Pac-12 Postseason Odds and Ends

Posted by Mike Lemaire on April 1st, 2016

The college basketball season isn’t quite over yet but the page has already turned for the Pac-12. Once Oregon was rudely bounced from the tournament by Oklahoma last weekend, it was time for the always exciting period when coaches are hired and fired, players declare for the NBA Draft, and some others decide on a change of scenery. The Pac-12 has been full of these changes in the past two weeks — from Stanford hiring a new coach to Washington’s precocious freshmen hiring agents to a multitude of players transferring — there’s been a lot of action.

Let’s break down some of the moves that have already been announced and what they mean for their respective teams.

Jerod Haase Hired by Stanford

Jerod Haase Has Won A Lot In C-USA But Can He Do It In The PAC-12 Too?

Stanford Coach Jerod Haase Has Won A Lot In C-USA But Can He Do It In The PAC-12 Too?

Stanford isn’t the can’t-miss job that many think it is, but it still feels like the Cardinal reached in its replacement of Johnny Dawkins. Haase came up as an assistant to Roy Williams and made headlines when his team at UAB beat Iowa State last season, but he has only been to the NCAA Tournament once and his three seasons of 20+ wins are as much a result of Conference USA being awful as his coaching prowess. Furthermore, advanced statistics have not been impressed with the Blazers at all despite their several-year win totals. The former Cal graduate and Bay Area native will bring energy and excitement to the Stanford program, but the jury is out on whether he can coach at this level.

Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss Declare for NBA Draft

It isn’t surprising that Murray and Chriss have decided to test the waters after excellent freshman seasons at Washington. It also wouldn’t have been surprising if they had decided to stay in the draft after gathering enough information. What is surprising is that both signed with agents almost immediately, effectively ending their college careers before March was even finished. Both players have a shot at at the lottery, which will mean that their decisions are probably good ones. But Washington could have been poised for a special season next year with the duo back in Seattle. Now, Lorenzo Romar’s rebuilding project looks to be moving a bit slower now.

Julian Jacobs Declares for the NBA Draft

USC’s best player likely won’t be back next season either, as Jacobs is headed to the NBA Draft as a likely late first round or early second round pick. This is a tough if not unexpected blow for the Trojans, as Jacobs was a do-everything stud this season who still has a lot of room for improvement. It would have been nice to plug Katin Reinhardt into his hole, but alas, more on that later. Jacobs’ departure opens a spot in the rotation for incoming freshman Jonah Mathews or De’Anthony Melton, so Andy Enfield will be able to leverage their experience going forward.

USC Extends Andy Enfield’s Contract

Andy Enfield Earned a Much-Deserved Contract Extension That Extends Through 2021 (USC Athletics)

Andy Enfield Earned a Much-Deserved Contract Extension That Extends Through 2021

Speaking of which, USC made the predictable move to extend Enfield’s contract through 2021 after the Trojans’ first 20-win season in a long time. Splashy contract extensions have a way of coming back at you in a negative way (just ask the guy across town in Westwood), but Enfield has done yeoman’s work overhauling the roster and building a legitimate offense at USC. Although his team was demonstrably better this season, Enfield still has ground to make up on his crosstown rival on the recruiting trail. But Kevin O’Neill had left behind a dumpster fire and Enfield deserves to be rewarded for putting it out.

Justin Simon to Transfer from Arizona

A top 40 recruit a year ago, Justin Simon struggled to find consistent playing time this season, and with five-stars Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins and possibly Terrance Ferguson coming to Tucson, he saw the writing on the wall. Simon readily admitted the move is prompted by available playing time. Simon would rarely have played next season and it is doubtful his absence will even be noticed.

Savon Goodman to Transfer from Arizona State

Savon Goodman Is On The Move Again And Won't Return To Arizona State

Savon Goodman Is On The Move Again And Won’t Return To Arizona State

In a move that should surprise nobody, Savon Goodman, who had already transferred from UNLV to Arizona State, is once again on the move. The reason it shouldn’t be surprising is that Goodman’s junior season was marred by suspension and inconsistent play. He is hardly a star, but he is a physical and gifted athlete who can rebound, defend multiple positions and draw fouls. Plus the Sun Devils are thin in the frontcourt, so his absence will sting unless Bobby Hurley lands a graduate transfer to replace him.

Isaiah Wright and Chris Reyes to Transfer from Utah

Another pair of decisions likely predicated on playing time, Reyes and Wright were two worthwhile rotation pieces for the Utes who were likely to find a logjam at their respective positions next season. A big-time contributor a year ago, Reyes’ minutes were cut in half this year and he was likely to find himself in a similar situation next season. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately. Wright was in line to receive more playing time next season given the departure of Brandon Taylor, but there are a number of incoming guards who he would have to fight with for that burn. Both would have been nice additional depth pieces for Utah next season but neither will be earth-shattering losses.

Katin Reinhardt, Malik Martin and Darion Clark to Transfer from USC

Martin and Clark didn’t play a lot this season, and considering the entire frontcourt rotation will be back next year, it is easy to see why they decided to make the change. Clark would have been a nice veteran bench player next season, but neither he nor Martin will be sorely missed by the Trojans. Reinhardt was a solid sixth-man and a reliable shooter, but he lost playing time to Elijah Stewart — who was more deserving — as the season went on. With Louisville transfer Shaqquan Aaron also ready to go next season, the Trojans really didn’t need Reinhardt next season anyway.

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