The two premier men’s basketball programs in the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences will square off in the 2009 Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Tradition-rich Kansas University and UCLA will meet on Sunday, Dec. 6, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. The Bruins will return the trip to Allen Fieldhouse the following season in the window of Dec. 2-5, 2010.
The majority of the games in next season’s challenge series are scheduled for Dec. 3-6.
UCLA actually might be in a rebuilding mode of sorts next season. The Bruins lose Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya and still may lose Jrue Holiday to the NBA. He has declared for the draft but not yet signed with an agent.
Some of the Bruins top players: Drew Gordon, J’mison Morgan, James Keefe, Nikola Dragovic, Tyler Honeycutt, Mike Moser, Michael Roll, Malcolm Lee and Jerime Anderson.
Last season, the two leagues split the Hardwood Series games, 6-6. In all games played between the two conferences during 2008-09, the Big 12 held a 10-7 edge. The Pac-10 holds a 13-11 advantage in the first two years of the Hardwood Series.
Here are all games in the 2009 Hardwood Series:
November: 29-Nebraska at USC.
December: 3-Washington at Texas Tech; USC at Texas; Baylor at Arizona State. 4-Colorado at Oregon State. 5-Oregon at Missouri; Iowa State at California; Washington State at Kansas State. 6-Kansas at UCLA; Arizona at Oklahoma. 16-Oklahoma State at Stanford. 22-Texas A&M; at Washington.
KU, Cal to meet?
Kansas University and the University of California are in discussions involving a home-and-home series that would begin next season in Allen Fieldhouse.
Cal returns four senior starters from an NCAA Tournament team that is expected to contend for the Pac-10 title. Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher make up the top backcourt in the league. Other top players: Jamal Boykin, Jorge Gutierrez and Theo Robertson.
The Bears lose Jordan Wilkes, the brother of former KU and Cal player Omar Wilkes. Jordan, who had a year of eligibility remaining, has given up basketball. Brother Omar did the exact same thing, giving up hoops his final season at Cal.
Omar currently is an actor in L.A.
KU will play at Temple and Tennessee next season and also is slated to meet Memphis in St. Louis. The Jayhawks are looking to begin a pair of home-and-home series in Allen.
Self to be honored
KU coach Bill Self today will receive the Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award for Sports Excellence at the annual Oklahoma City University Sports Spectacular. The award will be presented at a 6 p.m. banquet at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OKC.
The Lemons/Hansen Award recognizes an individual “who significantly contributes to the growth of sports in the state.”
Past award winners are Bart Conner, Ron Norick, Clay Bennett, Lee Allan Smith, Dr. William Grana, Stanley Draper Jr., Bob Funk, Barry Switzer, Mick Cornett and the late Bobby Murcer.
Future Kansas University basketball player Royce Woolridge is looking forward to this weekend’s trip to Lawrence for the Jayhawk Invitational.
Woolridge’s Arizona Magic team will meet KU recruit Harrison Barnes’ All Iowa Attack Red squad at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Haskell.
Woolridge, a 6-footo3 guard from Phoenix Sunnyslope High, averaged 28.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game for state champion Sunnyslope.
“I'm excited to come down and play in front of the fans. I think its really going to be fun,” Woolridge told Rivals.com. “I was in Lawrence last year for the elite camp (of Self), but I've never been down for a basketball tournament.
“I heard that he is really good," he added of going against Barnes, Rivals.com’s No. 4-rated player nationally. “I will just play my game and act like nobody is there (watching). I will just play my game like it's any other game.”
Barnes, a 6-6 guard/forward, is considering KU, Duke, North Carolina, Iowa State and others.