Pac-12 M5: 11.19.12 EditionPosted by PBaruh on November 19th, 2012
- Last year, the Pac-12 didn’t have a win over a ranked opponent all year. This past weekend, the Colorado Buffaloes managed to get that victory for the Pac-12 very early in the season. The Buffaloes beat the No. 16 Baylor Bears in the Charleston Classic before taking down the Murray State Racers in the final yesterday. Colorado’s Charleston Classic Title is the first step in proving that the Pac-12 is back, but also a step in the continued evolution of the Colorado program. They were able to beat Dayton, Baylor, and Murray State in the tournament, which will bode well for them come Selection Sunday when the committee is evaluating whether they should be in the field of 68. Sophomore guard Askia Booker was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after pouring in 58 points over the course of the weekend, leading his team in scoring in each game.
- What won’t help the Pac-12 is what Stanford did last night, losing a home non-conference game to the Belmont Bruins. Belmont is an experienced team that has gone 57-13 over the last two seasons, but this was supposed to be a win for Stanford in that it was played at Maples Pavillion. But, Dwight Powell got into foul trouble and the team continued to struggle from deep, hitting just two-of-19 three-pointers over the course of the night, making the Cardinal a miserable eight-of-50 from deep in their last three games. And things aren’t going to get any easier as the team heads to the Bahamas this week to take part in the Battle 4 Atlantis, with their opening game coming against Missouri. This was supposed to be Stanford’s year to return itself back to the top of the Pac-12 and losing at home non-conference game to a mid-major doesn’t help Johnny Dawkins. These are the type of games Dawkins needs to win to prove he is the right long-term coach for the Cardinal.
- UCLA‘s highly touted freshman Shabazz Muhammad will finally see his first action tonight in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Bruins looked sharp in their last game against James Madison, as they won 100-70 but will now face their toughest opponent this year, the Georgetown Hoyas. Muhammad should start in this game, but it will be interesting to see how he fares on the court and how many minutes he’ll get with freshman Jordan Adams and sophomore Norman Powell also looking for time. However, with Muhammad now fully back, the Bruins are a much better team and if they beat Georgetown, the final of the Classic on Tuesday night could represent a potential NCAA title game preview in setting the Bruins up against the #1 Indiana Hoosiers.
- Although the Oregon State Beavers were able to beat the Purdue Boilermakers 66-58 Friday night in the 2k Sports Classic, they were unable to play with Angus Brandt for the entire game as he injured his knee during the second half . He was unable to walk off the court without help and word came down yesterday that his injury would keep him out for the rest of the year. Brandt was averaging 11.3 PPG and 8.5 RPG this season after he was able to provide 9.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG last year for the Beavers. Craig Robinson’s team will sorely miss Brandt and his presence as it’s hard to replace a big man of Brandt’s size and skill, but at least the Beavers have big guys Devon Collier, Eric Moreland and Joe Burton ready to pick up the slack in Brandt’s absence. Expect Collier to regain the starting spot he had last season after exploding for a career-high 27 points and 14 boards in the third-place 2kSports game in New York.
- Top ten recruit Aaron Gordon cut his list of schools down to three this past weekend, including a pair of Pac-12 schools, Washington and Arizona. However, the other school in Gordon’s three is Kentucky and it’s hard to bet against John Calipari when he wants a recruit. Still, with Aaron Gordon having ties to the West Coast, there’s a good chance he could end up in Seattle or Tucson. Scouts say Gordon has an NBA future and if Gordon were to land in the Pac-12, it would be great for the conference to continue its attempt of getting back to being a dominant conference in college basketball.