Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Lay-up Lines

Pac-10 play starts tonight as eight of the ten teams take the court for the first time in conference play. The best game of the night may be Stanford hosting Arizona State. The Sun Devils are right up there with the Bruins when you talk about favorites to win the Pac-10, but Stanford, who lost Team Lopez and Trent Johnson during the off-season, has started off the season undefeated. These teams are led by two of the best scorers out west in James Harden (23.4 ppg) and Lawrence Goods (18.9 ppg). I like ASU in this one. Stanford may be undefeated, but their best win right now is against a so-so Texas Tech team (albeit by 45 points). And despite the fact that Harden is averaging 23.4 ppg, Arizona State actually has a fairly balanced team, with Jeff Pendergraph inside and Ty Abbott and Rihard Kuksiks on the perimeter all averaging double digits. Stanford may be undefeated and playing at home, but I still need to see them beat someone before I am sold on this team.

  • 4:00 PM: USC (9-3) @ Oregon (6-6): Both teams have played below expectations up to this point in the season. Maybe the most interesting match-up of the day comes in this game as USC's big back court (PG Daniel Hackett is 6'5") tries to guard 5'6" TaJuan Porter.
  • 8:30 PM: Arizona (9-3) @ Cal (11-2): The Golden Bears have been a pleasant surprise this year as they have gotten out to a 11-2 start. Arizona has also looked better than expected, with a lot of that credit going to Jordan Hill, who is having a break out season. Hill missed Arizona's game against Weber State, but looks like he will be in uniform against Cal.
  • 10:30 PM: UCLA (10-2) @ Oregon State (5-5): The Beavers have gotten better as the year has progressed, but they will get a real test when UCLA comes to town.
Here are the rest of the game's happening today:
  • 5:30 PM: South Carolina (9-2) @ Baylor (12-1): The Gamecocks gave Clemson all they could handle their last time out. Devon Downey is one of the best scorers in the country. After Arkansas beat Oklahoma, a SC win over Baylor could help the SEC regain some respect as a conference.
  • 7:00 PM: Dayton (12-1) @ Toledo (2-10)
  • 8:30 PM: Syracuse (13-1, 1-0) @ South Florida (5-7)
  • 9:00 PM: Appalaichan State (5-4) @ Texas (10-2)
  • 10:00 PM: St. Mary's (12-1) @ Cal. St. Bakersfield (4-10)

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