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Patty Mills vs. Jerome Randle: Who you got?

With all the NBA greatness going on around here (ahem), and conference schedules starting up over the last weekend in the Pac-10, it’s time to take a look at the local schools and how they’re faring so far this season, starting with the top team and going down (and when it comes to the fourth team listed, we mean waaaayyyy down).

1. California: 13-2 (2-0), Ranked No. 27 in AP Poll
Mike Montgomery’s reign was beyond forgettable in Golden State, but the man is an amazing college coach. Cal wasn’t expected to do a lot of anything this season in the Pac-10, so there were surely plenty of observers who were surprised when they swept the Arizona schools this weekend, including a 81-71 win over then-17th ranked Arizona St.

Meet your local collegians…
The Golden Bears have won seven in a row, led by Junior point guard Jerome Randle. The amazing thing about Randle so far hasn’t been how many points he’s scored (19.5 ppg), but how he’s done it. Randle has hit 54% of his field goals and 56% of his threes. Add in 5.1 apg, and we’re looking at a possible Pac-10 First Team selection at point guard (Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s a lot of basketball left).

2. St. Mary’s: 13-1 (0-0), Ranked No. 34 in AP Poll

The Gaels are coming off their tenth straight win, although it’s debatable whether they’ve played anybody even halfway decent (which is why they haven’t cracked the Top 25). Even going to Oregon and defeating the Ducks 78-73 in Eugene didn’t register with the voters, since Oregon is 6-8.

Meet your local collegians…
Easy schedule notwithstanding, the Gaels are even better than the team that went 25-7 last season and made the NCAA Tournament, thanks to the one guy that scared Chris Paul and Deron Williams in the Olympics: Patrick Mills. Moraga’s favorite Aborigine is averaging 19.3 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.4 spg, and is currently No. 16 in Draft Express’ 2009 Mock Draft. Omar Samhan has developed from a doughy freshman to a (somewhat) chiseled junior center, and he’s the team’s second-leading scorer with 14.9 per game along with 9.9 rebounds. Senior Diamon Simpson recently set the school record for rebounds, no surprise since he averages 11.9 boards per game.

Gonzaga is always the top dog  in the West Coast Conference, but they’ve lost three in a row to fall out of the AP Top 25, albeit with a much more difficult early schedule than the Gaels have faced. St. Mary’s starts their WCC schedule this weekend, with games against Santa Clara on Friday and at San Francisco on Sunday (which hopefully I’ll be able to attend).

3. Stanford: 11-1 (1-1), Unranked
After an incredibly weak preseason schedule (Hartford, anyone?), the Cardinal finally lost their first game after 10 straight wins, and they went down hard: 90-60 to Arizona St. Stanford didn’t pout though; they brushed their shoulders off like Jay-Z (or Barack Obama) and beat Arizona 76-60, their largest margin of victory over the Wildcats since 1983.

Meet your local collegians…
Anthony Goods not only has the team’s best name (second place goes to benchwarmer Da’Veed Dildy), he’s also Stanford’s top scorer, averaging 17.2 per game for Johnny Dawkins’ squad. Stanford isn’t the flashiest team, but they have four players who average in double figures, including Lawrence Hill and Landry Fields, who notched his first career double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) against Arizona, who seems to be getting worse by the game.

4. Santa Clara: 7-9 (0-0) Unranked
Let’s just agree to not talk about Santa Clara again this season. When you go on an East Coast road swing and lose consecutive games to Harvard and New Hampshire, you lose all BASG update privileges.

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