Answers, Part XII

Here is the 12th set of answers:

At the end of the season, do you think the football coaches will be able to bring in a class that will improve the overall talent level of the program? Was the type of talent we saw in the prior recruiting class more of a norm or an abnomality with our current coaches?
I think the talent they bring in will be an improvement, but I also think the 2008 recruiting class is an abnormality. I keep hearing admissions is not going to be easy for the football program, and it could get more difficult to get kids in.

Do you think there will be a drop off from Russell Westbrook to Jrue Holiday?
Yup. I think Westbrook’s defense will be greatly missed, and since that is the staple of how Ben Howland coaches, there will be a drop off. However, Holiday is a more gifted offensive player, and should be able to make more outside shots. He’s also a good rebounder.

Which program would you say is more dominant in the Pac-10 today, and over the past couple of years–UCLA basketball or USC football?
USC football. The Trojans win national championships. The Bruins get to Final Fours.

Who do you think will get more PT this year – Jerime Anderson or Malcolm Lee?
Depends on the health of both of them, but I’m going with Lee at this point.

People talk a lot about how Howland prepares his players to play in the NBA by teaching them to play defense – but how much does the NBA even care about defense?
The NBA cares about defense in the last five minutes of games and in the playoffs.

How successful do you think Mike Montgomery will be at Cal? I think people overlook the fact that at Stanford, while having a severe recruiting disadvantage because of its academic requirements, he simultaneously had a huge recruiting advantage for the kids who got in.
I think it will be a challenge because he doesn’t have national titles and a plethora of Final Four appearances to fall back on. I think he can have Cal able to compete for conference titles every few years and make the NCAAs 75 percent of the time, but I don’t see Cal becoming like Stanford was when Montgomery was in charge.

could you please include a “Nickname” blurb during your “Getting to know…” mini-interviews (any nicks & explanations)? It’s a great way for us to feel a little closer to the players we love to watch.
I will try to remember it for each week.

Who do you expect to be the most proficient rebounder on the basketball team this year?
It depends on foul trouble, rotation and injuries, but if you are putting me on the spot, I will go with Alfred Aboya. He is going to play center and power forward and should log more minutes than the rest of the front court players.

Among the big guys Aboya, Keefe, Morgan, and Gordon, who seems to have the most polished offensive game? Would you characterize any of them as being a good scorer?
None? Keefe can shoot the ball and score junk baskets, and Aboya’s jump shot is semi-consistent. I would say those two are adequate scorers.

Are we looking at Jeff Withey now that he’s decided to transfer from UofA? What do you think our chances are with him. Any chance of him coming in and playing this year?
Chances? About ziltch. A transfer must sit out one season, plus, in order to transfer to UCLA, Arizona has to release him from his scholarship and allow him to transfer to UCLA. It is rare a player is given his release to transfer to a program within the same conference.