Sunday, October 28, 2007
Since the college basketball preseason starts a week from today. Here is the WPM heavily-biased Pac-10 Preview. The teams are ranked in order, followed by their overall records and Pac-10 records from last season .
1. UCLA 30-6 (15-3)
Let's be honest, nobody is fucking with UCLA this year. The team is returning four starters from a team that made it to the final four, where they lost to eventual champion Florida. The returning class is highlighted by the Pac-10's best point guard, Darren Collison, who led the Pac-10 in steals and in three-point field goal percentage last year.
The scary part is that the Bruins are gaining two of the best freshman in the nation. Kevin Love won pretty much every top award in the nation, while averaging 33.9 points, 17.0 rebounds, 4.2 blocks and 4.0 assists per game last year at Lake Oswego (Oregon) HS. He was considered by many to be the top of his class, but I will always hate him for not staying local and going to Oregon.
Love is accompanied by fellow-freshman Chace Stanback, a two-time Division I state championship winner from Fairfax (Los Angeles) HS, led the Lions to a 28-5 mark last year. He averaged 25.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game in his senior season.
On paper, I really don't see how anybody can beat UCLA.
2. Oregon 29-8 (11-7)
It may be wildly WPMish to put Oregon this high, it may not be. It all depends on how well the Ducks do in compensating for Aaron Brooks departure to the NBA. The Ducks, who made it to the Sweet 16 before being bounced by Florida return four starters, four of their top five scorers, four players who shot better than 40 percent from three-point range and four who averaged double figures. That's not a bad start. The big question is can Tajuan Porter play the point? The 5'6" Porter will have to prove he can hit an open man and run the offense as easily as he can hit an off-balance three from 35 feet.
Will Malik Hairston finally reach the hype he had coming out of high school? Will Tajuan Porter continue improving at a retarded rate? Can the rest of the squad please play like they did in the Pac-10 Tourney and blow teams out while shooting above 50 percent? God I hope so.
It's completely irrelevant to the basketball preview, but the fact that Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon is only enrolled in a Billiards class at UO is simply amazing. Why fuck with school, when you can lead a top-five football team?
3. USC 25-12 (11-7)
O.J. Mayo. O.J. Mayo. O.J. Mayo. Hype. Hype. Hype.
At the end of the day it really depends on if O.J. Mayo is the everything the media and himself makes him out to be.
SC lost Nick Young, Gabe Pruitt and Lodrick Stewart — who combined to average 44 points last season — but I guess O.J. can just try and average 44 points himself.
Apparently there are more Dunleavys in the world as the Trojans have freshman walk-on James Dunleavy, a 6-8 guard and the son of Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy on the roster.
4. Arizona 20-11 (11-7)
First things first, I read in the paper this morning that freshman pg Jerryd Bayless will be wearing #0 this season, since his high school #32 is retired for Sean Elliott. Jerryd if you don't lead Arizona to a national championship game while being the biggest bad-ass/goofball UA has ever seen, I will forever hate you for tarnishing Gilbert Arenas' legendary jersey. Jerryd, how about you wear #00 and honor Polkey, just stay the fuck off of #0. This is worse than when whoever it was decided to rock #3 at Georgetown.
Back to the preview, after their second-consecutive shitty (by UA standards) season and getting bounced for the second-straight time in the opening weekend of the Tourney, the Cats theme this season is take it game-by-game. They no longer break huddles with "Atlanta" (the site of last year's championship game), now they break huddles with "Eh, how about we just try and win this one."
I'm most excited to see if Kevin O'Neil can get Chase Budinger to play defense. If that does happen, Chase at the very least, should give O'Neil his first three NBA paychecks. Kevin O'Neil sounds like a fucking madman according to this Daily Star article. Anybody who Jordan Hill describes as a "nut case" is pretty gully in my eyes.
Bayless will be forced to try to redeem the good name of Point Guard U, which Mustafa Shakur treated as a 4-year technical institute for underachieving. It changes according to every new article but it's believed that Bayless will run the 1, while the official player of Where's P-Mac, Nic Wise plays the 2.
Key losses for the Cats: Hmm, I can't think of any.
Key gains: The aforementioned Bayless; bigman Alex Jacobsen, who may or may not red shirt; potential-sleeper and great defender pg Laval Lucas-Perry; bench warmer Zane Johnson.
The Wildcats have lost more weight than Jay in '88 this off-season. Nic Wise went from 195 to 175 and hopes to see a quickness he probably hasn't seen since middle school. Jawann McClellen dropped 10 pounds, down to 204, which will hopefully help his 80-year-old knees.
Interesting off-season note: Mohamed Tangara played three games in the African championships over the summer, then returned to campus because Mali wasn't going to be a factor in the championship, anyway (USA Today).
In a fight for token-goofy white guy, who will never see a minute of PT, newcomer Lucas Spencer knocked out former title holder David Bagga. Spencer won the bout by playing the "I went to a Catholic high school in Yuma, Arizona" card as well as the "I'm 6'5" 187 lbs" card. Lucas, best of luck in the classroom and make sure to keep the team G.P.A. high.
5. Washington State 26-8 (13-5)
Expected to be as shitty as Pullman, the Cougars came out of no where and surprised a lot of people last year, finishing in the top of the Pac-10. Like almost every other team in the Pac-10, they're returning four starters, including seniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver. I really don't know a whole lot else about WSU, except that their coach's name is Tony Bennett, but not this Tony Bennett. Also they wear Russell Athletic jerseys, which hurts them dramatically in WPM power rankings.
6. Stanford 18-13 (10-8)
Twin big-men Brook and Robin Lopez are beasts. Unfortunately Brook, who was already academically ineligible for at least the first nine games, is now suspended indefinitely for the ever-ambiguous "breaking team rules." The team will also be hosting in-season try-outs for the point guard slot as Anthony Goods will be moved to the shooting guard. If Stanford can get their shit together, they could be a dangerous team, most likely they wont and they'll get a few upsets, while lingering in Pac-10 mediocrity.
7. California 16-17 (6-12)
What do I know about Cal? Well they've got a couple of big guys, they're a Jordan Brand sponsored team and their head coach frequently played tennis at my former job. They really have no big names. They have no proven point guard. According to other previews, everyone on their team is either hurt or coming back from an injury and this is before the season has even started. This squad is probably going to suck. I'm only ranking them this high because I hate the other teams in the conference.
8. Washington 19-13 (8-10)
Again four starters back. Hardcore-conservative blogger/center Spencer Hawes (R) is gone to the NBA. Among the starters is Pac-10 leading douchebag Ryan Appleby, so I really don't even have to say much more. I hate this team. I wish them the worst.
9. Oregon State 11-21 (3-15)
Don't really care about them. They sucked last year. They will suck this year. Let's just move on to ASU.
10. Arizona State 8-22 (2-16)
I may be the most disloyal Wildcats fan on campus, but I still hate ASU. How much do I hate ASU? I hate Pat Tillman solely because he went to ASU, so I'd say I hate ASU a lot.
They are somewhat of a team on the come-up despite losing their first 14 Pac-10 games, although nine of the games were decided by six points of less. They return five of their top six scorers and they only have two players with more than a year of experience.
Honestly as a UA sports fan, we all need ASU to lose every basketball game, so we have something to say to retarded ASU fans who spew ASU football praise with Dennis Erickson's cum still in their mouth.