Seen & heard

2010-01-09T00:00:00Z Seen & heard Patrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 09, 2010 12:00 am  • 

O'Dowd: Not worried

If Kris O'Dowd was concerned that fooball coach Pete Carroll would leave USC for the Seattle Seahawks, he didn't show it Friday night.

The Salpointe Catholic High School graduate, who figures to start his senior season at center for the Trojans, sat across from the Washington State bench. He said he wasn't surprised to see his coach rumored to be headed for a new job.

"We see it every year," he said. "It's understood our coaches will get offers from NFL and college jobs."

O'Dowd said he had not been told if Carroll would indeed leave USC for the NFL, as was rumored Friday after Seattle fired Jim Mora.

"I'm not really worried about it," he said.

Hearing the rumors is nothing new.

"It's probably going to happen again next year, too," he said.

The big number

15Underclassmen on WSU roster, the most in the nation. Harvard has 14, while Central Florida and Toledo have 13 apiece.

High-profile assistant

Jeff Hironaka joined Ken Bone's staff at Washington State knowing the coach well. He took over Bone's head coaching position at Seattle Pacific in 2002, staying until his former mentor lured him to Pullman, Wash., as an assistant.

Hironaka might be the highest-profile Asian-American basketball coach in the United States.

When Hironaka was at Seattle Pacific, the school claimed he was the only Asian-American head coach at a four-year school.

During the off-season, Hironaka told Los Angeles Japanese daily The Rafu Shimpo one reason for the lack of Asian coaches.

"As an Asian male, you're not much of a commodity, because there aren't any Asian players that are high-caliber talent," he told Rafu Shimpo.

"So you don't bring a lot to the table that way.

"If you look at the coaches in the NCAA, you've got a lot of African-American players, so you need African-American coaches or assistants, because you need someone on the staff who can identify with the players you're recruiting."

Quiet

We can't say we've ever seen an Arizona Wildcats game start with so few people in the student section end of McKale Center.

The reason - school is out, and students don't return until Monday.

In years past, however, townies have happily filled the section, even if they left the upper deck spotty.

Friday night, the section was maybe a quarter full until tip-off, when fans with worse seats seemed to sneak down and fill in most of the lower bowl.

Attendance was announced at 12,758.

Consider us skeptical.

By the numbers

6-0Ken Bone started the season 6-0, the fifth-best start by any first-year Pac-10 coach since World War II.

Learning from a mistake

Washington State coach Ken Bone had one thought when DeAngelo Casto made a shot with 0.1 of a second left to take the lead Friday.

"Stay off the court," he said. "Stay off the court."

Against Oregon last week, Casto made a shot with 0.3 remaining to take a lead at the end of the first overtime. WSU bench players stepped onto the floor, and were assessed a technical foul. Oregon made two foul shots and won in the second overtime.

"We've been there," Bone said. "When you have a game taken away from you, you learn."

Grove of lefties

For the second straight season, the Cougars have five left-handed players on their team.

Anthony Brown, Marcus Capers, Nikola Koprivica, Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum are all southpaws.

Before Brown and Motum arrived, Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill represented the lefties on last year's team.

Former coach Tony Bennett, who was left-handed, joked he wanted to win a national title with an all-southpaw team.

He'll have to try at Virginia.

Scouting for the Kings

Former NBA guard Bobby Jackson attended Friday night's game as a scout for the Sacramento Kings.

Jackson retired in October after 12 seasons in the NBA, six with the Kings.

He was named a Kings "ambassador," in addition to a scout. He averaged 9.7 points per game, appearing in the playoffs eight times.

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