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Q&A with Connor Pelton: Oregon State is paying a return visit

Connor Pelton is a long time friend of the program. I use the term colloquially because I don’t really know how long he’s befriended PacHoops. What I do know, however, is that Connor is a helluva Rush the Court contributor, a House of Sparky staple, and a lifelong Beaver. So with the latter (lattermost?) of Connor’s areas of expertise headed to the McKale Center, I thought we’d let CP scratch the curiosity itch.

My questions. Connor’s answers:

What is Oregon State missing in Victor Robbins?

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The Drive Ep 1 Recap: Arizona, ASU and so much Herb quotes

I was very curious how The Drive was going to be introduced. The Pac-12 Networks cuts up so much content that I was really excited to see what they came up with. Naturally things opened with a Wooden shot. Makes sense. But could there have been an any more fitting opening to behind the scene’s 2014-15 Pac-12 footage than Tad Boyle telling the most disappointing team in the conference that “it’s time for us to start playing the way we’re capable of playing.” I love you Pac-12 Networks. Continue reading

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THREE FOR BART: Utes, PC, Sidney

  1. A Deeper Look at Runnin’ Utes’ 3-Point Shooting – There’s a couple reasons to read this article by Jim. First of all, it’s good to scare yourself. I read it on a LuLu Lemon poster once and so I try to do one thing each day that scares me. Sometimes it’s what the ramifications of having a 4pm double espresso will be. Other times it’s reading about how frightening the already monstrous Utes can be from distance. Secondly, it’s a reminder that Dylan runs a great thing over at Shot Analytics.
  2. Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say - No comment. Please don’t be upset.
  3. Heartbreak fuels Renardo Sidney’s new sense of purpose – Once a can’t miss prospect committed to USC, Sidney fell off the map. I saw this story and couldn’t help but think of the recently Pac-12 departed Robert Upshaw. Sports serve so many purposes in the lives of so many people. They matter. You’ll finish this rooting for Sidney. I’m also rooting for Robert.
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Week 5 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: Here so we don’t get fined

The Pac is avoiding afternoon broadcasting this Sunday. Fortunately, conference games that day feature the two worst teams in the Pac (USC and Cal). I suppose I’ve tipped my hand surrounding this week’s Game(s) to Avoid, but maybe you’ll be at a house of favorable fandom. Which really just proposes that you’re at a house choosing to optimize the magnitude of the day’s events with the requisite accompaniments of next-level junk food. Like I want to hear about food consumption that has you in a funk so Monday that you think ‘Ernie Kent for the rebuild’ is a great idea. Of course that puts all eyes on Husky fans (no pun intended) who will have dual watching privileges (Cal @ UW 12pm + Super Bowl). So if the Pac-12 is going to try and avoid competing with the Super Bowl, we can oblige! And while it seems that everyone hates both the Seahawks and the Patriots, both produce two very lovable characters. And Tom Brady is awesome.

Game of the Week

A lot of things to keep an eye on this week particularly on Wednesday. Five of the conference’s top six teams will be in action that night including our GotW: Stanford @ Washington. This game features our two leading amoeba candidates with identical 14-5 overall records. Washington hasn’t had quite the conference success of the Cardinal and now will be short their tallest asset: Robert Upshaw. Nevertheless, #TakingCareOfBusiness at home has been a major part of Pac-12 basketball. They have the second highest conference home winning percentage. This bodes well for Washington. The Upshaw story bodes well for the Cardinal.

And while it’s not a game, The Drivedebuts tonight at 9pm PST on The Networks. Expect reviews of that.

Game to Avoid

The aforementioned Sunday slate may be unavoidable. If I’m parked with a booming game day bucket, Taco Bell, ‘za, wings, cheap beer, expensive beer, mid-priced red (someone’s inevitably going to invite this friend), a Chinese spread, why-not-Thai, an assortment of Hostess products, fuggit-a-pie, ice cream, and Tums® then I won’t be opposed to watching Pac-12 basketball, too. Maybe let’s make a handful of prop bets for the weekend? Let me know if you want in on this action:

  • Herb Sendek gets extended: 3-1
  • Spencer Dinwiddie given 6 week D-League assignment in Boulder: 4-1
  • Robert Upshaw transfers to Oregon: 6-1
  • Robert Upshaw transfers from Oregon: 6-1
  • Bryce Alford plays 41 minutes in regulation: 9-1
  • BruinsNation writes something nice about it: OFF
  • Jordan Adams admits he touched the ball: 18-1
  • Larry Scott admits Jordan Adams touched the ball: 5000-1

Something to Prove

They’re paying the team they knocked off a return visit and I can’t imagine the McKale Center is going to be all too kind to the Oregon State Beavers. You have to appreciate that Wayne Tinkle has said that this season won’t be the “year we beat Arizona.” Beating one team does not a season make. Since breaking down in his news conference after beating then #4 Wisconsin, Eddie Jordan’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights are 0-4. They’d just won their championship. Conversely, Tinkle and his Beavers are 3-1 with their eyes on bigger things. Yes, winning in Tucson and sweeping the Wildcats is a tall order. But beating ASU on the road is far more reasonable, conceivable, and immediate accomplishment.

Something to Lose

Washington evidently had someone to lose and it’s in a big way. We won’t dwell on that even though last week we thought Colorado had their season to lose while playing short some critical talents. Turns out, just giving a good effort is enough to earn some PacHoops love. Good job, Buffs! Washington still isn’t our team with the most riding on the line this week. I think that distinction belongs with the Stanford Cardinal. They’ve navigated the circle of suck, as Spencer noted, to a 5-2 conference record. They’ve won at Texas and held court against Connecticut. But they now take all that on the road where Dawkins’ teams are 31-50 All-Time. Woof. At this point, however, the Cardinal are playing the role of expected victor not enigmatic maybe. Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown are granite not sandstone. Is this the year Stanford rides that soundly into the NCAA tournament? It seems that way today, a road trip to Washington could alarm us otherwise.

Texts From Family Members

Mom. FTW.

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WANE: Live Cats and a Beaver Exploration

Spencer and I took to Maples and Haas last week. Live sports are great. We actually don’t delve deep into those experiences but rather turn our attention to how the Utes responded this weekend after being called soft by Titus; we explore 1-seed scenarios for the Wildcats; we postulate on any seeding options for the Beavers; and go on zero tangents about first-floor restrooms.

WANE (and on SoundCloud):

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THREE FOR BART: Upshaw, Saviano, Pace

  1. Huskies center Robert Upshaw dismissed from the program for violation of team rules – While this is a significantly damaging blow to Washington’s season, it’s an even rougher hit to Upshaw. There’s no secret surrounding Upshaw’s troubled path to where he is today. But it most certainly seems he’d begun to turn things around and for one of the most high character coaches around:

    Yes, I hope the young man figures out whatever he needs to figure out. And when reporting on the matter, I hope we all have a little more discretion:

  2. Roberto Saviano: My life under armed guard - Speaking of reporting, this is a fascinating first-hand account of the power of story telling. The life Saviano now leads – whether he chose it or not – is complex. I don’t get a good grasp of how he weighs the good he’s done with its cost. Nevertheless, his life will never be the same at the hope of making the lives of others better. Could you live like that?
  3. Fixing College Basketball: On Pace of Play and End of Game Scenarios – From Andrew Murawa comes a delightful account of his undelightful experience with the end of a basketball game. To paraphrase: S-L-O-W. Drew takes the measured effort of outlining how he’d improve the game with an admitted deference to brighter minds (of note: Drew knows hoops, he’s being humble). Well it was this piece that inspired my Marching to Vegas column to recount how our precious Pac-12 became a conference of slower pace and the logic behind that. To paraphrase: Damn you Tony Bennett.
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PacHoops Power Rankings: Good Weather

In New York they postponed two basketball games due to weather. As a reminder, basketball is played indoors, presumably a weather protected sport. In Brooklyn, they’re not playing indoor basketball because of weather. Meanwhile, I spent my Sunday at the beach. I went to Cal and Stanford in jeans and a shirt. A light jacket was in tow and today I’m lightly sunburnt, sunkissed if you will (don’t tell my dermatologist brother). So while the Pac-12 is maybe only getting three teams in this year’s dance (although I do discuss Oregon State’s chances below, HBD Tink), the Conference of Champions wins. Because while winning isn’t everything, neither is winter.

12) CALIFORNIA (-1)

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The Only Two Pac-12 Player of the Year Options

I subscribe to the idea that it’s never too early to talk Player of the Year. This, of course, is an irrational subscription. We can’t even agree on what generally qualifies a POY. Is it the MVP? The best player on the best team? The player with the gaudiest stats? A career achievement piece? Sports is not a place for agreement.

Nevertheless, when it comes to the three-bid, underwhelming 2015 Pac-12, there will be nothing underwhelming or controversial about its Player of the Year. Because it is going to be one of the following two – highly deserving and non-Jorge Gutierrez – players:

PPG RPG APG FG% 3FG% Ortg Usage
POY1 19.8 3.1 2.7 43% 39% 114 26.90%
POY2 15 4.5 5.8 55% 22% 119 25.50%

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WANE: Arizona back at the head of the table

In this week’s WANE, Spencer and I return to amateur technological strength but still manage to hide none of our excitement about Arizona’s visit to the Bay (we’re going and it’s like Christmas though Adam doesn’t celebrate Christmas), the plight of the Buffalo, and why no one needs to worry about Utah. Spencer says “delicious.”

WANE (and on SoundCloud):
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