Pac-12 hoops: Who and what to look for in '11-'12


Pac-12 hoops: Who and what to look for in '11-'12

For the college sports fan, there is nothing better than the confluence of football and basketball seasons. While we in the Bay watch Stanford chase perfection and Cal struggle with mediocrity on the gridiron, its fair to wonder whether the reverse will be true on the hardcourt.The Bears are among the favorites in the inaugural go-round of the Pac-12. Allen Crabbe destined for stardom in his sophomore season; Harper Kamp has emerged as one of the conferences top post players; Jorge Gutierrez is an experienced leader not to mention a mega-pest on the defensive end; Brandon Smith has blossomed into a solid point guard. Both Crabbe and Gutierrez are on the Wooden Award Watch List.As it turns out, Cals biggest asset is also its biggest question mark: will Mike Montgomerys health allow him to coach at the start of the season? Montgomery underwent a surgical procedure last Wednesday, and the school has not released any further information.UPDATE: Montgomery had cancer surgery
Regardless, expect Cal to challenge UCLA and Arizona for tops in the Pac.Across the Bay, Stanford is moving in the right direction. Last years epic recruiting class is now a year older, with a lot of experience under its collective belt. Anthony Brown spent his summer playing for the US Under-19 team at the World Championships. Dwight Powell is a freak athlete, though admittedly still somewhat raw. Keep an eye on Josh Huestis, a get after it wing player who might well lead the team in rebounds if he gets enough minutes.The Cardinal also have a huge luxury in four experienced seniors they had none last season. Josh Owens is the face of the franchise. He needs to stay aggressive and be a guy who can put this team on his shoulders if need be. Oh, and freshman Chasson Randle will have an immediate impact.RELATED: Stanford Basketball Preview ShowStanford will be back in the NCAA Tournament next season. Question is, are the Fab 5 sophomores ready to lead them there now?Burning questions from around the conference:Arizona: Will freshmen Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson live up to expectations?UCLA:How many black eyes will Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson cause? Bonus question: Will that number eclipse the number of Nelsons (visible) tattoos? Washington: Can Abdul Gaddy and Tony Wroten Jr. co-exist in the backcourt? Oregon: To what extent will the new toned down court at Matthew Knight Arena cut migraine recurrence in Eugene? Oregon State: Did Calvin Haynes, Omari Johnson, and Lathem Wallace finally use up their 8 years of eligibility? If so, outside of Jared Cunningham, whos left?USC: Brazilian tour felt more like Brazilian wax when Jio Fontan tore his ACL. How will depleted Trojans replace his production?Colorado: Will 2011 NCAA tournament snub be the closest the Buffs get to Dancing for foreseeable future? Washington State: Are Marcus Capers, Reggie Moore, and Abe Lodwick enough to compete without Warriors first-round pick Klay Thompson and low-block-menace DeAngelo Kasto?Arizona State: Why are the Solar Satans playing a road exhibition game? Grand Canyon University demanded a home-and-home?Utah: Will Utahs hoop team win more games than its football team? Welcome to the Pac-12, friends.

Report: Harbaugh, Michigan to spend final week of spring practice in Italy

Report: Harbaugh, Michigan to spend final week of spring practice in Italy

Undeterred by recent NCAA legislation, Jim Harbaugh is reportedly going international.

As noted by the Detroit Free Press, a post on Rivals affiliate reports that Michigan is planning to spend the final week of football spring practice in Rome, Italy. The team would not only practice several times on Italian soil, but would allow the team to visit the sights in the area and even leave players in Europe to study abroad for a semester.

The move would no doubt ruffle even more feathers in the football and NCAA communities after Harbaugh famously took the Wolverines to the IMG Academy down in Florida for spring practice last March. That prompted recent legislation that was passed at the NCAA convention in Nashville this week — a Harbaugh Rule if you will — that prohibited off-campus practice during a vacation period outside of a playing season.

While it would seem that would rule out trips away from Ann Arbor for spring football practices, it appears the Michigan athletic department is going to push forward by exploiting a slight loophole in the language of the rule. While vacation periods may be off limits like spring break, it appears the Wolverines would be looking to leave town at the end of April, which would be after the semester ends  and does not fall into any scheduled vacation time.


Humphrey scores 21 to help Stanford beat Oregon State 62-46


Humphrey scores 21 to help Stanford beat Oregon State 62-46

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Michael Humphrey had 21 points and Marcus Allen added a career-high 12 to lead Stanford to a 62-46 victory Thursday night over Oregon State, keeping the Beavers winless in Pac-12 conference play.

It was the third straight win for the Cardinal (11-8, 3-4 Pac-12), coming off a pair of victories at home last week against the league's Washington schools.

Stephen Thompson Jr. led the Beavers (4-15, 0-6) with 15 points. Oregon State, which trailed by as many as 17 points late after jumping out to an early nine-point lead, has lost six straight games.

The Cardinal were without Reid Travis, the team's top scorer and rebounder with averages of 16.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Reid injured his right shoulder in Stanford's 76-69 victory over Washington last Saturday. He had missed the previous two games with a similar injury.

The Beavers have struggled without top scorer Tres Tinkle, who was averaging 20.2 points a game before he broke his right wrist on Nov. 25 against Fresno State. Tinkle has missed 13 games.

But Oregon State did have forward Drew Eubanks, who was a game-time decision because of a thigh injury. Eubanks was averaging 14.6 points going in. He finished with eight points against Stanford.

Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle tweaked his starting lineup, giving sophomore Gligorije Ravocevic his first career start. Ravocevic replaced Matt Dahlen, who had started the last 10 games.

At least at the start, the Beavers had spark, going up 16-7 on three consecutive 3-pointers — two by Thompson and a third by JaQuori McLaughlin. Thompson hit another 3 to give Oregon State a 19-11 lead.

But Stanford closed the gap, pulling within 20-17 on Marcus Sheffield's jumper with a little more than five minutes left before the break.

Humphrey's dunk got Stanford within 25-23, and Allen's layup tied it. Humphrey made two free throws to give the Cardinal a 27-25 halftime lead.

Sheffield's 3-pointer made it 37-32 with 12:35 left as the Cardinal began to pull away. Humphrey's layup stretched the lead to 45-36 with 8:20 left.


Stanford: The Cardinal won six of the previous eight meetings with Oregon State. ... Allen was making his first start of the season.

Oregon State: The Beavers have been hurt by injuries this season. Players have missed more than 40 games, including center Cheikh N'diaye, who has missed 10 games and is out indefinitely with an injured left shoulder.


Stanford: The Cardinal visit No. 11 Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks defeated California 86-63 on Thursday, but preseason All-America forward Dillon Brooks injured his lower left leg late in the first half and did not return.

Oregon State: The Beavers host the Golden Bears on Saturday night.