COLLEGE BASKETBALL 1985-86 : Pacific 10 Preview : Looking to Rebound, Conference Makes Coaching Turnovers

Times Staff Writer

Stanford Coach Tom Davis said it was an honor to take the Pacific 10 All-Star team to Australia this summer. He was picked on merit of his longevity. He has been coaching in the Pac-10 for three years now.

Along with Ralph Miller, who has been at Oregon State for 15 years, and Stan Morrison, who has been at USC for six years, Davis is one of the deans.

There are new coaches this season at Arizona State (former Bruin Steve Patterson was named interim coach after Bob Weinhauer was fired), at Cal (Lou Campanelli has come to Berkeley from James Madison) and at Washington (Andy Russo has come from Louisiana Tech).


Don Monson at Oregon, Len Stevens at Washington State, Lute Olson at Arizona and Walt Hazzard at UCLA are all second-year coaches.

Some turnover is natural, but this kind of turnover suggests struggling programs.

Add to that the fact that four Pac-10 teams made the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament last season, but all were eliminated in the first round.

Pac-10 coaches are circling their wagons and launching a campaign to defend the integrity of the conference.

At a gathering of the coaches in San Francisco recently, Hazzard said: “The image of the Pac-10 is the result of a PR campaign being carried out on the East Coast. . . . If basketball is so bad out here, why do we have Big East, ACC, and Southwest Conference coaches camping on the West Coast to get our talent?

“The pendulum has swung back our way.”

Campanelli says he expects that very soon the Pac-10 “will be where it rightfully belongs, among the top conferences in the country.”

Stevens pointed out that three Pac-10 players (Detlef Schrempf of Washington, Blair Rasmussen of Oregon and A.C. Green of Oregon State) were chosen in the first round of the NBA draft.


Russo, who had a 29-3 record at Louisiana Tech and took his team to the NCAA tournament last season, said: “I would have crawled out here to coach. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The coaches also agree that there is no clear-cut favorite in the league this season. The reason they give, of course, is that there are so many good teams in the Pac-10, no one can really dominate.

Reporters and coaches alike have named Washington as the favorite. It gets the pick largely on the strength of 7-foot center Chris Welp.

Which brings up another sore point--the league also is sadly lacking in big men this time around.

Here is a quick look at teams other than UCLA and USC.


Last season’s record: 13-5 in the Pac-10, 22-10 overall

Finish: Tied for first

Top Returnees: Welp (7-0, Sr., C), Paul Fortier (6-9, Sr., F) and Clay Damon (6-3, Jr., G).

Outlook: Although the loss of the multi-talented Schrempf will be felt, the Huskies have four starters back to help the new coach through his first season. Washington does not have a lot of depth, though. Welp, who played for the West German Olympic team in 1984, seems very much at home both in Seattle and in his new role as team captain. Welp was the all-conference center last year as a sophomore. Fortier was the second-leading scorer (13.0 points) behind Schrempf. Reggie Rogers, brother of former UCLA safety Don Rogers, is passing up basketball this year to concentrate on football.



Last season’s record: 12-6 in the Pac-10, 22-9 overall

Finish: Tied for third

Top Returnees: Steve Woodside (6-9, Sr., C), Darryl Flowers (6-3, Sr., G), Eric Knox (6-2, So., G).

Outlook: With three starters back, Miller should be able to add some victories to his record, which, at 286-141, makes him the winningest active coach in the business. He did lose A.C. Green to the Lakers, and that was a major loss. And he has been hit by a plethora of preseason injuries. Jose Ortiz will be eligible by Dec. 20. Ortiz is a 6-10 center who played for the Puerto Rican national team in ’84.


Last season’s record: 12-6 in the Pac-10, 21-10 overall

Finish: Tied for third

Top Returnees: Steve Kerr (6-2, Jr., G) and Craig McMillan (6-6, So., G)

Outlook: Olson’s team will be young after losing four starters, and there will be a lot of holes to fill. Olson has had a couple of very good recruiting classes, but it might take some time for those players to come around. The backcourt will be solid with Kerr and McMillan.


Last season’s record: 8-10 in the Pac-10, 15-16 overall

Finish: Sixth

Top Returnees: Anthony Taylor (6-4, So., G), Rick Osborn (6-4, So., G) and Jerry Adams (6-8, Sr., F)

Outlook: It will be a rebuilding year in Eugene. The biggest hole to fill will be the gaping hole left by Rasmussen, a 7-foot center. A likely candidate is Kofi Kyei, a 6-10 sophomore from Ghana. Monson also is high on Thomas Deuster, a 6-9 sophomore from Leverkusen, West Germany, who was a redshirt last season. Still, the coaches picked Oregon to finish last and Monson didn’t put up much of a fuss.


Last season’s record: 7-11 in the Pac-10, 12-16 overall

Finish: Seventh

Top Returnees: Steve Beck (6-3, Jr., G), Bobby Thompson (6-0, Jr., G), Chris Sandle (6-7, So., F) and Jon Taylor (6-10, Sr., C)


Outlook: With four starters returning and seven of the top eight scorers back, Patterson should do OK in his first season. Patterson also mentions sophomore Arthur Thomas, a 5-10 guard from Tulsa as “one of the most exciting young guards in the conference” and compares him to Spud Webb “in terms of being a truly outstanding small player.” The Sun Devils also have some good big players, starting with Sandle who, according to Patterson “has the potential to be a spectacular player.” Patterson was named interim coach, but there was no time limit set on his interim. Patterson says, “Actually, we’re all interim coaches, aren’t we--we’re here for that interim between the time we are hired and the time we leave. It’s just a question of how long the interim is.”


Last season’s record: 5-13 in the Pac-10, 13-15 overall

Finish: Tied for eighth

Top Returnees: Keith Morrison (6-3, Sr., G), Otis Jennings (6-9, Sr., F), Joe Wallace (6-7, Jr., F) and Ken Mathia (7-0, Jr., C)

Outlook: The outlook is much better this season for the Cougars. Morrison is an all-conference guard who averaged 12.3 points a game and led the conference with 56 steals. The Cougars also will be getting guard Chris Winkler back after a redshirt year because of a shoulder injury. As a junior, Winkler was the Cougars’ third-leading scorer. Stevens thinks that the future looks bright for his team. It had better. Stevens jokes that the athletic department has started paying him in travelers’ checks.


Last season’s record: 5-13 in the Pac-10, 13-15 overall

Finish: Tied for eighth

Top Returnees: Leonard Taylor (6-8, So., C/F), Kevin Johnson (6-1, Jr., G), Chris Washington (6-1, Jr., G), Jim Beatie (6-9, Jr., F) and Dave Butler (6-9, Jr., F).

Outlook: Cal looks to be moving up. The four returning starters are Taylor, Johnson, Washington and Beatie. But, also back this season, is Butler, who sat out last season with stress fractures under both knees. In 1983-’84 Butler averaged 11.0 points and 6.6 rebounds. Taylor was freshman of the year in the conference last year, averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 6 rebounds. Campanelli likes the speed he has in the backcourt and the scoring potential he has all around. He said, “I didn’t take this job to be mediocre. Our goal is to contend for the Pac-10 Championship, to get into postseason play and eventually to play for the national championship.”


Last season’s record: 3-15 in the Pac-10, 11-17 overall

Finish: Tenth

Top Returnees: Steve Brown (6-2, Sr., G), Earl Koberlein (6-6, Sr., F), Keith Ramee (6-0, Sr., G), Andy Fischer (6-4, Sr., F) and, possibly, John Paye (6-3, Jr., G)


Outlook: Davis will have at least three starters back, maybe four if Paye (also the Cardinal quarterback) decides after this football season to come back to the basketball team. Davis said, “Paye was our best guard a year ago, but our approach has to be whatever is best for John.” Brown was not a starter a year ago because he sat out with a stress fracture in his right leg. The year before he had averaged 10.9 points and 2.5 rebounds. Davis is also very enthusiastic about Todd Lichti, a freshman guard from Concord.



CONFERENCE OVERALL Team W L Pct. PF PA FG%O FG%D FT% REB F REB A W L Pct. Washington 13 5 .722 64.5 57.7 .508 .447 .635 34.3 27.5 22 10 .688 USC 13 5 .722 66.4 63.6 .486 .487 .667 33.1 30.1 19 10 .655 Oregon 12 6 .667 59.5 58.2 .514 .500 .656 25.2 26.5 22 9 .710 State Arizona 12 6 .667 61.7 55.7 .514 .447 .614 29.9 28.8 21 10 .667 UCLA 12 6 .667 67.1 61.9 .479 .415 .678 34.8 34.1 21 12 .636 Oregon 8 10 .444 62.3 64.2 .484 .479 .700 29.1 29.4 15 16 .484 Arizona 7 11 .389 67.7 71.7 .493 .486 .693 30.8 33.8 12 16 .429 State Washington 5 13 .278 64.4 69.2 .440 .538 .729 30.8 32.6 13 15 .464 State California 5 13 .278 57.3 62.8 .472 .494 .721 26.7 28.7 13 15 .464 Stanford 3 15 .167 63.1 71.1 .418 .516 .717 31.3 34.1 11 17 .393




Player(School) Avg. Green (OSU) 19.1 *Wallace (WSU) 18.1 Smith (Ariz.) 16.1 Rasmussen (Ore.) 16.1 Carlander (USC) 16.0 Schrempf (Wash.) 15.8 Holmes (USC) 15.8 *Miller (UCLA) 15.2 *Fortier (Wash.) 13.2 *Washington (Cal) 13.1


Player (School) Avg.

Wright (UCLA) 8.7 Williams (Ariz.) 8.5 *Dowell (USC) 8.3


Player (School) Pct. Williams (Ariz.) .607 Green (Ore.) .599 *Welp (Wash.) .578 *Kerr (Ariz.) .568 *Dowell (USC) .560


Player (School) Pct. *Whitsett (Stan.) .850 *Wallace (WSU) .817 *Koberlein (Stan.) .809 *Miller (UCLA) .804 *Thompson (ASU) .802


Player (School) Avg. *Morrison (WSU) 2.0 *Ramee (Stan.) .2.0 *Johnson (Cal) .1.8 *Washington (Cal) .1.7 Three Tied at 1.6



Player (School) Avg. *Friend (USC) 6.1 *Thompson (ASU) 5.4 Brunkhorst (Ariz.) 5.2 *Morrison (WSU) 4.9

* Returnee.