Tag Archives: recruiting

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 10 Things We’re Pac-12 Thankful For

1) Andy Enfield’s Mouth
This thing has been a riot and I love it. The running of one’s mouth is a beautiful pastime of sport and perhaps one of the things I miss most about playing baseball. And the reason we talk so much shit in baseball is we have so much time to do nothing but run our mouths. So while Alford might be busy getting to the NCAA tournament, Enfield has all sorts of time on his hands to flap his gums and get us thinking about USC basketball. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s spice. And it’s anything but slow. Additionally, as someone who puts a high premium on where he lives (mom’s in real estate: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION) I absolutely love, cherish, adore, support, this quote:

“Tim Floyd shows up every day at work and realizes he lives in El Paso, Texas.”

-Andy Enfield

2) Vegas
It’s taken just the slightest of urges from others attending the event for me to get back on the bandwagon. Now, to be clear, I was never not on the bandwagon, just trying to be fiscally and familial-ly conservative. I’m pretty certain I’m in and looking for financiers. Any takers? But seriously, this three year contract with the MGM is going to be renewed faster than you can detect testosterone in Seahawk piss. If you haven’t made the plans to do it, make ’em. And if the conference runs back their 12/12/12 deal, you have to.

3) Hoop-math.com
Start down this rabbit hole and you’re going to learn so much about your team and other teams that you’re not going to know what to do with yourself. But let me give you warning: With great knowledge comes great power. Let me walk you through a recent conversation.

Roommate: Nick Johnson cannot slash. Never gets to the rim.

Me: He actually takes 40% of his shots – second most on the team – at the rim.

RM: Well he doesn’t finish well.

Me: As it were, Nick connects on this at-the-rim shots at a 90% clip.

RM: *silence

The moral of the story: Don’t use hoop-math to be a dick.

4) LobPueblo


5) Crime free school zones Larry Krystkowiak is a giant of a man and he hates thieves (so much so that Utah has hovered in the mid-200s by way of steal % rating the past two seasons). But locking fools up is exactly what K intends to do. And I’m not just talking about criminals. We’re transitioning to recruiting where K has garnered the last few mega-talents out of Utah in the thriving Jordan Loveridge and the soon-to-be-Ute, Brekkott Chapman.

6) Recruiting
While this has nothing to do with the Pac-12 directly, Cliff Alexander pulls the biggest dick move as component of the weirdest part of college hoops fandom. In this case, I couldn’t be happier this happened to Illinois:


7) Arizona State social media
Firstly, Herb Sendek posts lots of photos with lots of friends and fans and has some random quips about random stuff. That’s fine, it’s twitter, but give it a scroll and tell me there aren’t any head scratchers. And then there’s Jahii Carson’s mom giving new meaning to the term ‘helicopter parent.’ (it’s a blocked account but you can learn a lot from the mentions in that linked search) She trolls the internet for any criticisms of her son – which she won’t soon find here – and once even referenced marriage to him. Alas, she once complimented my article about Jahii so…I’m cool.

8) Graduate school
Last season’s first team All-Conference team touted one graduate and – as I’m revisiting this list – I’m confused as to how EJ Singler made first-team and Arsalan Kazemi was honorable mention. Alas, the point here is that there have been some wonderfully impactful graduate students in the Pac-12 and this year is no different. Keep a close eye on Mike Moser (Oregon), Jermaine Marshall (ASU), Pe’Shon Howard (USC), and Jason Calliste (Oregon).

9) Bags of cash and trips to Mexico
While that sounds like my weekend, that’s what was being offered up by the ousted head of officiating. Now can you imagine if Ed Rush had endured that whole scandal and then had to get on a mic and tell all of us that “this season, the rules are changing to be called even tighter so referees are going to be even more noticed in the outcome of a given game and the central topic of conversation in the season’s early goings.” I don’t imagine that would’ve gone over well so here’s to you, Bobby Dibler. Keep on keepin’ on.

10) You
I started this blog two seasons ago with no goal but to have my own basketball forum. We’ve evolved since that first post and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful to have you actually read this thing and I’m beyond thankful when we interact via email, twitter, g-chat, text, radio, comment fields, or just collective thought. Connecting with people is the spice of life and this awkwardly named website that my mom still thinks is pa-choops and others still think is a blog misspelled for guy named Paco has allowed me to connect with so many of you. Thank you. You’re the best.

Pac-12 Basketball Recruiting: Early signing period links

Aside from Herb Sendek’s twitter account, recruiting is the weirdest thing in college basketball. I follow it but I hate myself for following it. It’s the future of your program and it’s lusting for 17 year-olds. I hate that I just wrote that. But LOIs have been signed – binding contracts more firmly kept than a Kardashian prenuptial – and the 2014 classes are taking pretty firm shape.

Here are some notes and links on the Pac-12’s early signing period:

Washington State

Tremaine Isabell is a PG out of Seattle. He’s unrated by the scouting services but Jeff Nusser gives a good synopsis of what the Cougs are getting here. The question, of course, is who’s Isabell going to be playing for next season?

Washington – 

The Dawgs have inked two essentially local talents in Olympia’s Donaven Dorsey and British Columbia’s Tristan Etienne. Here, Percy Allen breaks down the significance of these post commitments. He has some interesting notes on Romar’s recruiting direction.

Oregon –

N/A as no one has graduated yet to transfer. I keeeeed! Dana’s bringing in four new players in Dwayne Benjamin, Michael Chandler, Ray Kasongo, and Casey Benson (a product from my home state!). Chandler might be the most interesting of these pickups as he’s a former top-50 prospect who couldn’t qualify and went the JC route.

Oregon State

Another class that might not play for the coach they signed with, the Beavers signed four noobs: Isaiah Manderson, Chai Baker, Devin Watson and….THE MITTEN! Yes it’s Gary Payton’s son (Gary Payton Jr.) who has earned the nickname THE MITTEN in the shadow of his father’s glove.


Monty has never been known as a mega recruiter but he picks up 4-star point guard, Ahmaad Rorie a season removed from an outstanding class including Jabari Bird.


Dawkins brings in an excellent class that is rated 14th by Scout. We of course aren’t positive if he’ll still be the coach in 2014 but that’s neither here nor there. We do know that the Cardinal are about to lose a lot of talent so garnering this class is imperative for the Cardinal to fight on ;).


Kevon Looney picked UCLA in a late surprise but no one should really care about that part. The fact is that Alford has reeled in a talented big man for a season in which he’s about to lose the Wear family. This was a critical get and the first big one of Alford’s UCLA tenure. They also signed Gyorgy Goloman. I know nothing of this Hungarian but it is also worth noting that Isaac Hamilton is kind of a piece of this class as he’s “transferring” from UTEP.

USC – 

Any Enfield made the first big splash in the revamped LA coaching scene when he garnered a commitment from Jordan McLaughlin. Joining the LA-area guard in Enfield’s 2014 class are forward Malik Price-Martin and center Jabari Craig. Another transfer note is that the Trojans will pick up Katin Reinhardt amongst others but I can’t keep up with all the transfers so…good luck.

Arizona –

Sean Miller continues to own California as he grabbed both Parker Jackson Cartwright and Stanley Johnson out of LA. The Wildcats also got a commitment from 5-or4-star PF, Craig Victor who I sometimes call Victor Craig and vice versa. Kadeem Allen also joins the 2014 class as a Juco addition in the back court. Miller expects his class to grow (Justise Winslow on Wednesday? Myles Turner in the spring?).

Arizona State –

Herb is finding strength in numbers. He’s inked six kids to his 2014 class as he’s about to lose Jahii and Jordan and Jermaine (the killer J’s?). Here is his class: C Octavious Ellis (JC), SG Gerry Blakes (JC), SG Roosevelt Scott (JC), PG Tra Holder, C Connor MacDougall, PG Kodi Justice. Holder and MacDougall are 4-stars and the latter is a local kid out of Phoenix and that’s critical to successful programs.

Colorado –

As I noted in the above ASU snippet, garnering the locals is critical. While Tad Boyle missed out on mega recruit and Colorado native, Josh Perkins, he’s did manage to get Dominique Collier – a four-star recruit from Denver’s East HS. Joining Dom will be Tory Miller out of NH.

Utah –

Larry K has seemingly revamped his lineup in each of his three seasons at Utah. But he’s starting to get things done on the recruiting trail and is following my favorite model: the aforementioned keeping-local-talent. His 2014 class includes: Isaiah Wright, Kyle Kuzma, and Brekkott Chapman. Chapman is the gem of this class. He’s a local four-star, power forward and has a cool first name.

West Coast Recruits and Pac-12 Chair Temps

Last week the West Coast saw three top-75 recruits commit to schools not named Pac-12 schools. Per Scout ratings, #23 Kameron Chatman of Oregon/LA is headed to Michigan; #60 Namon Wright of Los Angeles is off to BF-Missouri; and #71 Trey Kell of San Diego is staying home at SDSU.

Additionally, Shaq Aaron of Seattle (Scout’s #32 prospect) isn’t staying in Seattle. He’s off to Louisville, following the same path as Peyton Siva who saw great success in the Bluegrass State (ring). Josh Perkins (#25) had already bolted the West (from Colorado to prep school in West Virginia) and will return but not to a Pac school. He’ll be a Zag.

Horace Greeley most certainly did not encourage any young men to “go east.”

This is unsettling news despite what appears to be a reinvigorated Pac-12, poised to have its best season since before the great recession. But gone they are and while this isn’t about to undermine this 2013-14 campaign, I did notice another preseason list (gotta love those) that this perhaps does undermine. Or at least plays a significant role in:

The Top-10 Coaches on the Hot Seat

NBC’s College Basketball Talk cranked out their national list of coaches needing to fill the left column to keep their university paychecks. Four of the listed ten are Pac-12 coaches. Is there a correlation between losing backyard talent and your job? Me thinks, YES.

As it were, in a piece I worked on that might never make the interwebs because it’s become a 2500+ word blob, I found that UW has had their most success with nearby, if not in-city, talent. 77% of their draft picks since 2002 have been locals (or damn close to it as Terrence Ross was from Portland). Easy pickins for Mr. Romar, representing a sustainable and mirrorable model. And sure, not every city is pumping out McDonald’s All-American’s like SeaTown, but you can’t tell me it’s easier for Ken Bone to get a kid to Pullman from New York than it is to get a similar talent from the Bay Area.

The toasty chairs of Johnny Dawkins, Craig Robinson, Herb Sendek, and Bone extend beyond the recruiting  but I can’t help but see some parallels to these talent escapes and their job security.

Herb’s best season at ASU was guided by James Harden (LA), Jeff Pendergraph (LA), and Derek Glasser (LA). He is now finding himself in his second straight season with a patchwork lineup of little continuity. Jahii Carson is a lovely local piece, building  upon it would be the the next step. Is that going to happen with another grad transfer?

And it’s certainly not  a matter of  losing bluechippers. Their recruitment often takes a national tone and the idea of staying at home can be a trump card, but it’s not reprehensible to lose out in some of those occasions. The kind of talent that builds quality rosters in Pullman, Corvallis, and the like is precisely not that kid. He’s not $ingning. Rather it’s the players in that 50-100 range – the precise ones bolting right now – that can help in getting over the hump (read: dancing).

Is it easy to snatch these players up? Hell no! But if they’re already on the West Coast, the scales are already tipped in your favor. Take a look at these coaches’ rosters as they are. They’re littered with kids from the area. Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re talented. And the kids who left would seem to be the types that could help a roster.

I guess I’m really just trying to be a proponent of keeping things simple. Ever dated long distance? I have and it sucks. I’d rather have the girl next door because the long distance thing eventually burns out.

And it just might be burning out for a few Pac-12 coaches.

A Twelve Pac

  1. Game of the weekend. Oregon @ #7 Vanderbilt, 11/11/11, 7pm PST . Can the under-the-radar Ducks make some early national noise in Tennessee? It’ll be tough. Some have Vandy doing big things this year, returning five starters and all.
  2. SI cover jinx? Reeves Nelson is gracing the west coast version of SI’s college hoops preview (if they’d only been more creative). Nelson busted his ankle in practice and is now questionable for tonight’s game. Coincidence?
  3. Parrom practices. Kevin Parrom is back to practice which is great news for a great kid and a growing Arizona team. He’ll return to NYC next week where he was shot a month ago.
  4. ASU Pre-Party. Coming in at 17th on the Princeton Review’s top party schools, it’s no surprise ASU scheduled their season opener for 2:30pm on a Friday. Better double check those Nalogenes.
  5. You’re welcome, east coast. MSU and UNC travel west to play outdoors on a ship. At tip-off: East Lansing 35 degrees, Chapel Hill 37 degrees, San Diego 65 degrees. Nuff said.
  6. The house Jorge built. I’ve long felt Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez is the quintessential player you hate on their team and adore on yours. He confirmed that in a recent interview, “This is my court, and you play the way I want you to play.” Yeah.
  7. Gershon weighs in. Scout’s west coast recruiting guru (dude knows his stuff) Josh Gershon tells us about the Pac’s recruiting class. He ranks it second amongst all the conferences and really just has a lot to say about Sean Miller’s class.
  8. Mmmm, cupcakes. The twelvers, other than Oregon, will kick their respective seasons off with some pretty easy opponents, most notably Colorado who takes on Ft. Lewis. I don’t know Ft. Lewis and they don’t even have linkage on ESPN. Ouch, but CU could use a few of these.
  9. Dead horse beating. It’s been awhile since anyone has said “Pac-12” and “good” in the same sentence but they’re trying real hard now. I love Larry Scott and he’s trying hardest. This conversation, however, has become a beaten horse and probably a cozy excuse. Here’s a nice read on the conference’s relevancy efforts.
  10. Terrence Ross > You. I think I might post this with every Twelve Pac but he was just recently listed on the Naismith Preseason Watch List. He’s one of three Pac-12 players (Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson) but I’d most prefer to watch T.Ross play so I’ll give him the most love.
  11. Dunkless. I’ve watched two Arizona games and they have yet to dunk. But wait! Nick Johnson and Jesse Perry have both grabbed rim (NJ linked). Perhaps this guy dunked them out?
  12. 131 games today. Seven will be played by Pac-12 teams. Be excited. In fact, let’s:

Rebuilding or reloading, UW without 2012 commit

These past few years, the Washington Huskies have run a successful program.

And by past few years I mean the disappearance of the Pac-10. As in no top-25 team for most of the 2009-10 season. As in a national coming-down-upon in which everyone has seemed to rip the Pac. And rightfully so. It’s simply been abysmal.

So while all of that was happening, the conference was up for grabs and Washington did a pretty good job of capitalizing. They won a Pac-10 title (2009), two tournament titles (2010, 2011) and put four players in the NBA (since 2007). They’ve been a good program.

Perhaps it goes overshadowed that Lorenzo Romar teams also went to back-to-back sweet sixteens in 2005 and 2006. They spat out Brandon Roy and have been a solid program under Romar – producing just two sub-.500 campaign in nine seasons at his alma mater.

He wins to the tune of 68% and he pulls in talent. UW has had a top-25 class in five of the last seven years. They maintain a talented cupboard, that’s never been in question.

Until now.

With at least two scholarships coming off the books and likely more by way of NBA draft or inevitable transfer, the Huskies will watch the early signing period come and go without a commitment.

I’m not writing Washington’s death certificate nor do I think Romar is writing one. By many accounts he’s doing well with the class of 2013 but why stockpile for the future? This ain’t y2k but it certainly doesn’t look too good.

Arizona and UCLA have secured top-10 talent for 2012 and Stanford, Cal, Oregon, and Colorado each have top-100 commits.

As I said earlier, UW had a nice window in which they could become the conference elite. They took advantage of it and got themselves some trophies, but not couldn’t quite make the leap to elite.

Although the conference has run into a dry recruiting spell, perhaps that’s starting to effect the Huskies more than others. Maybe it starts at home? In six of their last seven classes, UW has had at least one 4-star recruit from Washington or Oregon (only one from Oregon). Percy Allen – the excellent Seattle Times reporter – notes that the local prep stars haven’t exactly shined bright. The top rated Seattle prospects may not be good enough for UW, in which case Romar is making the right move.

Washington is putting a lot of eggs into its 2013 basket which is fine – there are no doubt some talented players in that class – but if they miss eaither of their major spring targets (Anthony Bennett and Zena Edosomwan) 2013 could turn into a rebuilding class versus reloading.

There’s a lot of time and a lot of recruiting to be done but UW’s seat amongst the western elite may quickly be closing.

Now’s the time to try and get back in there.

Signing period and the Pac’s alright

The early signing period has arrived meaning the class of 2012 can begin signing over their lives letters of intent to play for quick to jet committed coaches and programs. The Pac-12, for the first time in awhile, will be hauling in some big time players. Much has been made of the talent dearth in the West and subsequently the conference, but that appears to be righting itself.

With twelve of Scout’s top-100 recruits heading to the Pac-12 – already the most since 2009 with the late signing period yet to occur – the talent level should once again be at an elite level, earning the monicker “Conference of Champions.”Scout has also ranked the Pac-12 as having the second best recruiting group amongst all conferences. Look who’s back.

Here’s a team-by-team look with player names, position, position rank, and some linkage. Enjoy:

Arizona Brandon Ashley PF (1) Kaleb Tarczewski C (5) Grant Jerrett C (9) Gabe York SG (9)
ASU Calaen Robinson PG (NR) Kenny Martin PF (NR) Eric Jacobsen C (NR)
Colorado Xavier Johnson SF (16) Josh Scott PF (19) Wesley Gordon PF (23)
Utah Jordan Loveridge PF (27) Justin Seymour SG (NR) Josh Hearlihy SF (NR)
USC Larry Lewis SG (NR) Strahinja Gavrilovic PF( NR)
UCLA Kyle Anderson SF (2) Jordan Adams SF (15)
Cal Tyrone Wallace PG (14) Kaileb Rodriguez PF (NR)
Stan Rosco Allen PF (17) Grant Verhoeven C (17) Christian Sanders SG (26)
WSU Demarquise Johnson SF (28) Richard Longrus SF (NR) Richard Peters C (NR) Brett Boese SF (NR)
Oregon Dominic Artis PG (9) Ben Carter PF (26) Damyean Dotson SF (NR)
OSU Langston Morris-Walker SF (NR) Jarmal Reid SF (NR) Maika Ostling C (NR)

You’ll notice a lot of single digits in Arizona’s row. Those tiny numbers have garnered them the top 2012 recruiting class in the nation (not to mention the conference) and should be a group that hits the floor running. After that, there’s a bunch of wee numerals spread throughout the conference. Oregon and Stanford are piecing together nice classes that should compliment their current, young and developing teams. UCLA has two very good commits in their row and it could get a lot more interesting as the top player in the 2012 class, Shabazz Muhammad, has long been a presumed Bruin. However, Muhammad isn’t commiting in the early period and the longer he waits, the more time Kentucky’s recruiting machine has to get in his ear.

A glaring omission from the above chart is Washington. Not one early commitment. This, frankly, should be alarming. The Huskies free up at least two scholarships next year and could lose more (Terrence Ross and annual transfers). But I think I’ll expand on this in its own post.

Big shout out to @YAYAREASFINEST and Scout.com in this post. Much of the player linkage is courtesy of Yayarea’s crafty video work and all the player rankings are based on Scout’s work (@JoshGershon, @EvanDanielscout, @BSnowscout, @JasonScheer).


All treat for the Pac-12 this Halloween

It was indeed a treat of a Halloween for the Pac-12. Before noon pacific, the conference had secured three huge commitments.

Dominic Artis committed to Oregon, Rosco Allen to Stanford, and Kaleb Tarczewski to Arizona. By Ballin’ is a Habit’s consensus rankings, that’s 61 to Eugene, 68 to Palo Alto, and 8 to Tucson.

The biggest treat of the day is Tarczewski who will bring immediate interior help to a young and developing Arizona frontcourt. He’ll be joining Sean Miller’s already impressive (tops in the nation) 2012 class including Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, and Gabe York. From a talent standpoint, this is obviously a huge get for the Wildcats, but it’s an example of the rich getting richer – no Robin Hood here. Miller managed to swoop the big man right off Kansas front porch and I imagine he’ll have no regrets as the seven-footer owns the McKale paint.

Artis is a solid pickup for Oregon and is the second commitment from the Oakland Soldiers to commit to the school. Dana Altman will have Jabari Brown on this year’s roster. After de-commiting from UCLA last month, Artis had much of the west coast after him. Settling on Oregon his huge for Altman as he looks to establish his Ducks amongst the conference elite.

And then there’s Allen. A young man who grew a lot in a little time and somewhat lost his position. From wing to power forward, Allen is settling into his 6’8″ frame and should bring a very solid skill set to Johnny Dawkins’ Cardinal squad.

With the recent decline of Pac-12 hoops, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Miller’s rapid recruiting successes have put heavy pressure on the rest of the conference to up its game. Granted, there has been somewhat of a absence of high school talent coming out of the west, but that hasn’t stopped Ben Howland this off season. He’s secured the nation’s #2 class, hauling in two East Coasters in Kyle Anderson (NJ) and Jordan Adams (GA). Success breeds success and today’s commitments is evidence of that.

As more and more talent stays or heads west, the better everyone will be. And maybe then, the conference can life up to its monicker: The Conference of Champions.