Tag Archives: Reggie Moore

Week 7 Pac-12 Basketball Preview

This post reads like a diamond looks at ryanrecker.com. You’ll recall Ryan is the one who did the dynamite podcast with Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel. Oh you don’t recall? Listen.

Seven to play and we’ve dropped one team – the UCLA Bruins – from title contention. If you’ll recall, two weeks ago we were faced with a feasible six-way tie atop the conference. This week’s fun fact – and I’ve stolen the odds makership from @sethkolloen and KenPom – lies with the 2.6% chance of a five-way first place tie. For your review:

So like I said, 2.6% chance, also known as slim and none. But hey, I still place a bet on my favorite roulette number once in awhile, too.

The schedule.

TV Complaint: A pair of blackouts (Cal @ USC, WSU @ UO) but let’s celebrate the fact that FSN is broadcasting a game online. Look, I won’t lie, I don’t hunt very hard for webcasts. The extent of my television research is on the Pac-12 website (probably a good resource, no?) and my Comcast remote. But this is the first I’ve seen, via the Pac-12 site, a game being aired on FOXsportsArizona.com so bravo to those guys followed by a swift “it’s about time.” The lines between television and web are swiftly being blurred (Hulu?) and it’s only a matter of time until sports catch up. But the fact remains, I’m still watching the best highlights via illegal youtube uploads. There’s a starving sports market out there and FSN is working at the pace of a Kevin O’Neill offense. Hustle up.

Game of the Weekend: With five teams in the thick of things, we could give the nod here to a couple of games. The Buffs in Tucson will be on ESPN and rematches a one-point game (join me on Kwarter to live chat this one) while Cal visiting UCLA intrigues me as the transplanted Bruins are undefeated at home. But Washington at Oregon is the GotW. Devoe Joseph is quietly putting together a POYish season and his Ducks are needing to hold serve at home after losing one to the beatable Beavers. Of course Washington’s road woes are no secret but maybe this is the year they shake that rep? And the Huskies are hot. Winners of five straight with all the confidence of a conference leader, why wouldn’t the Huskies make like dogs and mark their territory on that tree covered court? It’s a classic GotW: Ducks and Dawgs. Or something like that.

Game to Avoid: WSU at OSU. If this were a bowl game we’d call it The North Face Backpedalling and Wait for Next Year Bowl. Ken Bone’s Cougars aren’t getting any better without Faisal Aden. Sure he was grossly inefficient and they even played better in the games he didn’t appear in, but he gave this group a fighting chance (the Bay sweep!). Plus there’s the confounding Reggie Moore. Two years ago he was a legitimate candidate for FOY honors with Derrick Williams, it’s now been 747 days since he had a 20 point game. Of course that stat comes courtesy of this guy (in all seriousness, they do great work over at CougCenter). As for Oregon State, Craig’s team can beat anyone in the conference and have proven as much (UCLA, Cal, Oregon, OT loss in Tucson). But they’ve faded fast into irrelevancy. The wait-and-see portion hinges on the money-making prospects of Jared Cunningham. Dude’s good and according to Bozo, he should stay. Alas, these are two teams with little going the rest of 2012. Tune back in for the Pac-12 tournament when one of these two spoils someone’s season as well as my three-bid prediction. Speaking of the Pac-12 tourney, the Rumbling Buffalo literally played it out drawing names from a hat.

Something to Prove: Oregon’s season is on the line. They could easily be sitting next to Washington with a shiny 9-2 record but they dropped the ball at home against rival Oregon State and missed the ball in favor of Nate Tomlinson’s arm on the road at Colorado. Now they find themselves with the most difficult second half schedule (combined opponents’ record of 42-35, including UW, CU, Cal, Stan). Of course that treacherous route could be the rocky road to CBS airtime during the third month of the calendar year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Ducks are hosting the Washington schools and beating UW would be huge for their end-of-season prospects. Losing to the Huskies wouldn’t be a terrible hit but at this point Dana’s Ducks can’t afford to stub their beak at home. Of course losing to WSU (the spoilers) would take all the life out of the swoosh.

Something to Lose: The presumed favorite, Cal Bears, will be in LA this weekend. Certainly not the most daunting of road trips as you’re only going to play in front of a combined 5,000 spectators. But UCLA has been tough at “home.” They’re 4-0 in conference with a 17-point average margin of victory. They may be out of shape, dysfunctional, and falling apart but that’s an impressive stat especially in light of the fact that they’ve played those four home games in two different venues (Anaheim and Sports Arena). And did you see Josh Smith’s week 6? Biggun went for 24/9 and 19/5 while playing 20+ minutes in back-to-back Pac-12 games for the first time this season. The Bears, short Richard Solomon are reliant on this matchup to not get Joshed:

David Kravish, meet Josh

Good luck. But this is about what the Cal Bears have to lose: steam. A presumed (soft) lock for the NCAA tournament, beating teams – home or away – with an RPI that reads like a healthy systolic blood pressure is required. Sure, beating the Bruins won’t be easy, but it’s imperative. Should Monty’s crew falter, they’ll find themselves in the center of the weekly WTF happened Pac-12 debate and onto Lunardi’s bubble. This weekend isn’t defining for the Bears, but it could be a deflating one.

Weekend Youtuber: I think I’ve cited the fact that there are seven games remaining three or four times in this post. In summary: it’s crunch time, the home stretch, the two-minute drill. Inevitably, someone’s gonna need these:

Brock Motum’s Motor Could Make WSU Go

While Kevin Pangos was busy not missing anything, the Washington State Cougars discovered they have a dynamic big man.

Brock Motum, the junior forward who averaged 7 points and 3 boards a year ago, was the motor and best player in maroon last night. His energy helped to ignite a near 19-point-comeback in the second half of an excitable game in Gonzaga’s Dog Kennel. The 6’10” Aussie scored 17 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished 4 assists against a ranked and bigger Gonzaga Bulldogs (take a peak at Robert Sacre vs. Brock Motum) and had energy for days.

Many have presumed the Cougars would go as their back court of Reggie Moore and Faisal Aden went; basically leaving Cougar fans with little to look forward to. Moore was coming off a very disappointing sophomore season and Aden can simply be too inefficient with the basketball.

If Monday night was any indication of what Ken Bone is going to get out of his starting front courtsman, don’t be surprised if the Cougars finish in the upper half of the conference. Of course for that to happen, Moore and Aden will have to continue to improve – if not impress – and the Cougars will need to overachieve on the whole.

Motum’s motor can go a long way in seeing WSU do just that.

Previewing the point guards: Pac-12 North

Yesterday we looked at the Pac-12 South’s point guards – a group of talented underclassmen and steady upperclassmen. In the North, we about follow the same trend as there are a number of potentially explosive newcomers, most notably Tony Wroten, Jr.

I present, the point guards of the Pac-12 North:

Washington State: Reggie Moore had a bad sophomore season. His numbers were down across the board, he battled an injured wrist, and he was arrested. Then Klay left. And Angelo. It would appear the cupboard is bare in Pullman. It’s my belief, however, that Moore’s 2010-11 season was anomaly. Moore is just a season removed from being neck-and-neck with Derrick Williams for the Pac-10 FOY. He’s a quick guard and strong, a good distributor and finisher with a knack for getting to the line. Washington State’s success rides squarely on Moore. And evidently he is his own harshest critic which should translate to a big junior year. If indeed his health and confidence are back, Moore and the Cougars could surprise some people.

Washington: If one is good, then two is better. Junior Abdul Gaddy returns from knee surgery and will be helped by one of the most heralded point guard recruits in the country, Tony Wroten Jr. Gaddy has been slower to develop than most would have liked – he averaged just 4 points and 2 assists as a freshman. But he did double his freshman stats in year two before tearing his ACL. His new sidekick, Wroten, is an equally as heralded recruit – the 17th best player in the 2011 class. Not only does he arrive in Seattle with recruiting hype, Wroten has already been compared to Magic Johnson by his coach, Lorenzo Romar. Lofty to say the least, but Gaddy’s steady play and Wroten’s flash, could have an upset minded UW squad causing trouble. It also never hurts to roll out 6’3” (Gaddy) and 6’5” (Wroten) point guards.

Oregon: First dibs as the Ducks starter go to Garrett Sim. Dana Altman is handing the keys (and yes, you’re welcome for the Haarlow link) to his high octane offense to the senior point guard. While he’s not going to wow you with athleticism or shooting – 34% from three and 42% overall – the senior won’t turn the ball over, makes good decisions, and will hit his free throws. Sounds about right for a team with eight fresh faces, plenty of scorers, and a whole lot of under-the-radar hype. Many are calling Oregon a possible sleeper and Sim’s steady hand can go a long way in making that a reality. Then there’s also the talented Jonathan Loyd who didn’t quite live up to expectations last year but returns to Eugene ready to contribute in 2011-12. There’s some players in Eugene and Altman can coach. Whether they’re a sleeping giant or not, they’re going to be an interesting team to watch.

Oregon State: The Beavers have the luxury of having three returning players each capable of running the point. We’ll highlight Jared Cunningham here because he’s the most intriguing of their possible point guards – of all the Beavers for that matter – and he also did this. Many have picked Cunningham as a possible breakout star in the conference and, frankly, it makes sense, especially if he can improve his three-point shooting. Cunningham is obviously an explosive athlete (review that dunk), but he also uses it for defensive good – accumulating 85 steals and shattering Gary “The Glove” Payton’s OSU sophomore record of 72. With this dynamic athlete as well as the steady and improving Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks, Craig Robinson has himself quite a backcourt. In fact, they represent 43% of Oregon State’s scoring and assist totals from last year. A sign that OSU could be in good hands. Or not…

Stanford: Does this school just keep seniors around to play point guard? Jarrett Mann is the likely starter and he has some lofty shoes to fill amongst the litany of capable, stable, upperclass Stanford PGs. Remember Chris Hernandez, Arthur Lee, Michael McDonald, and Mitch Johnson? Yeah, all pesky winners. But Mann and the other Cardinal point guard candidates (Aaron Bright, Chasson Randle) will have some work to do. They don’t return the most talented group but rather one with potential. Mann isn’t going to make this team blow up, in fact he’s probably best suited in a backup role; but he’ll allow the Cardinal to start the season off in a controlled manner, befitting Johnny Dawkins’ style. Don’t be surprised to see plenty of Chasson Randle, either. The dynamic freshman can bring some scoring and a style that compliments their athletic bigs, Dwight Powell and Josh Owens. Bright received plenty of minutes last year and his game is similar to Mann’s, heady and steady, but brings some additional athleticism to the court. Stanford will be an interesting group and the point guard position is no different. Ultimately, the battle for playing time will only make this team better.

California: The steadiest of all the league’s point guards: Jorge Gutierrez. A pest, to say the least, Gutierrez is the type of player you hate on their team but love on yours. By no stretch is he the most talented player on the court but he is going to give big effort. He’s gutsy and tough and makes things happen; a dangerous combination for any player, let alone a senior on a talented team with high hopes. He’ll use his size as an advantage in defending smaller guards and to score when guarded by them. He needs to improve his assist/turnover ratio (4.5/3) or really just cut down the turnovers, but many have predicted Gutierrez to be the conference’s player of the year. If he is, look for Cal to top the standings come Pac-12 tournament time.