I imagine you’re going to start seeing bigger swings in these rankings as it only makes sense to reward teams for being as good as their last weekend. It’s like a weekend when family comes to visit and you don’t go to bars until last call. Monday – or in this case Tuesday’s Power Rankings – are just going to be a lot kinder to you. That’s a less-than-abstract way of asking Pac-12 teams to sober up? Or do we like a drunk Pac?
Which brings us to even further existential questions like: Do I want to live in a world where Alabama is winning national championships on trick plays? Where people watch an admitted one quarter of college football and their first take is “Lane Kiffin called a great game?” Where Andy Enfield runs the hottest team on the coast? I hope you’re sticking to your 2016 resolutions.
Aside from – yanno – not having any Pac-12 wins of note, I’ve been critical of the Enfield tenure. Well this weekend his team got their first marquee win since he took over in the Galen Center. Kudos. They shot nearly 200% in the first half and outlasted the Wildcats in what was really a fun game to watch…in standard def! Poor programming aside, the Trojans take the top spot in the Power Rankings (deservedly so) just as they head on a miserable three game road trip: @UCLA, @Oregon, @Oregon State. If the Trojans are still in first after that, give Enfield a statue.
In beating Cal, the Ducks ground out a very nice win in which Cal (who needs to defend to win) held the Ducks to their third lowest offensive efficiency, at home, of the past three seasons. Specific? Maybe. But it was the kind of game that Cal is built to win but didn’t. Oregon did.
While I would like to do a correlative study of Washington’s tempo (5th in the nation) and their offensive rebounding rate (17th in the nation), it’s just not in the cards. Monday night was dedicated to Deshaun Watson and Derrick Henry. But what I did have time to discover is that UW has taken the third fewest shots with 5-seconds-or-less on the shot clock (pace!). But what I find most interesting about these Huskies is this high offensive rebounding rate and their low FG% (269th in 2FG%). Can they really be that bad at their initial and follow up shots? Maybe. The Dawgs have taken the 7th most putbacks in the country and the 6th highest percentage of shots in transition. In each of these scenarios, the Dawgs actually have pretty good effective FG% (above average in each). In non-transition offense, however, a possession accounting for half of the Dawgs’ attempts, the Fighting LoRos rank 303rd in effective field goal percentage.
Sean Miller said this:
Miller: “Fans, the media, you can get caught up on 1-2 (record). I’m too smart for that.”
— Ezra Amacher (@EzraAmacher) January 10, 2016
before we really knew about this:
— Allonzo Trier (@ISOzo_LOE) January 10, 2016
If you really want to freak out about Arizona basketball right now, really your only major gripe is that its best player just broke his hand (that’s what the means). Because two road losses by a total 5 points in 2015-16 NCAA basketball is approaching spilt milk. Defense? Played miserable. Coming to Tucson this week are the 80th and 120th rated offense’s in the nation. Optimism, people.
5. Oregon State
New rule: don’t beat your arch-rival then sustain a home loss to Stanford. Alas, the Beavers responded with a nice win over Cal. But what I’m curious about is where the defense? The Beavers’ defensive efficiency is creeping towards a >100 ranking which we thought would be their crutch, not their achilles heel. Stanford, the 113th most efficient offense in that nation, managed a road 116 points per 100 possessions against the Beavers. They then beat Cal in what was effectively a shootout. It’s working for now but I have to imagine coach Tinkle is going to want to tighten up on that side of the floor.
I’m not going to pile on Brandon Taylor anymore. It’s become just a bad senior season which is one of those things no one likes to write. Instead, let’s note that Lorenzo Bonam is doing his best possible Delon Wright impersonation:
Here’s a fun fact you wouldn’t have guessed: Bryce Alford ranks 237th nationally and 10th in the conference in three-pointers made with 5-seconds-or-fewer on the shot clock. Fooled me:
On that shot’s defense:
Miller on final shot: “We didn’t switch Kaleb Tarczewski on Bryce Alford. You literally have to be out of your mind to do that.”
— Ezra Amacher (@EzraAmacher) January 8, 2016
By the way, full credit to UCLA.
Well Cal played great defense against Oregon – the exact style of game that the Bears are built to win. And lost. Then they lost in a shoot out to Oregon State. Ha, and we’re trying to make sense of the season. A fool’s errand. But look what Jaylen did:
Pac-12 Dunk of the Week? Cal’s Jaylen Brown: pic.twitter.com/kzuTVJLyjT
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) January 11, 2016
Which of these Pac-12 game offensive outputs (by 100 points per possession) found the Buffs victorious?
Option #1 seems the most logical. The answer is #2.
I went on a date with a girl who works here. Best anecdote I’ve got right now. If you want to know more, get at me.
Consider this: in scoring 95 points across 82 possessions while connecting on 51% of their shots, the Washington State Cougars amassed 9 – only nine – assists. And it wasn’t even their lowest assist rate of the year. That came on their 4 assists on 25 FGs against Gonzaga.
12. Arizona State
Here is a fact I absolutely guarantee you didn’t know. Tra Holder has the highest 3FG% with the lowest % of assisted threes of any player in the country with at least one assisted three pointer. Please – please – let me know if you knew that because I think we might have some common interests to talk about. Basically what this means is that Tra Holder is hitting a lot of three pointers off his own dribble which is generally indicative of a fantastic shooter. For context, Bryce Alford shoots roughly the same 3FG% as Holder, yet more than 50% of his threes are assisted. For further context, about 85% of all three pointers are assisted. Tra Holder can shoot (and his team is 0-3).