In a way, things are trending up for Pac-12 basketball. The conference, which sent two teams to the 2012 NCAA basketball tournament recently, had three players selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft and now has four former players selected to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team men’s basketball roster.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team includes the following former Pac-12 players:
James Harden (Arizona State; Oklahoma City Thunder)
Andre Iguodala (Arizona; Philadelphia 76ers)
Kevin Love (UCLA; Minnesota Timberwolves)
Russell Westbrook (UCLA; Oklahoma City Thunder)
Iguodala, Love and Westbrook were all members of the 2010 World Championship gold medalist team.
Other members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team include: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); LeBron James (Miami Hear) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
In response to making the Olympic Team, Iguodala tweeted, “Very honored to be selected to 2012 USA men’s basketball team. Thanks to all fans and supports for prayers.”
James Harden posted a similar tweet acknowledging the honor: “Being a part of this USA Basketball Olympic team is a honor.”
The U.S. team is led by Duke basketball’s Coach Krzyzewski, who also led the team to a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. For more details, including the upcoming U.S. basketball schedule, click here to go the the NBA’s official release regarding the Olympic announcement.
In honor of these former players from the Pac-12, here are some career video highlights, along with some of their college basketball stat highlights.
Harden was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen team in 2007-08, during a season in which he averaged 17.8 points per game. The following season, Harden averaged 20.1 points per game. The 2008-09 season was the second most wins in a single season for ASU, 25 wins, something the Sun Devils hadn’t accomplished since 1975. Harden had five 30-plus point games in 2008-09, including one 40-point game against UTEP on November 30, 2008. In 2008-09, Harden was named a Pac-10 Consensus All-American.
Iguodala was named to the 2002-03 Pac-10 All-Freshmen team. He made a career high of 18 points vs. UCLA on February 13, 2003. Iguodala made the All-Pac-10 First Team in 2003-04. Arizona made it to the Elite Eight in his freshmen season and lost in their first game of the NCAA tournament during his sophomore year.
In 2007-08, Love was named a Consensus First-Team All-American, Pac-10 Player of the Year, All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year. He led the Bruins in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game, in a season that UCLA reached the NCAA Final Four.
Westbrook played two seasons at UCLA, including the Final Four run in 2007-08. He averaged 3.4 points per game in 2006-07 and 12.7 in 2007-08. In 2007-08, Westbrook was named All-Pac-10 Third Team and won the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award.