Pac-12 SYT: 12.13 & 12.14

Posted by Connor Pelton on December 13th, 2011

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

It’s “avoid any more bad losses on your tournament résumé” week in the Pac-12. Tonight we get Oregon State against Illinois-Chicago in Corvallis, and on Wednesday Eastern Washington will travel to UCLA. Here’s a quick look at both games.

Illinois-Chicago @ Oregon State – Tuesday, 7:00 PM PST on ROOT Sports NW (*)

Junior guard Daniel Barnes is the Flames' second leading scorer with 9.8 PPG. (credit: Michigan Exposures)

  • This one should be simple; Oregon State is talented and UIC is terrible, right? It’s true, but these are excactly the types of games the Beavers lose year in and year out. In fact, UIC beat Oregon State two years ago in Chicago, and that Flames team was worse than they are now. UIC will need to shoot the three well to stay in this one, so look for Daniel Barnes and Gary Talton as the main targets of a tenacious Oregon State defense. They could both go for 25 in this one and the Beavers should still win this one, that’s how bad the pieces around Barnes and Talton are. If they are to steal the win, they will need to hit these shots so they can set up some sort of zone against the Beaver offense. Expect them to follow Idaho’s game plan and deploy a 1-2-2 zone at times, especially if the Beavers aren’t shooting well. If the small UIC players can manage to rebound with four players in the paint, this will severely limit the OSU offensive possesions and keep the Flames close.
  • This one should be close for the first ten minutes or so, but after that I see Oregon State running away, literally. The Beavers are just too fast, strong, and talented for the Flames, and they should be able to win by just reaching 60 points. I think the Beavs hit 80 and roll for a 83-62 win.

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Pac-12 SYT: 12.06 & 12.07

Posted by Connor Pelton on December 6th, 2011

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

Week five begins with a pair of great games on the east coast. Tonight we get Washington against #11 Marquette in New York City, and on Wednesday Arizona will travel to #12 Florida. Here’s a quick look at both games.

Washington vs #11 Marquette – Tuesday, 6:00 PM PST on ESPN (***)

Derrick Wilson is just one of many superb defenders on the Marquette roster. (credit: Zhao Lim)

  • All of a sudden Washington finds itself in a new situation. After dropping two of their last three games, the Huskies come into the Jimmy V Classic with zero expectations. They have the talent to pull an upset, but poor offensive performances against mediocre defenses lately has me on the fence. The Huskies have looked confused, and at some points just plain bad, against average defensive teams like Nevada, so what is going to happen tonight when they face one of the best defensive teams in the nation? Marquette likes to play over on pick-and-rolls and push the opposing big men away from the basket, so expect this to be a very physical contest. Look for Darnell Gant and Aziz N’Diaye to be huge in this game. If they can enforce their will and get good looks in the paint, Washington has a good chance of winning this one.
  • This game will go one of two ways. Either Marquette is just going to come out and dominate the Huskies, or Washington hits their outside shots, gets some good looks in the paint, and is in position to win it at the end. I see the latter happening, but Marquette is just too good to lose this one. Give me the Eagles by five. Read the rest of this entry »
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These Are Exciting Times for Oregon State Basketball

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 21st, 2011

Coach Craig Robinson told anyone who would listen in the preseason that the Beavers finally had the talent to compete in every game in which they play this season. Guess he was right. Oregon State is now 4-0 going into tonight’s game against #18 Vanderbilt in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as part of the Legends Classic. The Beavers opened up the season with a pair of expected, easy victories against Cal State Bakersfield and West Alabama. On Wednesday they faced their first real test against a tough Hofstra team, a game that the Beavers surely would have dropped in the past. But after getting down late in the first half, OSU climbed back for a ten-point win. However, the Pride are a middle-of-the-pack CAA team, not a Big 12 powerhouse like Texas. Due to their weak non-conference schedule, these two games in New Jersey are absolutely huge if they want to go dancing come March.

There were no highlight-reel dunks from Cunningham against Texas, but the junior guard got the job done from the charity stripe

OSU knew that coming in and responded superbly against a talented Texas team. The Longhorns, led by J’Covan Brown (25 points, nine assists), stretched the Beaver defense to the max with hot perimeter shooting early on, but Oregon State would not go away. It seemed as if Jared Cunningham had an answer when his team needed it most, including five huge free throws in the final 2:50 of regulation to force overtime. From there it seemed to be destiny for Oregon State. The center was draining threes, the Horns were missing wide open looks, and in the end Robinson’s team escaped with a five-point win and a spot in the Legends Classic Championship.

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Pac-12 Morning Five: 11.10.11 Edition

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 10th, 2011

  1. The early signing period began Wednesday, and Oregon State signed a pair of three-stars on the first day of the week-long period. The first to sign was Langston Morris-Walker, a small forward out of Berkeley High (CA). Morris-Walker could see immediate playing time next season if current Beaver Jared Cunningham decides to forgo his senior season and move on to the NBA. He also had offers from Colorado, Utah, and Washington State, among others. The second to sign was center Maika Ostling. While Ostling is a solid prospect, he will most likely redshirt his freshman season as he will be behind Chris Brown, Joe Burton, and Angus Brandt in the OSU lineup.
  2. Pundits around the nation are picking California to either win the Pac-12 or come pretty close to it, and the reason for those high hopes are centered on senior shooting guard Jorge Gutierrez. Gutierrez grew up in Mexico and was lightly recruited out of high school, but coach Mike Montgomery took a leap of faith on him. That leap was well worth it as Gutierrez averaged 14.6 PPG last season and was named to the all-conference team. There is no doubt this season that this is his team, “At first, I thought I didn’t belong here,” Gutierrez said. “But now it’s my house. This is my court, and you play the way I want you to play.” Big words, but he has earned the right to say them.
  3. Sticking with the Golden Bears, California signed two players yesterday. We already alluded to Tyrone Wallace in yesterday’s M5, but Wallace made it official by putting ink to paper on Wednesday. The other signee was Kaileb Rodriguez, a 6’8″ power forward from Thunder Ridge High (CO). Rodriguez could see a lot of playing time next season since there is only one other “true” power forward on the roster (Bak Bak). The two signees put the Bears at 12 scholarships for 2012-13, one below the NCAA limit. They are still waiting on decisions from forward Zena Edosomwan of Harvard-Westlake school (CA) and forward/center Landen Lucas of Westview High (OR).
  4. Wednesday was also a big day for both USC and UCLA, as both schools signed two players each. The first signee for the Trojans was J.T. Terrell, a transfer from Wake Forest who just began playing this season at Peninsula College. The 6’3″ guard should see immediate minutes because of his size and the overall lack of talent at the position for SC. 6’8″ forward Strahinja Gavrilovic was the other player to sign with Kevin O’Neill’s team. Highlighting the Bruins’ day was Kyle Anderson out of St. Anthony High (NJ). Coach Ben Howland says that he expects Anderson to contribute immediately next season at the point.
  5. Regular season play continued last night in Tucson, where Arizona struggled with Duquesne for 30 minutes before finally pulling away for the 67-59 victory. The Wildcats continue to underwhelm fans across the nation, as Arizona has looked far less-than-impressive in their first four outings. Their first was an exhibition loss to Seattle Pacific and that was followed by a closer-than-comfort exhibition win over Humboldt State. Their first two regular season games against Valparaiso and Duquesne have not been decided until the final minutes. The trend of Sean Miller’s Wildcats’ in not putting teams away will definitely be something to watch for Pac-12 fans in the coming days and weeks.
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ESPNU Pac-12 Logo Tournament: Round 1

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 2nd, 2011

Beginning today and going thru Nov. 15, the RTC Pac-12 Microsite (that’s us!) will be holding a tournament to determine the best ESPNU Pac-12 logo. Beginning today you can vote for your favorite in a 12-team bracket style tournament. Drew and I have seeded them and placed them into the bracket. All you have to do is pick your favorite, or (here’s looking at you, Ute fans) vote for your favorite team regardless of how bad their logo is. Beginning tonight and going through Monday night, you can pick from the below matchups. Then come back on Wednesday to vote from a whole new set of matchups. Here we go!

#8 Oregon vs #9 Colorado

Connor’s thoughts: I flat-out just don’t like these logos. The Ducks’ only admirable quality is the green and yellow hat, and the only thing I like on the Colorado one is the steam coming out of its nose. I’m taking Oregon because the Buffalo has birds on top of it, and who even knows what’s up with that.

Drew’s thoughts: Tough first round matchup between logos that could cause the #1 overall seed trouble in the next round. I’ll take the Buffaloes here, but it’s a close call.


#5 Arizona State vs #12 Utah


Connor’s thoughts: There’s no contest here. The Sun Devil is awesome, from the burnt piece of wood to the pitchfork. The Ute is just plain awful. If they put some effort into it and made the official Utah redhawk, maybe it would look better. Maybe.

Drew’s Thoughts: The Utes have by far the worst logo. The only thing at all that indicates that it may belong to Utah are the feathers. One of the guys at BlockU came up with a better logo, and if that was the actual logo, Utah might have a chance. Or maybe not, because the ASU logo is pretty good.

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