It took the ending of a 49-game home win streak to avoid having a 6-way tie for first place. It’s that kind of year in the Pac-12. Yet as far as I can tell, no one in Eugene cares. We’re halfway home and despite all the crazy talk this one feels pretty wrapped up. Maybe I’m crazy but Oregon seems the best, Utah seems the hottest, and WSU seems the worst. Maybe those are my mid-season superlatives with a hat-tip to Andrew Andrews.
While Dillon Brooks asserted himself as the best player on the best team and Chris Boucher continues to be the shottiest shot blocker on the shot blocking team and Tyler Dorsey has the OBJ haircut that Pac-12 alum Allen Crabbe rocks to accentuate his ears, little Casey Benson has the filthiest A:T ratio in the Pac-12 and this is what it looks like (5:1, btw):
You tell me where on this visualization of Brandon Taylor’s rolling, 5-game 3FG% is Utah’s 5 game win streak?
In one half of 2016 basketball, the USC Trojans have won more Pac-12 games than they did the previous two years. Plus, they’re the only team in the Pac-12 to have a top-50 offense and defense.
I wanted to know if Colorado could uphold their significant (read: fantastic) non-conference three-point shooting. They were up around 40% in that 11-2 start and then shot a cool 28% in their first 3 conference games. Well now the Buffs are 6-3 and look (below at the graph)! The Buffs are now shooting 41% in conference games and 41% overall from distance.
Love that road for the Dawgs at UCLA and then, this week, they took front-and-center in the KenPom blog. Read about their ability to foul. But while the attention might’ve been on the Huskies’ propensity to commit fouls, let’s note that Andrew Andrews is fourth in the nation at drawing them. The senior guard draws 8.4 fouls/40 min.
Arizona shot 61% against the Oregon Ducks. The Pac-12’s most efficient offense shot 61% for an entire 40-minute basketball game and lost. It was their first home loss in nearly 3 years. How? It was their highest turnover rate (turnovers/possessions) since 12/4/12 in a win against Southern Miss.
I’ve been critical of UCLA’s defense for awhile now. Wrote about it. But if you’re more of a visual person, take a look at UCLA’s season long defensive efficiency trend (remember, it’s a defensive graph so the trend heading downward would be good, headed up means more, as in more points)
Here’s a fun juxtaposition: the Cardinal have the lowest turnover rate in conference play (good) and the worst eFG% in conference play. What that means, is that the Cardinal are maximizing the number of possessions they have to miss shots!
10. Oregon State
Oregon State was shooting 39% from distance en route to their 9-2 non-conference slate. We did this same exercise above for Colorado. So how have the Beavers faired from beyond the arc in conference play? Poorly: 31% and are 3-6.
11. Arizona State
Peak 2016 Sparky:
I suppose we have to ask the question: could the Cougars be the second 1-17 team since 2012 USC?