Put An Asterisk Next To The Pac-12 Men's Basketball Champion

Put An Asterisk Next To The Pac-12 Men's Basketball Champion
February 16, 2013, 9:45 am
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Pac-12---As I say often, the Pac-12 men's basketball schedule is totally out of balance, with it being an unbalanced schedule. It is a joke, it really makes winning the regular season championship tainted and it is a embarrassment to the entire league.

The Oregon Ducks are in the drivers seat to win the regular season Pac-12 title. And they do deserve it, because they have the best coach in the Pac-12 and maybe the best coach on the west coast. Dana Altman wins with not the best talent and players who obviously are committed to running through a brick wall for him, each and every time on the floor.

The Ducks have on paper, only one tough game left, a huge match-up at Colorado on March 7th. Of course as we all know, paper is only good to write on. The two closest competitors to the Ducks at present, Arizona and UCLA have much tougher schedules going out, plus must face each other on the home court of the Bruins at the end of the month.

With all my lavish praise, which is more than deserved, Oregon benefitted greatly this year from the Pac-12's unbalanced schedule. They did not have to play in the Desert, where over the years they have not played well, evidenced by their sweep their last year, which was the first time they did that in 34 years. The Ducks also did not get UCLA and USC at home, two teams that over the years have been real problems for both Oregon and Oregon State in the Willamette Valley.

One Pac-12 head coach recently told me, "Greg, this unbalanced thing not only bothers me, it bothers for the most part all of us coaches in the league. We need as group to get together and figure this out, it is only fair to all concerned. It does make the regular season championship tainted, I would say that even if my team won the title."

And speaking of fair, is it really fair to the fans of the Pac-12, who buy season tickets and tickets to games, not to see all the Pac-12 teams at home games? Pretty easy to answer this question, let alone the fact how much would it help the Pac-12 network to have each team have 22 league games, rather than 18. For a league that does so many things great, how in the world they can't figure this out is beyond my thinking and many others.

With all this said, come March 10th, it will be a real surprise if the Oregon Ducks are not your 2012-13 regular season champion, tainted or not.

Danny Miles---Once again you really have to feel  sorry for Danny Miles, head coach of the Oregon Tech Hustlin Owls. Miles once again did not make the 12 finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, despite being more than a deserving candidate.

You mean to say, that Rick Pitino and Guy Lewis are more deserving than Danny Miles. NO WAY.  Just in case you don't know, you should actually, next year in his 43rd year as head coach Miles will win his 1,000th career game. He has three national championships to his credit, he is second on the all time winningest coaching list for four year schools and 10 times his teams have won 30-plus games, keeping in mind, NAIA schools do not plays as many games during the regular season as NCAA schools. Plus, a big plus, his overall winning percentage in 42 years, tops .700, he just not wins games, he rarely loses games.

Miles is not only revered in Klamath Falls, home of the Owls, he is revered in the state of Oregon and the basketball community across the country. It is a complete joke he is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame right now and once again to not be a finalist, shame on everyone associated.

And yes, CHARACTER should count. Do I need to say more, get this man in the Hall of Fame next year. it just has to happen.

Wolf's World--- "Coach Wolf, I appreciate your answers to questions, it shows your strong commitment to Pilot basketball. What do our two centers need to do to get better, if we are to compete and move up a notch next year?" Thank you, Matt---Chehalis, Washington

"Matt thank you for the question and glad you are paying attention to the posts. Coach Reveno is as good as anyone I have ever seen at developing post players and his track record of All-American, All Conference and NBA players is a testament to the process.

I think Thomas van der Mars and Riley Barker are huge pieces to our puzzle and we are excited by their progress so far. Thomas has had the the best 4 game stretch of his career and is really starting to play with that physicality and aggressiveness  he needs to be successful. His jump hook is as good as anyone's in the league so the challenge is to get him deep touches by working his feet before the ball comes. We will continue to develop counter moves and then improve his ability to read sagging defense so he can pass out. He has done a great job on the boards that should only get better with added power, strength and explosiveness.

Riley Barker has a knack for shot blocking unlike any we have ever had here at U of Portland and is on pace to break the school's all time record. He has to develop the same aggressiveness to get his hook off like Thomas, but we also think he can show more good shooting from the 12-17 foot mark because he has a great touch. It becomes a matter of learning the nuances of the offense and where those shots come from and then getting his feet set before the catch. His comfort with the ball in traffic is improving and something we work on every day.

Both of them will benefit from the off-season strength and conditioning program that is central to our player development  plan. Our Director of Performance, Brad Scott is as good as in anyone in the country at basketball specific , functional training, so I expect both of them to come back bigger, faster and stronger. The best compliment to our program would be if you saw them in November and didn't recognize them.

Thanks for the support and Go Pilots." Michael Wolf, U of Portland Assistant Basketball Coach.

GregCrawford@csnnw.com

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