ben Howland, Moser blossomed in Sin City, averaging 14 points and 10.5 rebounds in 2011-12 and 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2012-13 while battling injuries.
He finished his undergraduate career, however, but grad student transfer rules allow him to be immediately eligible for the Ducks.
“He took a leave of absence so to speak,” Romar said. “Now he’s back, and I think he’s going to do a good job for them.”
SHOULDERING THE CHIPS
Like the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevant, the final Pac-12 team on the conference preseason totem pole can either warm up to the idea of the perceived slight or be bogged down by the weight of minimal expectations.
At Washington State, picked to finish 12th after a 13-19 record marked a third straight season of dwindling results — the 2010-11 Cougars finished 22-13; the 2011-12 squad went 19-18 — the team is placing the rating right where it belongs.
“We can run with it and use it as a steppingstone, as a chip on our shoulder,” guard Davonte Lacy said. “I don’t really pay attention to it; it doesn’t really affect me at all.”
SEAL OF APPROVAL
The Stanford basketball team, picked to finish No. 6 in the conference, just ahead of No. 7 Arizona State, recently completed training with the Navy Seals.
“I definitely think it was beneficial,” forward Dwight Powell said. “First and foremost, it was a challenge that maybe not all of us thought we could get through, but we did. And we did so as a team.”