Pac-12 M5: 11.28.12 Edition
Posted by Connor Pelton on November 28th, 2012
- We are two and a half weeks into the 2012-13 season and coach Kevin O’Neill’s USC squad is still searching for an identity. We heard all offseason long about how this Trojan team had more than enough depth, and how this was the year they got back on track and competed for another NCAA Tournament berth. However, as Evan Budrovich points out, the influx of available bodies has actually hurt SC early on, leaving it far short of its true potential. Budrovich lays out a plan that appears to be foolproof at the end of the article, stating that the Trojans should go big and implement little used freshman forward Strahinja Gavrilovic into the starting lineup instead of Byron Wesley. Gavrilovic’s ability to score consistently from any spot in the paint would help SC when it goes into one of its typical shooting slumps. Wesley would come off the bench and play in his most comfortable shooting guard role, and Renaldo Wooldridge would see increased minutes as a defensive stopper. Whatever O’Neill decides on, he needs to figure it out quickly before SC faces Nebraska, New Mexico, and Minnesota the next three times it takes the floor.
- Staying in Los Angeles, Bruins Nation delves into some theories as to what is wrong with UCLA. As DCBruins points out, Ben Howland got his dream recruiting class, and team, this season – so the players are definitely not at fault. And even in the day and age where players transfer one game into the season, it’s not likely that the majority of the team has already “stopped playing” for Howland this quick into the year. Or maybe the quoted Bruin Report Online article is referring to fouling unnecessarily in the final 20 seconds (heyoooooo). Whether true or not, perception is reality, and the perception by most is that theory number four, stating that Howland flat-out can’t coach this group, is true right now.
- Something will have to give on Friday night in Kansas City, where an Oregon State team struggling with perimeter defense meets a Kansas squad that has been less than spectacular at the one through three spots on the floor so far this season. Head coach Bill Self compared his player’s ball reversal skills to be worse than that of third and fourth graders playing YMCA ball after the Jayhawks defeated San Jose State on Monday. If those struggles continue against the Beavers at the Sprint Center, Oregon State has a chance to get a marquee win Friday evening.
- I had been calling for it all throughout the offseason, and finally the media and opposing teams are catching on – California guard Justin Cobbs is legit. Cobbs has found his role with the Golden Bears and has settled into it perfectly, playing inside himself for a tidy average of 20 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 3.7 APG so far this season. Without a doubt, the mixture of Cobbs and junior Allen Crabbe combines to make the league’s top backcourt duo so far in 2012-13. Also included in Doug Haller’s column is his weekly power rankings, which are pretty close to the ones we released yesterday. Haller, however, has Arizona and Colorado flipped at the top, as he does with Oregon and California just after those two.
- Washington received more bad news on Tuesday when it learned that senior guard Scott Suggs would miss Wednesday’s game against Saint Louis due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The Huskies were without Suggs’ services against Colorado State on Saturday, and as we all know, that didn’t turn out very well. This already offensively challenged Dawg squad will get all it can handle, and then some, against the Billikens tonight. SLU has gotten off to a slow, 3-2 start, but anyone that tuned in to see them dominate Texas A&M last week for a 21-point victory knows that they are for real.