- 1990s Orlando Magic Oral History – You know about Lil’ Penny and the emergence of Shaq and the pinstriped unis. What you maybe don’t realize – or remember – is the heartbreaking downfall of this dynasty that never was. For me, I can’t tell if it’s a mort shattering loss than a college season. In the pros there’s always “next year” particularly when you have a nucleus like Shaq and Penny. Read how these guys talk about what they thought that team would accomplish. Conversely, as college fans, you know the size of your window. You recognize about exactly how much time you have to make some noise and it’s usually just one or two years. Is losing in the known window more upsetting than the sudden disbanding of great promise?
- The Other Guy: Klay Thompson on His Sensational Season – The Pride of Pullman (does anyone call him that?) is a Splash Brother and poised to make the biggest splash. There’s a line from the above linked Magic history, “… great players are made in the playoffs.” And isn’t it true? We remember the plays made on the biggest of stages. He had a great season, but great players are made in the playoffs. Can you name the owner of these career best single season numbers? 12/5/4. That’s Robert Horry’s best single season. It was in 1995-96 for the Houston Rockets, the season following his 18/10/4 NBA Finals performance against…the Orlando Magic. I’m not saying Klay Thompson is Robert Horry – he’s probably better – but we remember and forever celebrate our win-or-go-home heroes.
- Lorenzo Romar talks transfers, recruiting, job status, during interview with Sports Radio KJR – It’s tough to paraphrase this thing because it’s a lot of pretty honest responses from Lorenzo. I appreciate how he approaches some of the tough questions like, “Should you have a job?” or “Why did your best player leave?” As a Romar fan, I’m conflicted by the UW situation. It’s hard to give as much leash in a scenario that was seemingly so good awhile ago. How can Romar tell us that his return to greatness will be based on recruiting when he failed at recruiting for three years? Alas, if he won’t guarantee a tournament appearance (and he shouldn’t) I’m not soon to give the Dawgs a staunch vote of confidence. Time – like in all matters – will tell.
A brief history of inexperienced coaches taking Pac-12 jobs:
- Jay John – Oregon State
- Experience – 0 seasons
- Success – 5+ seasons, 72-97, 0 NCAAs
- Todd Bozeman – California
- Expeirence – 0 seasons
- Success – 4 seasons, 63-35, 3 NCAAs, lots of asterisks
- Steve Lavin – UCLA
- Experience – 0 seasons
- Success – 7 seasons, 145-78, 6 NCAAs
- Tony Bennett – WSU
- Experience – 0 seasons
- Success – 3 seasons, 69-33, 3 NCAAs
- Johnny Dawkins – Stanford
- Experience – 0 seasons
- Success – 7 seasons, 141-100, 1 NCAA
- Tad Boyle – Colorado
- Experience – 4 seasons, 46-56, 0 NCAA
- Success – 5 seasons, 108-67, 3 NCAAs
- Andy Enfield – USC
- Experience – 2 seasons, 41-28, 1 NCAA
- Success – 2 seasons, 23-41, 0 NCAA
- Bobby Hurley – Arizona State
- Experience – 2 seasons, 42-20, 1 NCAA
- Success – ???????????
The season is freshly over. The moments shined and while we have a long ways until November – as well as a significant news cycle in the immediate future including: ASU coaching hunt, Ivan Rabb and the Cal(?) Five Stars, NCAA’s head of officiating change, NBA decisions.
But maybe we can take a second to reflect. In January, I noted 12 things to watch during this Pac-12 season, let’s revisit.
Reading instructions: The headlines are as written in January. The blurbs are today’s insights.
1. The reintroduction of Jordan Loveridge
- I followed my stolen iPhone Across the World, Became a Celebrity in China, and Found a Friend for Life – I shared this with a friend who has intimate knowledge of China. Which is to say he’s lived there, speaks Mandarin, and regularly conducts business there. His response: 1) That’s so very China, 2) That’s f*cking hilarious. I imagine he’s spot on. And if you’re anything like me, you’re jealous – if not inspired – by the adventure. That’s not to say I want my phone stolen but I’m super down to be an international celebrity.
- I Paid a UX Expert $100 to Get Drunk and Evaluate Gizmodo’s Design – First of all, if you want to pay me $100 to evaluate anything of yours while I’m drunk, I’m more than happy to do it. Email me at Pachoops25@gmail.com. Kthanks. Secondly, the timing of this linkage is unique as ESPN – my favorite sports site to never visit – just got a redesign. This is ESPN’s first overhaul in five years. What do you think? Considering I haven’t used it much for customization (I’m rarely logged in) I’m not convinced it’ll work great for me just yet. But I can most certainly appreciate change. And I love UX.
- The Fast and the Furious: A Postmodern Masterpiece – Endings are always romanticized. Just read what I had to say about Arizona’s loss to Wisconsin. Or Wisconsin. Or Ohio State. Or Bucknell. So as we come to the end of this fascinating series where Paul Walker’s ID in the first iteration puts him living blocks from where I grew up, here’s a look at the franchise and it’s place as art.
This year it was section 106 of the Staples Center. My brother and I swapped seats in that section’s sixteenth row and Arizona outscored Xavier en route to their second consecutive Elite Eight. It was our second annual (but really billionth) seat swap instigating a Sweet Sixteen comeback. Previously I’d called it sorcery. We even tried it again on Saturday but the only sorcery inside the Staples Center that night was exacted by Sam Dekker. The Sheboygan Sorcerer.
And isn’t it all silly?
With respect to Stanford and their impending visit to Madison Square Garden for some kNITting and ASU firing arguably their most successful coach ever, there are really only three relevant Pac-12 teams remaining. While the matchups are intriguing, the thing I’m most excited to perhaps see is a rematch of Arizona and Wisconsin for a spot at the Final Four. Spencer and I will be there for the second straight year to witness it with dear friend and Wisconsin native, Jamie aka JT aka Tails aka Badgeface (we don’t really call him the last one but whatever). JT and I were charging down I-5 for this recording. Thanks for your patience.
WANE (and on SoundCloud):
We must begin by saying the Jahlil Okafor is really good. I’m not messing around and neither is he. Okafor scored in single figures only once this season and his team won that game by 43 and he was 2-2 from the field. He played 19 minutes. Here’s what it can look like: Continue reading
The theme at Pac-12 tournament press conferences was “improvement.” Every coach noted pride for his team’s marked improvement. I heard “November” at nearly every single season ending podium squat. In particular, Steve Alford effused about his team’s improvement. He was politicking for a tournament invite and his angle was improvement. Even Sean Miller got in on the action noting:
I think their quality of play and who they are today would be much different than, for example, who they would have been in December, November. Unfortunately, a lot of the judgment comes in November and December.
With three Pac-12 teams into the Sweet-16 and another taking Wisco to the brink, I think it’s clear that Pac-12 is indeed the #ConferenceOfChampions. Indubitably the best in the country, right? BACK THE PAC. BACK THE PAC. BACK THE PAC.
OK, let’s be serious, that’s a ridiculous assertion. The reality is that three Pac-12 teams have won two games and three Sweet-16 teams lost to Washington (Oklahoma, remember?). Doesn’t make this any less fun, however.
The important thing is that LG has moved on to more important advertising campaigns like no heartlessly showing Derron Williams FTW. The worst. Continue reading
Four times Kaleb Tarczewski sad these words as he declared his return to Arizona. He doesn’t’ say much so the repeated phrase presumably meant a lot. I know it resonated with me. After all, we were just weeks removed from a devastating outcome in cursed Anaheim. Kaleb, Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would join TJ McConnell in finishing the 2014 deed. And that’s how this season began: with the expectations of 2014. Continue reading