Pac-12 Set Your TiVo: 11.11.11

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 11th, 2011

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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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Pac-12 Morning Five: 11.02.11 Edition

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 2nd, 2011

  1. David and Travis Wear will be eligible for their first season at UCLA after transferring from North Carolina after the 2009-10 season. This Ben Bolch article focuses on the Wear twins and the roles they will take on with the Bruins this year. David is expected to make the immediate impact early on at small forward because of his jump shooting ability. With David, Reeves Nelson, and Joshua Smith all down low, the Bruins will have the best frontcourt in the Pac-12, if not the nation. Travis and Anthony Stover will spell Smith at the center position. When the Bruins need points they will turn to Travis, while Stover is the defensive/shot-blocking specialist.
  2. If there was a theme for Pac-12 frontcourts in 2011-12, it would be “big.” There are 40 players at 6’9″ or bigger on Pac-12 rosters this season, including 7’3″ Utah center David Foster and 7’2″ Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski. Percy Allen breaks down the bigs of the conference and points out who is excelling and struggling so far this season.
  3. Exhibition basketball continued last night with two games, Humboldt State vs. Arizona and UC San Diego vs. California. We begin in Tucson, where the Wildcats bounced back from their loss against Seattle Pacific last Thursday to defeat the Lumberjacks, 60-51. Arizona still has a lot of kinks to work out, mainly on offense as they shot just 20% from behind the arc. Humboldt State didn’t do anything to help its cause, though, by putting Arizona on the line for 38 free throws. UA only made 22 of those, but that was still the difference in the game. Next up for Arizona is their regular season opener against Valparaiso on Monday night in the Coaches vs. Cancer.
  4. Up in Berkeley, the Golden Bears blew by the UC San Diego Tritons with ease. After a slow ten minutes in which Cal could not find its touch from around the rim, Mike Montgomery’s team quickly pulled away from the overmatched opponent. The lead was only nine at halftime but a 22-4 burst by the Bears to start the second half put away any thoughts of a preseason upset. Minnesota transfer Justin Cobbs was the star of the game, leading the Bears with 17 points and four assists off the bench. This was Cal’s first and only exhibition game, and they will begin regular season play against UC Irvine on Nov. 11.
  5. Arizona shooting guard Nick Johnson has drawn rave reviews so far and needs to be on the court more according to his head coach, Sean Miller. Miller has already tried moving senior shooting guard Kyle Fogg to small forward in order to create extra minutes for Johnson, and he is also considering playing Johnson at the point in order to get he and Fogg on the floor together. “We have to look at Nick playing another position if he continues to progress,” Miller said. “But it’s hard to play two positions as a freshman. For the most part, with freshmen, we keep them at one spot.” In last night”s game against Humboldt State, Fogg and Josiah Turner, Arizona’s other fabulous freshman, got the start at guard. However, they all played close to equal amounts of time (Fogg-24, Turner-22, Johnson-21). Johnson and Turner led the group with eight points each.
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