Tag Archives: Chasson Randle

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2015-16 Stanford Basketball Preview: The same but the same

Allow me to make a mountain out of a mole-scrimmage. As a rule, we shouldn’t read into scrimmages. They’re for entertainment purposes, a means to generate hype around the team, program, and season. I’m not talking about the “secret scrimmages” sealed as tight as a government drone policy. But I can’t help being shocked that in Stanford’s brief (20-minute) Cardinal vs. White scrimmage, one team managed to outscore the other by sixteen. I confess, this is nothing to be startled over. But the final score was 40-24 and it made sense but it didn’t. Like how do you evenly split your team into a blow out? Or why not pause and mix things up to allow for even play? It’s your scrimmage. Like I said, this is admittedly making a mountain out of a molehill but it just seems odd. Arizona’s Red-Blue game yielded an 8-point scoring difference, Cal’s was 3…in three overtimes. Of course Oregon State’s scrimmage was a 77-54 blowout (NOTE: the Beavers never scored 77 points in a Pac-12 game last season) so who really knows. But because the conversation of Stanford basketball has often been player development, I’m curious who’s learning from such a game? This type of competition? Of course I didn’t see the game and – by rule – we’re not to make anything of it. But this feels fittingly familiar for the least familiar Stanford team we’ve seen in awhile. Gone is the “core” that won two NIT titles and beat Kansas. Is that Stanford basketball? It might be. But this year really doesn’t project to anything “special” which at this point at Stanford is an 18-11 regular season, .500 ball in conference, and a strange post-season (but a post-season nonetheless I suppose).

Why I love them

*turn on the new Adele album to read the following sections Continue reading


Twelve Things To Watch: Revisiting Pac-12 Play

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

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Pac-12 Tournament

Pac-12 Tournament Day 1: Bottom Heavy

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?

Day 1:

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Johnny Dawkins Coach

The Drive Ep 4 Recap: Cuonzo’s Noises and Johnny’s Threats

I can’t confirm the immediate intro jams – we’re talking striking college scenery not Wooden statues and Boyle barking – but I feel none were as fitting as this week’s. Stereotyping can be funny so acoustic tunes conjuring be-dreadlocked coeds frolicking in the hills of Berkeley’s campus was notable. It felt right. Certainly more than any other school’s introduction.

And when we’re invited into the basketball side of Berkeley, well I don’t know what the hell. We first see the team standing around coach. They’re just standing around and the first thing Cuonzo says is, “Anybody ready to quit?” Quit what? Everyone’s just standing there. He continues inaudibly as he lightly bends at the hips, looking almost the part of a hobbled man with a cane. It doesn’t look like Cuonzo Martin. He continues inaudibly to his audience that won’t quit but has go to be grossly confused until you hear him say, “wobble.” And old-man-looking Cuonzo’s leg give a slight tremble. He straightens, “Now are we on the same page?” I watched this 4x. Continue reading


Week 10 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: Bubbles, Seniors, Mom For The Win

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

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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.



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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Haas Floor

Eight Observations From Inside Haas Pavilion

From inside the Haas Pavilion for Cal-Stanford, I observed things. This is what I went home thinking about after an entertaining 69-59 Cardinal win.

1) Basketball Players are Big

I laud you to finagle yourself into excellent basketball tickets. They are a dish best served free so always say ‘yes’ when offered tickets. It remains my life’s greatest regret that I adhered to a study schedule (yes, that was a component of college life for me) rather than accept the owner (owner, as in: Man who shelled out cash to make decisions) of the San Diego Padres’ tickets. Of note, I did not study and watched the entire game on television. I digress. When you’re up close for a basketball game you get to see exactly how seven feet fills up a lane. Suddenly, ‘points in the paint’ isn’t a statistic, it’s a goddamn Purple Heart. Length isn’t so much a draft component, it’s the tentacles of The Kraken.

2) Adam’s an Architect

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How Very Stanford: Navigating the Circle of Suck

By: Spencer Smith

The Pac-12 this year is Utah, Arizona and the field. And while pretty much no one expects the other 10 programs to challenge the Utes and Wildcats for a conference crown, there is still plenty to be played for.

There’s an amoeba of mediocrity in the middle (say that five times fast), one that starts after the aforementioned front-runners and ends at a much more uncertain place. Stanford, UCLA, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State are in there. Washington State is making a case for being in there. Washington, Cal and Arizona State are desperately trying to convince you they are still there. USC plays basketball. Continue reading

stuart scott

PacHoops Power Rankings: BooYah, We’re Back

Pac-12 basketball is back and promptly things returned to how we know them. Which is nothing. The Bay schools let the Huskies know that they ain’t gotta go home, but they had to get the heck outta here. UCLA fans have fired up the same sentiment for their coach. Jordan Matthews? Well this week we’ll call him butter, cause he’s on a roll. Regarding our rankings, Utah remains at the top, a slaughtering of the LA schools their work, that looked just as cool as…well you know. A little of the good stuff:

12) USC

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