You might’ve read my Pac-12 preseason predictions. If not some of them here then if you were traveling in the early November time frame you might’ve seen them featured in USA Today’s College Basketball Special Edition/leaflet. My friend bought me a copy en route to a wedding in Mexico and left it in the hotel shuttle. I have the best friends!
If you didn’t click the above link, here’s how I had things shaking out: Continue reading
We’re finally previewing the Pac-12. This week, the last before games actually tip, I’ll post two previews of travel mates (i.e. UW and WSU will appear in the same post) and, in the interest of being fully prepared for Friday’s hoop joy, I’ll post two-a-day. Thus the title. Although it’s 4 previews-a-day. Regardless. Enjoy. (Other school previews)
We’re entering year three with Cuonzo which is his average tenure. He stayed three years at Missouri State before earning a Sweet Sixteen and a ticket to Knoxville where petitions were started to oust him. The people demand Bruce Pearl! And now we’re here. He’s got an outbound lottery pick, a four-year-five-star, a Columbia grad transfer, and Marcus Lee on the bench. His athletic department has significant deficits but Cuonzo got a contract. Alas, that’s a grim outline for what’s generally viewed as a promising season. The Bears were picked to finish 4th this season and, despite my run down, all can’t be bad in Berkeley (I have friends that live there!).
Last season on “Everybody Love Cuonzo”
On Monday the Pac-12 coaches voted for their conference’s awards and it was without controversy. Which isn’t to say the conference went the way of mundane chalk but rather that it was a season of generally solid things. Nothing rocked the boat.
Alas, this isn’t the post where we pick apart the awards – a fool’s errand. This is the post where I select my own all conference team then look at the actuals. Basically we look at where I went WRONG.
My 2016 Pac-12 Awards
The beauty of this podcast is its real human element. There are some admissions of our own faults this week and a rich family history from Spencer. Of course the meat-and-potatoes of this pod centers around Pac-12 basketball and our day trip to the Cal-Saint Mary’s game.
While you’re listening this week, if you have the mobile phone dexterity, give us an iTunes review if you don’t mind. And if you’re curious about podcasts and why these sorts of questions are requested of you, here’s a breakdown from Vox.
I maybe could’ve skipped this week’s Power Rankings considering the release of the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer. But that felt disrespectful during the biggest week for Star Wars nerds since they played the extended trailer during that awful Monday Night football game (I tuned in). Speaking of big weeks, the Pac-12 was supposed to have one! Turns out they had a couple of really impressive halves:
- Winning in Kansas City (Go Beavs!)
- Down one in Lexington (Go Devils!)
- Up double digits at home against Saint Mary’s (Go Bears!)
Well the Beavers and Devils would lose by double figures and Cal needed a late three to beat the Gael’s at home. Oregon took a road loss (but outscored the Broncos in the second half!) and Utah’s return trip to Wichita wasn’t victorious (led for all of 28-seconds). Meanwhile the Bruins continue to win the tougher parts of their schedule (Got them Zags!). The weekend wasn’t quite this:
But you could still feel like this:
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
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
Early in this episode (S3:E1), Spencer and I promise a rebrand. It wasn’t a significant one but here’s the first edition of Spencer and me speaking as the Podcast of Champions. But you might also still find us as WANE. let’s leave the branding for another time, we’ve got hoops to discuss. Here’s the first podcast of the 2015-16 season:
And here’s what you need to know about this podcast.
I wanted to guide our conversation, use some parameters to determine how we’d discuss each team. We talk about it in the podcast but I thought some literature might assist. We took the KenPom predicted rankings (which admittedly don’t include certain metrics like transfers and most recruits) and let an over/under thought drive the discussion. We paid no heed to whether we tracked too many overs and too few unders. I think, by my rough re-listening math, everyone in the conference is going to finish above 10-wins. Nevertheless, every team discussed. Enjoy.
Logistics and requests:
- Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes
- Follow us on Soundcloud
- Follow me on Twitter and let’s talk about the pod
- Follow Spencer on Twitter and you guys talk about the pod
If you’ve spent any time parousing the world wide web, you’ve likely come across a comments section, message board, or tweet surrounding the NCAA legality of Cal’s most recent recruiting class. A brief history lesson on California sports and its fiscal management before we return to even greater levels of reality:
Cal has always stunk at money. They announced the elimination of five sports due to budget constraints in 2010 (including their Rugby program and its 26 titles and the baseball program which would go on to the 2011 CWS and is arguably a better Bay Area budget underdog than Moneyball). Financing of their upgraded Cal Memorial Stadium has been widely criticized, an upgrade balked at while Jeff Tedford had Cal football on the cusp of Rose Bowls. Todd Bozeman was a coach at Cal.
Now please remove your foil hat and come in close for this: Cal did a great job recruiting. They secured the third ranked class in the country and they didn’t send a bagman with the heaviest satchel into anyone’s living room. Of course Yanni Hufnagel could be throwing Dre McGee-esque parties starring the Madame of Berkeley and none of us – especially Cuonzo – know anything about. But this is recruiting. Grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula. These are kids making decisions with a ton of whispers and shouts in their ears. Nothing is given. Nothing should be expected. Yes a kid from Marietta, Georgia can play at Cal. It’s happened before. And yes a kid from Oakland can play at Cal. It’s happened before. Coach Cuonzo Martin has got one helluva basketball team and they’re going to play at Virginia. Tune in. Ultimately I don’t care if this team’s Scout.com page looks like the Milky Way – it’s time to compete and this is a team sport played across 30+ games. Nothing has been awarded these Bears. Most certainly nothing earned.
What I love about them
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