Afternoon links: Wazzu did what?
January, 3, 2014
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
What we're reading as we shake off the last remnants of New Year’s Eve. Submit links via Twitter.
- First things first: Washington State scored 25 points in a 40-minute basketball game Thursday night. No, seriously! I thought the headline said the Cougars lost by 25 — hardly noteworthy, given their road date at Arizona. But nope, Ken Bone’s team scored seven points in the first half — seven! — en route to 25 points in 54 possessions. That’s 0.46 points per trip, in case you were wondering. I have nothing else to add, and I hate to pile on. But, just … wow.
- How often do inaugural members win their new conferences? Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Mike Waters ran the numbers. The answer? Almost never: “Since 1990, a total of 23 schools have moved from one conference to join one of the six major conferences. Of that group, only one captured the conference's regular-season basketball title in its first year in the new league. In 1991-92, Arkansas, which had left the now-defunct Southwest Conference, won the Southeastern Conference's regular-season championship. … But aside from Arkansas, no other team has moved into a power conference
the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big East or Big 12 and won the league in its opening year.”
- As expected, Michigan forward Mitch McGary is likely done for the season. On Friday, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that McGary would undergo surgery Tuesday. His timetable is unlikely to include a return at any point this year, because that’s not how back surgery works.
- Meanwhile, the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy reminds you that McGary did not necessarily miss his draft opportunity by returning to school this season; indeed, there were no guarantees of his lottery status had he left last summer. That means the injury, while a brutally unlucky break, doesn’t really qualify as a cautionary tale.
- John Templon’s unnatural obsession with New York-area college basketball makes for consistently enjoyable blog reading, and today’s post — a dive into the shot selection characteristics of the area’s teams, including St. Johns’ high rate of two-point field goals — is no different.