Before embarking on our fourth week of Pac-12 play, allow me a brief State of the Pac address. SOTP, if you will: Continue reading
It’s a frustrating game and there are a lot of ways your team can frustrate you. From anything that happens on the court to the litany of things they screw up off of it. It’s the curse of fandom. And maybe you’re an optimist – see growth opportunities in a failed in-bounds or benching due to tardiness. Bless you and may that spirit take you far.
Of course one of the most frustrating things is when your team is struggling. When they just seem to suck but you can’t really figure out why. You can’t quantify it, there’s just a feeling – effing feelings – but you know it and the slouched shoulders aren’t helping. Neither is the scoreboard.
That’s maybe the feeling for Colorado right now. Continue reading
Before we get too serious with things, I want to remind all Oregon fans that there are two games this weekend – in Eugene – and their attendance would likely be appreciated. That said, if you’re preoccupied, I’d understand. Hell, Dana Altman might even get it. SCOOOOO BUCKS DUCKS. Allow me to remind you that I’m a heart divided. Grandpa – who’s daughter is featured at the tail of this post – gave me a different Ohio State sweatshirt for the first 13 years of my life. I grew up in scarlet hoodies – for the weekend a year that I’d wear one in Arizona – and dad telling me what an asshole Woody Hayes was (great story about my dad’s law partner and Woody Hayes, ask me about it some time). But after grandpa, grandma, a buncha cousins, and a video of my mom telling me she’d root for OSU over Arizona (her alma mater) I have some really good Duckships (which is friendships with Duck fans). Am I split? Probably not. Let’s talk Monday around 10 PST. I love all y’all.
Week 2 Preview:
Game of the Week
The obvious call here is the first ever CFP championship game in which Oregon or Ohio State will arguably earn themselves the moniker of MOST DESERVING COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPION EVER. That’s literally what I’ll run with. In the hoops world this is – to be honest – a really uninteresting week of Pac-12 basketball. Can we say that in week two? Am I supposed to hype something that’s unhypable? Neverthless, I think the game I’m most interested in is Stanford’s visit to UCLA. It’s doesn’t feature the two best teams to face off or arguably anything even that close to it. But Stanford came it at #3 in our Power Rankings this week suggesting, they’re good. Good enough to beat UCLA in Pauley. For UCLA, that would be six straight. Reeling. Conversely, this would be a really big win for a team that needs a really big win. The Bruins are capable of doing it but will they? I’ll be watching to see if Bryce Alford can connect on his first three point bucket of 20-Quinceañera.
Game to Avoid
This one’s pretty clear to me but if you disagree, you have the opportunity to channel hop. Simulcast with our GotW – Thursday at 6pm PST on FS1 – will be Arizona State’s visit to Corvallis. While I like what Oregon State is doing with Tinkle Time, and think this is one of their best opportunities at a distinguishing win, I really don’t think this is remotely must-see. You can probably save yourself the thumbing, stick to ESPN and the ‘Furd-UCLA game, and use TV timeouts for things like the restroom or calisthenics.
Something to Prove
Sorry to be redundant but it’s got to be UCLA here. They’re losers of five straight and in unimpressive fashion. But, because I’m not going to harp on one team throughout our Week 2 Preview, the team with the most to prove could be the Oregon Ducks. On WANE this week, Spencer and I talked about this being a sleeping giant (can you call a team that mid-season? I feel like that’s a phrase reserved for the “Program” level and perennially used to make ASU football fans feel good). The Ducks have played well for the most part and host the Wildcats who haven’t won in Eugene since 2010 (which is misleading because it was December 30th 2010 but nevertheless it’s been quite awhile).
Also going to give a Colorado mention. They played better against the LA schools, got a kick in the emos from Xavier Johnson, did it all without Josh Scott (whom they’ll get back tonight at Utah) and won’t be lost in the thin air of Salt Lake. Further, they’d kicked the demons of never beating UCLA so why not this curse, too:
Well, streaks are meant to be broken, right? The last time CU defeated a Top 10 team on the road was Jan. 15, 1973 (at Mis- souri,81-79 (ot)
— JG (@jgisland) January 7, 2015
Something to Lose
UCLA? Nah. OK but seriously. UCLA. But for serious, we’re so early and the schedule is so light that there isn’t much for people to lose. If forced to pick – and I’m forcing myself to pick – I’m going with the Cal Bears. After a big win over UW they lost to WSU suggesting anything is possible. So losing to USC on the heels of that would be bad. Malo if you’re speakin’ Spanish.
Texts from Family Members
This is our newest feature where I text my mom or another family member about the happenings of last week’s Pac-12 to see what she or they have to say. I already can’t wait for next week:
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:
And on this side of the break I hope you find yourselves thankful, that you had a better homecoming than Chasson Randle (like seriously, Stanford, you promise the kid two homecoming games and manage a 1-1 record and yield 1.19 per possession to DePaul who was wearing a home loss to Lehigh) and that your team won the Pac-12 South because – let me tell you – that’s fun. See you in Santa Clara.
Which of course means that football is winding down, heading into its long winter before reemerging at the turn of the year to give it their best, and first, shot at a March. Basketball will soon becomes our primary collegiate focus; when familiar foes travel to familiar venues and the grind. Eighteen conference games of unpredictability. Vegas. Selection Sunday. The weekends. A football stadium. Continue reading
- Great Scott! - I could tell you a lot about this article…but I wrote it. So if you want my thoughts on what I wrote you should just read it (of note – I contribute weekly over at All Buffs, a high quality forum for all things CU)
- Derrick Rose Does Not Belong to You – First of all, I love this title. Secondly, I love this column. Thirdly, is it just me or has The Cauldron been pretty hit-or-miss? Let’s revisit these thoughts sequentially now that they’re out there. (1) It’s just a really good, and true title. (2) We do revere our athletes and our heroes for overcoming personal strife to win. In Rose’s case it’s repeated injury and it now seems he’s being turned on for looking out for number one. The author hits on a terrific and NBA-centric parallel (Sterling) but doesn’t bother to go down the hypocrisy of criticizing Rose and simultaneously criticizing the NFL for not caring for its players enough. (3) I just don’t regularly find myself enjoying what I find or read on there. It just seems to be lacking a je no sais quois which is exactly what good content tends to have.
- Things I’ll Teach My First Kid – I’m not remotely close to this. I mean, one time I dated a girl for 3.5 years and then another time I thought really hard about the L-word and on a daily basis I market to expecting families but this. Like what fuckups are we that we then get to teach another person how not to be one, only to know that they’re going to be one, and then hold them when they cry about it? Maybe that’s parenthood? I don’t know. But someday I’m excited to find out. In the meantime, please excuse my empty fridge and the weekend.
Below you will find my submission to the Rush The Court Pac-12 All-Conference Voting. I’m not sold on this being a great Pac-12 but it isn’t 2012, either. Furthermore, run through that list of All-Conference performers. There’s plenty of heat in there. I had to keep Askia Booker, Shaq McKissic, Brandon Taylor, Andrew Andrews, Xavier Johnson, David Kravish, and other quality ball players off of that list. Nevertheless, here’s how I see things shaking out.
Wanna talk about it? COME AT ME BRO!!!!! [twitter link]
I haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point but I’d like to. By my peripheral understanding, however, and through some Internet investigation, I’ve come to find that a ‘tipping point’ can loosely be defined as “when something not previously popular becomes popularized, and how that came to be.” Which is about where I find Colorado Basketball. Previously, winning wasn’t the most popular activity in Boulder. Then they joined the Pac-12 (a behavioral change) and they started to try the winning thing on. Three straight years of 20+ wins and three consecutive NCAA tournaments, unprecedented in school history. But we’re at that moment, the season where something is going to feel different. Could this be when we begin to believe that Colorado Basketball is a winning brand of basketball and not just fluke run through the Pac-12 tournament and some luck on the recruiting trail (Spencer Dinwiddie + Josh Scott)? This year comes with expectations but also a lot of questions. We basically got to see this roster compete for the latter half of last season. Tad called it a “jump-start.” It wasn’t remarkable and that has some people, myself included, concerned. Are these expectations realistic? Achievable? What even are the expectations? I see this year as a tipping point because I want to know if winning has or will be popularized in Boulder. Jump start for what?
Why I Hate Them:
Ben Carter dismissed a Nick Johnson shot and then Washington State beat the hell out of UCLA and now Vegas. Those were the waning moments of Pac-12 regular season basketball and we had Matt from Addicted to Quack on WANE to discuss that Oregon game and everything forthcoming in Las Vegas.
Give it a listen, we go deep:
0:00 – Matt’s work all over that intro
0:40 – Spencer admits that Eugene is different when you’re not an undergrad, but no-less fantastic.
1:38 – Really strange moment where everyone admits they’re not really sure what’s going on with regards to recording and logistics. You learn a little about how we make this happen.
2:20 – Things get existential
3:26 – We are going to handle this podcast by asking questions and then we note that Utah vs. Washington is an awesome way to kick this thing off.
4:33 – Tangent on Washington State and Spencer admits he was a little butt hurt to see the Wildcats lose in Eugene then poses a great argument for said WSU upset of UCLA.
7:40 – WHO IS THE MOST DANGEROUS TEAM – OUTSIDE OF SAY….ARIZONA – IN THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT?
18:57 – WHICH TEAM HAS THE MOST TO GAIN?
24:24 – DOES ARIZONA STAND TO HAVE THE MOST TO GAIN…A NUMBER ONE SEED?
29:41 - WHO IS THE PLAYER TO WATCH?
38:14 – Money, sent to me in a won bet with my father, arrives.
39:37 – THIS IS HOW YOU DEFINE STANFORD. BRAVO, MATT!
41:42 – After diving into the number of ridiculous guards in this conference, how’s about the big kids?
47:10 - Adam with a major buzzkill on his stance on conference tournaments
48:02 – WHAT IS THE BEST POTENTIAL MATCHUP IN THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT?
57:26 – Spencer, the only of us going to Vegas, with the last word
Last night was as March as games not broadcast on CBS get. Every game saw a tie or lead change in the final five minutes (if not the final two minutes) and EVERY SINGLE ROAD TEAM WON. I’m not going to data mine to see if there has been a three pronged road sweep on a single night this Pac-12 season. But considering there have been only 44 road wins across 100 Pac-12 games, I don’t think we’ve seen it. Welcome to March.
Arizona @ Oregon State
I don’t know if this was a trap game or what it projected to be but I do know that there are some damn fine ball players on that Oregon State roster. They have size all over and Roberto Nelson is a scorer. Unfortunately, this was my mom’s analysis of the game, “It looked like one team had a plan and the other didn’t.” Well guess who won? Arizona did and was fortunate to do such if you’re asking their coach. He cited the Wildcats’ inability to rebound and so I present to you the expected rebounding numbers and the actuals and subsequently how Oregon State stayed in that game:
Colorado @ Stanford
If we break the game into quarters, the Colorado Buffaloes have been outscored by 45 points in the third quarter during conference play this season. That’s an average of about 2.7 points per game and worse on the road: -3.5 points, -25 collectively. Conversely, the Stanford Cardinal come out of the half and are plus 21. It’s a theme worth diving deeper into at another time but here is how last night’s battle for a bid played out:
In what appears to be that critical third quarter, the Buffs managed to play things even, maintain their lead, and subsequently close the game. Oh, and this was critical at 2:01
DWIGHT CHARGES WITH FOUR FOULS OVER JOSH SCOTT WITH FOUR FOULS. THAT WAS LIKE TWO LIONS FIGHTING FOR A GAZELLE
— Adam Butler (@pachoopsab) March 6, 2014
Utah @ California
Numbers don’t lie: