There’s still three weeks left in the 2014-15 college basketball regular season, but Jon Gold at the Arizona Daily Star takes a look at next season’s Pac-12 race.
The forecast is somewhat promising for Washington, which is currently 11th in the conference standings.
Gold projects the Huskies will finish eighth in the Pac-12, which isn’t exactly rainbows and sunshine considering Washington was picked sixth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll last October.
An eighth-place finish certainly wouldn’t likely sit well with a restless UW fan base that’s watched the team miss the NCAA tournament the past three years. And the Huskies (14-11, 3-10) would need a Hollywood-inspired finish to reach the Big Dance this year.
Gold writes: “Lorenzo Romar is crossing his fingers that the Husky higher-ups let him see this thing through. He’s got one blue chip in point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, but it’s the six-man class, ranked No. 9 in the country, that has us intrigued.”
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Convincing Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews to return is essential for Romar and the Huskies. Williams-Goss, a sophomore star, flirted with leaving early for the NBA draft last year and will likely consider it again. Meanwhile, Andrews will be a fifth-year senior who could transfer and play immediately somewhere else next season.
WEDNESDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Don’t tell Charles Barkley, but the Huskies are one of the teams who uses advanced statistical analytics.
— Bud Withers writes about former coach George Raveling who will be inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
— Oregon senior guard Joseph Young guarantees the Ducks will party in the Big Dance. Coach Dana Altman told the Oregonian: “Young and foolish. But I like his enthusiasm.”
— If Colorado is going to pull off the upset tonight at Oregon, the Buffaloes must contain Young, the Pac-12’s second leading scorer at 19.8 points per game.
— Poor free throw shooting could doom UCLA’s NCAA tournament hopes.
— Right on cue, Stanford is in the middle of it’s second-half slump. The Cardinal is 24-34 in the second half of the season during seven-plus years under coach Johnny Dawkins. Stanford, which has lost four of the last past five games, needs a strong finish to jump start fading NCAA tournament aspirations.
— Oregon State (16-9, 7-6) isn’t likely to snap its 25-year NCAA tournament drought, but the Beavers are eyeying its first National Invitation Tournament berth in 10 years. And that would be a significant achievement for first-year coach Wayne Tinkle.
— However, Oregon State has a tough task Thursday against No. 9 Utah.
— Making matters worse for the Beavers, they’re operating with a limited bench. Kudos to Tinkle.
— Arizona State is retiring James Harden’s No. 13 jersey.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
|UCLA (16-10, 8-5) at Arizona State (13-12, 5-7)||6 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Colorado (12-12, 5-7) at Oregon (18-8, 8-5)||8 p.m.||ESPNU|
— And here’s a look at the Pac-12 standings.
|No. 7 Arizona||10-2||–||22-3|
|No. 9 Utah||10-2||–||20-4|