Friday, January 13, 2012
3-point shot: Pac-12 suspensions on way?
By Andy Katz
1. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told ESPN.com late Thursday night that the league will review the overtime scuffle between Oregon State and Arizona. Don’t be surprised if there are some suspensions since the Pac-12 tends to be aggressive. Arizona’s Kyryl Natyazhko and Oregon State’s Joe Burton were ejected. Natyazhko was out of line in his reaction. He had to be held back. Arizona’s Kyle Fogg started the mess by woofing at OSU’s Jared Cunningham after a dunk. But credit Arizona’s Sean Miller here for trying to quickly restore order before it escalated too much. OSU’s Craig Robinson also kept his players cool.
2. Minnesota coach Tubby Smith was criticized locally last week because of the Gophers' failure to excite or go deep in March. The Gophers turned around and had the best outing of their season with a road win at Indiana in vaunted Assembly Hall. The Big Ten record doesn’t show it (1-4), but Smith had to reconstitute this team without Trevor Mbakwe (ACL). The Gophers have remained competitive. Indiana can’t be faulted too much for a home loss. Remember, this is still a young team that is learning to play with high expectations.
3. It will be interesting to see how Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin uses Jarnell Stokes against Kentucky on Saturday. The highly-touted incoming freshman was deemed eligible by the SEC this week. Martin has his Vols playing as hard as any team in the SEC, and Stokes hasn’t been privy to Martin’s coaching or the tough practice schedule. Stokes is a talent, but he’ll have to buy in defensively and, of course, effort-wise going forward to make a major contribution. Martin is managing this transition quite well so far in Knoxville.