Last week I made the following joke:
And which team will have four players transfer out before getting hit by an outbreak of leprosy - but all after the late signing period?
HAHAHA JOKE SO FUNNY
Chanse Creekmur is leaving the Arizona State basketball program to pursue football at another school.
Arizona State could lose its fourth player in a year after junior Trent Lockett asked to be released from his scholarship so he could transfer to be closer to his ailing mother.
OK, not so funny any more (especially for Mr. Lockett, whom we wish all the best in tough times). Well, that was fast. Creekmur probably wasn’t going to get much playing time either way (the news of his transfer broke a few weeks ago) but Lockett was easily ASU’s best player when healthy and Cain was their leading rebounder.
USC has also lost players, although two have barely played for the Trojans due to injuries. Garrett Jackson is the most productive player they are losing, which . . . I’ll let you decide how set back USC will be.
One of the main hopes for improvement in the Pac-12 is ASU, USC and Utah turning from RPI 250+ teams into RPI 150ish teams. That’s not a particularly high threshold, after all. Only 1 Pac-12 team* was below 162 in 2011, and nobody was lower than 185 in 2010**. But if each program is so broken that they can’t even retain scholarship players there’s only so much hope that they can approve appreciably.
Of course, it’s not all bad news. Hit the jump to check out some stats that maybe indicates the Pac-12 has been doing better than we all thought!
Conference post-season records (intra-conference matchups not included)
Pac 12: 11-3, .785
Big 10: 16-7, .696
Big East: 18-9, .666
Big 12: 9-5, .643
SEC: 9-7, .563
ACC: 7-6, .538
We're #1! We're #1! And the Pac-12 has a shot at two different post-season titles! Who is it that says west coast basketball is down this year?
OK, so that may be a bit misleading. In all honesty, I hope this is the last edition of This Week In The Pac-12 for a little while***, at least until football news starts dominating the headlines. Other than recruiting news, any stories that come out from Pac-12 basketball programs isn't going to be positive this time of year. Lots of programs had rough years on the court, and as a result transfers aren't particularly surprising. But if west coast basketball is going to recover this conference needs to start retaining their impact players.
**Again, Oregon State. Can somebody teach Craig Robinson how to schedule?
***See you all in a month, when Jared Cunningham, Tony Wroten, Andre Roberson, Brock Motum, Terrence Ross, Tony Woods and both Wear twins all declare for the NBA draft.