Cal, Stanford have polar opposite hoops cultures

PALO ALTO, Calif. — About 50 miles separate Cal’s Haas Pavilion and Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. But despite the proximity, the two arenas and fan bases couldn’t have been more different.

Haas Pavilion was filled with energy as a trio of hype men led the student section into a frenzy. Even a handful of portly gentlemen went shirtless, spelling “Go Bears” in the front row.

The building was lined with history, featuring the jerseys of former Phoenix Suns greats Jason Kidd and Kevin Johnson in the rafters.

Everyone from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott to former ASU head coach Bill Frieder made it out to Berkeley.

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When Cal disappointed its fans with a loss, however, the agony was felt throughout the entire arena. The Cal’s student-section version of Flava Flav laid on his back at center court after the Golden Bears fell in a heartbreaker.

Then came the school located one hour south. The buzz around Stanford basketball was nonexistent. With 30 minutes until tipoff, Maples Pavilion wasn’t even close to halfway full.

When the game rolled around, the “U of A” chants nearly drowned out the “Let’s Go Card” chants that came from the Stanford student section.

While the high school-like pavilion eventually picked up steam, the lack of hype surrounding a team in the hunt for the Pac-12 regular season title was surprising.

One concession worker asked who Stanford was playing with just over a half hour until game time. Three Stanford students said the university used to pay certain groups to go to games in order to up the attendance.

Red uniforms

Arizona’s red uniforms haven’t been kind to the Wildcats in years past. They were winless in the uniforms this season — until this weekend.

Despite the seemingly bad luck that came with the all-red gear, Arizona stuck with the uniforms and went on to have its best series of the season.

“I love it. I’ve always loved the red when they wore them last year but when they lost I guess they didn’t want to bring them back,” said UA freshman Nick Johnson. “Coach always likes to go with what we’ve been winning with.”

Parrom finds his role on the couch

With Kevin Parrom undergoing surgery on his right foot on Friday, the junior forward couldn’t help the Wildcats on the court. But Parrom found a new role for the Wildcats — on his couch as a so-called professional tweeter.

Parrom and 2012 recruit Brandon Ashley live-tweeted both the Cal and Stanford games, with Parrom continuing his reign as the Wildcats’ best and worst tweeter, as named by his teammates.

Perhaps Parrom’s finest moment came when Arizona missed 10-of-25 free throws against Stanford: “The Arizona Shaq-shooters.”

“We definitely have to work on that,” Johnson said with a laugh in response to Parrom’s tweet. “He blew up all of our timelines.”


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