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Morning Orange Juice, 7.2.08

Aaron Fitt of Baseball America says the Beavers are going back to Omaha in 2009. The projected field includes Cal State Fullerton, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Oregon State, San Diego, Texas, and Texas A&M. The next four teams are Auburn, Baylor, Rice, and Vanderbilt. How will the Beavers do it? Fitt says it will take the following:

  • Maturity of the 2007 recruits, notably pitchers; Robles and Osich on the left side, Peavey, Nygren, and Rhoderick on the right side.
  • Major steps forward from "second baseman Garrett Nash and first baseman Stephen Hagan"
  • The blossoming of Ryan Ortiz into one of the nation's best catchers
  • The re-emergence of Jorge Reyes after a "horrid" sophomore season

Take it for what it's worth.

As if qualifying for the USA National Team wasn't enough, Kevin Rhoderick is racking up the post-season honors like nobody's business. Here's a look at some of his accolades:

  • All Pac-10 Honorable Mention team
  • Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team
  • National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-America first team
  • Ping! Baseball Freshman All-America first team
  • Baseball America Freshman All-America second team (edged out by Chase Dempsey of Houston)
  • Freshman All America team

UCLA Men's Basketball Coach Ben Howland received a nice raise yesterday. His new, seven year contract will have him making 1.97 million next season, and the contract will escalade until he makes 2.3 in the 2014/2015 season, the final year on his contract. Howland made 1.5 in 2007/2008. The deal also includes incentive packages and such. 

While we're talking about UCLA, we may as well mention that Rick Vanderhook is now a UCLA assistant baseball coach. That's huge for the Bruins, as Vanderhook really should be a head coach somewhere. He spent lots of time at Cal State Fullerton under George Horton, expecting to get the head coaching job when Horton left. Horton finally did leave for Oregon last year, but the job went to Dave Serrano of UC Irvine. After taking last year off, "Hook" is finally back in the business at UCLA. 

This isn't exactly NCAA news, but did you catch the finish of the Men's 800 meters in the Olympic Trials Monday? The finish was amazing. There was an even better picture in Tuesday's Oregonian that captured the emotions of the 1-2-3 runners beautifully... 

That's all for now....