Today, with an emphasis on brevity, I wanted to fly through the Pac-12 as we watch it somewhat begin to bottom itself out. I ask that you read that opening line with that wide-eyed look of faux joy and genuine insincerity when you say something true and painful that you don’t really want to wrap your mind around but you must. Because this conference currently has teams in free fall, limbo, shock, and infancy. There’s one team of predictable performance and after that things appear to suck (they don’t but let’s just be fans on a Friday before a fun weekend. Hey…WHO’S BROTHER IS IN TOWN? This guy!)
Utah – They’re lost on the road, struggling to survive and scraping by on whatever they can. They’re not winning but they’re not dying either. This is a brief plot summary of Utah’s season and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Larry Krystkowiak, fortunately, is more articulate than The Son.
Washington State – You need talent to win basketball games and DaVonte Lacy hasn’t played (excluding an injury inducing 11 minutes against ASU) since Bieber retired. Also, not even DaVonte is enough here.
Washington – The Huskies are proving that you can win with a bad offense and a bad defense. Seriously, they’re 4-3 and yet in the bottom half of in the conference in ORtg, eFG%, TO%, OR%, FTrate, 2P%. 3P%, FT%, and Tempo and each of the corresponding defensive calculations. That’s bottom half in 16 of 18 categories and the only two (defensive eFG% and 3p% against) correspond mathematically and the latter is often tossed up to luck. You silly purple team.
USC – DJ MalSki, their top defender.
UCLA – “You’ve got to make Tony mad. He had a really ugly outfit on. He wore red in our office, and that’s just something you don’t do. Make fun of his outfit a lot and that bothers him.” – Steve Alford on how to get Tony Parker going. He’d score 22 on 9-14 against Stanford. Curious if Xavier Johnson was listening?
Stanford – Just not that good. But maybe tonight?
Oregon State – FLOTUS GIF!
Oregon – I mean, why not Washington State, too?
Colorado – There’s still something there (if not just a raging, irrational fire in the belly of Xavier Johnson who has now predicted a 20-point blow out of #1 Arizona on 2/22 in Boulder a game I will be attending) but it’s tough to play the two best teams in the conference after losing your best player. That said, in light of XJ’s comments, maybe a shift in humility is in order?
California – I’m going to chalk up their loss at USC to the MalSki effect. Cal’s seen zone defenses and fast offenses and man defenses and deliberate offenses, but they ain’t never seen beats like that.
Arizona State – Jahii Carson shoots 31% in ASU losses (5) and 50% in ASU wins (14). Stop Jahii, win the game. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Arizona – “What a team. What a game. How fun. I’m going to sleep in the desert tonight.” – Bill Walton.