Power Rankings are rooted in the present, an expression of immediate results accounting for only the current taste on an evaluator’s tongue. The best of PR’s are a declaration of recency bias, rationalized the facts, figures and stones.
Here’s my recency bias without recently posting any Power Rankings. Also, the following, unless noted as an opinion, consists of no alternative facts.
I’m skipping straight to Saturday’s game. It’s neither my job nor responsibility to be weary of overlooking an opponent. Arizona’s visit to USC is intriguing and I’m indubitably, unequivocally, absolutely watching. I’m in fact meeting a new hoops friend – RTC contributor, Michael Lemaire – for a Thursday evening of viewing and fandom. A delight.
But I’m not previewing Arizona’s visit to the Galen Center. Continue reading
Heading to an opposing arena in contrarian attire has its innate allusions to being an ass. But what if you don’t want to be defined by the clothes you wear? Spencer headed to Haas and got curious about how not to be a jerk in an opposing arena. His strongest stance? Don’t wear non-participating gear to the game. Not exactly a parallel to cheering for your squad but there’s more. It’s a 52-minute podcast. And to that point we also hit: Oregon-UCLA, the pursuit of a zero win Pac-12 season, Arizona vs. Oregon vs. WSU as team of the week, and more.
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)
At what point is the 15-17 record exhausted? What about the letter? You’re unfamiliar? Perfect. Let’s be besties. The Bruins concluded 2016 with their 4th losing season since 1948. That’s a minute. And because it was the fault of the defense (199th nationally, 9th in the Pac-12), Steve Alford returned his contract extension bonus ($5.2M) and apologized to fans. We’ll get further into things below. But UCLA basketball hasn’t felt like UCLA basketball for awhile. What’s going to change this year? Is it a top-5 recruiting class? Seen it. Is it a new attitude? Heard about it. What? Will? Change?
Last season on “Keeping up with Wooden”
UCLA’s offense is fine. Mostly at least.
Perhaps that’s an odd lead following their first loss to the enemies of Troy since 2013. But in last night’s game the Bruins still managed a 75 spot, an efficient-ish 1.03 points per possession. Speaking of possessions, Andy Enfield earns his first win against UCLA in the Enfield-Alford rivalry’s second fastest game.
But that’s offense. The scoring and such. Continue reading
I’m not sure it’s worth a qual/quant analysis of what makes a sports villain. Like a four-year old, loathing a given competitor can be justified with a whiny, “Just cause.” Pushing the hater any further leads them to incoherent rambling about a nominal three-pointer he hit and the classless celebration that followed. What a dick!
This is the sort of stuff we explored with my good friend (met via Twitter), Luc. A Bruin faithful and kind enough to not egregiously rub Bryce’s three in our Wildcat faces, it was great to get his perspective on the UCLA program and Pac-12 slate two weeks deep.
Per usual requests: give Luc a follow, us an iTunes subscription or review, and enjoy:
“FEED ME!!!!” screamed the emaciated college basketball news cycle. The monster, who hadn’t eaten a satisfactory meal since Andre McGee was paying hookers and Rick Pitino didn’t go to ACC media day was starving. The tip-off marathon wasn’t going to cut it. His belly growled as he had nothing for bleary-eyed college basketball nerds watching 24-hours of their favorite sport.
Because, of course, the contests themselves are never enough. There must be narrative beyond ball-in-hoop. The monster must eat. Continue reading
A 2015-16 conversation of UCLA basketball has to start with Bryce Alford. I polled everyone I live with and the coach’s son was unanimously voted the most polarizing player in the conference. In the interest of data journalism, I should inform you that I live alone. But you know I’m not wrong. Put aside you daddy issues as I’m going to take the tried and true measure of high-browing your perceptions with arrogant data. Here’s some Bryce:
- Improved his FG%, eFG%, 2FG%, 3FG%, and FT% from FR to SO year
- He shot 39% from 3FG% and just 54% of his threes were assisted (Read: pure shooter)
- He had a better eFG% than: Stanley Johnson, Askia Booker, Tyronne Wallace, and Chasson Randle
- Had a lower TO% than: Brandon Taylor, TJ McConnell, and Marcus Allen
- Averaged 19ppg in 3 NCAA tournament games (13ppg in 6 career NCAA tournament games)
- KenPom comparables include Yogi Ferrell and Matthew Dellavedova
You might not like him but don’t let it could reality. And sure I’ve breezed over some of his flaws (most notably his goatee, shooting at the rim (14% total shots, 46FG% there), defensive efforts). Nevertheless, unless you’re reading in Tucson, Palo Alto or Salt Lake, he’s played in a weekend of the tournament you haven’t.
Why I love them
With three Pac-12 teams into the Sweet-16 and another taking Wisco to the brink, I think it’s clear that Pac-12 is indeed the #ConferenceOfChampions. Indubitably the best in the country, right? BACK THE PAC. BACK THE PAC. BACK THE PAC.
OK, let’s be serious, that’s a ridiculous assertion. The reality is that three Pac-12 teams have won two games and three Sweet-16 teams lost to Washington (Oklahoma, remember?). Doesn’t make this any less fun, however.
The important thing is that LG has moved on to more important advertising campaigns like no heartlessly showing Derron Williams FTW. The worst. Continue reading
So this happened and no one really foresaw it. Quickly after losing to Arizona Steve Alford got to campaigning and evidently it worked. An eleven seed suggests they were pretty squarely in the dance according to the committee who said the Bruins passed the “eye test.” I get it. I also get that they’ve played absolutely no one over their final five games suggesting that the committee believes their losing effort to Arizona was eye pleasing enough. This selection has no one happy but you know what? #BackThePac. Because, quite frankly, the Bruins have talented enough players to be tournament disruptive.