Pac-12 SYT: 11.17.11

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 17th, 2011


See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

There have been a handful of interesting games so far this week, but today begins a stellar weekend (yes, as Buffalo Wild Wings says, “weekends start on Thursdays”) of Pac-12 action. Today we get the two appetizers, which include St. John’s-Arizona and USC-San Diego State.

St. John’s vs #16 Arizona – 6:30 PM PST on ESPN2 (****)

Freshman guard/forward Maurice Harkless leads the Johnnies into Madison Square Garden tonight.

  • I find it hard to believe that the Wildcats are ranked 16th after they have struggled against teams like Seattle Pacific, Humboldt State, and Duquesne. But they are, and that means the Red Storm and the pro-St. John’s crowd at Madison Square Garden will make it even tougher on the young and restless Wildcats. For Arizona to advance to the championship of the 2K Sports Classic Friday night, step one will be defending the SJU big men. God’s Gift Achiuwa and Maurice Harkless have been unstoppable so far this season, averaging 17.7 and 16.7 PPG, respectively. Guarding the pair will be Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill, both of whom have had solid campaigns in their own right this season. The key to an Arizona victory will be on the shoulders of those two, both on the defensive side of the ball but also on the glass.
  • It’s tough to see this game going one way or the other. Both teams have been so inconsistent, looking great one minute but terrible the next. While this game will definitely come down to the play inside, a tight matchup like this one is usually decided on a late three-pointer or some clutch free throw shooting. And while (once again) both teams have been inconsistent with their shooting, the Cats have the edge in this category. Read the rest of this entry »
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Pac-12 Set Your TiVo: 11.11.11

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 11th, 2011


See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System

We’ve seen scrimmages, exhibitions, and 2K Sports Classic games throughout the past month, but today just FEELS like the start of college basketball. There is a full slate of games across the nation, including seven Pac-12 affairs. Washington and Oregon State will get their regular season started tomorrow, while Utah and Washington State will wait until Monday night. Arizona is already 2-0 on the season and will play again Sunday afternoon.

Oregon @ #7 Vanderbilt – 7:00 PM PST on Fox Sports South (***)

If Oregon Is To Pull The Road Upset, Stopping Senior Forward Jeffrey Taylor Is A Must

  • The Pac-12 game of the weekend will take place in Nashville tonight, where the up-and-coming Ducks will take on national power Vanderbilt. Oregon has caught some breaks in the past weeks in their quest for an upset, mainly with starting VU center Festus Ezeli out due to a suspension/injury. That means Vandy will rely on Jeffrey Taylor to do the scoring down low. UO big men Tyrone Nared and Tony Woods will be charged with handling Taylor on defense. In the backcourt, the Commodores are led by junior shooting guard John Jenkins. Jenkins averaged 19.5 PPG last year and will be held down by double-teams from Jabari Brown and Garrett Sim. Those doubles will leave players like Dai-Jon Parker and Brad Tinsley open, so if those two are able to knock down their open shots the Commodores will win easily.
  • If the aforementioned Duck players (Nared, Woods, Brown, and Sim) all step up, Oregon should keep this one close for the first half and some of the second. But with a hostile crowd right on top of them and all of the size and talent that the Commodores bring in, I can’t see Oregon pulling this upset. Read the rest of this entry »
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