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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Friday, February 04, 2005

the biggest little city in the world

-- Conventional wisdom dictates that Wayne Simien's injury has been the year's most significant. But I disagree. Brandon Roy's injury enabled Tre Simmons to secure more playing time. The result? Simmons has blossomed into a tremendously potent threat for the Washington Huskies. Last night, for example, he torched USC for 29 points.

-- The Denver Post's Tom Kensler finds the Pac-10 looking for respect while hinting it may be hard to come by after early March Madness losses by Arizona, Stanford and Washington in last year's NCAA Tournament. Even as the conference continues to have the second-best RPI in the nation, it is difficult to discern who beyond the 'Cats and the Huskies deserves to go dancing. Arizona State's victory over Stanford behind 39 (!) points from Ike Diogu further complicates the selection committee's work. Count this blogger among those who believe the (relatively) new Pac-10 conference tournament may this year be the league's saving grace. Two wins by a bubble team -- not to mention an upset of Arizona or Washington -- will go a long way towards helping a conference team secure a bid.

-- Kensler's colleague at the Denver Post, Chris Dempsey, reminds us that "all beat writing is local," penning a piece about Colorado's struggles as a result of the Buffs' "point guard by committee" arrangement.

-- Steve Sneddon of the Reno Gazette Journal is concerned about Nevada's performance at the Lawlor Events Center. Trent Johnson's old club is one of the few teams in college basketball to consistently play better on the road than it does at home. Sneddon suggests the Wolf Pack would be well advised to get their act together before the WAC Tournament -- and an opportunity to secure a NCAA Tournament bid at home -- comes to Reno.

-- Dan Wiederer of the Fayetville (NC) Observer notes Chris Paul took the time to savor Wake Forest's defeat of Duke. I think Skip Prosser should savor the opportunity to coach Paul. Viv Bernstein of the New York Times writes Chris Paul is a top 10, possibly a top 5, NBA draft pick if he declares early. But she also gets Paul on the record mulling a decision to pull a Matt Leinart.