Pac-12 Reactions: LA Schools Get Consolation WinsPosted by Connor Pelton on November 21st, 2012
Three thoughts on the Pac-12’s 3-1 Tuesday, where we’ll focus on USC and UCLA’s tight consolation wins in their respective tournaments on opposite sides of the country.
KO ball prevails in Lahaina. With athletic, talented players that didn’t suit up for SC last season like J.T. Terrell, Jio Fontan, and Eric Wise, Kevin O’Neill will eventually turn to a more aggressive tempo from the deliberate style he’s been known for. But early in the year, classic KO ball did the trick for the Trojans in their 59-53 overtime win against Texas. O’Neill’s guys plodded along in the second half, with both teams going to overtime after scoring just 21 points each in the final 20 minutes. Obviously, this one wasn’t for lovers of offense (maybe those of you should check out this box score); each team hit just two three-pointers a piece in the 45 minutes of action.
- The Bruins are still working things out, and that’s alright. Often times, teams with as much talent as UCLA has, especially new talent, will struggle early on to play together and find lineups and rotations that fit well together. Take freshman guard Jordan Adams, for instance. Adams had one of the best first 11 days of anyone in the conference, newcomer or vet, but shot an ice-cold one-for-six from the field once Shabazz Muhammad entered the starting lineup this afternoon. So, for the hoops fans up and down the west coast that may be concerned with this four-point victory over a team that has already lost home games to the likes of Youngstown State and Southern Miss, know that the important thing here is the W. UCLA now has 11 days to shore up their lazy defensive play and find rotations that maximize its potential before its showdown with San Diego State in Anaheim. If Ben Howland can’t figure it out by then, worry away.
- The others. Two other Pac-12 teams were in action on Tuesday. Washington State’s skid continued in a heartbreak of a loss in Kansas City against Texas A&M. After a dreadful, 16 point first half, A&M exploded for 39 points in the second half, including a game-winning three via Elston Turner with three ticks remaining. The Cougars are now 2-3, and have three low-majors on the slate before going into a pivotal two game stretch against Gonzaga and Fresno State. Arizona State continued its winning ways down in Tempe tonight, overcoming a slow start to get a double-digit victory against Cornell. The Sun Devils have flown under the radar, mostly in part due to the lack of strength of schedule, but they’ll get noticed soon enough as long as they continue to win.