Chasson Randle

Stanford Cardinal Basketball Preview: Chasson Margins

I put a lot of credence in what Dan Hanner writes at RealGM. In his Pac-12 preview, he told us that Johnny Dawkins might have accumulated his best lineup yet (I kinda disagree) and that:

Dawkins actually has the worst track record of developing players on offense.

So if I’m piecing this together, then I’m noting that the Card lose two starters who were NBA draft picks including an All-Defense performer from the second best defensive team Dawkins has ever coached as well as their second leading scorer and is replacing them with two freshmen whom Dawkins will presumably struggle to teach offense? I like the roster, I’m just expecting a lot of…variance. Maybe that’s why Hanner notes that Dawkins has never finished better than 36th in scoring margin. F*cking math.

Why I Love Them:

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THREE FOR BART: Pandora, Happiness, Gchat

  1. How Pandora’s data could help artists plan better tours and albumsThis really interesting stuff but we’ve said that every time we’re confronted with a new data set. As previously noted, data is fantastic and becoming ubiquitous. We can and – almost – track everything. The question becomes what will we do with it? In this case, Pandora is suggesting that artists can improve their albums and tours, which makes this a very interesting case of data perhaps driving the creative process. Could information about Woodstock’s attendees affected Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner? No. That was just LCD. But Pop Music is most certainly formulaic. Pandora and the artists that adopt AMP could be making pop niches.
  2. Seat 21A - Choose happiness. I watched Game 1 of the World Series – coincidentally enough with a Medium editor – in a crowded San Francisco bar. It was comfortably crowded so I didn’t have to touch my neighbors but I was aware they were there. As the game got somewhat out of hand and the standing took a turn from the novel to the exhausting, Leah asked me, “Why isn’t anyone talking to eachother?” Sure I was talking to her and other friends were talking to one another, but why weren’t we making new connections? After all, isn’t that the reason for such a public watering hole? I chalked it up to safety, choosing not to seem weird or to not step out of our place. I could hear that group behind me discussing steroids in baseball. I had strong thoughts on the matter, agreeing with some of what I heard, disagreeing with more. But I didn’t join. I chose not to discuss. To be clear, I was content talking with Leah but I also understood her point: If sports is to bring us out and connect us, why don’t we connect? The next morning I read this piece and I think there are some parallels. Sports it a means to connect. So too is happiness. Choose it.
  3. Google Wants Inbox to Be Your Email System for the Next Decade – Just don’t touch my Gchat.
Microphones At Press Conference

Platitudes Revisited for Pac-12 Basketball Media Day

Tomorrow, for the third straight year, I will be attending the Pac-12’s Basketball Media Day. Can’t wait. In all honesty, it’s a little boring. I love the opportunity to go but there are platitudes abound. More gets said by the Guilty Remnant.

The fun part is reading between the lines. Like knowing Andy Enfield ripped UCLA and hearing him have to then praise UCLA. Or listening to Bob Dibler discuss Ed Rush and trips to Cancun. Basically, nothing will be said tomorrow that shocks us.

But what if it didn’t play out that way?

I’ve scripted the questions I’d like to ask and provided what I think coaches will respond with and what I wish they’d respond with. Continue reading

Alford Wooden

UCLA Bruins Basketball Preview: Steve Alford’s UCLA

Can we just have a moment of silence – for ourselves of course – because we don’t get to watch Slo-Mo and Jordan Adams anymore? I’m gonna. [pause. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.]. Thanks.

And now, what’s left in Westwood that wasn’t drafted in the first round, I know nothing about. Steve’s kid (it’s Kory pictured above) is still here and Norman Powell returns and I’m very familiar with the name Tony Parker. I just have no idea what this version of TP is going to do on a nightly basis. Steve said that Tony needs to get pissed off. To pile on, there’s only nine of these guys on scholarship. Projected-to-contributes Jonah Bolden (PF, #25 2014 per Scout) and Jon Octeus (PG, 110 Ortg/22% poss, 13/5/2) were deemed academically ineligible; Bolden can stick around the program and practice but Octeus just wasn’t let into the school. UC schools have really tough standards and only let the best-of-the-best into their establishments. I know from experience (#GoTritons). But of the remaining nine on schollie, there’s reason for optimism. It’s a brand new roster of unproven talent (as noted, we know nothing about them). This is now officially Steve Alford’s UCLA.

Why I Love Them:

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cuonzo

California Golden Bears Basketball Preview: Cuonzo’s Guards

We never really ever talked about the Cuonzo hire. So, for the record, it was a great parting gift from Sandy Barbour. This partnership is mutually beneficial in that Cal gets a coach, fresh off a Sweet Sixteen who is young and hungry and has proven he can win. For Martin, he gets himself into a situation where he’s actually wanted. That’s right, Bruce Pearl and Tennessee fans seemingly had a Gone Girl relationship. There were FIRE CUONZO petitions with upwards of 20K signatures. No thanks and Bruce wound up at Auburn. So Cuonzo got himself a cozy pad in Berkeley and a decent roster, too. One concern: they say the Bay Area can make you soft. Cuonzo’s teams play hard. Time will tell.

Why I Love Them:

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THREE FOR BART: Kobe, Rookies, ilk

  1. Is Kobe Bryant the Reason for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Downfall? – Spoiler: Article doesn’t answer that question. But it does allow you to draw your own conclusions. It’s reporting and an interesting and well told story.
  2. All the Stars We’re Going to Know and Love this Season – These are the guys we used to know. I mean, we still do, but we got to know them as boys. Now they’re perceived as men. Seriously, just read the Aaron Gordon blurb and you learn about a teenager making teenage moves with a grownup’s bank account and in a grownup’s spotlight. But ultimately it’s just fun to learn about the characters these guys are. Read about Mitch McGary.
  3. ilk outerwear – I met Mike in a hotel in Israel. We were roommates for night one of a ten day trip and the enthusiasm that Caroline describes in this blog post is spot on. Mike is a passionate dude and he’s pouring that passion into a brand new clothing line. He’s begun a Kickstarter for this project and if you’re so inclined, check it out. I mean, winter is fast approaching and you might need to buy some gifts.
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THREE FOR BART: Siri, HBO, Rebounds

  1. To Siri With Love – She may frustrate us and we may find her utterly useless. She doesn’t always come up with what we need. One time, following an impassioned speech by one of my bosses to our entire marketing department and every agency we work with, from my pocket, Siri noted, “I’m sorry I don’t understand what you just said.” It was perfectly ill timed. Siri isn’t perfect. But sometimes she is (this is all just a lot of words to say read this for a heartwarming tale)
  2. ‘Friends’ and Enemies: Netflix and HBO battle for the future of TV - Over cigars and scotch, I’ve discussed this topic deep into many nights. Television, as we know it, is poised for a monstrous overhaul. We’ve watched as nearly everything in our lives has been made increasingly convenient. From Uber and AirBnB to the above mentioned Siri, everything is being brought to us as we want it and need it. Convenience is the way of today. So when I don’t want to own a Bravo subscription, I shouldn’t have to pay for it. When all I want is a handful of movie channels (HBO) and live sports…oh wait. Live sports is the only thing keeping this while thing alive. That and decades old relationships between providers and producers and a lot – a whole lot – of money. Excited to see how all of this unfolds. Also, keep an eye out for Aereo.
  3. How Rebounds Work – Isn’t this the beauty of advanced tracking? We can understand, on a deeper level, such simple things as the rebound. And it makes great sense, right? The average team shoots – I dunno – 44%? Means greater than half the shots are drawing iron. Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate the conclusion here that, no matter what, there will be randomness. And that is why we play the game.
JosephYoung

Oregon Ducks Basketball Preview: Mighty Joe Young

I’m not sure whether or not to post this preview. Day by day it becomes increasingly difficult to follow what’s going on around this program. One day it’s Jaquan Lyle – the prized recruit and presumed starting PG – being removed from the online roster. The next day it’s two more arrests and ‘internal discipline” (Dana’s words). And then Lyle’s back in the mix, attending the IMG Academy, with an open opportunity to rejoin the Ducks in January. None of which notes the transgressions of last March and the subsequent muddled timeline of who knew what and when but that ultimately resulted in the dismissal of Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis, and Brandon Austin. So there’s all that and Dana has to deal with the third largest (amongst 133 major conference teams) roster turnover in the land. The latter has been a common theme during the Altman era and two-straight NCAA tournaments suggest he can handle that. But the peripheral stuff? The school president resigned. This is a serious and brand new distraction. An issue. But you’ve got Joe Young!

 Why I Love Them:

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romar

Washington Huskies Basketball Preview: Inside the Tunnel

They’ve won fewer games than the year prior for three consecutive years. The recruiting has gone stagnant; they literally had no 2012 class. Last season was the worst defense (104.5 Drtg) that LoRo has ever put on a court. The program’s struggles are quantifiable if not palpable. Average attendance at Hec Ed since 2011 has grossly declined: 9650, 8785, 7937, 6582. It’s fair to say the seat is warming. But I see a light from within this tunnel. Look at this year’s roster. It’s not soon to wow you but it’s balanced and youthful and projects. And then you note that Washington already has commitments from four 4-star recruits in 2015 and one 5-star in 2016. Encouragingly, two of those ‘I-do’s’ have come from local kids. I see a light. But for this season, I think we’re still in the tunnel.

Why I Love Them:

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THREE FOR BART: Projections, Trojans, Me

  1. Projecting college hoops’ leaders in scoring, rebounding and assists- It’s Dan Hanner and Luke Winn. Read it.
  2. USC basketball team will be fast on the court, but progress might be slower – Yesterday we read about how Bob Ryan’s gamers rarely included quotes. That he was going to tell you the story. I love that. You’ll rarely find quotes on here but that’s also in part due to a lack of access. Remember, I don’t have an inside source. But sometimes they give us context beyond both teams played hard. Here’s some validation to my USC preview.
  3. Getting Some ‘Me’ Time: Why Millenials are so Individualistic – Here’s an article all about the redefining of when and what adulthood means. In other news, I turned 30 yesterday and it should be noted that I’m not a blogger in my mom’s basement but who is stably employed. I suppose the turning of my decade should have me pondering a lot of things about myself and what it means to – I dunno – be getting older. My mom texted me that “30 rocks!” When she was thirty she was taking care of me. Am I supposed to get introspective? What am I supposed to know? How millenial cliche was that series of questions? Right now I know we’re closer to November. Right now I know I’ve run a marathon and completed triathlons. I moved out of my parents house (in 2003). I’ve kissed a girl. I’ve traveled and Coachella doesn’t count. It’s estimated that more than 98% of the time I use the correct form of their, there, and they’re. I started this thing. I have a zero career ERA at the the NCAA level. And right now I know there’s still a lot ahead. That’s pretty cool.