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1. Seattle U----Sad news last week in the passing of Carl Ervin. Ervin has some great years for the then Redhawks in their previous go around of D-1 basketball. He played point guard from 1976-80, was one of the best passers of the basketball ever on the west coast and is part of what is a great history of Seattle U. basketball.
2. Portland State---Bob Mariani was a fixture sitting behind the scorer's table at both men's and women's games at Portland State. Mr. Mariani recently passed away and will be missed by all. His daughter Teri is of course one of the great names in Portland State athletic history, being the long time highly successful softball coach and after retirement serving as interim athletic director in 2006 after Tom Burman left for Wyoming.
3. Schedules----Two really good pre-league match-ups for west coast teams will be Washington playing Duke at Madison Square Garden in December and a New Year's Eve contest with Gonzaga traveling to Xavier. Significant, because of all the great early season games on TV, that is about it for west coast schools, either a real bias, or the fact west coast basketball needs to schedule better early season games to get back on the map.
4. Stanford----Johnny Dawkins has done a below average job at Stanford in his three years, no one can dispute it. One possible sign a coach might be on the hot seat in basketball is when there is an assistant coaching change that seems odd. Rodney Tention after three years on the bench at Stanford has left for San Diego. We all know, that you do not leave as an assistant at Stanford to become an assistant at San Diego unless there is really good reason and most of the time those "reasons" are not good. You heard it here first, unless Dawkins has a stellar year and gets the Cardinals into the NCAA tournament, he will be replaced by Eric Reveno, who has done wonders at the University of Portland and is a former Stanford assistant and a Stanford grad.
5. Lorenzo Romar----I got a kick out of all the pundits and fans who were commenting that Romar would not be a good coach in the pros, with one of the reasons he has never coached there. Of course there was quite a stir last week in Seattle when Romar was mentioned as a possible successor to Kurt Rambis, which probably leaked out from Minnesota's totally inept GM David Kahn and might even be a fact, as Rambis is still there as coach in Minnesota as of today. Hey, if Mark Jackson, who has never coached a game anywhere in basketball can be hired by the Golden State Warriors as its new coach, then Lorenzo Romar can sure as heck coach in the pros. Romar has done a great job with the Huskies and he has a trait that professional players love. Everyone who knows Romar, plays for him or has dealt with him, likes him very much. In the NBA, it is all about communication when it comes to success.
6. Pac-12---Up and running and we wish it much success in basketball. It appears to have some good leadership and has a nice TV deal in place starting in the 2012-13 season. Speaking of the TV deal, I would like to take to task all the media who think the networks got fleeced in the deal. First of all the last time I checked, they are not turning out the lights at the both FOX and ESPN, almost universally those two networks do not make bad deals. Secondly, this deal is for 12 years and when you factor all the numbers out, it is a great deal right now for both parties and I have hunch, at the end of the deal, the Pac-12 people will be saying, gosh we should have gotten more.
7. Larry Scott---He has accomplished a lot as Pac-12 commissioner. Look for him to leave the position in the next two years and return to working in the tennis world, where his real love is and where he was before coming to the Pac-12. You move when your a hot commodity and in the sports world, never stay too long when your an executive. Before Scott leaves, sources tell me he has on his agenda to improve the basketball officiating program, much the same as he recently did with the football officiating. Pac-12 basketball officiating while getting better, is still not where it should be compared to other leagues.
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