Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Drive Ep 4 Recap: It’s All Ernie

I knew this episode was going to be cut off. College basketball’s closing minutes aren’t just exhaustively long they’re post-game DVR destructive. I went 36-hours off the grid and was welcomed to technology with this fair warning:

Alas, I quickly understood. While The Drive is grand entertainment it’s also a propaganda agent. And if half the episode is going to feature a team coached by former friend of the Networks, Ernie Kent, why not put him on extended viewing? Forget behind-the-scenes, let’s just get WSU max screen time. Basically it seems that Kent muscled Oregon out of The Drive so that I now have 3 minutes and 36 seconds of Washington State Cougar road winning basketball on my DVR and 15-minutes behind the scenes of his program. Continue reading

Week 8 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: The Jet in Tucson. Harden in Tempe.

Finally everyone’s favorite socks will have their jersey hang in the rafters of the McKale Center. It’s been a long time coming for Jason Terry’s #31 but it’s well deserved. And because we adore a game that celebrates its moments, I thought it fitting to share one of my favorite Jason Terry moments (Stanford game-winner was hard not to link aside from its lack of a web presence).

First, let’s note that The Jet won a national title and was named the national Player of the Year. He was the Pac-10’s 1999 Player of the Year, made the bench cool, wore the socks and played basketball with the enthusiasm of 1000 Sean Miller practice plans.

Pure Terry: Continue reading

Week 7 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: The World in Flux

Between Brian Williams’ impending job status, John Stewart stepping down, and the fact that I watched Junior Varsity basketball last night, I’d say the world is in flux. I don’t own any The North Face clothing and I’m going to Seattle on Friday. Maybe we can find clarity in a week of Pac-12 basketball?

Game of the Week

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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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Q&A With Torn By Sports’ Grant Bagby: Previewing the AZ-UU game

Saturday is the first ever matchup of Pac-12 teams in the Top-10. To be clarifying, the Pac-10 has had many such instances, the most un-recent of which occurred in January of 2010. This game, as it were, is significant.

Which naturally means I need to talk to someone else about it. To scratch that itch, we’ve got Grant Bagby – the man, myth, and legend behind the multi-faceted Utah blog, Torn By Sports.

Let’s get to know Utah, from the perspective of Utah, as we head into the biggest conference basketball game since, like, ever: Continue reading

Week 3 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: The Broadcast Team

There’s so much to discuss. From Oregon’s run to the national title; my trip this weekend to Denver for a Bar Mitzvah where I’ll be either the oldest kid or the youngest adult but where either scenario ends with me at the kid’s buffet; this power movie; the conference’s first Top-10 showdown since everyone liked UCLA’s coach (January 12, 2008 #4 WSU @ #5 UCLA); the texts I got from my grandpa, a tOSU grad, all Monday night; or just an extra 80-words on the direction of the Tinkle tenure.  But in reality, this is all that matters:

Yes, kids, must hear television. We get Bilas and Walton this week. I don’t know what we did right, but let’s keep on doing it. Our week:

Game of the Week

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PacHoops Power Rankings: Happy Hangovers and a new #1

The last week of Pac-12 hoops has looked real 2011-12. The conference wore losses to Stony Brook, UNLV, Hawaii, and Cal State-Bakersfield. No one is impressed. It was like there was an onslaught of Holiday parties and everyone showed up to work the next day prepared to send two emails and take a 90-minute lunch at Hooters (guilty). Of course Stanford beat Texas in Austin, which we predicted. But the Cardinal also took a two week break at the beginning of December to handle any Holiday partying. Additionally, they’re just weird. We’ll call it the KU-Dayton Theory.

In other news, someone got me a copy of The Interview [fist bump emoji]. Kim Jung Un has not showed up at my house. Yet.

Happy New Years Everyone. See you on the 15. Conference play starts this week. Continue reading

25 play-by-play announcers worse than Bill Walton

Last night Bill Walton was in Tucson to do play-by-play for the broadcast of Oakland @ Arizona. And he was great.

Last week, a petition was created – and signed by more than 1,500 lost souls – to never have that scenario play out again. Interested? Here’s the link and know that I did not sign it. I will not sign it. In fact, I’ve come up with a list of 25 people (tip of the iceberg) who would be worse at calling a U of A basketball game. Twenty-five people who wouldn’t compare Gabe York to Ray Allen or tell us about a 67-acre mushroom. A quarter-hundred people who don’t have a Tipi in their backyard; who didn’t nearly walk out on the winningest legend to keep a beard. Because you’d rather hear about the defensive efficiencies (1.31 ppp vs. Arizona) of the Oakland Grizzlies playing a red eye removed from East Lansing.

In no particular order:

  1. Lute Olson – Great coach. GOAT? Yet you never knew how much you liked the Grateful Dead until you heard all of Lute’s “uhhhs.”
  2. Dick Vitale – Do you really need me to?
  3. Jerry Garcia – Couldn’t provide a  quarter of the basketball insight that Walton provides about The Dead.
  4. Jenny Finch – Has many fine features and Wildcat knowledge.
  5. Ernie Kent – Unless of course Arizona is playing Washington State in which case it would improve Arizona’s chances to win. Or would it?
  6. Digger Phelps – Is the devil.
  7. Craig Robinson – The man can charm a room – he’s learned from the best – but he can leave something to be desired on the mic.
  8. Kyryl Natyazkho – The former Wildcat – who once Bernied in the NCAA tournament – dabbled in media which was actually quite an interesting perspective. But let’s keep the big Ukraine of the mic.
  9. BYUTv – The single most homer broadcast that ever was. Jimmer also dropped a billion on the Wildcats so whether you liked ’em or not, you won’t soon be seeing/hearing/experiencing BYU vs. Arizona anytime on the round ball side of a Las Vegas Bowl.
  10. Tim McCarver  – Indubitably the worst. Ever. All time. He’s so bad that when you listen to his broadcasts you don’t enjoy the broadcasts because he explains things so longwindedly and in such elementary terms that he manages to confuse you even about the most simple of things like telling you that Tim McCarver is not the best play-by-play guy.
  11. Kevin Danna And I love Danna! Listen to this call. And this call. But Dannaman didn’t hang banners.
  12. Ed O’Bannon – He was 5-3 All-Time against the Wildcats – destroyed ’em – and now he’s trying to deamateurize our athletes? Wait, the latter’s a good thing.
  13. Spencer Smith – He’s not even an expert. But does have a media medallion on reddit/cfb.
  14. Adam Butler – The self-proclaimed “preeminent Pac-12 blogger” would likely spend the entire broadcast texting his brother and other friends throughout the country.
  15. This Lady – Not a chance she distinguishes between Kaleb Tarczewski and TJ McConnell.
  16. Sean Eilliott – And Boogie Cousins agrees.
  17. Patrick Butler – My father, at the slightest of great plays, does this miserably loud GASPSHOUTYELL that is not only startling but the point of countless familial battles. The things I do for ‘Cats games…
  18. Sarah Kezele – Because it seems she’d only talk about Walton.
  19. Lou Holtz – The master motivator’s motivation would be lost amidst everyone already being so fired up over things like Arizona Basketball.
  20. Steve Kerr – He has the basketball acumen, the Arizona pedigree, and the booth experience. But he’s got bigger fish to fry (21-3, if you need a hint).
  21. Colin Cowherd – Because we can’t commercialize everything.
  22. Craig James – He’s got a senate race to tend to anyhow.
  23. Casey Jacobsen – But big kudos because I’ve heard him admit, on air, that the tip-frosting phase was a mistake.
  24. Ray Lewis – That Stanford locker room tho…
  25. Brian Collins – Or maybe this would be great because – you know – boom goes the dynamite?

Utah is Playing in Kansas and I have Questions

When a Pac-12 school schedules a game against the Kansas Jayhawks, I’m going to pay attention. But, because I’m the preeminent Pac-12 blogger, I need some help. I can’t know this conference and, say, the Valley. So I brought the questions to Brian Goodman,  the lead writer for Rush The Court’s Big 12 microsite. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

Questions and answers:

Kentucky made Kansas look really, really small and lots of other things. But Kansas isn’t actually that team. They’re quite good, right? What does this team do that makes them elite?

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Non-Conference Strength of Schedule and the Post-Season

The non-conference slate is about to get really heavy tonight. With multiple top-25s in action against other top-25s and Utah playing their most significant Non-Con game since before Harry Dunn was Will McAvoy, I wanted to know how any of it might matter.

The study, without further adieu, was to see whether or not there was any truth to the adage that a strong non-conference schedule prepares teams for March. Often we revere teams that “challenge themselves” outside of conference play. But is there any merit to doing it? Does playing a really good team in November help me beat them in March? Continue reading