Today is Thanksgiving, a day intrinsically if not by simple nomenclature, dedicated to the giving of thanks. Subsequently there is the annual onslaught of columns and lists proclaiming gratefulness for a slew life’s wonders.
At PacHoops, we’re not above that.
Because I’m thankful the season has begun and we get to see the coaches again. Their varied levels of animation while patrolling a sideline is amongst my favorite things to watch. From the progressive reddening of Kevin O’Neill’s face to Sean Miller’s cough and squat yelling to Dana Altman’s jacketless rants, I love it.
And I’m thankful, obviously, for the Pac-12 Network. While all of conference alignment is driven by the pigskin, the TV networks already aired the majority of football games. Now, we get all basketball games with relative ease. That’s hoops-on-hoops-on-hoops and so just as daylight saving’s brings my life into darkness, my evenings have been illuminated by Bay Area Comcast 823 (for HD) and 433/434 for less-than-impressive standard def. Seriously the 400s channels look like someone is streaming the stream from their iPhone. But, it is available and, yeah, I’m thankful.
Then there’s the players. I’ll start with the yougins because there’s been growing hype and now they’re playing and we’re discovering that perhaps Jordan Adams is a bigger talent than the rest of UCLA’s class, Arizona’s freshmen are indeed bigger than Jesse Perry, Josh Scott makes CU bigger than Roberson, and Jahii Carson is bigger than Sendek’s pace. I know it’s early but these pups have asserted themselves early, meeting the hype and perhaps surpassing the critical hype – that’s to say some fan bases have irrational hype. Example: I read one prediction that Arizona’s three freshmen bigs would average a combined 38/31. Not happening. But I’m thankful to see them and the others shoot for the moon.
And the seniors. Yeah, thankful for those guys as are the aforementioned freshmen. These guys are the load bearers, the ones who’ve been through the trenches, the morning weights, the late study halls, and the road trips to Pullman. They’re Pac-12 seniors – four underwhelming years out West – who know they’re role: To lead. Solomon Hill, Abdul Gaddy, Brock Motum, Scott Suggs, Carrick Felix, Jio Fontan, EJ Singler and others will be leaned upon to fulfill that role. Their teamates are thankful to have ’em; I’m thankful to watch.
I’m thankful the NCAA got its act together. As are UCLA, Oregon, and USC who can now roll out Shabazz, Kazemi, and Oraby to supplement their already solid lineups. I’m thankful Allen Crabbe is embracing his role as best-player-in-the-Pac, Dwight Powell is making the strides we’d projected, and Colorado won the Charleston Classic.
Oh goodness there’s so much more. The road games I’ll attend, the buzzers that will be beaten, the stories that will unfold, and the fun we’re going to have.
Now go eat some turkey and pour on some extra gravy for me.