Pac-12 M5: 03.04.13 EditionPosted by Connor Pelton on March 4th, 2013
- UCLA head coach Ben Howland confirmed the obvious Sunday, saying that freshman Shabazz Muhammad had played his final game in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday when the Bruins defeated Arizona, 74-69. “That was his last game in Pauley. I knew going into this, this deal was a one-year deal.” Barring a huge reverse in plans or a major injury, Muhammad will be a lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft. Freshman guard Kyle Anderson didn’t want to discuss his future plans, saying that he is too caught up in the season to think about that. Muhammad went for 18 points against the Wildcats, with Anderson finishing right behind him at 17.
- Even more important than freshman Dominic Artis‘ physical return to the Oregon team on Thursday was the swagger and mental boost he provided to the Duck team. Even if he is not fully functional or playing a full compliment of minutes yet, getting the player back that led you to a 17-2 start is huge. Also big is the effect his return can have on the selection committee, who will take into account the injury for Oregon’s seeding if the Ducks play like they were in the first two and a half months of the season.
- On January 14, Bob Cantu took over a 7-10 USC team that was looking dysfunctional and heading nowhere. Since then the Trojans have gone 7-5 and have recorded wins over the likes of UCLA, Arizona, and Arizona State. SC is on the NIT bubble, and could very well make the field of 32 with a split in Washington and a win in the Pac-12 Tournament. At the very least, Cantu has at least earned the honor of being considered for the full-time stint in Los Angeles, but some are questioning if he was out of line by not playing senior Renaldo Woolridge during Saturday’s “Senior Night” game against Arizona State. As the piece points out, this was a big, Division I basketball game, and it’s not a time to play people just for the hell of it. But on the other hand, it wouldn’t exactly have hurt either to get Woolridge in for a minute or two. Regardless, Cantu is doing a great job with the SC program and this shouldn’t overshadow its terrific sweep of the Arizona schools this week.
- Oregon State will unveil the results of its re-branding efforts across all sports tonight at 6:30 Pacific. New logos, fonts, and uniforms will be revealed at the event that is more than two years in the making. Last month, one of the new logos was leaked, and the reviews were mixed. Whatever the final result is, it has to be better than what Arizona State rolled out earlier this week, right? You can view the festivities at osubeavers.com or follow along on Twitter at #ReBeaved.
- It’s Monday morning, which means John Templon’s NIT bracket projections are hot off the presses. Arizona State leads off the four Pac-12 schools that make the list as the top seed in the field, with a first round matchup projected against Northwestern. Stanford is right behind them as a two seed (making both part of the “last eight out of the NCAA”), also with an interesting game against Georgia Tech. Washington got a boost thanks to its Apple Cup win on Sunday, but the Huskies are still on the dangerous seven line, and they’ve got work to do to make sure their spot isn’t taken by an automatic bid. USC finishes off the Pac-12 list as an eight seed, with a projected first round game at Arkansas. The Trojans will need to win at least two of their final games to have a shot at making the field.