In New York they postponed two basketball games due to weather. As a reminder, basketball is played indoors, presumably a weather protected sport. In Brooklyn, they’re not playing indoor basketball because of weather. Meanwhile, I spent my Sunday at the beach. I went to Cal and Stanford in jeans and a shirt. A light jacket was in tow and today I’m lightly sunburnt, sunkissed if you will (don’t tell my dermatologist brother). So while the Pac-12 is maybe only getting three teams in this year’s dance (although I do discuss Oregon State’s chances below, HBD Tink), the Conference of Champions wins. Because while winning isn’t everything, neither is winter.
12) CALIFORNIA (-1)
The wheels are coming off and this quote from David Kravish makes little sense:
Kravish: “I really believe that when we are rolling on offense, that we are as good as any other team.” #Cal
— Emily Van Buskirk (@Emilnem) January 25, 2015
Consider, this graph of Cal’s defense as its trending along the season:Teams are scoring more frequently and more efficiently as the season progresses. Cal is losing more frequently and by greater margins as the season progresses. A “rolling offense” ain’t changing that.
11) USC (+1)
Rare to escape the cellar on a weekend where you get swept but at least it wasn’t at home (Cal) or by a cumulative 53 points (Cal) or by yielding a cumulative 49% shooting (Cal). Basically, isn’t Cal so they aren’t the worst team in the conference right now.
10) WASHINGTON STATE (-3)
Because Washington State was swept this weekend, the best news out of Pullman was Klay Thompson’s 37 point quarter. Let’s watch that:
9) COLORADO (+1)
Winning isn’t always what matters. It isn’t everything; it’s just the only thing. But when you’re struggling to win anything, splitting at home with your two best players on the pine and with a chance at sweeping lost only in the final minutes, I think we can have some positive takeaways. Tad agrees:
“In the long run, this will be good for Colorado basketball.” – Tad Boyle
And because we can’t go a full article without mentioning something about Spencer Dinwiddie, I found this on his NBA Draft Net profile page:
8) ARIZONA SATE (+1)
When I left Maples Pavilion after three thousand fouls, 160 minutes, this photo, and just a few more fouls for good measure, I went to The Old Pro. I love the local college bar and this is a great one. Of course Stanford isn’t your average college but neither was UCSD. I’ve digressed. Let’s note that Old Pro has P12N. That’s huge. What I also noticed Thursday night was the margin by which ASU was beating Cal at the half. It was 34-13 and kept growing to a final margin of 35 points. ASU shot the ball fantastically. Or at least serviceably when including their loss at the aforementioned Maples. Herb’s wisdom remains valid.
7) UCLA (-2)
The Bruins are the best of the swept teams! Four teams went winless this weekend (conversely four were undefeated!) and UCLA I guess is the best of them. For the weekend, Steve’s son shot 23 three pointers. Conversely, Arizona shot just five in Berkeley – that’s the fewest since 2008 – and I took my parents to a tequila bar playing dubstep (accident). Interestingly enough, UCLA was swept in Oregon for the second time in three trips. Tony Parker didn’t travel to Eugene which only further shortens Steve’s bench. Things aren’t trending well for the Bruins.
6) WASHINGTON (NC)
So when I was talking about winning not being everything and moral victories and such? Yeah the Dawgs don’t care. They filled the left column in Boulder and that’s all they needed to do especially knowing that the Utah part of the Ski Trip is miserable. LoRo’s team would drop that one by a classically significant margin. It’s ok because they eeked out a win on an Andrew Andrews buzzer beater. Classically cool.
5) OREGON (+3)
If you’ll recall, when looking for a coach to replace Ben Howland, UCLA fans vehemently wanted a man who would play under the principles of Wooden. Of character and beyond. Yet perhaps even more important to that, however, was that he basically not be Ben Howland. UCLA needed a guy who’d play faster. None of this defensive stuff. Here’s what Oregon did in the first half against UCLA on Saturday:
- 46 points
- 75% from the field
- 6/7 from 3FG
- +5 rebounding margin
I can’t say that it was at Klay-levels, but they were approaching. Say, wasn’t Klay Thompson a Los Angeles area kid? Enough about schools not named Oregon. Big sweep at home for the Ducks.
4) OREGON STATE (NC)
Look I’ll be the first to tell you that Oregon State is not an NCAA tournament team. But what if they are? It’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore things like their KenPom ranking (62), defensive efficiency (15th in the nation), RPI (64th), or noting that they still have shots at Arizona (1/30), Utah (2/19), and Stanford (2/26). The feel is such that it’s a toss up whenever they take the floor. They’ll play six of their final eleven on the road but let’s note today (1/26) as the day we at least thought maybe.
3) STANFORD (NC)
The latest to be #Taking CareOfBusinessAtHome but, unfortunately, one of those home dates was against Arizona who has beaten the Cardinal ten straight times. Not much to see here but this video breakdown of the Brown-Johnson matchup is terrific. I also think we’ve found a competitor for Johnny Dawkins’ Coldest Stare crown:
2) UTAH (NC)
Last week we asked how this team would react to their first big loss of the season. They walked into McKale and had their lunch handed to them. Mark Titus questioned their toughness:
Utah was as soft as it has been all season. Arizona hit one 3, Utah hit nine, and the Utes lost by 18? How is that possible? Why didn’t anybody on Utah get pissed off over giving up so many offensive rebounds?
He had a point and what I questioned here was how would they respond? Well the Utes promptly swept the Washingtons in blowout fashion, staying the course of their season and not doing things like throwing gimmicky zones. This was something K2 instituted against Arizona which – to me – suggested to his team that they’d already lost. Getting back to the Hunt and their style of play was big for Utah. Things are fine.
1) ARIZONA (NC)
Last week I wrote that the Pac-12 Player of the Year discussion rests on just two shoulders: Delon Wright and Chasson Randle. The only way, I thought, that anyone else could join the conversation would be through outlandish feats. Stanley Johnson is doing outlandish things. The Stanimal’s numbers since losing to Oregon State:
19.25 points 8.25 rebounds 52% FG% 33% 3FG% 83% FT%
Maybe, just maybe, in mid-January, I was wrong about the Player of the Year conversation. Also, listen carefully, this is what fun sounds like:
A video posted by Phil ” The Pain” Collins (@ptp819) on