Pac-12 Weekly Five: 04.18.12 EditionPosted by AMurawa on April 18th, 2012
- Last time we did a Morning Five, we still didn’t know for certain the future whereabouts of Shabazz Muhammad. A week later, we’re still processing some of the additional recruiting news that has come in. The biggest news since the Muhammad announcement last week has centered around the Washington program. While Lorenzo Romar hasn’t signed any high school seniors for the 2012 class, he did get a commitment from Perris Blackwell, a transfer from San Francisco who will have one year of remaining eligibility beginning in 2013. Blackwell was a fixture in the USF starting lineup over the past three seasons, averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds last year. Romar, however, struck out in his bid to convince 2012 center Robert Upshaw to sign with the Huskies, as the former Kansas State recruit chose his hometown Fresno State program over UW. However, there may be good news on the distant horizon, as the top recruit from the class of 2013, Jabari Parker, has Washington on his very short list.
- Arizona found out last week that freshman point guard Josiah Turner would be transferring out of the program, leaving Sean Miller without an obvious choice at the point for 2012-13. In an attempt to shore up that weakness, the Wildcats got a commitment from 2012 point Jacob Hazzard, who will join the program as a preferred walk-on, leaving UA with an additional unfilled scholarship for next season. Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA star Walt Hazzard, shot over 40% from deep as a high school senior, but would be a long shot to become a significant factor for the Wildcats next season.
- Speaking of UCLA, their monster recruiting class may get bumped up a notch on Friday when big man Tony Parker announces his plans for college. The Bruins are considered the heavy front-runner for the 6’9”, 280-pound center from Atlanta, but his home-state school, Georgia, is still in the mix, along with Kansas, Duke and Ohio State. Why is UCLA considered the favorite to land Parker? Among other things, his former AAU coach, Korey McCray, was hired last summer by the Bruins as an assistant coach and one of his teammates with that AAU team, the Atlanta Celtics, was Bruin commit Jordan Adams. Also of note for the Bruins this week was the announcement that their game with Texas next season will be played at Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. The game is a return engagement from the Bruin/Longhorn matchup this year that was played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and it is expected to be a part of a two-game doubleheader, the other game of which has yet to be determined.
- Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak has been scrambling to find new players for his program to up the talent level in Salt Lake City, but this week he actually went out of his way to turn away a player. Krystkowiak asked commit Josh Hearlihy to withdraw from the National Letter of Intent he signed last November. Hearlihy was under no requirement to do so, but given his concern about not being wanted, he granted Krystkowiak’s request. Hearlihy missed most of his senior season in high school with a medical condition and the Ute head coach was concerned about his ability to be healthy, so now Hearlihy has to reconsider his potential options with very little time to spare.
- Lastly, NBC Sports’ Eric Angevine asks the question, “is Oregon ready to contend in the Pac-12?” Aside from the fact that Oregon was already in contention in the Pac-12 last season, it’s an interesting question. At first glance, a team that loses three of its top four scorers should have no business contending in a conference that should be quite a bit tougher next year, but anytime Dana Altman is prowling the sidelines, that team should not be counted out. This is especially so when he’s got a strong four-man recruiting class coming in. Still, while we expect the Ducks to once again overachieve in 2012-13, the discussion at the top of the conference should begin and end with UCLA and Arizona, with Stanford and potentially Colorado the best bets for sleeper contention.