Pac-12 Morning Five: 11.10.11 Edition
Posted by Connor Pelton on November 10th, 2011
- The early signing period began Wednesday, and Oregon State signed a pair of three-stars on the first day of the week-long period. The first to sign was Langston Morris-Walker, a small forward out of Berkeley High (CA). Morris-Walker could see immediate playing time next season if current Beaver Jared Cunningham decides to forgo his senior season and move on to the NBA. He also had offers from Colorado, Utah, and Washington State, among others. The second to sign was center Maika Ostling. While Ostling is a solid prospect, he will most likely redshirt his freshman season as he will be behind Chris Brown, Joe Burton, and Angus Brandt in the OSU lineup.
- Pundits around the nation are picking California to either win the Pac-12 or come pretty close to it, and the reason for those high hopes are centered on senior shooting guard Jorge Gutierrez. Gutierrez grew up in Mexico and was lightly recruited out of high school, but coach Mike Montgomery took a leap of faith on him. That leap was well worth it as Gutierrez averaged 14.6 PPG last season and was named to the all-conference team. There is no doubt this season that this is his team, “At first, I thought I didn’t belong here,” Gutierrez said. “But now it’s my house. This is my court, and you play the way I want you to play.” Big words, but he has earned the right to say them.
- Sticking with the Golden Bears, California signed two players yesterday. We already alluded to Tyrone Wallace in yesterday’s M5, but Wallace made it official by putting ink to paper on Wednesday. The other signee was Kaileb Rodriguez, a 6’8″ power forward from Thunder Ridge High (CO). Rodriguez could see a lot of playing time next season since there is only one other “true” power forward on the roster (Bak Bak). The two signees put the Bears at 12 scholarships for 2012-13, one below the NCAA limit. They are still waiting on decisions from forward Zena Edosomwan of Harvard-Westlake school (CA) and forward/center Landen Lucas of Westview High (OR).
- Wednesday was also a big day for both USC and UCLA, as both schools signed two players each. The first signee for the Trojans was J.T. Terrell, a transfer from Wake Forest who just began playing this season at Peninsula College. The 6’3″ guard should see immediate minutes because of his size and the overall lack of talent at the position for SC. 6’8″ forward Strahinja Gavrilovic was the other player to sign with Kevin O’Neill’s team. Highlighting the Bruins’ day was Kyle Anderson out of St. Anthony High (NJ). Coach Ben Howland says that he expects Anderson to contribute immediately next season at the point.
- Regular season play continued last night in Tucson, where Arizona struggled with Duquesne for 30 minutes before finally pulling away for the 67-59 victory. The Wildcats continue to underwhelm fans across the nation, as Arizona has looked far less-than-impressive in their first four outings. Their first was an exhibition loss to Seattle Pacific and that was followed by a closer-than-comfort exhibition win over Humboldt State. Their first two regular season games against Valparaiso and Duquesne have not been decided until the final minutes. The trend of Sean Miller’s Wildcats’ in not putting teams away will definitely be something to watch for Pac-12 fans in the coming days and weeks.
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