A note to anyone planning to post a question: The time has changed and this chat will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, not noon.
Hey everybody! Greetings from Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, where I just got done talking to Herb Sendek, Carrick Felix and Jahii Carson (who was wearing a "Hi My Name Is ..." sticker from a class project).
We'll get to Pac-12 hoops questions. We encourage you guys to participate as much as possible. Great questions make for a great chat.
No and yes. Right this second, I'd pick UCLA. The Bruins have won 10 of 11, just swept a road trip and will only get better. But they're one sprained ankle from being in serious trouble, as they only have eight rotation players. I think Arizona is one of the best dozen or so teams in the country, with a chance to move into the top five or eight if their freshman continue to grow.
Four seems like a good number right now: Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Washington, with Arizona State, Cal and maybe even Colorado on the fringes. I think the Wildcats and Bruins are the only two slam-dunk tourney teams right now. I'm eager to see how ASU plays against the UA on Saturday; big test for a 14-3 team
Not this year. I think Mayes brings size and a veteran presence that York does not.
The December deadline for recruits to transfer and be able to play midway through the next season passed without either leaving. Winning cures a lot of midseason itchiness, I think. I don't believe either are contemplating leaving, as of now.
That's a wonderful question. Jeff Withey, now the center at Kansas, took years to even really look comfortable on a college basketball floor. Now, though, he's a wonderful blocker. Sean Miller's "Pack Line" man-to-man defense is different than Kansas', and it encourages players to protect the rim. Does that mean Withey gets more blocks? Fewer? Dunno.
They could use better ball-handling. The front line freshmen haven't grown the way some would like — but it bears repeating that big guys rarely ever ever ever are stars from the get-go. It's not as much of a plug-and-play situation as it is with guards. Their defense and 3-point shooting, though, has surpassed my expectations — though three-point defense has not.
Keep those questions coming, guys. Bonus points for making me laugh.
i believe Parrom is treating this season as his last in college. I don't believe he's a candidate for a medical hardship waiver, by the letter of the law, but the UA could ask for a waiver. I know Miller, in the past, has said he would have sat Parrom all year last season, if he had his druthers, but he wanted Parrom to get back on the court after such a traumatic series of events.
Wonderful question. I haven't heard of any movement on that front. The Pac-12 and DirectTV could make a lot of money together, if they'd just agree on a contract. I know a few die-hards who have switched to a different carrier, but it's probably a lower number than the league would like. Remember this: a lot of folks that have DirectTV have it for the NFL package. No college league is wise to make fans choose between it and the dominant professional sport in America.
Probably Ashley, then Jerrett, then Zeus. But Tarczewski can be a greater benefit to the team on bad days, as he can rebound, take up space and alter shots.
Not a hoops question, but worth answerin'. I think he deserves some consideration, especially given the direction that NFL offenses seem to be going in — with an emphasis on mobile quarterbacks. That said, Scott is not a big guy. And his arm is not considered overwhelming, either. Not a great combo.
I don't root, so losses don't disappoint me (if that makes sense — hope it doesn't sound obnoxious; i don't mean it that way at all). I thought they'd get a split on the road, and I don't consider that worthy of panic. They'll split again this year, and the world won't end. If you're asking what surprised me, in a bad way, here's one glaring one: three-point defense. Oregon made 7-of-11 tries, one game after Utah made 7-of-16 and Colorado made 10-of-21. (Or, depending on how you saw the replay, 11 of 21). That's not acceptable.
They like him, I've heard
Because Philadelphia fans are hard-wired to do so. I think NFL fans have every right to be skeptical of Chip Kelly's offense, but it's the most futuristic thing to happen in football — college or otherwise — this decade. All coaching hires are gambles. If you're gonna bet, why not bet on someone with the highest upside? (In related news, I kinda love the Bears hiring a CFL coach who also happens to be a QB guru).
Now that's a DEEEEEEEP question. Love it. Up here in Tempe, Jonathan Gilling made 42 percent of his three-point attempts in the last 22 games of last year, but seems to be struggling this year. He's rebounding MUCH better, but his shooting touch has been lacking. At UCLA, Shabazz Muhammad leads the league in three-point shooting, but I don't consider him a true power forward/center type
I'm not in the prediction biz, but I think it's closer than Arizona Wildcats fans would want to believe. Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix — and ASU's new man defense — bring an athleticism to the party that hasn't always been there. My question for YOU GUYS: tell me who's going to win, but most importantly, why. We'll post the best ones
I've been aware of this game since I was a kid, but really started following maybe seven years ago. In terms of strange-but-memorable, it's hard to beat Kevin Parrom's "No Easy Buckets" routine as a freshman — which was followed by him trying to pick a fight on the McKale Center floor as the buzzer sounded a month later. In terms of pure basketball intrigue, last year's game up here in Tempe might have taken the cake: the Wildcats had everything to play for, and lost. The Sun Devils were the opposite.
Walton was ALL ABOUT Arsalan Kazemi on television the other night, mentioning his home country of Iran more than a few times. He's 6-7, so he doesn't have the ideal NBA body, by any stretch. (By comparison, his former Rice teammate Omar Oraby, at 7-foot-2 center, does have the required size. But Kazemi's a much better player).
If they played the tournament today, I don't think the Wildcats would win the whole thing. But they play the tournament in March, when the UA's freshmen could be MUUUUUCH different players than they are today. To me, that's what's intriguing about the Wildcats — they have room to grow. (Interestingly, I think you can say the same about UCLA.)
C'mon, dear readers. I want questions and predictions. BRING IT.
Also, here's what I just posted from up here, about ASU downplaying the importance of last year's upse
Well, the link button is acting up. Sorry about that.
Dunno that anything is wrong. But it's interesting to watch college players and their willingness to pass to big men. Eventually, and I believe this has already happened, guards will stop trying to feed it in tough spots to a guy they fear will drop the ball. That's trouble, because feeding the most is something the Wildcats MUST do.