The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate reports this morning, which means anyone can go fiddle with the somewhat-cumbersome search engine and figure out which rivals they can mock for their classroom failures. While certainlyimperfect, the APR — which factors in eligibility and retention — is still the only college athletics’ only comprehensive academic metric.
Here are the rankings for Pac-12 football, which average out the four academic years through 2011-12:
– A USC player from the late 1990s and early 2000s says Ed Orgeron called him a “motherf—-r” for leaving practice 20 minutes early once a week for a statistics class. Best quote: “He M-F’d me all over the place.” Orgeron did not comment.
As expected, Pitt running back Rushel Shell is transferring to UCLA after a weekend campus visit. The former five-star recruit rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman last season, and will be eligible to play in 2014. Continue reading →
UCLA pulls out a huge win over ASU, winning 80-75 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena after coming back from a 15-point halftime deficit. The Bruins can thank senior point guard Larry Drew II, who led the team with 20 points despite being shackled with four fouls for much of the second half. Continue reading →
Jordan Bachynski could be an NBA first-round pick if UCLA were the only team he ever faced. A big reason for Arizona State’s 41-33 lead, the 7-foot-2 center worked the Bruins early with a game-high 14 points, adding four rebounds and a block. He got caught twice goaltending — including one on Larry Drew II that opened scoring for the Bruins — but logged one official block and is two away from breaking the Pac-12 season record. Continue reading →
The Pac-12 tournament opened with Arizona State’s 89-88 overtime win over Stanford, one that sets up the Sun Devils as perhaps the toughest second-round matchup UCLA could have had.
The Bruins tip off against ASU at 12 p.m. Thursday after splitting the season series, and will have to contend with Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. The 5-foot-10 point guard dropped a career-high 34 points on the Cardinal, just one shy of the program record for freshmen. Senior forward Carrick Felix, an all-conference defender, is also a concern.
Some quotes from the Sun Devils after that win, touching a bit on the rubber match with UCLA. Continue reading →
The final Pac-12 tournament seeds:
1. UCLA (23-8, 13-5)
2. Cal (20-10, 12-6)
3. Oregon (23-8, 12-6)
4. Arizona (24-6, 12-6)
5. Colorado (20-10, 10-8)
6. Washington (17-14, 9-9)
7. USC (14-17, 9-9)
8. Stanford (18-13, 9-9)
9. Arizona State (20-11, 9-9)
10. Utah (13-17, 5-13)
11. Washington State (13-18, 4-14)
12. Oregon State (14-17, 4-14)
Here are the tiebreaker rules. The Bruins will play noon Thursday on the Pac-12 Network against the winner of the Stanford-Arizona State game (noon Wednesday). You can find ticket information at the official tournament page.
At a glance: UCLA had one of its worst games of the season against Arizona State, a 78-60 laugher in Tempe Tucson that sucked all the goodwill from the Bruins’ upset of Arizona. Many players said they’re still using that game as motivation, similar to the way they did Sunday in avenging their home loss to USC.
ASU has been inconsistent, but needs a win to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive. Ben Howland said this week he expects the Sun Devils — projected as one of the last teams out of the field of 68 — to play with that sort of desperate attitude. Continue reading →
Arizona State (15-4, 4-2) Tipoff: 1 p.m., Wells Fargo Arena TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net/AM 570
At a glance: Might ASU present a bit of a trap with UCLA high off its Arizona win — its first road victory over a ranked team since 2008? Maybe, but the Sun Devils still feel like a team playing above its head. They’re certainly better than their preseason pick for 11th in the conference, but I’m not certain that they’re a top-five team.
– Most concerning is Arizona State’s lack of depth, something hurt even more by the suspension of sixth man Chris Colvin (19.6 mpg). Point guard Jahii Carson is one of the best freshmen in the country, but he also leads the Pac-12 with 36.4 minutes per game. Three other players average over 30 minutes per game.
In an overtime win against USC on Thursday, four Sun Devils topped 40 minutes, leading coach Herb Sendek to scale back Friday’s practice. Worth noting: the Trojans, who average 66.1 points per game, scored 93 in Tempe. They topped 80 in regulation for the first time since a season opener against Coppin State.
– ASU is one of three Pac-12 teams who rank below UCLA in rebounding margin, so it’s hard to imagine Continue reading →