Pac-12 Morning Five: 02.28.12 EditionPosted by AMurawa on February 28th, 2012
- Craig Robinson will never complain about officiating. Except when he does. Robinson called Oregon State’s loss Sunday night against Oregon a “poorly officiated game,” taking particular exception to a foul called on Eric Moreland during a struggle for a rebound with 10 seconds left and the general lack of fouls called in favor of Jared Cunningham. Robinson called for Cunningham to “get treated like one of the best players,” seemingly meaning that his star player should get calls that other players in the league don’t necessarily get. We all know that this type of subjective officiating goes on, and we know that coaches certainly want their players to get calls whenever possible, but the idea of a coach calling for referees to adjust their officiating to reward a star player? Please. Leave that nonsense to the NBA.
- Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena is a gleaming new state-of-the-art facility that makes an already appealing Oregon basketball program that much more of a force in the Pac-12. That doesn’t mean that everything is going along without a hitch in Eugene. A report issued on Monday showed that financial revenue projections for the arena have been drastically cut, dropping by as much as 30% in some revenue categories, and that the athletic department will likely show annual net deficits for as many as five years beginning in 2013. As is usually the case with these types of projects, the revenue projections may have been purposefully inflated in order to increase the appeal of the building, and now that the project is complete, those projections are free to return to reality. Case in point, while the revenue for men’s basketball ticketing looks like it will hit about $2.4 million for this year, that number is down $400,000 from previous projections.
- Arizona State guard Trent Lockett may be a junior in terms of eligibility, but in terms of academic performance, he’s already a senior well on his way to becoming a graduate. Lockett began taking courses at ASU even before officially graduating from high school and is currently taking 23 credits this semester while still being a team leader on the basketball team. He’s got a 3.3 cumulative GPA and should earn a degree in business communication. All in all, a great story for a Sun Devil program that is in need of great stories right now. Here’s hoping, for Herb Sendek’s sake, this story doesn’t turn into something like this. Other fanbases are already beginning such speculation.
- Most of the talk around the conference Coach of the Year award has centered around names like Tad Boyle, Mike Montgomery and even Dana Altman – all fine choices, to be sure. But what about Lorenzo Romar? He’s taken a team that was projected to finish fourth in the conference prior to the season and turned them into a team on the verge of a regular season title with a 22-8 overall record that features close losses to Duke and Marquette along with some other less palatable losses. He’s taken a team that had some chemistry problems early in the year and built a coherent squad that has significantly improved as the year has gone on. For me, it comes down to Romar or Boyle, and while I agree that Romar’s coaching job is looking better and better by the week, I’m still blown away by Boyle’s success in his first year in the conference.
- The flip side of the COY discussion is the hot seat discussion, and The Husky Haul took a crack at that yesterday, ranking Kevin O’Neill, Herb Sendek, Craig Robinson, Johnny Dawkins and Larry Krystkowiak as the five most likely to be swept aside. There are serious problems with this list, beginning with the inclusion of Krystkowiak here; if anything, the Utes have overachieved this season given the dearth of talent in Salt Lake City. Sendek and Dawkins have both recently received contract extensions as well, and seem unlikely to be going anywhere (although their seats are both definitely warming), while USC athletic director Pat Haden has made it very clear that O’Neill will get a pass for this season’s failures. And while Oregon State’s season will go down as a disappointment, it seems like Robinson at least has his team moving in the right direction. Odds are, none of those schools will be looking for new coaches this offseason. In fact, if there was to be a coaching change this year, Ben Howland at UCLA or Ken Bone at Washington State would be more likely to be relieved of their duties than any of the five on this list. In the end, my guess is that we’ll have the same 12 coaches back in this conference next season.