Media day trots out its coaches in reverse order of the previous season’s finish. So at the break, we have heard from:
ERNIE KENT/OREGON: Encouraged fans to come see a game at Mac Court. The plan is for the Ducks to move into their new arena in late 2010, which means this isn’t their last season at Mac, but it is scheduled to be the last Pac-10 season at Mac. … On the court, he said he expects this season to bring “the emergence of a lot of great young players.” … bigger stronger and deeper than last year and “probably the most athletic team I’ve had since I’ve been at Oregon. … He said it will definitely be Tajuan Porter’s basketball team.
JOHNNY DAWKINS/STANFORD: Lost four starters. But he said he believes Landry Fields “can be as good as any player in our conference.” … The Cardinal lost four starters and about 40 points from last season, but they’re hoping more time in the Dawkins’ system will help.
OREGON STATE CRAIG ROBINSON: The main topic was rising expectations. “When you’re expected to win you can’t just show up,” he said, noting that his players are “working hard at continuing what they started at the end of the year last year.” … “Last year we snuck up on a lot of people. This year we won’t be able to do that. It’s different when you’re expected to win a few games instead of being expected to lose every game.”
KEN BONE, WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars also are dominated by underclassmen. Bone says he will have the team playing faster on the offensive end and covering more of the court on defense. But he says even that break from the Bennett system is interim. More changes will come once he believes he has recruited the personnel for what he ultimately wants to do.
ARIZONA SEAN MILLER: Says “We’ve never been more vulnerable. Can that (NCAA tournament) streak end under me this season? Absolutely.”
Back with more later (but I have a quick flight out after this next segment, so it might be a while later.)