Pac-10 hoops are hurting as conference play nears

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The bowl season can't start fast enough for Pac-10 basketball teams.

If only for a few weeks, the conference's respected football teams will pull the spotlight away from what has been an ugly hoops season so far.

A combination of NBA draft defections, coaching turnover and a paucity of standout players has created a tide of mediocrity from the Pacific Northwest to the Sonoran Desert.

Fall semester results can be misleading, because coaches are tinkering with rotations and inexperience can be costly.

But it's tough to find a bright side in the Pac-10's first month -- except that it's over.

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