UCLA's Larry Drew II drives against ASU's Jonathan Gilling. Drew led the Bruins with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
LAS VEGAS - At halftime Thursday, it appeared UCLA had the most apt mascot name in college sports. The young Bruins could be ferocious, sure, but prone to hibernate for long periods.
LAS VEGAS - Thousands of pilgrims come here each day, searching for a life-changing run of luck.
Freshman point guard Jahii Carson leads Arizona State into today's Pac-12 tournament opener against Stanford in Las Vegas. The Sun Devils likely need to win four games in as many days to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Utah and forward Jason Washburn are the No. 10 seed, but the Utes are hot and just finished a sweep of the Oregon schools.
ASU's Jonathan Gilling faked out Solomon Hill on this play in January, but had just six points as the Sun Devils lost 71-54 to the Wildcats in Tempe.
TEMPE - Jonathan Gilling won't call last year's three-point explosion against the Arizona Wildcats the best game of his career, but he knows it's close.
ASU freshman guard Jahii Carson gets around Washington State forward Brock Motum. Carson scored 21 points.
TEMPE - Herb Sendek insists he does not pay attention to bracketologists or mock NCAA Tournament fields. The Arizona State coach simply focuses on the next game.
TEMPE - The remnant of a class project remained stuck to Jahii Carson's chest earlier this week - "Hello My Name is … Jahii."
ASU point guard Jahii Carson averages 17.1 points and 5.2 assists per game and "has a knack for making big plays," UA coach Sean Miller says.
Arizona State is almost never what it seems, not in Tempe, not this time, not last time, not up there, no way.
TEMPE - Even as a high school senior, Jordan Bachynski was bruised and battered by opposing big men, who plowed into the center, knocking him backward to try to score.
With both actions and words, Arizona point guard Mark Lyons has made it obvious this season that he thrives on negative feedback. So there's one particular tweet that he's probably become aware of this week.
Jahii Carson has known Carrick Felix for eight years or so, dating to when they were kids playing in Phoenix. "I haven't seen him in this state," Carson said. That state, in advance of Saturday's rivalry game against the Arizona Wildcats: smothering, focused, intense.
Carrick Felix says "emotions are going to be in the air" when ASU meets UA on Saturday. "I can't control myself sometimes during this game."
ASU's Jahii Carson, a freshman from Mesa, has lived up to his lofty expectations so far; he is the nation's third-highest scoring freshman.
TEMPE - Through the first 11 games of his college career, Jahii Carson has met the lofty expectations heaped upon him coming out of Mesa High School.
Some links following Saturday's action ...
Notes and links entering today's ASU-UA game.