While Pac-12 football was cannibalizing, removing itself from CFP contention, Pac-12 hoops (the central topic of this blog) got under way! Indubitably you were paying attention. Friday’s hoops mele resulted in zero Pac-12 suspensions but ample upsets. Is that ok? I’ll just say, UCLA losing at home to Monmouth is generally not OK.
A brief overview from my perspective of this weekend’s Pac-12 ignition:
Because everyone loves Lorenzo
Yesterday I said what I thought about the Pac-12 but I’m one man sitting in a cloffice (ask me about it) writing about Pac-12 basketball after scouring hours of KenPom, Hoop-math, and lots and lots of gchat.
Tell me what you know: Continue reading
If you’re anything like me (heaven forbid), it’s been a touch of a struggle to get really, way way way up for this season. Last year there was historic greatness! How do you follow that up? This isn’t 2am bar trash but it also isn’t going to be your wife.
Of course as we’re on season’s eve, all of the feels return, excitement bubbles to standard levels, and we college basketball.
But it remains that this is an odd one. Drawing our attention to the premise of this blog – the Pac-12 – I thought we could contextualize the forthcoming events. If prescribing a single word (or phrase for leeway with possible imagery linked for effect) for each of the Pac-12’s four seasons it’d look something like this:
2012-13: He touched the ball
2014-15: Arizona Continue reading
Earlier this month the NCAA’s rules committee gathered to review recommended changes to college basketball. The intent of these changes was to address “pace of play” and probably to complain about Tony Bennett. Fools.
The committee has now spoken and CBB will be forever changed, right? A feverish pace is now in order. We’re likely to institute player tracking like Fox once did for hockey pucks. That’s how fast these rules changes will make CBB, a sport that in 2015 slipped into a glacial speed (NOTE: Yosemite was built by a glacier and that place is f*cking beautiful) of historically inept scoring.
So we’ve changed the rules to address. Here’s a look:
30-second shot clock
aka The cure-all
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
The Pac-12 tournament isn’t so much an exercise in basketball competition (that was great) as it is an event. A destination for hoopniks to congregate in a city that allows them to stay up past their bedtimes and participate in all manner of fandom. I watched eleven basketball games. Some of them were close and others were sharpied at the second media timeout. I met Ken Pomeroy and completely froze in the moment. I wish I’d asked if he could tell when exactly his numbers were predictably significant. After all, the college basketball season is only about 30 games long. That’s brief. Is that sample size significant to predicting a team’s performance? Similarly it’s been just three tournaments in Las Vegas. What do we really know about it? Is the fun we’ve had the shiny newness? The experiential equivalent of Washington being ranked 13th in the nation. It’s a small sample size and very few would be quick to celebrate the tournament’s Los Angeles iteration. Continue reading
We were a three pointer by a struggling if not disinterested first teamer from having the 10, 11, and 12 seeds advance. That’s contrary to the norm. The least tightly contested game featured the two most closely ranked teams. That’s contrary to the norm. Dan Kingma had nine points. That’s contrary to the norm. Of course we didn’t come to Vegas expecting chalk or things to go precisely according to plan (although I did remember to bring my ID to the airport for this trip. Big win.).
So what was Day 1 like? Maybe we call it a practice run? The MGM Grand Arena wasn’t quite bubbling to the top but – and this needs to be said – the PA guy called 4 games with unwavering enthusiasm. And he’ll be back at it again for Day 2. As for the basketball?
Yesterday the conference announced it’s awards. These were voted on by the coaches, a means to acknowledge the work of their peers. The same group that competes with one another, tells one another they’re out of their weight class, take all of the California recruits, chastises the pace of another’s play, know nothing about police situations, or whom just simply don’t like each other. I mean, Apple ain’t soon declaring the Galaxy winner of a usability test, are they?
So, yes, this group justly voted for the conference superlatives so you should put a lot into them.
Here’s how I would’ve voted things (here’s how I voted before the season): Continue reading
I had considered deviating from our traditional weekly preview format in favor of an IF/THEN layout of Pac-12 tournament seedings. (Are you going? I’m going.) Here’s how far I got in that excerise: Continue reading
It’s the second to last week of Pac-12 hoops and the NCAA tournament couldn’t feel any further away. As Spencer and I hammered through Tuesday’s WANE, I felt like any declarations made about NCAA tournament invites were as solid as the World Cup in Qatar. There’s so much significant basketball left to be played. Even this week feels like we’re approaching the elimination stages. Of course the beauty of this game is that there is always the automatic bid carrot looming. Ask Colorado about it, maybe not Washington.
What that also means is that we’re headed towards Senior Days and those guys are my favorites. They embody the inevitability of sudden death that we’re so drawn to hopefully avoid in College Basketball. This whole thing culminates in a 68-team death match. We hope our team survives. Seniors are the Maximii of the game. We know we’ll lose them, but we can hope for a last gasp of heroism before they’re gone. So here’s to you, our stretch-run crew:
TJ McConnell, Anthony Brown, Chasson Randle, DaVonte Lacy, David Kravish, Stefan Nastic, Delon Wright, Shaq McKissic, Joe Young, Shawn Kemp Jr, Mike Anderson, Norman Powell, Dexter Kernich-Drew, Bo Barnes, Jonathan Gilling, and Askia Booker
Let’s see what you’ve got. Continue reading