Still waiting on Ivan and Jaylen before we tie a bow on the 2015-16 season. We just have to wait until late May, no biggie.
Re: the latest on Yanni Hufnagel
I have the exact same 'take' as last time:
We simply don't have enough evidence for grand pronouncements or finger pointing, and continued speculation will more likely than not lead to statements and arguments that could look pretty wrong later on, if not down right insensitive.
I look forward to when we have less depressing breaking news to discuss. Like . . .
Kristine Anigwe: Badass
What does Kristine Anigwe now share in common with Candice Wiggins, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, and Brittney Griner? All of them have been named freshman of the year by women's college basketball writers.
A few weeks ago, ESPN named UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson the national freshman of the year, and I was tempted to write a rant about how lazy that decision was, but when I realized that only 3 ESPN writers voted I decided to refrain. Suffice to say that Kristine Anigwe scoring a reasonably efficient 20 points/game as the go-to option is more impressive than 11 points/game as the 4th option/3 point sniper on an offensive juggernaut.
I'm already beyond excited to see what Anigwe can do as an encore. Pac-12 play was occasionally rough - her secret was out and she faced an absurd level of attention from opposing defenses - but she broke through the freshman wall and had a dominant run at the tail end of the season. With a full off-season to practice and improve, knowing what kind of defense she'll be facing . . . well, special things should be in store.
Pac-12 MBB player movement
Dudes who have signed with agents and are thus gone:
Dejounte Murray, Marquese Chriss: Washington
In addition to the graduation of Andrew Andrews, Washington is now down their three biggest offensive contributors by a wide, wide margin. It's going to be another rebuilding year for Lorenzo Romar, who has now gone five seasons without an NCAA tournament selection.
Dudes who haven't signed with agents and could theoretically come back to school:
Que Johnson, Washington State
He's graduated from Wazzu and might elect to leave regardless of his NBA draft prospects. He was an average contributor on a bad team, so his decision doesn't have much bearing on the Pac-12 at large.
Julian Jacobs, USC
Along with McLaughlin, Jacobs was a major ball-handler and facilitator for USC last year, and his departure would hurt. Reading the tea leaves, I'm betting he'll come back next year. On a side note, this increased period for evaluation and decision making is absolutely the right thing for the players and also annoying for us blogger types who want to analyze minutiae.
Rosco Allen, Stanford
I'm predicting Rosco comes back to annoy us for another season, but maybe Stanford's coaching transition might push Allen to leave sooner than he might otherwise. Allen and Dorian Pickens were Stanford's only consistently above average offensive options, so losing him would hurt, particularly keeping in mind that Stanford will be bringing in a weak, transitory recruiting class.
Katin Reinhardt, USC
A somewhat surprising transfer, as Reinhardt was an important contributor to a solid, up-and-coming program. He did see his role in the offense decrease this past season, but I kinda doubt there are a ton of places he can go as a graduate transfer where he'd compete at a similar level but get more run. Maybe it's not a basketball-only decision?
Justin Simon, Arizona
Arizona's point guard of the future had a rough freshman season and never got much playing time, and so Arizona will continue to rely on Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright at point. He probably would have been a solid player had he stuck around Tucson, but methinks the Wildcats will be just fine without him.
Savon Goodman & Andre Spight: Arizona State
Not shocking to see departures early in the tenure of a new coach. Goodman was an undersized forward who rebounded well but couldn't avoid fouls. Spight was a 3 point bomber who didn't shoot very well from 3. Neither departure should be a big deal.
Chris Reyes & Isaiah Wright, Utah
Two guys who couldn't quite break into Utah's main rotation - while none were likely to be huge contributors next year, they would have been useful to have around without Taylor, Loveridge, and (presumably) Poeltl around any more. Utah will look very different next year.
Navigating the off-season
Recognizing, of course, that there are still spring and winter sports going on (hooray, Cal baseball and gymnastics for continued awesomeness!) we have essentially entered the long and brutal off-season for revenue Cal sports. We now have a little less than 5 months to fill until Cal football heads to Sydney for a football game that totally makes 100% sense.
So, a call to you, the reader: I have to fill this Monday column with words each week, and there won't necessarily be a ton of news between now and football season to over-analyze. Options include:
- Cal spring sports (if only the Pac-12 Network would actually air their games)
- Answering reader questions (Send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Looking at esoteric, perhaps useless statistical minutiae
- Community building discussion topics
- Discussion of national news (NCAA legal wranglings, complaining about Larry Scott/ the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 news du jour, etc.)
- Posts on Cal history
- Anything else you, the reader, can dream up?