- West Coast Bias: Opposing coaches assess five of this year’s top teams – Aside from this being a great series by Jeff Eisenberg, Cal State LA’s Dierter Horton explains to us that UCLA’s most effective lineup looks just like theirs did last year. Which is effectively what we said here on Tuesday. The specific, however, that I didn’t delve in to, was Aaron Holiday’s ability to play the role of Norman Powell – a supersized guard with defensive prowess. Powell was a bulldog, and while I’m not much of one for “replacing” players, if the Bruins can manage to not miss a beat with the losses of Powell and Kevon Looney (Horton says Bolden is great at being a long, versatile PF) then they’re a year up on everyone else.
- On Grantland and Sports Media – I really appreciate this article. It takes a very macro view of the entire happenings with Grantland. As I noted in Monday’s #34B the actions of the Mother Ship are consistent with their other activities. The Grantland product is highbrow in a lowbrow medium. It wasn’t making money and that’s a fact. Of course there are Skipper and Simmons’ proclaimed BSDs and now even stretches that Simmons’ podcast intro song (TuPac’s “Picture me Rollin'”) is a slight at his former employer. My big takeaway: the internet is the greatest mouthpiece an individual has for self-promotion. So please tell your friends about pachoops.com!
- Ranking every team in college hoops from Grambling St. (351) to UNC (1) – Dan Hanner and Luke Winn do it again. This is my favorite list as I believe it’s more comprehensive than the KenPom preseason ratings and more analytical than the AP (who usually isn’t far off in the preseason). Of course what none of the current polls can account for are the injuries to Robert Cartwright (shoulder done for the year) and Dylan Ennis (foot injury out one month). I tweeted this, but between Cartwright (PG), Ennis (combo/PG), Ray Smith (SF), and Xavier Johnson (PF) the All-Injured Pac-12 squad DOES NOT NEED A CENTER. Thanks and take care.
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