Welcome to a new UWDP recurring post: The Six Pac. Think of it like Dots, but for the rest of the conference. We cover the Dawgs inside and out, but I thought it would be fun to take a weekly look around the rest of the Pac-12. Sometimes there will be six meaty stories from the rest of the conference; sometimes I will mix in things I feel like sharing. Wherever possible, I will try to highlight the work of the rest of our Pac-12 blog colleagues (blog-leagues?).
- Our cross-state frenemies at Cougcenter write about the positive momentum on the hardwood. The Cougs pulled off a signature victory over #5 Arizona a week ago and (barely) managed to parlay that into a three-game winning streak against the Bay Area schools. While they probably hoped for more than a one-point win against hapless Stanford at home, I’m sure they will take wins in four of the last five after starting 5-9.
2. Speaking of beating Arizona, the Ducks did the same thing over the weekend. Oregon opened the season ranked in the top 25 and proceeded to lose to teams like UC Irvine and Utah Valley. Addicted to Quack writes that the 19-point win over the Wildcats is a bit of redemption for the up-and-down season to date, but that they will need to show more consistency to become another Dana Altman turnaround story.
3. This post is a couple weeks old, but well worth reading: Go Mighty Card evaluates the Troy Taylor hire at Stanford through the lens of the Robert Frost poem Taylor referenced at his introductory press conference. Stanford’s academic regulations (some may say “prowess”) and admissions difficulties make it hard for them to win the same way other schools would win. In the same way that Mike Leach took less prestigious programs to glory by building a system that could thrive with overlooked recruits, Taylor has the potential to do things his own way at Stanford. How well it works remains to be seen, but I agree with the premise that mimicking other programs is doomed to fail in Palo Alto.
4. Arizona Desert Swarm recaps one of the craziest NBA stat lines of the year from one of their alumni. Career backup TJ McConnell is known as a defensive pest and a steady hand when your starting PG needs a rest. On Monday, he set a career high in scoring in the first half with 25 points on 9-9 shooting, including four threes, with six assists and two steals.
5. Jon Wilner and Brandon Huffman forecast the Pac-12 recruiting landscape for the class of 2024. They see Oregon still in the conference driver’s seat with USC close behind, followed by rapidly ascending Utah and Colorado. Say what you will about Coach Prime, but Colorado’s mere inclusion in a discussion like this shows how much things have changed in Boulder in the last few months.
6. Finally, in honor of MLK Day, InsideUSC posted some fantastic color photos of a speech the Reverend gave in the Coliseum in 1964.