SAN FRANCISCO -- Kansas. Texas A&M. Wyoming. Stanford.
Tad Boyle has already won 48 games at Colorado, but the third-year head coach still isn't over the four losses the Buffs have suffered in Boulder.
"I wish we were 36-0," Boyle said at the Pac-12 basketball media day when asked about CU's dominant 32-4 (.889) record at the Coors Events Center on his watch. "I can't tell you who we beat, but I can tell you who we lost to in those four, and two of them shouldn't have been losses."
The Buffs blew a lead in the final seconds of regulation before losing to the Aggies in overtime during their final Big 12 meeting two seasons ago. Last December they were stunned by the Cowboys during nonconference play while the C-Unit was on Christmas break.
Boyle said his goal every season is to go unbeaten on Sox Walseth Court. CU has 15 home games this season (six nonconference games and nine Pac-12 games).
Most veteran Pac-12 coaches in the conference say Washington, which is 147-27 (.845) at Hec Edmunson Pavilion, is the toughest venue to steal a win at. CU did makes its first trip to Seattle to face the Huskies as a conference foe on Jan. 16.
"Washington to me is the place that we respect the most," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "We're 0-3 there during our time ... it's hostile in a very good way."
UCLA will be playing in a renovated Pauley Pavilion this season after hosting games at the L.A. Sports Arena and the Honda Center in Anaheim last season.
"The transformation from the old Pauley to the new Pauley is really special," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "It's a modern-day, beautiful arena, but it still captures the tradition and history of what's happened there in the past."
Four more years?
Craig Robinson is not up for reelection, but there is no question this is an important season for the Oregon State head coach.
The Beavers have made three appearances in the CBI tournament but are just 64-71 (27-45 in conference games) under Robinson entering his fifth season in Corvallis.
Robinson, who is Michelle Obama's brother, will be in Chicago on election night. However, the Beavers will still practice next Tuesday.
"It's probably going to be pretty close," Robinson said of the presidential election.
Arizona State and Washington State, two teams trying to make their way up from the bottom of the standings, had key players transfer during the offseason.
Trent Lockett, the Sun Devils top scorer last season, is now at Marquette. The senior wanted to spend his last season closer to his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer.
"We certainly would love to have had him for his senior year," Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek said. "He had a terrific first three years for us. Circumstances obviously prevented that from happening."
Reggie Moore, the Cougars' starting point guard, was dismissed from the program in September for "violating team rules."
The senior was a three-year starter for Ken Bone.
"He's actually a great kid," Bone said. "He's liked by everyone in our program. So it hurts to not have him around still."
No time to party
Senior forward Solomon Hill has challenged Arizona's highly touted recruiting class to handle their new found independence maturely.
"Teaching the young guys about sacrifice has been the biggest part of my leadership," Hill said. "These guys are changing from high school to college, and the social life is there, the partying is there, the after-hours spots are there. Those things will always be there. ...
"I'm just getting guys to understand that you're part of something bigger than yourself. You represent your family, you represent the college and you represent the team."
Borrowing from Chip?
Arik Armstead might be able to help Oregon basketball in Pac-12 play. Chip Kelly's gifted 6-8, 290-pound defensive end worked out with Dana Altman's guys over the summer.
"Hopefully, our football team will be playing way into January," Altman said. "But Arik's big and he'll be physical, he'll set a good pick, he's a very good rebounder and he's got great hands."
Cal, picked to finish third in the Pac-12 media poll behind Arizona and UCLA, has a good mix of talented experienced players and newcomers.
But Mike Montgomery must replace Jorge Gutierrez, last season's conference player of he year.
"Honestly, we all know that nobody's going to be able to completely fill his shoes and what he left here at Cal," Bears junior guard Allen Crabbe said. "I just feel like it leaves opportunities for the upperclassmen to step up and into that role to be leaders on and off the court."
"You look at the predictions and the polls ... we're not in a position to put any pressure on ourselves," Utah head coach Larry Kystkowiak, whose Utes are 12th in the Pac-12 preseason poll, when asked how important a fast start to the season would be.
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