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Dick Harmon: Pac-12 hoops struggles are shared burden, solution

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  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    March 21, 2012 8:18 p.m.

    The Pac-12 had injuries this year and lost quite a few players early to the NBA. Isaiah Thomas (the best rookie guard on the Sacramento Kings) left early for his senior season. USC was a train wreck because of injuries.

    Yes, it was a bad year for the Pac-12 in basketball. It will get better.

    Even in a horrible year, Pac-12 still has a team make it as far in tournament as the WCC. Has a WCC team ever been in the tournament while the Pac-12 isn't there? Colorado made round of 32, so did Gonzaga, but neither advanced. Ever been a time where say a WCC team was in the Sweet 16 and a Pac-12 team was not?

  • 2TimeBCSbuster Salt Lake, UT
    March 21, 2012 8:25 p.m.

    Another article by this guy on how the Pac-12 is horrible and how it doesn't compare to the WCC.

    Players currently on NBA Rosters:
    Pac-12: 54
    WCC: 5

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 21, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    Funny, I read the article twice. I did not see one mention of the WCC, let alone comparing it to Pac-12. Must be a defect in my computer, because I 'm sure that previous posters aren't insecure about their affiliation with the Pac-12. . . .

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 22, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    At least the schools have their money. Competition is now secondary.

  • Speed_Altitude Centerville, UT
    March 22, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    re: Idablu
    I think you missed the reason that Harmon wrote this article in the first place. Insecurity with the WCC. Remember Harmon = BYU homer.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    The PAC-12 has been a declining stagnant conference for years. The image in the media of superiority has remained even though play on the field has not merited it. But, Mr. Scott the new conference commissioner has rapidly changed that culture with both expansion and a better
    TV contract, which should overtime allow for a return to a competitive level in both football and basketball.

  • Skippy West Jordan, UT
    March 22, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Do you feel better now Dick?

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 22, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    As bad as everyone wanted to make the Pac 12 out to be this year, it's probably more accurate to say the conference had a rough start to the season that cost them in the end.

    Consider:

    1) The Pac 12 has gone 14-3 against out of conference competition in post season tournaments. (Oregon St lost to WSU in the final four of the CIB and Oregon lost to Washington in the round of 8 of the NIT.

    2) The NIT final four includes 2 Pac 12 teams ... Stanford and Washington ... which could end up playing for the championship.

    3) WSU is playing for the CIB championship. Yes I know it's the CIB, but still, the 4th worst record in the Pac 12 has proved they weren't too shabby.

    4) Within those victories the majority were in impressive fashion over teams mainly from the WCC, MWC, WAC, Big 10, and the SEC.

    5) 7 of the 12 teams finished with 21 or more wins (5 had 24). Another 2 had 18 and 19 respectively with only 3 finishing with losing records.

    Pac 12 teams had to lay in the bed they made in the preseason this year. If we could see RPI ratings through the post season, it would tell a whole new story.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 22, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    The PAC-10/12 has been on the downslope in basketball for several years now, long before Utah and BYU bolted the MWC and went their separate ways. This is not news. However, I think it is cyclical and I would expect the conference to field legitimate national contenders in basketball with a tincture of time. I think the talent is there but the coaching isn't what it used to be (John Wooden, Lute Olsen). I think if you take Gonzaga's coach and give him the recruiting pool of the PAC 12, you'd have a Sweet-16 contender representing the PAC 12 every year. There are some really good coaches who would like to live out West that would really help the conference if given the opportunity.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 22, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has written a great deal about the decline of PAC-12 Basketball. He feels that the Universities are putting football way ahead of Basketball in terms of facilities, coaches, etc. I strongly suspect, as Dick suggests, that this will be a golden opportunity for Utah. I believe Utah is a State that loves its football like everyone else but with few pro sports in town it still has interest in college basketball. I think we have the type of coach who can really turn things around. Despite the dismal year, nobody accused his team of quitting.

  • millerdu PROVO, UT
    March 22, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    The pac 10.2, the conference of champions!!!

  • deductive reasoning Arlington, VA
    March 22, 2012 6:31 p.m.

    Typical of our whiney friends from the hill - shoot the messenger and pretend that all is well in their crimson-colored world.

    Unfortunately their fantasy, doesn't match reality. The PAC finished well behind the MWC and barely ahead of the WCC, overall, but the top of the MWC and WCC were both better than the PAC.

    NCAA Tourney Bids (the gold standard for top of the conference strength)
    MWC - 4
    WCC - 3

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 22, 2012 6:37 p.m.

    Nice try motorbike, but the PAC 12 has only won ONE game in the only post season tournament that matters.

    Your regular season conference champion wasn't even good enough to get an invite to the Big Dance.

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    March 22, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    How does having 3 FB teams ranked in the top 10 nationally = a downturn? BB was weak this year with a number of good teams but no great teams. 2 NCAA bids was all the conference deserved and the teams in the NIT/CBA did well against that level of competition. AZ will be very, very good next year with strong teams at UW and Oregon. Multiple NCAA bids in 2013.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2012 10:08 p.m.

    @uteanymos

    I think everyone agrees that Washington should have been in the tournament. Your mighty cougs proved that they didn't belong this year.

    I think Dick needs to stick to writing about the cougs. I guess even he isn't happy about being in the WCC.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    March 22, 2012 10:27 p.m.

    It was a down year, with "only" six twenty win teams.

    Look for this to be the exception, not the rule.

  • midpacmajor Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 22, 2012 11:20 p.m.

    QP

    Sorry, but BYU proved that they absolutely deserved to be in the NCAA tournament by beating #40 RPI Iona in their NCAA 1st round game.

    Washington proved that they didn't belong by getting bounced by #131 RPI Oregon State in their first game in the PAC 12 tourney.

    Final RPI
    #45 BYU
    #70 Washington (tied with Weber State)

  • midpacmajor Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 22, 2012 11:23 p.m.

    MiP

    "Look for this to be the exception, not the rule."

    Maybe for the conference, but not for the Utes, where losing seasons are the rule, not the exception.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 22, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    Krystkowiak is showing his true character by praising how hard his players played throughout the season, and then kicking most of them to the curb as soon as the season ended.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2012 11:37 p.m.

    @midpacmajor

    byu got beat by 20 points in the first round. They got past Iona in a Play In game - there is a big difference.

    You can throw out whatever stats you want but the cougs proved they shouldn't have been there by getting pounded by 20 in the first round.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    March 22, 2012 11:38 p.m.

    "Maybe for the conference, but not for the Utes, where losing seasons are the rule, not the exception."
    -midpacmajor

    HaHa. Good laugh.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    March 22, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    motorbike

    "The NIT final four includes 2 Pac 12 teams ... Stanford and Washington ... which could end up playing for the championship."

    Yes, the PAC 12 is over-joyed at the prospect of having a chance to play for 69th place; that's quite an honor.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 23, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    PAC man -

    You seem to have missed the point ... not surprised.

    The NCAA Tourney is basically created with teams in the top of the RPI. The majority of the RPI stems from what your team and your conference does against other conferences in the early part of the season.

    The Pac 12 blew it in the early going ... an anomaly btw ... so, it is what it is, the RPI of the conference was ruined and they didn't deserve to be invited to the big dance.

    However, what my previous post shows is the improvement through the year and that the conference as a whole was much stronger than people give it credit for. It simply didn't have the power teams at the top as it usually does.

    When the 9th best team in the conference is winning the CBI (I know, not the big dance) and the 7th best team is in the NIT final four, and the 5th best team won a second round game in the big dance ... say what you will but basketball knowledgeable people will tell you the conference as a whole is not too shabby.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    March 23, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Qwestionable One

    It's obviously been so long since the Utes played in the Big Dance that they're clueless about changes in the tournment - here's a clue, there's no such thing as a "play-in" game anymore.

    Straight from the OFFICIAL NCAA website:

    First Four (First Round)
    BYU 78
    Iona 72

    Second Round
    BYU 68
    Marquette 88

    Anyone who watched #45 RPI BYU's the game with #9 Marquette knows that that 20-point final spread is a bit deceiving; the spread was only 10-12 points for most of the 2nd half, with BYU only trailing 68-78 with 3:11 left in the game.

    #40 Iona had a higher RPI than every team in the PAC 12 except #37 California.

    btw, California LOST in the First Round to #52 South Florida 65-54, with California trailing 61-36 with 3:53 left in the game.

    Take off the crimson-colored shades; it'll help you see more clearly.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    March 23, 2012 5:13 p.m.

    motorbike

    "The NCAA Tourney is basically created with teams in the top of the RPI. The majority of the RPI stems from what your team and your conference does against other conferences in the early part of the season.

    The Pac 12 blew it in the early going ... an anomaly btw ... so, it is what it is, the RPI of the conference was ruined and they didn't deserve to be invited to the big dance."

    So please explain why #37 RPI California, the PAC 12's highest RPI team, was blown out by #52 RPI South Florida. California was down 36-13 at the half and trailed by 20+ points throughout the 2nd half before making a late run in the final two minutes of the game against South Florida's scrubs to make the final score somewhat respectable, 65-54, the closest California had been since the six minute mark of the first half.

    Except for Colorado's upset of a fading UNLV team, the only thing the PAC 12 has done in the post season is beat up on a bunch of teams that weren't good enough to make the big dance.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    March 23, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    MiP

    "It was a down year, with "only" six twenty win teams."

    The PAC 12 actually had seven 20+ win teams (7 of 12).
    The WCC had five 20+ win teams (5 of 9).

    The real difference:

    The WCC had THREE 25+ win teams (3 of 9) and all three played in the Big Dance.
    The PAC 12 had ZERO 25+ win teams (0 of 12) and only had two teams in the Big Dance.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    "Maybe for the conference, but not for the Utes, where losing seasons are the rule, not the exception."
    -midpacmajor

    "HaHa. Good laugh."
    -MiP

    What's so laughable?

    2006 14-15 LOSING season
    2007 11-19 LOSING season
    2008 18-15 winning season
    2009 24-10 winning season
    2010 14-17 LOSING season
    2011 13-18 LOSING season
    2012 6-25 LOSING season

    FIVE losing seasons in the last seven years. Now you tell me which is the exception and which is the rule.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    @sportsfan

    Just because you refer to the play in game as the first round, does not make it the case. Everyone in the nation knows what day the tournament starts.

    The only point you made was that Iona deserved to be there over byu.

    You should know all there is to know about the first round of the NCAA tournament being a byu fan. Nobody has more experience of getting knocked out in the first round as the cougs.

    Seriously, if the Utes were in the play in game, you know you would refer to it as the play in game as would the rest of the nation. Nobody is trying to pick on your cougs by saying that. If you need validation, stick to articles about byu.

  • Christy B Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 24, 2012 12:21 a.m.

    QP

    Your jealousy not withstanding, times have changed, and it's not BYU fans, but the NCAA that refers to the First Four games played in Dayton this year as the First Round.

    Trying to argue otherwise just proves your ignorance.

    btw, California LOST their First Four game; does that imply that the Bears never played in the NCAA tournament, of course making the "conference of chumpions" officially, a one bid league - welcome to Big Sky status.

    Power conference indeed.

    lol

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    Qwest Perfected

    Sorry to burst your BYU-hating bubble, but BYU has won as many NCAA games in the last three years as your rundown Utes have won in the last decade.

    Dave Rose, just finishing his 7th season, is already starting to set standards even sweaterman never achieved.

    20+ win season winning streak
    Rose - 7 (every year he's been BYU's head coach)
    Majerus - 6

    25+ win season winning streak
    Rose - 6 (and counting)
    Majerus - 5

    NCAA tournament appearances streak
    Rose - 6
    Majerus - 6

    Overall Record at BYU/Utah
    Rose - 185-54 (77.4%)
    Majerus - 323-95 (77.3%)

    Conference Record at BYU/Utah
    Rose - 90-22 (80.4%)
    Majerus - 152-43 (77.9%)

    Times have changed and the winningest coach in the history of Utah basketball is being passed by BYU's current coach.

    BYU is now tied with Utah in NCAA tournament appearances (27 each), BYU holds the overall head-to-head lead (128-125), Rose is 11-3 versus Utah, and BYU has won 10 of the last 11 games.

    BYU is now the dominant Utah basketball program; it's not even close.

    Trying to minimize what BYU is accomplishing on the hardwoods, simply shows your desperation.

  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    March 24, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    Re: Lonestar runner

    Majerus won 17 Tournament games while at Utah.

    Rose has won 3 Tournament games at BYU.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    Mount Olympus

    At little comparion of apples to apples

    Rose's first 7 years at BYU (2006 to 2012)
    versus
    Majerus's first 7 years at Utah (1990 to 1996)

    NCAA Tournaments
    Rose - 6 (4-6)
    Majerus - 4 (6-4)

    Conference Championships
    Rose - 4
    Majerus - 4

    25+ win seasons
    Rose - 6
    Majerus - 3

    20+ win seasons
    Rose - 7
    Majerus - 5

    Overall Record
    Rose - 185-54 (77.4%)
    Majerus - 176-71 (71.3%)

    Conference Record
    Rose - 90-22 (80.4%)
    Majerus - 83-37 (69.2%)

    Rose is just getting started.

  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    March 24, 2012 10:20 p.m.

    Re: LonestarRunner

    Not really comparing apples to apples. Completely different conferences.

    Who really cares about conference titles or shares of conference titles anyways?
    Who cares about 25 win seasons?

    It is about how you do in the tournament.
    Louisville finished 7th in the Big East this year, who cares? All that anyone cares about is that Louisville made the Final 4 and have a shot at more.

    Who did Rose beat this year? He went 1-2 vs Gonzaga and beat Iona. No other wins against Tournament teams. Congrats on making the tournament, but who cares how many wins you got, if you didn't beat anyone and didn't even make it to the round of 32?

    Rose has never beaten a better seed in the NCAA tournament. Doesn't beat good or better teams. Doesn't really have a big signature win. (A tourney win against a great team.)

    Rose is a good coach, but come on he is no Majerus.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2012 12:52 a.m.

    Mount Olympus

    "Not really comparing apples to apples. Completely different conferences."

    You really don't know much about college basketball history do you?

    The WAC of the 90's was basically the same group of teams as the MWC of the 2000's.

    "Rose has never beaten a better seed in the NCAA tournament. Doesn't beat good or better teams."

    Rose beat Top 10 ranked San Diego State TWICE last season.

    What higher seed did Majerus beat in his first 7 years?

    1991 #4 Utah over #13 S. Alabama; over #5 Mich St; lost to #1 UNLV
    1993 #8 Utah over #9 Pittsburgh; lost to #1 Kentucky
    1995 #4 Utah over #13 Long Beach St; lost to #5 Miss St
    1996 #4 Utah over #13 Canisius; over #5 Iowa St; lost to #1 Kentucky

    Sorry, I don't see any "signature" wins in that bunch.

    In a rebuilding year, Rose won 25+ games and won a 1st round game in the NCAA against a team with a higher RPI than all but one PAC 12 team.

    In Majerus's rebuilding years, 1990 and 1994, he was completely shut out of any tournament, not even finishing with a winning record in 1994.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 25, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    Mount Olympus

    "Not really comparing apples to apples. Completely different conferences.

    Who really cares about conference titles or shares of conference titles anyways?
    Who cares about 25 win seasons?"

    Who are you kidding?

    EVERY basketball fan cares about their team winning conference titles and having outstanding seasons marked by outstanding overall records.

    The only fans who pretend not to care about those types of achievements are fans of a program who have fallen so far that those types of achievements are no long attainable.

    btw, MWC of the late 2000's was argueably a BETTER basketball conference than the WAC of the early 1990's.

    WAC 1990
    AFA
    BYU
    CSU
    Hawaii
    NM
    SDSU
    Wyo
    Utah
    UTEP

    MWC 2006
    AFA
    BYU
    CSU
    NM
    SDSU
    TCU
    Wyo
    Utah
    UNLV

  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    March 25, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    Let me know when Dave Rose makes the final four, or even the Elite 8.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    March 25, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    This argument is ridiculus.

    Similar to saying:

    TJ Haws, the Sophomore HS player averaged 17 points per game. Michael Jordan couldn't even make his sophomore high school team.

    TJ Haws is and will be so much better than Michael Jordan.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    March 25, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    mounty

    Like me know when Utah has a basketball program.

  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    March 25, 2012 5:44 p.m.

    Re: PAC man

    Lately BYU has done a good job at making the tournament.

    Within the tournament BYU may be the biggest national failure overall.

    BYU has the most tournament appearances without a final four.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    March 25, 2012 9:48 p.m.

    Mount Olympus

    "Lately BYU has done a good job at making the tournament."

    And Utah has been practically non-existent at making the tournament.

    Which is all
    that really matters in comparing the two programs during the Rose era.

    It's interesting that Utah fans are so obsessed with Utah's past success in basketball, yet act as if Utah's past failures in football never happened.

    How many schools cracked the Top 25 for the first time, and then failed to win a single conference championship or play in a single bowl game for almost 30 years?

    In the crimson-colored world, football history began in 2004 and basketball history ended in 2005.

    btw, unlike #5 Utah, which was upset by #12 Arizona in 2008, except for #8 versus #9 toss-up games, BYU hasn't lost to a lower-seeded team in over 30 years.