I’m not actually in San Francisco for Pac-12 Media Day, but here are some snippets from Ben Howland’s part of the session. The coach expressed enthusiasm for the blend of experience and youth he has on this year’s team, particularly pointing out Norman Powell as a key cog for the Bruins behind Larry Drew. He expects the sophomore — who averaged 4.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists last season — to be one of the team’s most improved players.
Howland also said that Kyle Anderson will play both point guard and forward on offense, but will typically guard opposing small forwards.
On Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad’s eligibility investigations:
The NCAA review is something we have been very patient with and continue to be. We’ve been as cooperative as possible with the NCAA. We had a very good resolve in Kyle’s position. Very pleased about that. Very optimistic about Shabazz. I can’t tell you how long or when. I’m very confident things are gonna work out and I’m very optimistic.
On Josh Smith struggling with weight gain:
Josh responded great freshman campaign. Josh had a very very good freshman year. Ended up starting that season for us and we lost to an outstanding Florida team in the second round of the NCAA tournament. I think that Josh going into last season, there was a lot of expectation heaped on his shoulders. He didn’t meet the expectation that both he had and we had a year ago. That’s something he’s going to deal with his entire career. He has a body type that’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. If he eats anything that’s out of the ordinary, it’s going to show up on the waistline. … He still has a long way to go, and he’d be the first to tell you that.
We’re really trying to get up and down the court offensively. That’s something that’s probably most difficult for Josh. When he’s in the halfcourt position, he’s really at his best.
UPDATE: Here are full transcripts courtesy of the Pac-12.