Pac-12 Morning Five: 12.16.11 Edition
Posted by AMurawa on December 16th, 2011
- What has already been an awful season for Utah basketball took a scary turn this week, as junior guard Glen Dean suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his brain and had to undergo brain surgery Wednesday. Dean, who transferred from Eastern Washington and is sitting out this year, first noticed a problem on December 8 when he was working out with fellow transfer Aaron Dotson (from LSU) and experienced fuzzy vision and a headache. During last Saturday’s game against Utah, he complained further about discomfort with the lights and the noise at the game and was taken to the hospital and has been there since. His surgery has been described as successful, but he remains under observation and no timetable has been established for his return to practice.
- There has been a lot of buzz in recent days about Shabazz Muhammad and UCLA. Muhammad is the consensus #1 recruit in this year’s senior class, and he remains undecided with a long list of schools he is considering, including UCLA, UNLV, Duke, Kentucky and others. Yesterday we linked to an interview with UCLA commit Jordan Adams who said that he expected both Muhammad and power forward Tony Parker from Atlanta to wind up at UCLA, making for a killer class that already includes top ten recruit Kyle Anderson. And today, Five Star Basketball posted an interview with Muhammad in which he says “I think with me, Kyle and Jordan, if I was to go there it would be a great combination. Kyle’s a great player and so is Jordan.” At this point, fans from all of the teams that Muhammad is considering are reduced to trying to read the tea leaves, knowing that Muhammad has said all along that he won’t make a final decision until the spring and confirmed in his diary for SLAM Magazine that there has been no change to his list. In the meantime, fans from coast to coast cling to every little hint that Muhammad could be leaning their way.
- That’s part of the future of this conference, but we’ve also got to tie up some loose ends regarding the past. First, Reeves Nelson’s future is apparently in Lithuania. Nelson was dismissed from UCLA last Friday, and head coach Ben Howland confirmed on Thursday that Nelson will forgo transferring to another Division I institution and head overseas to play basketball professionally in Lithuania. Given that he’s a long shot ever to play in the NBA, jumping right to a professional career makes some sense, but he’ll certainly need to mature if he ever expects to live up to his potential.
- Then there’s news about former Oregon guard Jabari Brown, who is apparently deciding between Missouri and Georgia Tech for his next stop in college. Brown has already visited Missouri and is expected to be in Atlanta for a look at the Ramblin’ Wreck this week. Missouri will be replacing guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English, among others, next season, while Georgia Tech simply needs any kinds of talented players at this point, meaning both of those programs are willing to look past Brown’s ignominious exit from Eugene.
- Lastly, there’s this newsflash: USC’s offense isn’t very good. The Trojans are averaging just 53.7 points per game and have a KenPom offensive efficiency rating of 94.7, good for 265th in the country. But defensively, they’re good enough to keep their anemic offense in a lot of games; they are allowing just 54.3 points and their defensive efficiency rating is 90.7, good for 26th in the nation. As a result, the Trojans are playing in a lot of close games that aren’t exactly great examples of beautiful basketball. And despite their 4-6 record, they’ve lost three different games by a single possession. Sophomore point guard Maurice Jones is doing everything he can to keep the Trojans in games, including playing almost every minute, but head coach Kevin O’Neill will need somebody else to step up and become a consistent offensive threat in order to turn those one-possession losses into wins.
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