Posted tagged ‘Craig Robinson’

Offseason Pac-10 Predictions: 5-1

July 18, 2009

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

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The Fall of Troy

June 13, 2009

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