Amidst the ongoing discussion of the Pac-12's terrible, horrible no good very bad season, it's worth remembering the massive attrition that pretty much every team has suffered through. So as a public service, here is a chart attempting to organize every player that was on the roster of a conference team last season and for reasons other than graduation, has missed time this year:
|Early Draft Declaration||Pre or Mid Season Transfer||Academic Issues||Major Injury|
|Derrick Williams (Arizona)||Sidiki Johnson (Arizona)||Jahii Carson (ASU)||Aaron Fuller (USC)|
|Alec Burks (Col)||Momo Jones (Arizona)||Richard Solomon (Cal)||Dewayne Dedmon (USC)|
|Jeremy Green (Stan)||Corey Hawkins (ASU)||Evan Smith (USC)|
|Malcolm Lee (UCLA)||Bruce Barron & Jabari Brown (Ore)||Jio Fontan (USC)|
|Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)||Malcolm Armstead (Ore)||David Foster (Utah)|
|Nikola Vucevic (USC)||De'End Parker (UCLA)||Scott Suggs (Wash)|
|Isaiah Thomas (Wash)||Will Clyburn (Utah)||Faisal Aden (WSU)|
|Klay Thompson (WSU)||J.J. O’Brian (Utah)||Dismissed From Team||Gabriel Harris (Stan)|
|DeAngelo Casto (WSU)||Chris Kupets (Utah)||Keala King (Arizona)|
|Preston Guiot (Utah)||Reeves Nelson (UCLA)||Minor Injury|
|Shawn Glover (Utah)||Josh Watkins (Utah)||Trent Lockett (ASU)|
|Antonio DiMaria (Utah)||C.J Wilcox (Wash)|
|Andre Winston (WSU)|
This chart is almost assuredly incomplete. I doubt I have every single player that has been injured, and there were probably some low-profile transfers that I'm unaware of. I also didn't bother including players who transferred more than a year ago because that would take too long, which removes a full roster of former Bruins, amongst many other potential impact players. If you see a player from your favorite team that needs to be added to this chart, put it in the comments and I'll edit it in. Then, whenever somebody asks you why the Pac-12 is so bad, or makes fun of the conference, you can direct them here and tell them that 80% of last year's Pac-10 all-conference 1st and 2nd team haven't played all season.
I will admit to wondering - is this level of roster upheaval so unusual? Or could I make a similar list for every other major conference? Has the Pac-12 actually been unlucky, or have Pac-12 coaches failed in their efforts to successfully manage their team so that any unexpected losses wouldn't lead to substandard performance. There's your question to ponder this week
Team of the Week: Arizona
The Wildcats became the first (and likely only) team to pull off the Bay Area road sweep by beating both Cal and Stanford, the latter in decisive fashion. In the process they severely damaged the conference and NCAA prospects of two teams while simultaneously reinserting themselves into the race. After coming up on the wrong side of every close game, it must have been refreshing to finally pull a tight one out against the Bears with great end-of-game defense. The Cats kept that defensive momentum going by completely shutting down Stanford's attack at Maples, holding the Cardinal to 25% shooting.
With a relatively kind finishing stretch to the season, and playing by far the best defense in the conference, Arizona certainly had the look of potential conference champs this week. I'm sure it'll be an entirely different team with the look next week. This is the Pac-12 in 2012, after all.
Game of the Week : Washington 71, UCLA 69
With 6 minutes to go UCLA had a 10 point lead . . . and the Bruins proceeded to do everything in their power to not take the game. To their credit, the Huskies took advantage and went on a 16-4 run. Terrance Ross, as he occasionally does, took over down the stretch and UCLA decided that playing offense with the lead wasn't worth their time, continuing their long history of refusing to help Cal even when it would also help themselves.
I don't really want to detract from the win Washington earned, but I would like to note that there was some pretty horrible reffing down the stretch. UCLA was called for 5 fouls in a row while the Huskies went on their run, and maybe two of them were decent calls. Two iffy off-the-ball fouls, one horrible charge-block decision and a questionable transition foul led to UW four points off free throws and two UCLA turnovers. Which segues nicely into our next award . . .
Disappointment of the Week: Pac-12 Refs
Believe it or not, this isn't about the Cal/Arizona game, which has already been discussed to death around here. Instead, let's talk about what happened at the end of the Colorado-Oregon game. Go to the 1:20 mark and watch:
Should it be a foul? The general consensus is no, even amongst some Colorado fans. When the refs are major features of post-game discussion in multiple games throughout the week, something is probably wrong.
Utah at Arizona St., 5:30
Colorado at Arizona, 6:00, ESPN
Washington St. at Oregon St., 7:00
California at USC, 7:30
Stanford at UCLA, 8:00
Washington at Oregon, 8:00
Utah at Arizona, 11:00
California at UCLA, 1:00, FSN
Washington St. at Oregon, 2:00
Colorado at Arizona St., 3:30
Washington at Oregon St., 2:30
Stanford at USC, 4:30
Thursday night brings three very intriguing games to the table. Stanford and UCLA pit two teams desperate for a win. Colorado at Arizona pit two teams in the title race riding multi-game winning streaks. Washington at Oregon is another chance for the Huskies to continue to prove that they can win on the road. Since Cal's game at USC isn't televised, why not enjoy Colorado at Arizona while you listen to Roxy on the radio? As an aside, GO DUCKS.
The weekend is a little less juicy, but there is one good game on Saturday and Sunday. Cal at UCLA is a game that neither team can likely afford to lose. And Washington will face another potentially problematic road game against the difficult-to-decipher Beavers.
At the end of the week each team in the conference will have played 13 games, meaning that everybody has just 5 games left before the conference tournament. Simply put, time is running out for everybody not named Washington. Hopefully the intensity and level of play matches the stakes.