Pac-12 M5: 12.17.12 EditionPosted by Connor Pelton on December 17th, 2012
- It’s not often you hear a coach say they almost feel guilty after a win, but that was the case on Saturday after Arizona‘s thrilling, come-from-behind victory against Florida. “There’s a side of me that almost feels guilty because they were the better team for most of the game, but it doesn’t always work out that way,” said Wildcat head coach Sean Miller. While there’s no argument against the Gators being the better team for the majority of the night, Arizona played hard and made some crucial stops in the final minutes to put themselves in a position to win it. And Mark Lyons did just that, dropping a floater with seven seconds to play to give Zona its first lead since the 17:35 mark of the first half. They likely won’t need any late-game heroics in their next two outings against Oral Roberts and East Tennessee State, but possible match-ups against Miami (FL) and San Diego State await the cardiac Cats.
- Two three-pointers and 16 turnovers. A solid power conference opponent. A half-filled arena with students on break. These factors alone could have combined for an Oregon upset on Saturday, but a terrific defensive performance by the Ducks negated their second-lowest scoring output of the season. While Dana Altman may not have been pleased with the outcome, escaping with another résumé-building victory by 22 points, is nothing to be too down about. The Cornhuskers did play the game how they wanted to play it, dominating the pace and successfully denying most Oregon opportunities inside the paint. But the Ducks answered on the other side of the court, forcing all those Husker turnovers and a 30.6% clip from the field. It will be interesting to see how Altman’s bunch bounces back on Wednesday against UTEP, another team that will try to play the game at an agonizing pace.
- Arizona State’s 17-point home loss at the hands of DePaul on Wednesday took a lot of excitement out of its 9-2 opening mark, but there have been a pair of significant stories coming out of the desert early in the season. One of those belongs to senior guard Carrick Felix, who has been the man on the side holding everything together while freshman sensation Jahii Carson shines in the spotlight. Without this duo, even against this type of schedule, the 9-2 Sun Devils could be a 7-4 type of team similar to the past. If Herb Sendek can get some continued production out of Jordan Bachynski, ASU has the pieces in place to surprise a lot of people come Pac-12 play.
- It was another case of “one step forward, two steps back” at Washington over the weekend. After a solid win at Seattle U. on Thursday, the Huskies came out slow and looking ugly against Jackson State two days later. They would eventually pull out a 75-67 victory against the 0-8 Tigers, who are still in the midst of a three-game road trip through the state of Washington, and an 11-game trip to start the season. What’s most concerning is the fact that Lorenzo Romar sensed his team needed Saturday off after a draining game against the Redhawks. Get used to it boys, conference play is right around the corner.
- Is it another underachieving season in Los Angeles, or has USC fallen victim to a challenging non-conference schedule and still has time to turn it around? Junior Omar Oraby believes the latter, saying that the difficult slate of opponents has prepared the Trojans for a bounce back in Pac-12 action. It’s concerning that SC’s best game so far has been an overtime win against a 6-4 Texas squad, but we’ll take Oraby’s word for it. They did certainly make some strides in Saturday’s game against UC Riverside, which resulted in a 70-26 thrashing of the Highlanders.