Only one game in the Pac-12 last night as the Oregon Ducks picked up a 79-70 win over Portland State. But it probably shouldn't have been that close.
From Bob Clark's game story ...
“If we would have stopped the game with six minutes to go, I would have felt pretty good,” Oregon coach Dana Altman acknowledged.
Instead, the Ducks (6-2) had to again work to the very finish before subduing the Vikings, 79-70, after the Big Sky team had pulled within three points in the last 90 seconds.
“We kind of let up a little bit defensively,” UO senior Garrett Sim said. “We got comfortable with the lead. … We’ve got to finish the game better than that.”
It’s not anything new for this edition of Oregon basketball. Though the Ducks are 5-0 at home, four of those wins are by single digits. In their road win at Nebraska, Oregon gave up a 15-point lead before prevailing by seven points.
“We haven’t done a good job of finishing games,” Altman said. “We’re up 14 at home, you have the momentum, you’re two stops away from putting ’em away …” but instead the Vikings made a game of it.
“I’m disappointed because we’ve got enough vets that know that shouldn’t happen,” Altman said.Elsewhere around the Pac-12 ...
Ken Bone was on with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on KJR today.
One-time Washington recruit and Arizona freshman Angelo Chol has put on about 15 pounds of muscle from high school. And he needs to since he's having to play in the post more than ever.
From the story ...
"He's one of the few guys who gained weight over the last month and a half," Miller said. "Part of it is his dedication to lifting weights and getting bigger and stronger. He's so much stronger right now than when he got here this summer."
Another part of it, Miller said, is Chol's drive.
"He almost wants to do so well that it works against him sometimes," Miller said, "but he's starting to get more confident."Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson calls Utah's basketball team an embarrassment.
It’s understood that the best of Jim Boylen’s players, such as they were, left the team after the coach was let go last season and that it will take time for Larry Krystkowiak to reconstruct what was already a lurching program, a program built mostly on buffoonery and bluster.
But the fall of one of America’s great college basketball traditions is flat-out shocking, even though its demise has been drawn out. It started under Rick Majerus, who, at times, abandoned his team and, once it was fairly clear he was on his way out, made dubious recruiting decisions.
From there, athletics director Chris Hill consecutively hired the wrong replacements.
Ray Giacoletti is a terrific guy who gave the Utes one last moment of glory by traveling to Australia to talk Andrew Bogut into returning to Utah for that final run, but, thereafter, when Bogut turned pro and Randy Rahe left the coaching staff, the wheels rotated off.
The Boylen hire came next.
Jim is a passionate man, a fine man, supposedly a teacher of the game, but he was a lousy head basketball coach. If a problem came up, his solution was to pound it with a blunt object, and, over time, his players got tired of getting hit over the head. He had a so-so year and one good year. Stanford is trying to remain level-headed despite it's 8-1 start.
"I'm encouraged. I can see the potential in our group," coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Where we are today won't be good enough in January. We have to continue to get better."
Dawkins insists he is paying no attention to the rest of the Pac-12, and that's probably a good thing. Watch this conference for long and the Cardinal could become overconfident. And this is a team that finished in a tie for seventh place last season.
The Pac-12 is 0-10 so far against Top-25 opponents, and Stanford's 69-63 loss to now top-ranked Syracuse at Madison Square Garden is perhaps as good as a result as the league can claim. On the plus side of the ledger, the Cardinal has beaten Oklahoma State and North Carolina State, contributing to its No. 17 ranking in the Sagarin computer. Oregon State coach Craig Robinson called the Beavers stunning loss to Idaho "an anomaly."
"When I came in here after the game I didn't want to focus on the emotional aspect of where the team's head was," Robinson said. "But when I looked at the tape and I watched how we played, we were psychologically and emotionally drained.
"I think that was the issue."
It affected the Beavers on the court. They struggled with their help defense, rebounding and shooting in the 74-60 loss.