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Thursday, June 23, 2011


CRAWFACTS is news, notes, info and whatever you want to call it. Enjoy.

UCLA---In the last CRAWFACTS, I wrote about Ben Howland adding famous AAU coach Korey McCray to his staff and how McCray could have an immediate impact on the Bruins' recruiting. My prediction did not take long to be true, as on Monday the Bruins received a commitment from Jordan Adams, by almost all accounts one of the top 100 players in the country out of the class of 2012. Adams plays for Oak Hill Academy and also had been part of McCray's highly successful AAU team, the Atlanta Celtics, out of Adams' home town of Atlanta. Of course the big question will be is if Shaq Goodwin, a teammate of Adams' on Celtics and one of the top five players in the class of 2012, will follow Adams to Westwood, as many think he will indeed do.

USGA---Of course the reaction to my thoughts on the USGA and where they should play future U.S. Opens, as well why Pumpkin Ridge would have been a much better site for the 2015 Open, than Chambers Bay drew an overwhelming reaction. (Perhaps, with the responses I got, I should stick to golf and not write about basketball, but that is not going to happen). Of course any mention that Chambers Bay is not a good a good U.S. Open site, hit a major nerve with Washingtonians, as expected and any mention of Pumpkin Ridge as a great site hit a home run with Oregonians. The rest of the great 48 also weighed in, most people loving the idea of spreading the Open out to all 50 states in the next 50 years, so I thank everyone for their support of my GREAT idea. One thing is for sure, all the flimsy excuses that USGA staffers use as to why Pumpkin Ridge is not a good site for to host the U.S. Open are totally unfounded and better yet, just not TRUE. (The week of the British Open in July, I plan to write about this even more, so please come back at that time.)

Nicknames---With the official opening for business of the Pac-12 on July 1st, 10 out of the 12 Pac-12 teams will have animal nicknames, the two exceptions being Utah Utes and Arizona State Sun Devils. Utes is named after a Native American tribe with its roots being Utah. Very nice. Sun Devils gets a little more complicated on how it came about and some of the reasons behind it. Sun Devil is some kind of weather event, similar to a dust bowl or whirlwind, which I actually do not see too much and thankfully avoid. Sparky the Arizona State Sun Devil, was created by famous Disney artist, Birk Anthony back in the 1940s and some even have gone as far as to say he wanted Sparky to look somewhat like the great Walt Disney in facial features. I think from here on out, I will avoid talking about nicknames and mascots, although if you look it up, there is a mascot hall of fame.

Referees---I have learned that several Big Sky men's coaches are becoming increasingly frustrated with the officiating they get during league play, as opposed to the referees they receive during pre-season play. In fairness, during pre-season, games are played on various different days of the week, so the pool to choose officials expands. During the season for the most part, games are played on Thursday-Saturday, the same nights that both the Pac-12 and West Coast Conference choose to play, along with many times the Western Athletic Conference. Unfortunately the Big Sky is last on the pecking order for where officials choose to work games and is also the lowest in pay of the conferences mentioned above, so they are not going to get the best choice of referees available. I have long thought the Big Sky, should play a league schedule with games on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon games are popular in most of the country and if you want to consider academics, cost and anything else, a Friday-Sunday schedule makes lots of sense. Considering the it is the Big Sky, I am not holding my breath on changes.

Odds and Ends---Speaking of the Utah Utes, they quite frankly will not be very good next year in basketball under new coach Larry Krystowiak, but there is some hope on the horizon for 2012-13, when two pretty good transfers the Utes have picked up will be eligible to play. Glen Dean out of the Seattle area and a transfer from Eastern Washington is a nice player and another player who starred at Rainier Beach high in the Seattle area and then went on to LSU, Aaron Dotson, has decided to transfer to Utah and both will be eligible to play in 2012. While these two players will not alone propel the Utes to upper division in the Pac-12, they will help in the rebuilding process.

Speaking of the Seattle area, if Lorenzo Romar does leave the Huskies for the Minnesota Timberwolves head coaching position as he is being considered for, look for the usual suspects to be candidates to replace him. I have not alway jumped on the Mark Few bandwagon, but I would think at some point he might leave Gonzaga and this would be a natural move. Cameron Dollar, head coach at Seattle U. would also be a candidate, being an assistant for Romar, before taking the Redhawks job. It might not be unrealistic as well to think of Ken Bone, now at Washington State to be in the mix, with his Seattle area ties and being another former assistant for Romar, it happened before when Marv Harshman went from WSU to the Huskies. The real surprise candidate and a good fit would be Kevin Stallings out of Vanderbilt, who has ties to the present Husky AD and by most standards has done a great job at Vanderbilt.

My take is that if Romar were offered the Timberwolves job he would jump at the chance and also the Washington job is a position that would be highly coveted by many top coaches as the Puget Sound area is ripe with high school basketball talent and will only get better.

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