Returning home to Los Angeles one summer, Askia Booker was told by his older brother Rene Johnson to hoop with him; there was somebody Rene wanted him to meet. That somebody turned out to be Nick Young, former USC Trojan and current Los Angeles Laker.

Usually, 21 wins in a power conference will be good enough to have a team in the discussion for an NCAA tournament bid. But when the non-conference slate features two non-NCAA Division I teams and no schools from other big-name leagues, a trip to the NIT is the result.

California coach Cuonzo Martin built his reputation as a defensive menace, playing at Purdue for Hall of Fame coach Gene Keady. Those experiences built his philosophies as a coach, and in his first season at Berkeley will push those on his players with the same relentlessness.

“Ambassadors of the Game,” a documentary on the Pac-12 All-Star team's trip to China in August, premieres Thursday night on the Pac-12 Networks at 7 p.m. PT.


SAN FRANCISCO – Brandon Ashley was back in the Bay on Thursday, answering questions about the broken foot that ended his season in 2013-14. He said during his 2014-15 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day podium appearance that he got over the injury quickly, went head-first into rehab and is now 100 percent healthy. 

Joseph Young will carry Oregon on the court, but he knows he needs to find ways for an inexperienced team to come together.

Pac-12 defenses knew when they played Washington State last year that DaVonté Lacy was the man to stop, but knowing did nothing. Lacy was a 19-point per game scorer, so opposing teams shouldn't feel good about what Lacy has been working on this summer.

With 25 more pounds of muscle on his frame gained over the last year, Jovanovic took his talents to China and flourished with the Pac-12 All-Star team. He led the team in scoring at 11 points per game as the Pac-12ers went 3-0 against Chinese universities and pro teams.

With No. 6 Oregon football now in the driver's seat of the conference, some people are asking whether the Ducks have staying power.

A self-evaluation made it clear: the Cardinal would have to ditch the triangle offense that's led it to so much success over the past decade-plus. So former NBA coach Mike D'Antoni dropped in to teach his philosophies at Cardinal practices.


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