Pac-12 Weekly Five: 09.14.12 Edition

Posted by Connor Pelton on September 14th, 2012

  1. Class of 2013 power forward Aaron Gordon has narrowed his list of schools down to five, with Washington, Arizona and Oregon making the cut. Gordon had a home visit with the Wildcat coaching staff on Monday and Washington will take a home visit this coming Tuesday. Gordon will also take official visits to the schools, with Oregon’s on September 21, Washington on September 28, and Arizona on October 19. His tremendous athleticism and force inside makes him a player that will be ready to produce results immediately at whatever school he chooses. The Archbishop Mitty prospect is also considering Kansas and Kentucky.
  2. Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson received a one-year contract extension Thursday, meaning Robinson will be in Corvallis through at least the 2016-17 season. While the decision may seem a little odd (Robinson has led the Beavers to no other postseason tournament than the CBI in his first four years), it is obvious athletic director Bob De Carolis wants to Robinson to have a public show of confidence and knows that the road back to national prominence is indeed a long and winding one. “Coach Robinson has done a remarkable job in building our men’s basketball program into something all of Beaver Nation can be proud of,” De Carolis said. “I’m thrilled to have him on our sidelines for many seasons to come, and to help him achieve the goals he has set for the program.” The key for Robinson to stay through that 2015-16 campaign will be developing the good recruits that he has produced year after year. He did that with guard Jared Cunningham, now playing with the Dallas Mavericks, but two huge prospects in forward/center Joe Burton and guard Roberto Nelson have unimpressed in their Oregon State careers. This is coach’s second extension in his tenure with Oregon State.
  3. Sean Miller continued his blistering recruiting pace on Thursday, landing five-star small forward Rondae Jefferson, the second piece in Arizona’s 2013 class. Jefferson is regarded as the #14 player in the class, according to ESPNU, and the third-best small forward in the class. The lefty is a lights-out athlete who excels on the break, hits the glass, handles well for his position and has a monster first step. His perimeter jumper remains lacking, but if he can dial that in, he’s a star in the making, capable of potentially stepping into that point forward role that Solomon Hill has manned in recent years. After landing three big men in the 2012 class, the Wildcats’ 2013 class looks to be adding pieces on the perimeter, as Jefferson joins Elliott Pitts – a 6’5” shooting guard out of De La Salle High School in northern California – in Miller’s third full recruiting class.
  4. The future of USC’s roster underwent a bit of a shakeup this week as, on the same day that news broke that Maurice Jones intends to transfer out of the program, Kevin O’Neill received a commitment from 7’2” Rice transfer Omar Oraby. Jones, last year’s leading scorer, was ruled academically ineligible back at the start of the month, but had initially been expected to return to the program in 2013-14. However, O’Neill confirmed to ESPN that Jones intends to transfer, although he is leaving the door open for a change of heart. As for the newcomer, Oraby, a junior from Egypt, was a solid, if under-utilized player for the Owls in 2011-12. In just over 10 minutes a game, he averaged six points and almost four rebounds, grabbing a quarter of his defensive rebound opportunities and nearly one in 10 offensive rebound opportunities, all while shooting better than 62% from the field and 71% from the charity stripe. USC will petition for immediate eligibility for the transfer, and if granted, Oraby could have a major impact right away for the Trojans.
  5. Lastly, it’s that time of year again where Drew and I get to exchange our weekly football picks. Last week I took advantage of a pair of home upsets (Utah State over Utah and UCLA over Nebraska) to extend my lead. Neither of us correctly picked Oregon State to beat Wisconsin, however. So, as it is I’ve got as four-game lead heading into week three. Drew hopes to ride the Sun Devils, Cardinal, and Utes to get right back in the thick of things, while I played the more conservative approach. It’s another typical September week in the Pac-12, as we have a few games of intrigue (WSU-UNLV, Cal-tOSU, USC-Stan) and more than enough snoozers to cancel them out. Picks below, with our game of the week prediction in bold:
Game Connor’s Pick (18-5) Drew’s Pick (14-9)
Washington State at UNLV Washington State Washington State
California at Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
Tennessee Tech at Oregon Oregon Oregon
Portland State at Washington Washington Washington
Arizona State at Missouri Missouri Arizona State
USC at Stanford USC 35-24 Stanford 23-21
Colorado at Fresno State Fresno State Fresno State
BYU at Utah BYU Utah
South Carolina State at Arizona Arizona Arizona
Houston at UCLA UCLA UCLA
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