California Head Coach Mike Montgomery“We have practice this afternoon. Not like we need practice with seven newplayers. I am glad we had the experience of winning the championship last year. Its great to get Harper backthis year. This is a different year for me. This is probably the youngest team I have ever had. It is going to be achallenge for us. We only really have three veteran guys back. Jorge [Gutierrez] was the only guy who playedsignificant minutes for us last year. Harper has had some big games for us. It is a terrific group of players, hada great summer together. We are going to rely very heavily on our two veteran players. There is going to be twoor three veteran players on the court most of the time. We only have had 12 practices. November 10, firstgame. We will have some things we will just have to do well. Overall, we will just have to improve. By the timewe get into conference we will have to compete everyone favorably who is there. We are very excited to haveHarper back. he is in the best shape he has every been and his knee is very strong.”Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins“For us, there is a lot of newness. We have nine players that didn’t participate with us last season. We areexcited about all of them. We realize it is process with their overall development. So far, practice has beengoing well. They have been learning our offense and defense. We are excited. We are not the mostexperienced group. We are very excited with Josh Owens and Jeremy Green getting to lead us as juniors.”
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland“(Last season) was definitely difficult. The previous four years we had a real nice run there. To have a losing season is hardfor the players, the coaches and the fans. That is in the rear-view mirror now. I am excited about our team. Weare very young, don’t have a senior in the program and we only have two upperclassmen The nucleus ofMalcolm Lee, Tyler Honeycutt and Reeves Nelson. We are excited to have those guys back and they workedreally hard over the summer.”
Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson“I am very excited about this season. We are a very young team, but I think we will be a much better playerthen we have been in the past. We have nine freshmen and sophomores. We have four seniors, led by CalvinHaynes and one junior, who have all played significant minutes in the Pac-10. We are really looking forward toseeing what this new group will be able to do.”
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Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman“We are an undermanned squad. We have 10 young men on scholarship. It will be a transition year for us. Wehave a long road ahead of us, and we have a lot of work to do. On the positive side, the guys have workedawfully hard and they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them. I’m con!dent they’ll compete and give us agreat effort.”
USC Head Coach Kevin O’Neill“I’m really excited about our group. We’re between old and young. We tried to piece this thing back together.We really lost 10 starters in a year and a half. We lost three guys to the pros and then we lost a whole recruitingclass. We lost our two starters from last year. The group we have on the court has been fabulous in terms ofeffort. I think they’re going to have great group chemistry. We’re going to have some ups and downs early. Weare going to play hard. We are going to defend and we’re going to rebound. We’re excited about the guys wehave. It’s been enjoyable experience so far. I’m going to enjoy these guys no matter what because they’ve beengreat.”
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller“I don’t know if any coach feels better about the player sitting next to him than I do about Derrick Williams. Ireally believe he’s poised to take that next step and be one of the best players, not only in the Pac-10, butplaying the game. I’m excited that he represents who we are and what we do. As a team,w e have a quest tobe better at everything that we do. I thought the hardest part about being at Arizona last year was coming offfour coaches in four years and welcoming young players. It was very dif!cult to establish a system and be goodat anything. I thought we had some great moments in spite of that, but as we’ve approached this year, it’sDerrick’s class that is tasked with bringing Arizona back to what everyone’s watched for years.”
Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek“Right now we are still very much a work in progress and we haven’t established all our roles yet. We haven’tbeen able to have perfect continuity in practice yet. We’re going to have to rely on our new players. New guyswill have to be integrated. We have great leadership with our seniors. Ty has been a great leader since he wasa freshman. He hasn’t waited to be a leader.”