» Ben Howland still has photos of his Santa Barbara house on his phone, but he’s temporarily given up the comforts of Southern California for Starkville — a place that has given him another chance to coach basketball.
UCLA (12-2, 1-0) vs. No. 1 Arizona (15-0, 2-0)
When: Thursday, 6 p.m., Pauley Pavilion
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)
In today’s Los Angeles Daily News, a look at some of the most memorable moments of the UCLA-Arizona rivalry.
No. 1: Battle of the bigs. Arizona’s frontline is almost certainly the best in the Pac-12, especially with the addition of forward Aaron Gordon. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound true freshman hasn’t quite matched the hype of a future lottery pick, but he plays with non-stop energy and is still averaging 12.4 points, 1.0 blocks, and a team-high 8.0 rebounds.
Slot him into the lineup alongside sophomores Brandon Ashley (6-foot-8, 230) and Kaleb Tarczewski (7-foot, 235), and it’s no surprise that the Wildcats clean the glass more thoroughly than any team in the conference. Arizona’s offensive rebounding percentage of 41.4 ranks eighth in the country. The Pac-12’s next-best team is Colorado, which sits way down at 57th (36.2 percent). Continue reading
» Incoming Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon took MVP honors as the U.S. U-19 team won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Prague. Likely a future top-five NBA draft pick, the 6-foot-8 forward led the team with 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game despite being the third-youngest player on the roster. Coach Billy Donovan compared Gordon’s energy and passion on the court to Joakim Noah’s.
» Brad Stevens is now the youngest head coach in the NBA — a title once held by Arizona State assistant Eric Musselman. He broke down a few key differences between working in college and the pros.
» Penn State guard Jermaine Marshall will graduate in August and transfer to Arizona State. The 6-foot-4 slasher averaged 15 points for the Nittany Lions, and should slide into the starting backcourt with Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. Continue reading