Pac-10 Men's Basketball Coaches Teleconference

Feb. 11, 2010

Listen to the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Coaches' Media Teleconference

 

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller

On if he is surprised with the zone defenses in the Pac-10
“Very much so. I think more teams are playing zone that traditionally play man, so that would be the reason for the surprise. I will also tell you that being a man-to-man team, we didn’t do  good job against Washington State in executing against their zone. As I look at our schedule now, I can make the argument that the final seven games that we play, four teams are going to play 40 minutes of zone and two of the three that mix it in. I think it something me and the team have to address and spend more time working on. Hopefully we will be able to do a better job offensively against the zone here because if we don’t it will really hurt us.”

Are the zones you face in the Pac-10 similar
“I would say the zones are very different. I think Arizona State’s zone is very aggressive. They do a great job of matching up. I think some other teams tend to change the game by giving you a different look. That can be very effective. A two-three zone, and there are different variations, can give you different looks in particular Arizona State’s does.”

Is it difficult preparing for one team that plays man-to-man and the next that plays zone
“I think it’s one thing that makes the Pac-10 an unbelievable conference. First of all, you talk about March Madness and advancing to a Final Four to win a National Championship. Winning our first game in the NCAA Tournament is a big big win for your team. Then you deal with the one day turnaround. The fact the our conference addresses that for two months really prepares you as a coach and as a team. As a young team, as that team gets older when you enter that time in March you feel more comfortable and prepared. That’s what you have to do in March play on Thursday or Friday and go from a completely different style with a one day turnaround and play against a style that is much different. Another thing I like about the Pac-10 is that we are all on the same schedule. It’s not like in other conferences when you can plat Thursday and Saturday, and the opponent on Saturday hasn’t played since Monday. That creates an unbalanced schedule.”

On team’s slow start against teams that play zone
“I wouldn’t say our team has struggles against the zone this season. I would say our team hasn’t faced a lot of it. We played very well against Arizona State’s zone. We have have some times when we have done better than others, but just in the Washington State zone we didn’t do a great job against their zone and that’s a big part of preparation for this week’s game against Oregon who is playing more zone. We want to make sure we are prepared and ready. We are a young team and when we play against Washington on a Thursday and they play that pressure man-to-man and now all of a sudden you are playing against a different type of defense. For our team, I would like to call a timeout, leave the building for an hour to practice and then come back. And if we did that then I think we would be okay, but you can’t do that. That’s one of the challenges of a conference season when you have a younger group.”

Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek

On being a trend setter on playing zone
“I think by in large the coaches in our league do what they do. Some coaches use it as a secondary defense and use it in that manner and their are some coaches you exclusively play man-to-man. But coaches by in large do what they do. They are exclusively a one defense system and others have zone as a secondary defense to somebody off balance. Others have zone as the defense and use it quite frequently. 

On team’s having more success against your zone more recently
“There are probably a number of different variables. We have had some personnel challenges. With Jamelle [McMillan] being out for three of the four games. He is a key defensive player for us, but with that aside, I don’t think we have played our best defense recently. You have to give other teams credit for attacking us. In some instances they attacked our offense. We played at Washington the other night and had 18 turnovers and they scored as much against our offense as they did our defense. There are a lot of factors involved, but in a nutshell I don’t really think we have played our best defense lately.”

On the Washington to Washington State road trip
“The travel is probably as difficult trip in the Conference. But having said that, being at Miami (Ohio), and [Arizona coach] Sean [Miller] was there on the same bus when we would leave Oxford, Ohio, and about eight hours later in the middle winter, we would show up at Mount Pleasant, Mich. to play Central Michigan. It certainly is one of the most challenging confernce trips in the country.”

Thoughts on Oregon
“They are a very good team and a very capable team. There are few teams in our league who haven’t had ups and downs. It’s a pretty bunched up conference right now.”

Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent

On being more difficult coming off a lop-sided loss to a rival or a another loss amongst many
“To me it’s another loss amongst many. It may bother me more as a coach though being Oregon State, but we have had a lot of success over Oregon State. People talk about a rivalry and they came up and played a great game, but with this basketball team it’s very similar to what’s going on with this conference. Our team,we have had some incredible highs and have had some incredible lows. Oregon State did a great job in the game and I continue to give them credit.”

On the progress of FR G/F E.J. Singler
“For a freshman in his first year, to go through what it takes to be successful at this level: academically, study halls, basketball and practices. I am just so pleased how he handled himself, but he is just a very focused young man who is tough minded too.”

On being only two games out of the loss column, are you encouraged or do you try not to get to far ahead of yourself
“Try to not get ahead of ourself, but we understand what is going on in the Conference because it is everywhere up and down the Conference. A great weekend can change things and a devastating weekend can change things. It’s a Conference that has been up and down that has to be because of the youth in the Conference. With the exception of California, the rest of us have had the same conversations over and over again. We play well for a couple of weeks, then there is slippage then we don’t play well. You can gain ground on this Conference if you can go out and have some success.”

On having success playing at Gonzaga
“When I was at Saint Mary’s we didn’t have a lot success playing at Gonzaga because it’s a difficult road trip to get up there, number one. Number two, they have a great environment up there and they have such a great tradition of winning that they have a comfort zone they play in. The times that we went up and had some success, it took a very determines basketball team that was mentality locked in and focused to get the job done. It’s a tough place to play. Mark [Few] has done a great job up there and their environment has gotten even better.”

What’s to become of MacCourt a year from now with the new arena opening
“Not totally 100 percent said, but my understanding is that it’s going to be turned over to the academic side and they will make their decision eventually. The new arena is coming along nicely and it’s a beautiful building going up. MacCourt is passed it’s days, but it’s done a great job and been a great place to play and a great home advantage.”

On the problems with MacCourt
“When you look at MacCourt, what we have tried to do and what we sell all the time is the crowd and the arena. On game day you can walk in and say wow this is a great place to play because you can feel it in the air. The day to day grind of not having practice courts and one year your practicing at one and getting out by four, then the next year your practicing at four and not getting out until seven. You don’t have access to the building and the lights cutting out on you. There are a lot of things that have hampered us in having smooth practices. At one time you have women’s volleyball, wrestling and women’s basketball, that’s four teams sharing one court. It hasn’t gone smooth, but we have made the most of it and have done a really good job.”

On why some many Pac-10 teams are playing zone this year
“For a couple reason, number one the Confernce is so young. You see a lot of slippage all over the place when you are playing man-to-man. Number two, I don’t think it’s a great shooting conference this year. I think over the last couple of years so many great players have gone on to the NBA either for graduation or early, that it has taken a lot of the skilled players. There will be a point when teams come back as kids get older and grow more confident. Right now I don’t think it’s a great shooting conference.”

Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson

On teams playing more zone, has it effected how effective your zone has been
“That’s a good question and I haven’t thought about it that way. I don’t think so. A couple of the  other teams that play 1-3-1 don’t play it like we do. When we play our 2-3 or our match up, I don’t think anybody plays it like Arizona State. That may help people when they are playing against us, but the league is so good that each individual team playing their zone you have to prepare for differently. I don’t think there are two teams that you can prepare for the same way.”

Have you been in favor of the zone your whole career
“My career as a head coach is pretty short. This is my fourth year and both places that I have coached, Oregon State and Brown, I inherited teams that were a tad bit behind from both a talent standpoint and athletics standpoint. I have used it to kind of close that gap a bit. If I was able to recruit the guys I wanted to recruit, I would probably play man-to-man first, but I don’t think I would abandon playing zone.”

When he makes the adjustments on his zone
“It can be on the fly, out of a timeout or during halftime. We just try to fit our defense to what we think the other team’s offense is going to do. Sometimes it’s on a make or miss basket. If we make a basket we are in one defense and if we miss a basket we are in another one. Sometimes it is out of a timeout and sometime we start the game doing something completely different.”

On how well his team his playing coming off a 62-42 win over rival Oregon
“We haven’t had a game like that in so long. It’s almost like I can’t remember, but I thought we played as well as I can remember on Saturday than we have all year. With different personnel, I hesitate to say we played better than last year’s run in the CBI. We can certainly chalk this one up to probably one of the best Pac-10 wins since I have been here.”

Thoughts on the game against Oregon
“I liked the whole game. I thought we did great on the defensive end, obviously. We did a nice job of keeping a high scoring offense team to under 50 points was great, but I also like how we executed against their pressure because they pressured us a little bit more than they did in the first game. Thirdly, we made shots. We really hadn’t had a game where we could count on somebody else besides Calvin Haynes make a shot for us. Omari Johnson did a terrific job for us. Overall, our best game to date.”

Status of FR G Roberto Nelson
“We probably have and we just probably haven’t come to gripes to saying it, but we are keeping our options open. I think it will be in his best interest and our best interest to let him have a full year next year, rather than just partial here. I think the reason we haven’t come out with a big press conference or press release is to keep our options open. We are anticipating that he will be eligible next year.”

On the differences between this year’s offense and last year’s offense
“We have had to make adjustments because it is our second time through and folks are more aware of what we do. We have had to make some changes here and there. Secondly, because of our shooting woes, people who usually don’t play zone are playing zone. So we have had to face a lot of zone this year. Having FR G Roberto Nelson hasn’t been a problem because we are practicing him as if he was on the scout team and he’s using us to stay in shape. We are showing him what we can when we have time.” 

Thoughts on the College Basketball Invitational (CBI)
“I think for us, playing a tournament at the end of the year was helpful because we were just starting to get to know each other. We lost three or four of our last games, then had a fifth loss heading into the Pac-10 Tournament. We wanted an opportunity to leave on something positive.  I thought the CBI was a great opportunity and I whole-heartily recommend it, but my entire team and staff wanted to do it and I wouldn’t force-feed any more basketball on people who don’t want to because you will end up not having a good experience. For us, it was very worthwhile. During the process, the extra practices were the best thing we got out of it.”

USC Head Coach Kevin O’Neill

On why home teams are winning more home games the last couple of weeks
“I think when the Conference season goes on people get more desperate and more of a sense of urgency to win their home games. Basically, everybody knows who everybody is at this point. I would think their would be less home wins the remaining one-third of the season. I guess I am not really surprised by that. You would have to look back and see, but if you see any major conference, I would bet that would be the case.”

On the progress of SO F Nikola Vucevic and his possible NBA future
“Nikola is getting some attention from some NBA guys. I think everybody thinks he is a year off, maybe two depending on his progress. I have said this many times to Nikola everyday, once he learns how to play hard every single day he is going to be a very good player. The games that he does not particularly play well in stretches is not because he is lazy. He is still young. It’s his first year of really playing in this situation and sometimes his majority level does not allow him to play hard all the time.”

Washington State Head Coach Ken Bone

On defensive effort against Arizona last weekend
“I think it was more the fact that we spent a lot of time on emphasis defense a couple days prior to Arizona State and Arizona.”

On FR F Brock Motum’s performance against Arizona
“Brock did a great job. He stepped in and played with a tremendous amount of confidence even though he had not been receiving a whole lot of minutes. He stepped in there and competed. When he had open shots he took them and when he didn’t he drove a couple of times and was just a very aggressive player. It was good to see. From the way he played the other day, I would say he earned some more minutes.”

On the balance of his team in the win against Arizona
“I think Brock [Motum] helped out and Nikola Koprivica has done a nice job scoring for us, but Brock is a better scorer then when Abe Lodwick is playing. When Brock got his opportunity he didn’t shy away from shooting it.”

On challenges playing against Stanford
“Well like everybody knows there is not a lot of different from the top to the bottom in regards to the Confernce records. At this moment, Stanford is at the bottom, but whether it was against us or this past weekend on the road against USC and UCLA they have some great players and they have a good team. Putting that together with the fact that they have not been beaten at home during the Pac-10, we have a lot on our hands this week to be able to compete with them.”

On what they learned from the first time they played Stanford
“I think we need to continue to play hard and execute well because they can take advantages of opportunities when you don’t.”

Status of SO G Abe Lodwick who is battling being sick
“He is still battling something. Last week it was his throat and I think it turned into the flu. He has been down and out. He was at practice yesterday, but was not suited up he was just watching. I am anticipating him being there for practice, but he was not in practice yesterday.”

On playing his bench more in the Arizona win
“The whole thing was keeping guys accountable for different things we had worked on prior to the two games against Arizona State and Arizona. I was very clear with the kids before the game that if they were not able to execute some of the things we had been asking them to execute then there would be a quick substitution and there was. I think FR G Reggie Moore was out in the first two minutes of the game. It was more to keep guys accountable for the things we have been trying to get across.”

On if the Pac-10 should apologize for your game against Oregon
“I have no comment on that. I just smile and keep going.”

Impressions of California SR G Jerome Randle
“The last time we played them it was the first time I had seen Randle in person. I had seen him a number of times of television the last few years and I was very aware of how good he was, but he was outstanding against us and he is a great player. He is a very very good basketball player.  In regards to strategizing for him, they have more weapons than just Randle. With [Theo] Robertson and [Patrick] Christopher and even their bigs, they were very good against us too. That’s probably why they are a top of the Conference right now because they have more than Jerome Randle, even though, he is outstanding. They have a lot of good depth.”

On the advantage of playing zone while Washington plays man-to-man
“I think it was harder the last six years, though. I think the way that the University of Washington played compared to the way the [Dick and Tony] Bennett's coached, it was much more difficult to prepare for than for us.”

How much thought is put in to preparing based on how your travel partner plays
“I think it use to be a huge advantage for Washington and Washington State because it was so different. I think the same thing can be said with Arizona and Arizona State.”

Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins

On preparing for Washington State
“We need to continue to work on things that we need to get better. We had some tough losses against USC and UCLA. Our motto this season was go out everyday and try to improve both offensively and defensively. We have been improving, the record doesn’t always show it, but our guys are improving.”

On the team leadership of SR G/F Landry Fields 
“I think Landry has been terrific. He has been a great leader and he has shouldered a great deal for our team. He has readily accepted that challenge and he has been very helpful to us. I think he has allowed our younger players to grow because he has been a rock for us. He is always poised and he has really helped us.”

On what he took from the first game against Washington State
“For us, I thought we got off to a fairly good start, but give Washington State a lot of credit because they played well and ended the half on a great run and were able to build a terrific lead. We really just had to claw back in and at halftime the kids were committed to coming out and having a better 20 minutes of play on both ends of the floor. I thought we did and we had a competitive 20 minutes of basketball that gave us a chance. But give Washington State a lot of credit because they played really well and made big plays when they really counted and they were able to close us out.”

On being successful at home against Pac-10 teams 
“I think our margin for error is a lot smaller on the road, it is at least for us. Those mistakes and mishaps kind of add up and if you have too many of them you are not going to be successful. On the road we have had to many breakdowns whether they are mental or physical that has put  us in the situation. That can happen at home. Just because we are at home doesn’t mean we can take that for granted. We have played fairly well at home and have been very consistent, but when you walk out there you need to be prepared the same way and train the same way so you can put your best foot forward whether you are playing at home or on the road.

Expectations of SR G/F Landry Fields coming into the season
“Well, I was excited to coach Landry. I had seen him on tape. I had seen the previous season and thought he had a lot of potential. I thought that he could be a terrific player and you know he has turned out to be that. He has not only been a big time score, which he gets a lot of credit for, he is second in the Pac-10 in rebounding. He get steals and he get assists. He is as versatile player you have in the Confernce and he is playing as well as any player in Conference.”

On having anymore players available this week
“You know we are not sure. As of now, we have the same group that we have had t

he last several weeks. We won’t know that until probably closer to game time if any other kids will be available. 

Status of SO F Andrew Zimmermann
“He is questionable at this point. He is day-to-day.

California Head Coach Mike Montgomery 

Thoughts on this game with Washington being for first-place
“I figure Washington will always be there. They are a very talented group and they have a lot of people back from last year so I never counted them out of anything, but you can say that about seven teams right now.”

On why Washington plays better at home
The crowd really gives them a lot of energy up there. They play really hard. They handled us pretty well up there. We obviously can’t let that happen again.”

On why SR G Jerome Randle struggled the first time they played Washington
“It’s going to have to be different. They did a great job of defending him and we turned the ball over too much. We are going to have to take care of the ball and shoot better. Have to win on your home court if you can in order to compete for top spots and that’s probably the way it should be.”

The impact that SO G Jorge Gutierrez has had on the team since he returned from his injury
“Jorge’s not 100 percent, but he does give us another element that we were missing. He is a guy that gives is energy and plays hard. He gives us another ball-handler out there. The same thing with Markhuri [Sanders-Frison]. We didn’t have those guys. Markhuri still isn’t 100 percent, but he gives us a little bit of a physical presence. It helps us with our substitution pattern a little bit by getting different combinations in the game. Jorge was huge for us last year and having him out hurt us in our ability to substitute, defend and all of the other things that you need your players for.”

Feeling if his team has a chance to make a run the rest of the season
“Well aren’t healthy, still. At least we have guys that we can throw in there for minutes. We know what we are going to get. I would love to have Jorge [Gutierrez] at 100 percent and have Markhuri [sanders-Frison] at 100 percent. At least we have had the ability to put people in there to give us different looks that we didn’t have early on and I thought that really helped us. We are getting down to the point now where every game is going to be critical for virtually everybody. We are going to have to be at our best if we expect to compete.”

On the progress of SO F Omondi Amoke as a player
“We didn’t start him, but the energy he brought off the bench was tremendous. In fact, on Saturday when we put him and Markhuri [Sander-Frison] we picked things up and they got us moving and fired him and energized. He made some plays that others can’t make. It’s pretty critical to have that element from him. When he is able to that, that is when we are at our best.”

On playing Washington on ESPN2 and giving an advantage in recruiting
“I thought Saturday’s game was on CBS. I don’t know what percentage got it, but the fact that we played really well for at least 32 minutes of the game probably helped us. There’s somebody out there who saw it. Probably, the fact of the matter is we got moved to ESPN2 because it isn’t quite the match-up they had anticipated at the start of the year. It’s a good thing that they don’t have ESPN4. So they probably moved us off prime time, but ESPN is basically in every home and it’s not split stuff. Everybody has it. If you go into a hotel you are going to have ESPN. I don’t know if you are going to have ESPN2, but you’re going to have ESPN. So I think there is some sort of element exposure there.”

Why more Pac-10 teams are playing zone this year
“I think you have some people who use it as their primary defense, like Oregon State coach Craig Robinson came in with the zone and that is one of the things that he has done. I think some teams looked at their roster and were looking for something that would change what they were doing. Partially because some teams have young players and maybe it’s easier for them to stay competitive in games and stay out of foul trouble. They are using it to maximize the defense and trying to get some wins. Any team has a zone that they will look at and it it works they will use it and if it doesn’t they will get out. In my mind, it takes two or three years to teach really good man defense and get them the habits that they need. Again, you look at a lot of the teams in our league and they are young so they are trying to buy some time, buy a win or two by just changing their zone. Now, if you go to a specialty zone, I understand that now Oregon is playing 1-1-3 and that can catch people off guard a little bit. The preparation is quiet as good because it’s not standard. There are a lot of reasons why teams are playing zone in our league this year.”

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar

On why home teams are winning more home games the last couple of weeks
“I really haven’t looked much into that. With the Pac-10, so many rosters are depleted, changing, players becoming eligible and coming back from injury that can make sense as teams get everybody back that they would get better at home.”

On why all but three teams play zone
“When you look at Oregon State and Arizona State, that’s just kind of their main defense. I think Oregon and UCLA are going to it because they feel that’s the best chance to do well defensively. I think they were looking for answers to be better defensively. Arizona and ourselves hardly play zone. USC hardly plays any zone. I guess California and Washington State situationally play zone.”

Without a dominate team or player are teams playing zone just to get by
“I think so. Some teams look and say what gives us the best chance with the personnel that we have right now to be successful. I think Arizona State, coach [Herb] Sendek didn’t start out saying we are going to play zone. I think in his first year when he looked at his personnel and thought what’s going to give us the best chance to be successful. He looked at it and went with the zone. It has been so good he hasn’t gone away from it.”

Playing against a zone, do you need to remind players not to stand outside and just jack at shots
“You have to do that. I think it is important, I know with us, that your team still wants to get the ball inside and we still want to play inside outside as much as we can. We our team, especially, because we are not a great three-point shooting team. All of a sudden we don’t want to shoot up  20 or 25 three-pointers because other teams are zoning against us.”

On finding more rebound opportunities when teams play zone
“I think so. We all know it’s harder to box out when you are playing a zone. Our guys are aware of that and we try to make it a point that every game we go to the offensive glass, but probably even more so against zones.” 

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland 

On the success of the zone and playing zone while USC plays man-to-man
“I don’t think our zone is all that great to be honest with you. It’s better than how are man has been and that’s why we are using it. I think we have had some success with it that has allowed us to have a chance to win some games. The bottom line is I still feel like man-to-man is the best way to play. With out current team and personnel, zone fits better in what we can accomplish.” 

“For example, FR F Tyler Honeycutt and FR F Reeves Nelson both play major roles for us this year and they are just freshmen. All the man-to-man stuff, it is more difficult to play man because there is more stuff going on. In my opinion, it has been better for them in terms of playing zone. Their overall development down the road is important, but we need to get back to playing man a year from now. We may play so more of it this year, periodically. It was decision I thought was best for the team.”

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott and Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner Kevin Weiberg

Commissioner Scott’s opening statement
“It’s really nice to be with you all. I just wanted to be available this morning to introduce Kevin Weiberg as the new Deputy Commissioner, Chief Operating Officer for the Pac-10. This is the first time that the Conference has had this position and I have had a chance to speak with some of you at the Men’s Basketball Media Day or Football Media Day or other meetings in my first seven months. I have been through my initial phase of doing a lot of listening and learning and trying to map out some more details around some of the goals going forward. With the announcement of Kevin, it is the start in a series of changes and repositioning that you will see in the Conference over the next 12 to 18 months as we look to make some improvements to the Conference to get ready for upcoming media negotiations. A key part of that will be restructuring the team at the Conference office to deliver for the ambitious goals we have. Kevin is really an exciting choice for us. He is one of the most respected executives in collegiate athletics given his role on campuses and athletic departments. As Commissioner at the Big Ten, he had a very successful run at many different levels. Then he had 18 months with the Big Ten Network with it’s pre-launch phase and then the launch phrase. So he has a very unique blend of having deep roots on campus and intercollegiate athletics, but also understands the meeting point between college sports and the media world, which is so critical with us going forward. I think this appointment reflects our strategic goals going forward. I am thrilled that he is joining me as a partner and colleague and will play an invaluable role with not only helping with day to day operations of the Conference, but help with some of the properties that I was brought into to tackle. But by the same token, his experience he will be a partner in addressing some of the commercial issues.”

Deputy Commissioner Kevin Weiberg
“I am really thrilled to have this opportunity to be engaged once again in college conference work is fantastic and great to be part of the team that Larry is building. It’s also wonderful to be part of the Pac-10. I think this will be one of the most exciting and dynamic periods. I know I have a lot to know about the Conference, but I do know many of the people at the universities and in the Confernce offices and among the conference’s television and bowl partners. In that regard, it really feels like a good fit to me. I know there is a lot of excellence in the Pac-10 both academically and athletically. To be part of Larry’s vision and help build upon that heritage is really exciting for me. I think I learned over the last few years that Conference work is kind of in my blood. I guess I am like some of those old coaches who never get it out of their systems. Again, this is just a thrill for me and I want to thank Commissioner Scott for giving me the opportunity and I am really excited about his vision and the opportunity to help implement it. Thank you.”

To Commissioner Scott: How important was it to bring on Kevin with his experience
“It was very significant. He is a guy with a very unique background. There aren’t to many people I can think of that have the experience of wealth in conference office operations and dealing with some of the major national issues that he has dealt with as one of the leading Conference Commissioner’s for many years. But in the same token, he is a modern television executive. And understanding the issues that Conferences have to deal with and thinking about all their options from a media standpoint. A network is one of the things we are going to look at over the next 12 to 18 months. Kevin has a very unique background and is very much on strategy with us.”  

To Deputy Commissioner Weiberg: How will your experience help you with the Pac-10
“Well, it was just a great experience in terms of being able to see the building of a network, but also it’s operations through those early operations stages. I learned of what works from a program standpoint and some of the financing of it. I also learned about distributing such a network. So it’s kind of a lot of those implementation details that I think are valuable to the extent that the Conference is going to take a serious look at this option. I think that I can contribute in those kinds of ways.” 

To Commissioner Scott: Taking serious steps in exploring a Pac-10 network
“I think I have always meant to say that a Pac-10 network is something we would seriously explore. I think the timing is such that we are less than a year away from our negotiating  periods, our analysis and evaluations to get more serious and more rigorous. Kevin will absolutely be a key person with his in depth as well as some of the other key people we will bring in. I always knew that there was a lot of interest in the possibility of a network, but that’s not the overall solutions to achieve the overall goals. 

To Deputy Commissioner Weiberg: Some of the challenges with the Big Ten Network
“Clearly for a network to be successful, it has to be distributed as broadly as possible not only in the region, but hopefully to have distribution nationally as well. One has to think carefully on how to achieve that. It’s fundamental to the economic side of the network and in many respects that we have seen with other networks that have been formed, it’s one of the critical issues that has to be considered. Every conference has a different geographically different footprint, obviously so you have to think how that matches up with the distribution system available to the cable side that are in the region and so forth. This is not a one size fits all approach. When you think about distribution matters. There are a lot of matters beyond distribution. There’s how a network fits for the universities? What issues it creates locally? What opportunities it creates as well for the academic side as well. In that regard, I think there are a lot of similarities from what I observe and what I worked on in the Big Ten.”

To Commissioner Scott: Is there a deadline for an expansion with the contracts coming up
“I guess you could consider expansion at any time as the Big Ten is doing now. From the get-go, I think I answered this question at Football Media Day, I have been brought in to look at everything with fresh set of eyes. Expanding for expansion sake has not been a priority. I basically had from the time I started, an 18 month runway to take a step back and strategically look at the conference. Look at everything that could possibly enhance the value of the Confernce and the potential advantage of a membership. From early July, I have been planning on looking at it. To me, by logic if the Pac-10 is to think about expanding is now. The reason being if you are going to consider a reconstruction of the Conference.”

To Deputy Commissioner Weiberg: Knowing what you know about the Big Ten, is Big Ten possibly expanding
“I do not know about it besides reading about it publicly. I did have an opportunity to work with Jim Deleany for a decade and he has remained a friend and colleague for a number of years. I do know Jim well enough that when he takes a serious look at something there is a good probability that there will be some action to come with it. I don’t think the Big Ten would look at this if they weren’t going to give it serious consideration.”

To Commissioner Scott: If Big Ten expands, is their urgency for the Pac-10 expand
“I don’t see that. We were looking at the possibility of expanding on our own time table. In terms of thinking of what’s best for the Pac-10, there’s a lot that is unique about the Pac-10. The way the Conference is laid out we have five rivals and academically there are certain standards. I haven’t felt any sense of pressure because one conference is thinking about expanding. We would need to look at it from a Pac-10 perspective.”

To Commissioner Scott: The final hurdle to find a team for expansion
“There are several complex issues, but fundamentally institutions would have to be a fit academically and culturally with the Pac-10. There are economic and athletic considerations as well such as increased cost that would be involved with travel and splitting the pie more ways and exposure into more markets and recruiting in more areas.”

To Commissioner Scott: Have you had a desire to expand
“No, it’s pretty much early days. It’s more intrigue and that has to do with more of the recent happenings in other conferences. It has sparked more internal interest then when I first started talking about it. It’s over the next six to 12 months that will have serious talks about expanding.”

To Commissioner Scott: Have approach towards schools
“No. This is very preliminary. I wouldn’t describe anything at an advanced stage. 

To Commissioner Scott: On keeping tournament either though Fox Sports owns the rights
“Our agreement to keep hosting the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament in LA at the Staples Center is currently tied to our Fox TV deal. It also allows them to run Pac-10 properties and run the tournament. That agreement expires with the current expiration with our current contract. It would have to be after the 2012 Basketball Tournaments. It’s another one of those commercial issues over the next year and in concert with our media. We will be deciding what we want to do with our tournament and properties.”

To Deputy Commissioner Weiberg: Bringing anybody from IHoops 
“I will continue to be an advocate for IHoops. It really is a pre-collegiate basketball initiative and will look forward to continuing to work with the initiative because I think it’s very important to the state and quality of the game nationally. But as for direct elements, really not. I think the things I have learned in this role can be helpful to the Conference as it thinks about its basketball future. In the 13 months it has given me a better understanding of the recruiting environment and some of the challenges that exist with them. That’s knowledge I think can be helpful down the road.”

To Commissioner Scott: Set up a tax force for expansion
“No that’s unlikely. We have our group of Presidents and Chancellors who are very engaged with the most important strategic issues with the Conference going forward. An issue that will define the make-up of the Conference will have input from them.”

-www.pac-10.org-

 

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