Pac-12 M5: 03.22.13 EditionPosted by PBaruh on March 22nd, 2013
- With UCLA’s Jordan Adams out for the year, Norman Powell was inserted into the starting lineup and the 6-foot-4-guard will need to step up against Minnesota today. Ever since Powell has come to UCLA, he’s drawn comparisons to notable former guard Russell Westbrook because of his 6-f00t-11-inch wingspan and extreme athleticism. But when Powell was replaced in the starting lineup after some strong early season play from Jordan Adams, he lost confidence and never regained his role in the first five. In his first game back as a starter against Oregon in the Pac-12 semifinals, however, he had 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and had four rebounds. The sophomore seems more determined than ever after his second go as a starter and if he can match the production of Jordan Adams, the Bruins might just advance to the next round.
- Tad Boyle believes all his freshmen at Colorado are ready for their first NCAA Tournament game. Boyle says that they are not really freshmen anymore and that holds most true with starters Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson. Scott has averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this year while Johnson averages 9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Johnson has saved some of his best games for big moments as well. He had 19 points and 22 points in Colorado’s wins over Arizona and Oregon respectively. Illinois will obviously try to stop Colorado’s two best players Spencer Dinwiddie and Andre Roberson today, and that will leave the game up to the two starting freshmen.
- Oregon head coach Dana Altman has always been a model of consistency. When Altman was lured from Creighton to Eugene, he didn’t change his hard-working and confident style despite the increased budget and popular Nike brand. In his time at Creighton, Altman brought the Blue Jays to the NCAA Tournament seven times in 16 years and continued to improve his team. And his time at Oregon has been exactly the same. The Ducks were in the CBI in Altman’s first year, the NIT in his second, and made the NCAA Tournament this year and picked up a win over Oklahoma State yesterday. Needless to say, Altman knows what he is doing and continues to do so in a selfless, yet confident way.
- UCLA’s Larry Drew II doesn’t look at the championship ring he won at North Carolina as a freshman often. That’s because Drew’s career as a Tar Heel was never too successful. He failed to meet expectations as a sophomore after the national championship and was replaced by freshman Kendall Marshall in his junior year. Then, Drew decided to transfer to UCLA. Although the Bruins’ heralded freshmen have been critical this season, Drew might be the most valuable player for UCLA. After USC beat UCLA by forcing Drew to shoot, he changed his game. Since then, Drew has shot 51 percent from the field and 61 percent from three in 12 games.
- Andre Roberson was largely ignored as a recruit when he played high school basketball in Texas. Now as one of the nation’s top rebounders, Roberson heads back to his home state to play in the NCAA Tournament, but the scenario is quite different. No team from the state of Texas made the field of 68 this year while Roberson has led Colorado to its second consecutive tournament appearance making all those teams second guess themselves once again for passing on the local talent.