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Archive for the ‘Pac-10 Stuff’ Category

Stanford hits a home run

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 26, 2008

If you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor, Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby really did hit the ball out of the park with his hire of Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins, who is reported to be Trent Johnson’s successor. This is the guy who’s been Mike Kzyzewski’s top assistant for 11 years, most of that spent as his top recruiter at a university whose admissions standards are similar to Stanford’s.

Of course, you never really know how a lifetime assistant is going to do as the head guy — hellloooooo, Paul Graham! — but I think this is a great hire. I’ve often wondered why Dawkins has never gotten a shot as a head man, and the thought has been that he was just patiently waiting for the right opportunity. He elected not to go the Jeff Capel route, assisting Coach K for a few years then parlaying a few years at a small college (VCU) into a bigger job (Oklahoma).

It looks like that patience has been rewarded. He’s learned from the best, and he won’t get a better fit than this.

And I stand by what I wrote Thursday: Bowlsby will end up looking like the smart guy in all of this.


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Will someone please tell me what the heck happened?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on January 18, 2008

As in, what the heck happened to the Ducks last night? I didn’t get to watch that game last night and I’ll be reading up on the game later, once I get done writing my OSU post, but what the heck? I’m interested to hear some thoughts from some people who watched that game, with specific emphasis on how last night’s performance by Oregon might bode for Sunday’s game against the Cougs.

Posted in Pac-10 Stuff | 1 Comment »

Crazy night in Pac-10 hoops as UCLA survives scare, Ducks go down

Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 21, 2007

Some were surprised by UCLA’s near upset against Michigan State last night. I was not.

You saw a perfect example of why I don’t have the Bruins ranked No. 1 in my Top 25: They just are not the same without Darren Collison. He is the juice in that engine. He directs the offense, giving it tempo and flow, and is absolutely nails on the defensive end, wreaking havoc with his multitude of steals — 2.2 a game last year.

That the Bruins had the talent and guts to come back in that game says a lot about them, and it was impressive. To do that with all the young players they have against a team that returned all its players, and do it without your team MVP? That’s really saying something. And if you haven’t gotten a look at just how good Kevin Love is, he’s reason A-1 why the Cougs probably can’t win the Pac-10 title this year.

UCLA will be the best team in the country … just not right now.

The other big news of the night was Oregon’s upset loss to St. Mary’s. Informed minds saw that as a potential upset, what with the Ducks traveling for a true road game at the WCC school. It’s easy to chalk up the loss to an unbelievable performance by true freshman Patty (yes, that’s his real first name) Mills, who dropped 37 on the unsuspecting Ducks.

But their problems were bigger than that last night. The No. 12 team in the country never even had the lead against the Gaels after the midway point of the first half. They gave up 61 points in the second half, and sent St. Mary’s to the line 36 times. Some of that was probably due to late fouling, but you get the picture.

In my Top 25 comments, I singled out Tajuan Porter as the key for the Ducks, and that I wasn’t sold on him as a floor leader in the absence of Aaron Brooks. Well, he scored just 13 points last night with one assist and two turnovers. He also shot nine 3s, making only three.

Porter might be 5-foot-6, but he’s no point guard, and Ernie Kent’s insistence on fitting a square peg into a round hole because he has no other true point guard on the roster will be a constant problem for the Ducks this year. On nights when the offense isn’t scoring 90 points, Oregon is going to struggle.

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