I got credentialed to last year’s Pac-12 tournament. It was awesome and in that wonderful first day of basketball, USC knocked off the fifth seeded Sun Devils. It was USC’s sixth win over a conference opponent in two years and it came at the hands of my behated (word?) Devils. I don’t know if you “have” schadenfreude or wish it or feel it but knowing what the German word translates to, that’s what I have/feel/wish for ASU. Until I had to go into that presser and listen to sixth-year senior Shaq McKissic talk about the game. To listen to Bo Barnes explain how the shittiest team in the Pac-12 could erase a 14-point lead in the game’s final ten minutes was miserable. All the ill I’d have ever wished on the Sun Devils was manifesting but the moment’s cruel reality was that I had to see what my schadenfreude created. I wanted nothing to do with it. It looked awful. They answered their questions with red eyes, barely audible, then left the stage. I felt for them. It wasn’t the stakes of the Super Bowl but those red eyes suggested otherwise. Josh Norman. Cam didn’t answer a few questions. I’m pretty much OK with it.
I tweeted twice about Oregon this weekend. The first should dictate why the latter is a little disappointing:
— Adam Butler (@pachoopsab) February 5, 2016
Of course average attendance is 6770 at the Matt so Kudos to those 37 brave souls https://t.co/Dtyti5VYYc
— Adam Butler (@pachoopsab) February 7, 2016
A few years ago I wrote about the Battle of Los Angeles inside Pat Haden’s (stepping down) office. The premise of that piece was the vacancy in his basketball offices, Haden could determine a shift in basketball culture in Los Angeles. That’s a hyperbolic synopsis and much of the piece’s premise centered around recruiting. Shortly after I wrote that, Jordan McLaughlin chose USC and not UCLA. But for Andy Enfield’s first two years as the lead of the Trojans, the Bruins took it to him. No longer. And sure sports are cyclical, but UCLA has still managed to out-recruit the Trojans in each of their three overlapping classes. And yet in 2016, USC is +33 on the Bruins (in case you missed it USC beat the Bruins by 19 in the Galen Center’s first sell out since 2011).
Arizona had their second worst shooting night of the season (by eFG% standards), turned the ball over on 20% of their possessions (season high 20 TOs of which 15 were non-steal turnovers aka boneheads), and it was loud in Seattle (see below). And they won. They won because it helps to rebound 47% of your misses. Think about that. Arizona secured half their missed shots for a second attempt. They had 10 putback attempts. Of course Washington is the 342nd worst team at defensive rebounding so it shouldn’t come as any surprise. Oh, and Allonzo Trier is back.
Noah Dickerson’s stat line (for context, he is Washington’s starting center and leading defensive rebounder:
7 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 block
And suddenly the picture of grabbing just 53% of available defensive rebounds because slightly more clear. Alas, I would’ve loved to be in Seattle this weekend. Alaska Airlines was sold out for the first time in five years and Arizona @ Washington didn’t disappoint. These Huskies are going to be so good after one summer in Seattle. They’re pretty damn good right now.
I’ll breakdown the Utes’ weekend with a simple 1-2-3:
1 – Number of shots made by Brandon Taylor
2 – Number of losses the Utes sustained
3 – Number of foul shot awarded on this last-second-tie-game-foul
6. Oregon State
See above because when life gives you mid-court-tie-game-fouls you, sweep the Ski Schools.
Here are the Bears’ offensive and defensive efficiency numbers at home and away:
Last week I talked about the Buffs’ ability to maintain their high three point shooting (40% in conference play and overall).
This weekend the Buffs shot 11-37 from distance or 29%. Lost ’em both.
The Bruins are 13-10 and currently headed to the Arizona schools where they haven’t won since 2013. Their recruiting classes under Steve Alford have been ranked 19, 3, and 17. Unless Scout.com really sucks at their job…
If puppymonkeybaby isn’t incorporated into the Curtain of Distraction, then it doesn’t matter if opponents shoot zero-for-the-next-millenium-of-second-half-FTs the curtain will have been a failure:
No one expected Stanford to come out of their three game road swing against the Skis and rival Cal unblemished. In fact, we probably imagined that they would get annihilated. And they did, finishing the two week trip with 53 fewer points than their opponents. For funsies, the Cardinal are on pace to have the worst in-conference eFG% since that 6-26 (1-17) USC team. Woof.
Just wrapped that Stanford bit with a reference to the 1-17 Trojans. Is it time? As in, is it time we start thinking that these Cougars could lose-out? Their current, in conference scoring margin is -17.6 points per 100. The 2012 1-17 Trojans sat at -18.2. Just think about this.