When you gather together every Pac-12 coach into one room, a few good moments are bound to materialize. Here are some of the best quotes from Thursday’s Pac-12 Media Day, held at Pac-12 Networks studios in San Francisco.
– Arizona ran away with media votes in the preseason poll, taking 21 of 23 first-place votes. UCLA and Colorado finished second and third, respectively, each taking one of the two remaining votes.
Buffs guard Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t agree with that projection: “We don’t view Arizona as the top, the cream, and everybody else in the rest. We view ourselves as the cream and everybody else can fight for the rest of the spots.”
– Cal coach Mike Montgomery was asked what he would do if he caught a criminal in the act. His former player at Montana, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, recently stopped both a bike thief and someone who had been stealing electronics from the athletic offices.
“If I was built and looked like Krystko, I would probably tackle him, wrestle him to the ground and sit on him like he did,” Montgomery said. “As it is, I would probably wish him well and hope that computer works for him.”
Montgomery, for the record, isn’t exactly small at 6-foot-5 — just four inches shy of Krystkowiak.
– The first words spoken by Oregon coach Dana Altman: “We should be practicing, but Johnny (Loyd) wanted to come here and entertain you.”
– Oregon guard Jonathan Loyd, the reigning Pac-12 Tournament MVP, played ping pong against Oregon State guard Roberto Nelson after the main media sessions. The latter got the best of the matchup.
– Here’s the requisite Barack Obama reference of the day. A reporter chimed in and asked Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, “Last night was a big night for the President. How is your defense going to improve?” — referring to the end of the government shutdown.
“You know, you see what I have to put up with?” Robinson responded, laughing. He is, of course, the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
– A fan asked Lorenzo Romar what would happen if the Pac-12 coaches all got together today and played a one-on-one tournament. The Washington coach couldn’t decide on a winner, but did have some interesting thoughts on the skill sets of his peers:
Larry Krystkowiak would back everyone down and you wouldn’t be able to keep him from scoring in the paint. Not that he couldn’t shoot. But that’s what he would do. Then he definitely would foul you every time you had the ball. So he would be tough.
I don’t know if anyone can keep Johnny Dawkins in front of them today. You could not give Steve Alford a wide-open shot. You just couldn’t. And I don’t even know — when the ball is released, it’s probably going to go in.
So that would be an interesting tournament. You could spread that out over three or four days and let everybody recover each day.
– For some an actual basketball-related item, let’s go to Arizona State coach Herb Sendek. College basketball revised 28 rules during the offseason, the most important of which may be new limits on handchecking.
That means quick guards like the Sun Devils’ Jahii Carson may have a field day against slower defenders.
“Let’s see what actually happens when the games starts,” Sendek said. “But I know this: When we go back and start practice, we have got to call our practices much more closely. Because the way it was presented this morning in our coaches’ meeting, it could really have almost a revolutionary effect on the game if they’re going to take it to the extreme that it was described today.”