Offseason Pac-10 Predictions: Awards

Posted July 23, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: Pac10

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Unlike recent years, the Pac-10 will be highlighted by older experienced players such as Cal’s All American guard Jerome Randle. Except Abdul Gaddy and maybe Arizona’s freshman tandem, freshman shouldn’t have as much of an immediate impact as they did in year’s past. The Pac-10 should be especially weak down low with Jeff Pendergraph, Alfred Aboya, Jordan Hill, and Jon Brockman all gone from the paint and with the old gone expect new names to emerge such as Oregon’s high touted big man Michael Dunigan. Also with the Bruin’s losing its starting backcourt from last year to the NBA, watch for super talent Malcolm Lee to get big minutes and rise as Westwood’s newest star. Though things will undoubtedly change before the year starts, here’s my early picks for who will be this year’s best of the Pac-10:

Player of the Year: Jerome Randle, Cal

Freshman of the Year: Abdul Gaddy, Washington

Most Improved Player of the Year: Malcolm Lee, UCLA

Defensive Player of the Year: Michael Dunigan, Oregon

Coach of the Year: Mike Montgomery, Cal

———————————————————————————————————–

1st Team All Conference:

Pos.
Name Yr. Ht./Wt. PPG/RPG School

Center

Michael Dunigan

So.

6-10/255

8.4/4.8

Oregon

Forward Klay Thompson So. 6-6/187 12.5/4 Washington St.

Guard

Patrick Christopher

Sr.

6-5/215

14.5/3.8 California
Guard Nic Wise

Sr.

5-10/177 15.7/2.5 Arizona
Guard Jerome Randle Sr. 5-10/160 18.3/3.1 California

2nd Team All Conference:

Pos.
Name Yr. Ht./Wt. PPG/RPG School

Center

Roeland Schaftenaar

Sr.

6-11/240

10.5/3.4

Oregon St.

Forward Quincy Pondexter Sr. 6-6/215 12.1/5.7 Washington

Guard

Malcolm Lee

So.

6-5/180

3.2/1.5

UCLA
Guard Tajuan Porter

Sr.

5-6/150 15.4/2.5 Oregon
Guard Isaiah Thomas So. 5-8/180 15.5/2.9 Washington

3rd Team All Conference:

Pos.
Name Yr. Ht./Wt. PPG/RPG School

Forward

Jamal Boykin

Sr.

6-8/230

9.6/6.5

California

Forward Rihards Kuksis Jr. 6-6/205 10.3/4 Arizona St.

Forward

Landry Fields

Sr.

6-7/210

12.1/6.3

Stanford
Guard Dwight Lewis

Sr.

6-5/215 14.4/3.2 USC
Guard Calvin Haynes Jr. 6-2/185 13/3.1 Oregon St.

Honorable Mention:
C: DeAngelo Casto, WSU

F: Jamelle Horne, ARIZ; Theo Robertson, CAL; Leonard Washington, USC; Nikola Dragovic, UCLA

G: Derek Glasser, ASU; Seth Tarver, OSU; Jeremy Green, STAN; Jerime Anderson, UCLA; Venoy Overton, UW

1st Team All Freshman:

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. School

Center

Kyryl Natyazhko 6-10/250

Arizona

Forward

Tyler Honeycutt 6-7/185

UCLA

Forward Solomon Hill 6-6/195 Arizona
Guard Roberto Nelson 6-4/190 Oregon St.
Guard Abdul Gaddy 6-3/170 Washington

2nd Team All Freshman:

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. School

Forward

Brendan Lane 6-9/200

UCLA

Forward

Victor Rudd 6-8/200

Arizona St.

Forward Jamil Wilson 6-7/211 Oregon
Guard Jared Cunningham 6-3/170 Oregon St.
Guard Xavier Thames 6-3/177 Washington St.
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Offseason Pac-10 Predictions: 5-1

Posted July 18, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: Arizona, California, Oregon St., UCLA, Washington

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teams ranked 1-5 should all be competitive both nationally and in the Pac-10 and should make the NCAA’s. Arizona and UCLA will be young and on the rise, Washington will have a group of experienced veterans leading a core of talented  youth, and Cal and Oregon St. will be play for the now as they are made up of seniors and juniors. Though the Pac-10 will be considerably down from years in the past; fresh faces, rivalries new and old, and the drama that always comes with the Pac-10 will make this year as riveting and entertaining as ever.

random_key_48171_file_oregon.st5. Arizona

Bottom Line: Arizona is coming off of their third coach in as many years and now look to newly hired Coach Sean Miller for stability.  Though Arizona loses stars Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, with Nic Wise returning and a surprisingly strong recruiting class coming in, the Wildcats look to be well on their way to returning  back atop of the Pac-10 as they were in the Olson years.

Projected starting lineup:
C- Kyryl Natyazhko Fr. 6-10/250 (25 ppg)*
F- Jamelle Horne Jr. 6-6/209 (6.8 ppg)
F- Solomon Hill Fr. 6-6/195 (16.2 ppg)*
G- Kyle Fogg So. 6-2/175 (6.1 ppg)
G- Nic Wise Sr. 5-10/177 (15.7 ppg)

Key losses: Chase Budinger (18 ppg), Jordan Hill (18.3 ppg)

Recruits: Solomon Hill (Rivals: 27/ Scout: #13 SF), Kyryl Natyazhko (Rivals: 81/ Scout #8 C), Lamont Jones (Rivals: 68/ Scout: #33 SG), Kevin Parrom (Rivals : 122/ Scout: #19 SF), Derrick Williams (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #32 PF)

Keys to success: If Arizona wants to continue the nation’s longest NCAA tournament streak,  Coach Miller will need to have Nic Wise to carry a heavy load and his highly touted freshman to step in and contribute right away.

Postseason: 1st Round

random_key_48171_file_oregon.st

4. Oregon St.

Bottom Line: As the surprise of the Pac-10 last year, the Beavers look to make an even bigger splash this year and actually contend to win the Pac-10. With only the loss of Rickey Claitt, Oregon St. returns with a roster filled with experienced players who proved last year that they know how to win in Coach Robinson’s system.

Projected starting lineup:
C- Roeland Schaftenaar Sr. 6-11/240 (10.5 ppg)
F- Omari Johnson Jr. 6-9/215 (6.6 ppg)
G- Seth Tarver Sr. 6-5/210 (8 ppg)
G- Josh Tarver Sr. 6-3/190 (3.9 ppg)
G- Calvin Haynes Jr. 6-2/185 (13 ppg)

Key losses: Rickey Claitt (7.4 ppg)

Recruits: Jared Cunningham (Rivals: 76/ Scout: #27 PG), Roberto Nelson (Rivals: 78/ Scout: #18 SG), Angus Brandt (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #15 C), Joe Burton (Rivals: 130/ Scout: #21 C), Rhys Murphy (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #32 SF)

Keys to success: Like last season, for Oregon St. to win they will have to work as a team. With particular no star, the Beavers will depend on everyone on the team to find their role and contribute as necessary to win.

Postseason: 1st Round

random_key_48171_file_oregon.st3. UCLA

Bottom Line: Though UCLA is losing four of the teams  starting five from a year full of  disappointment and underachievement, the Bruins have group of young super talent ready to fill in right away. The young Bruin talent, finally unleashed after waiting behind the veteran Bruin’s of old, will look to bring UCLA back to the head of Pac-10 and ultimately back atop the NCAA.

Projected Starting line up:
F- Drew Gordon So. 6-8/235 (3.6 ppg)
F- James Keefe Sr. 6-8/231 (3 ppg)
F- Nikola Dragovic Sr. 6-9/216 (9.4 ppg)
G- Malcolm Lee So. 6-5/180 (3.2 ppg)
G- Jerime Anderson So. 6-1/165 (2.3 ppg)

Key losses: Josh Shipp (14.5 ppg), Darren Collison (14.4 ppg), Alfred Aboya (9.9 ppg), Jrue Holiday (8.5 ppg)

Recruits: Tyler Honeycutt (Rivals: 28/ Scout: #3 SF), Brendan Lane (Rivals: 49/ Scout: #22 PF), Mike Moser (Rivals: 92/ Scout #7 SF), Reeves Lane (Rivals: 86/ Scout: #36 PF), Anthony Stover (Rivals: 144/ Scout: #12 C)

Keys to success: With the Pac-10 as bad it is, the Bruins must take advantage of the weak competition and help their young players grow and become better basketball players to win now and to win in the future.

Postseason: 1st Round/ 2nd Round

random_key_48171_file_oregon.st2. Washington

Bottom Line: Despite losing two of the teams top scorers in Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon, the Huskies bring back experience, talent, youth, and depth- or in other words- the recipe for winning the Pac-10. Barring major injury or letdown, the Huskies should consistently stay atop the nation’s top 25 and compete against any team in the nation

Projected starting lineup:
F- Matt Bryan-Amaning Jr. 6-9/235 (6 ppg)
F- Darnell Gant So. 6-8/215 (3.1 ppg)
F- Quincy Pondexter Sr. 6-6/215 (12.1 ppg)
G- Abdul Gaddy Fr. 6-3/170 (25.3 ppg)*
G- Isaiah Thomas So. 5-8/180 (15.5 ppg)

Key losses: Jon Brockman (14.9 ppg), Justin Dentmon (14.4 ppg)

Recruits: Abdul Gaddy (Rivals:13/ Scout #2 PG), Clarence Trent (Rivals: 147/ Scout: #35 PF), C.J. Wilcox (Rivals: 108/ Scout: #34 SG)

Keys to success: The Huskies have one of the most lethal back courts in the nation with super freshman Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Thomas, and Venoy Overton coming off the bench. Expect Coach Romar to run his offense through them and for any team trying to match up to fail miserably.

Postseason: 2nd Round/ Sweet 16

random_key_48171_file_oregon.st1. California

Bottom Line: The Golden Bears return almost everyone from last years NCAA team to have one the most experienced, most balanced, and best coached teams in the entire nation. As he did with Stanford, Coach Mike Montgomery brings Cal to the national stage where he looks to win a national championship and solidify himself up as one of the greatest coaches in Pac-1o history.

Projected starting lineup:
F- Harper Kamp Jr. 6-8/255 (3.8 ppg)
F- Jamal Boykin Sr. 6-8/230 (9.6 ppg)
F- Theo Robertson Sr. 6-6/225 (13.1 ppg)
G- Patrick Christopher Sr. 6-5/215 (14.5 ppg)
G- Jerome Randle Sr. 5-10/160 (18.3 ppg)

Key losses: Jordan Wilkes (4.7 ppg)

Recruits: Brandon Smith (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #24 PG), Bak Bak (Rivals: NR/ Scout: NR)

Keys to success: Led by  the tandem of Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher, the Golden Bears, fresh to playing as the favorite, must manage how to cope with the expectations and success that entails winning.

Postseason: Sweet 16/ Elite 8

*High school stats

Offseason Pac-10 Predictions: 10-6

Posted July 13, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: Arizona St., Oregon, Stanford, USC, Washington St.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recruits have signed their letters,  players have enrolled in summer school, school’s have their coaching vacancies filled- all meaning only one thing: the 2009-2010 college basketball season is fast arriving. I know its a long time until the season starts, but here are my off season predictions of how things will go down this year.

10. Stanford

Bottom Line: With three of the teams top scorers gone and little talent returning this year, Cardinal country should be in for a very long agonizing season. Dawkins ‘s team will struggle immensely and expect the  season to end with Stanford fans angry and calling for Dawkins’s head.

Projected starting lineup:
F- Josh Owens Jr. 6-8/215 (6.9 ppg)
F- Andy Brown Fr. 6-8/200 (13 ppg)*
G/F- Landry Fields Sr. 6-7/210 (12.1 ppg)
G- Jeremy Green So. 6-4/190 (6.4 ppg)
G- Drew Shiller Sr. 6-0/170 (2.5 ppg)

Key losses: Anthony Brown (16.2 ppg), Lawrence Hill (13.6 ppg), Mitch Johnson (6.6 ppg)

Recruits: Andy Brown (Rivals: NR/ Scout: NR)

Keys to Success: Dawkins needs to develop his young players and create a strong recruiting base while relying on Landry Fields and Jeremy Green to carry the team to be at least somewhat competitive for this year .

Postseason: No chance

9. Washington St.

Bottom Line: With a newly hired coach and much of last years  core gone,  ’09/’10 will be a year of struggle and rebuilding for Wassu. As a historically mediocre basketball school, Ken Bone will have his work cut out for him trying to bring the program back to what it was with Tony Bennett and this year should be just the beginning.

Projected starting lineup:
F- DeAngelo Casto So. 6-8/229 (4.4 ppg)
G/F- Nikola Koprivica Sr. 6-6/216 (3.2 ppg)
G/F- Klay Thompson So. 6-6/187 (12.5 ppg)
G- Marcus Capers So. 6-4/172 (1.7 ppg)
G- Xavier Thames Fr. 6-3/177 (20.1 ppg)*

Key losses: Taylor Rochestie (13.2 ppg), Aron Baynes (12.7 ppg), Caleb Forrest (6.7 ppg), Daven Harmeling (3.8 ppg)

Recruits: Xavier Thames (Rivals: 106/Scout: #25 PG), Reggie Moore (Rivals: NR/Scout: NR), Anthony Brown (Rivals: NR/Scout: NR)

Keys to success: Though the team is young and mostly inexperienced expect super sophomore Klay Thompson to hit the national scene as he carries the Cougars through the season.

Postseason: No chance

8. USC

Bottom Line: Despite the disastrous off season, with Dwight Lewis and Leonard Washington returning and a coach that wont let things get worse then they already are, expect the Trojans to be more competitive then many think . The real struggles for USC begin next year when things aren’t as remnant as they this year.

Projected starting lineup:
F- Alex Stepheson Jr. 6-9/235 (4.3 ppg)**
F- Leonard Washington So. 6-7/230 (6.1 ppg)
G- Marcus Simmons Jr. 6-6/200 (1.9 ppg)
G- Dwight Lewis Sr. 6-5/215 (14.4 ppg)
G- Donte Smith Jr. 5-11/180 (2.3 ppg)

Key losses: Taj Gibson (14.3 ppg), DeMar DeRozan (13.9 ppg), Daniel Hackett (12.3 ppg)

Recruits: Evan Smith (Rivals: NR/Scout: NR)

Keys to Success: If coach O’Neill can do what he was hired to do and bring stability back to USC basketball, the Trojans can finish the healing and start the rebuilding with as little growing pains as possible.

Postseason: Wouldn’t count on it

7. ASU

Bottom line: Though the devils will fall in ranking from last year, teams 3-7 will be considerably even and have a rough time beating up on each other on a nightly basis. Despite losing two of their best players from last year the Sun Devils shouldn’t drop off too much with a solid core of veterans returning and an above average recruiting class coming in.

Projected starting lineup:
C- Eric Boateng Sr. 6-10/245 (1.8 ppg)
F- Victor Rudd Fr. 6-8/200 (16.6 ppg)*
G/F- Rihards Kuksiks Jr. 6-6/205 (10.3 ppg)
G- Ty Abbott Jr. 6-3/215 (7.1 ppg)
G- Derrick Glasser Sr. 6-1/180 (8.8 ppg)

Key losses: James Harden (20.1 ppg), Jeff Pendergraph (14.5 ppg)

Recruits: Trent Lockett (Rivals: 80/Scout: #20 SG), Ruslan Pateev (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #34 C), Demetrius Walker (Rivals: 115/Scout: #31 SF), Victor Rudd (Rivals: 114/ Scout: #33 SF), Brandon Thompson (Rivals: NR/Scout: NR)

Keys to Success: If Kuksiks, Abbott, and Glasser can produce consistently and the freshman grow and contribute as expected, ASU should have a good shot to compete with any team in the Pac-10.

Postseason: Hello NIT

stanfordlogo6. Oregon

Bottom Line: The Ducks are coming off a disappointing last place 2-16 season and coach Ernie Kent finds himself in a do or die season for his job. Luckily for Kent, the Ducks have their entire starting lineup returning from last year and a much weaker Pac-10 to compete against.

Projected starting lineup:
C- Michael Dunigan So. 6-10/255 (8.4 ppg)
F- Joevan Catron Sr. 6-6/235 (7.2 ppg)
G- LeKendric Longmire Jr. 6-5/200 (9.9 ppg)
G- Garrett Sim So. 6-1/175 (6.8 ppg)
G- Tajuan Porter Sr. 5-6/150 (15.4 ppg)

Key losses: Kamyron Brown (4.5 ppg)

Recruits: Jamil Wilson (Rivals: 94/Scout #5 SF), E.J. Singler (Rivals: NR/ Scout: #24 SF), Jeremy Jacob (JC Rivals: NR/ Scout:NR)

Keys to Success: If Kent can at least utilize some of the talent he has on his  loaded roster, which he failed to do last season, expect the Ducks not to disappoint and Kent to return for his 14th season in Oregon.

Postseason: Hello NIT

* High school stats
** Sophomore stats with North Carolina

Pac-10 players drafted in the NBA Draft

Posted July 6, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: NBA Draft

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The 2009 NBA Draft passed last week and many of the best Pac-10 players experienced a night they will never forget; filled with feelings of excitement, optimism, and disappointment the night entailed the realization of many’s of the player’s childhood dream of playing in the NBA. Many were chosen where expected, many were picked better higher then expected, and many waited in agony as they waited for their named to be called. Here are my thoughts on where the players of 2009 Pac-10 class were selected and how they will stack up on the teams they will be playing for.

3. James Harden (OKC Thunder): No curve balls were thrown to start the night off and like expected, Harden was selected third to the OKC Thunder. The first player picked from the Pac-1o, Harden will have an immediate impact on the Thunder and should star alongside Kevin Durant, Jeff Green,  ex-UCLA star Russell Westbrooke on a very young Thunder team.

8. Jordan Hill (NY Knicks): The New York fans booed Hill when his name was called instead of  Stephen Curry’s, but what the

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Knick fans don’t know is that Hill’s explosive up tempo game will fit perfectly under Mike D’Antoni’s run-n-gun system. With David Lee out, Hill will likely play right away and have early struggles adjusting to the better competition of the NBA; still, expect D’Antoni to develop Hill into a fine NBA player in the future.

9. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors): Add DeRozan to the list of talented players on the Raptors roster that will likely only tread the waters of their potential and go unnoticed in the NBA wasteland known as Toronto. With Marion likely gone to free agency and Bosh likely to bolt in 2010, expect DeRozan to have a large role on the Raptors for years to come which, in circumspect, should allow him to grow and develop into the player that he has the potential to be.

17. Jrue Holiday (Philadelpia 76ers): When the 76er’s called his name 17th, Holiday shushed all the talk of being the big slip of this year’s draft. Question’s still loom over Holiday’s durability but it looks like the 76er’s and Holiday should be an excellent fit. Holiday should move back to his natural position of point guard and his style of play should compliment the athletic abilities of 76er’s very well for a long time.

21. Darren Collison (NO Hornets): Collison being drafted 21st to the Hornets seems to be one of the bigger question marks in this year’s draft. Even though most believed that a less then stellar season with UCLA this year would have Collision falling on most draft boards, Collison still managed to get pick solidly in the first round. With Chris Paul as the point guard of the future for the Hornets, expect Darren Collison to be the backup.

26. Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls): It was no suprise that Gibson was picked as a late  first round pick, but what was a suprise was the team who traded to get him: the Chicago Bulls. Though Gibson has a lot of upside and potential, with the Bulls loaded with front court players Brad Miller, Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, one must wonder how another player big like Gibson will find the place and minutes to contribute.

31. Jeff Pendergraph (Portland Trailblazers): Similarly to Taj Gibson, Pendergraph was picked where expected but will struggle to find a role on the team that he was drafted by: the Portland Trailblazers. Like Channing Frye this year, Pendergraph has the ability to contribute but will not have the opportunity to stuck behind stars Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw, and Joel Pryzbilla.

44. Chase Budinger (Houston Rockets): With no doubt, Budinger was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, slips of this year’s draft. All mocks had Budinger being picked at least in the first round, some even lottery, but none had him falling to the middle of the second round. Though his lack toughness seemingly caught up to him, with Artest gone to the Lakers and McGrady’s future uncertain, the Rockets look like a good place for Budinger to play and get minutes immediately.

USC KO’ed?

Posted July 2, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: USC

Tags: , ,

When news broke that USC hired Kevin O’Neill to be their head basketball coach the first thing that came to my head was “what the hell is Mike Garrett thinking?”.  Why would Garrett hire a guy who’s failed with virtually every job he’s worked at? A guy who’s combined coaching record is 171-180 and has been run out of two NBA gigs, Tennessee,

Kevin O'Neill (Jake Lacey, Daily Wildcat)

Kevin O'Neill (Jake Lacey/Daily Wildcat)

Northwestern, and most recently Arizona. The truth is hiring O’Neill wasn’t just a good hire,  it was an excellent hire. In the situation its in, O’Neill is everything that USC needs and everything that O’Neill could ever hope for.  For all that USC could expect, O’Neill will demand respect from his peers, recruit, and teach his players how to play the game of basketball- all with the integrity and honesty that Floyd didn’t have.

But couldn’t have Garrett hired someone with at least some success? Maybe Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon or at least someone like  Reggie Theus? The answer, simply, is no. No coach with any hope of having a long term coaching career would ever come into the mess that USC is in right now. Recruiting violations, no recruits, and public scrutiny: it would almost take a miracle for someone to recover from this situation without getting fired. On the other hand for as bad of coaching record that Kevin O’Neill has, the USC  job is the best thing  O’Neill could ever dream of getting.

Simply put Kevin O’Neill is Mike Garrett’s fallback guy for the future. USC is in for a very rough next couple of years, and that’s exactly what O’Neill is there for.  O’Neill’s strong persona will bring an aspect of stability to USC exactly to what Garrett wants. Garrett also knows well from O’Neill’s history and by the enormity of the task O’Neill has, that O’Neill will not have the success to last as the permanent successor at USC, and Garrett is hoping O’Neill will do a good enough job in his short tenure to bring enough stability to USC so that they can actually go for the high profile coach like the one they hoped for now (like Jamie Dixon).

NBA Draft: “In oder Aus”

Posted June 21, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: NBA Draft

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In honor of Sasha Baron Cohen’s soon to be released movie Bruno I’ve decided to play a game of his made famous from Da Ali G Show called “in oder aus” (in or the out). The deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft was June 16 and many of the Pac-10’s finest underclassman considered the jump to the pro’s. Lets take a look at who did and didn’t enter the draft and whether they made the right decision or not.

nba-draft

Arizona

-Jordan Hill [In]:  Hill had a monstrous season this year and is looking to cash in. By staying an extra year Hill could have benefited by improving his strength and fundamentals, but with a weak draft class and the season he had the decision whether to go pro was a no brainer. Projection: 4-8. Decision grade: A

-Chase Budinger [In]: Though Budinger failed to achieve his goal from last year in guaranteeing himself as a lottery pick this year, three coach’s in three frustrating years makes it no wonder why Budinger is turning pro and not coming back for his senior year. Projection: 10-20.  Decision grade: B

-Nic Wise [Aus]: With the coaching carousel spinning, Nic Wise was set to choose between playing professionally in Europe vs. coming back to Arizona and starring as the Wildcat’s main man. With Wise choosing wisely to come back, Nic has given himself the opportunity for next year to be playing in the NBA instead of what hoped for this is year in playing overseas. Decision grade: A-

Arizona St.

-James Harden [In]: Even though Harden could have been a lottery pick in last years draft, Harden stayed an extra

ASU's James Harden dribbling by USC's Daniel Hackett (Icon SMI)

ASU's James Harden dribbling past USC's Daniel Hackett (Icon SMI)

year at ASU solidifying himself as a top five pick this year. Harden dominated the Pac-1o and there would have been very little for him to improve upon in the college ranks if he were to stay for another year. Projection: 3-6.  Decision grade: A

California

-Patrick Christopher [Aus]: If Christopher were to enter the draft this year his chances of being drafted  would have been minimal to none. With Patrick returning for his season year, Christopher has given himself an optimal opportunity to showcase all of his talents to get drafted next year along with also giving the Golden Bears an excellent chance to win the Pac-10 . Decision grade: B+

UCLA

-Jrue Holiday [In]: When Holiday arrived at UCLA he was expected to immediately dominate Pac-10 and jump straight into NBA after. Jrue didn’t exactly dominate the Pac-10, but he did still decide to shoot straight to the pro’s. By staying another year, Holiday would have benefited by being the Bruin’s go-to-guy and an extra year’s worth of development. Projection: 10-20. Decision grade: B-

USC

-DeMar DeRozan [In]: DeMar DeRozan holds exceptional ability and has the potential to be a star at the next level. DeRozan could have benefited by coming back to USC and getting another year of development under his wing, but with USC’s coaching fallout it only made sense for DeMar to go pro. Projection: 8-15. Decision grade: A-

-Daniel Hackett [In]: Hackett likely only entered the draft to get away from the current coaching scandal taking place at USC and escape playing for a depleted USC roster. Unfortunately for Hackett, there is an unlikely chance he will be drafted and the depleted roster could have given him a great opportunity to play an expanded enough role to be selected in next year’s draft. Projection: not drafted. Decision grade: C

-Taj Gibson [In]: Though the last three years Gibson has steadily improved his game with the Trojans, it has come playing as the right hand man behind the likes of stars Nick Young, OJ Mayo, and DeMar DeRozen. Still, with the mishap going on at USC it is no wonder why Taj is turning pro and entering the draft. Projection: late 1st round-early 2nd round. Decision grade: B

-ARB

The Fall of Troy

Posted June 13, 2009 by abrio91
Categories: USC

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

With Tim Floyd resigning as head basketball coach at USC last week, the program looks to be in shambles- for a long time.  Just a few months ago Tim Floyd turned down two of the countries most prestigious coaching vacancies from Arizona and Memphis to return to USC and to what he thought was a top-1o recruiting class, the limelights of LA, and

Tim Floyd (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Tim Floyd (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

a program on the rise.  But, with the bolting of three of the teams top four leading scorers to play professional ball (Daniel Hackett, Taj Gibson, Demar Derozen)  and a devastating accusation from the NCAA regarding an illegal payment to a handler during the recruitment of former USC star OJ Mayo,  Tim Floyd has resigned bringing a very gloomy fate to the  future  of USC basketball.

After two failed stints in the NBA, Floyd was brought to USC to rebuild a program that had only had marginal success.  In just four years, Tim Floyd shot USC into a perennial threat in the Pac-1o leading the Trojans to an unprecedented three NCAA tournament appearances. During this time, word had began to circulate questioning the rise of USC leading many to accuse Floyd of cheating and questionable recruiting tactics.  With Floyd’s resignation last week; bringing most of the speculated word to truth, Floyd is now left without a job and, more importantly for LA and the Pac-10, USC without a coach.

Unfortunately for USC, the fallout will have many consequences for the present and even more for the future. Though the Trojans are already losing three of their four leading scorers and have a prized recruiting class lost; a very weak Pac-1o should save USC from absolute embarrassment and the return of the likes of leading scorer Dwight Lewis and UNC transfer Alex Stepheson will have the Trojans winning at least a couple games. With this season most definitely lost, the by far most important task for USC and Athletic Director Mike Garrett is to find a coach who will be able to lead the program through the frustration of now and the tough times that will endure. Names have already being thrown around, but Garrett must only find a coach who will work with integrity, enthusiasm,  patience. Here is a list of coach’s, by order of preference, that i believe Garrett should go after:

1.  Billy Gillispie

Why:  Though Gillispie didn’t have as much success as he would have wanted in Lexington, the USC coaching job would would give him a chance to start anew and showcase his true merits as a coach. USC would provide all the necessary tools for him to attract attention and shine along with the low-stress work environment and the expectations of a low mid-major school.

Billy Gillispie (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Billy Gillispie (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

2. Craig Robinson

Why: Has a long-struggling Oregon St. program on the rise and has all the integrity and talent that Garrett could ever want. USC’s prime-time stage would be an ideal opportunity for Robinson to showcase his talents as a coach, but does Robinson really want to leave OSU just a few months before the season begins to rebuild another program all over again?

3 . Steve Lavin

Why: Lavin has strong recruiting ties and experience from his days with UCLA.  Lavin is young and has the optimism and enthusiasm an ailing program like USC needs, still does USC want to risk the life of its program with someone who has already failed once in the Pac-10?

Other possible candidates:

– Bobby Knight: The name has been thrown around by the likes of ESPN’s Andy Katz but it doesn’t seem realistic and would not be the long term solution that Garrett wants.

– Reggie Theus: Would be great as the interim coach for this year; but unfortunately Theus likely only wants the full time gig and i doubt Garrett has him high on his list.

-ARB