Apologies for a lack of posting yesterday...just got jammed with a lot of different things.
USC basketball had a nice showing in Thursday's NBA Draft. With all the turmoil surrounding the program that was the good the news...the bad news? Don't expect SC to much of a presence in next years draft let alone in the Pac-10 next season. I will discuss that in another post...
Dickie "Hoops" Weiss made a great observation about Pac-10 basketball.
The Pac-10 continues to produce a constant flow of NBA first round picks. Six players from that conference - James Harden of Arizona State (3, Oklahoma State); Jordan Hill, Arizona (8, Knicks); DeMar DeRozan of USC (9, Toronto); Jrue Holiday of UCLA (17, Philadelphia); Darren Collison of UCLA (21, New Orleans) and Taj Gibson of USC (26, Chicago) - went in the first round of tonight's NBA draft.
Hoops is about the only one I read here in NYC that has consistently noted how well the Pac-10 does in the draft and basketball in general. Others make minor notes about it but it is always lost in the noise of the big national sports news outlets.
That is fine, I like Miller's work overall but something has stood out to me in his work lf late. He is afraid to criticize those he has access to.
He gave Slick Rick a pass on when Pete Carroll voted against Slick Rick's move to have an NCAA rule reversed that banned kids under 18 from being on the sideline. Yet, both Skippy and apparently Miller missed the minor fact that a rule was already in place stating it was OK if the minor was performing a team function. By the way, the P-10's AD's overruled Skippy's lobbying anyway.
Second, Miller in his post linking up A's solid work he defended Hansen as a nice guy who has a very difficult job to do. I don't think anyone will deny that. I'm sure Tom Hansen is a nice guy but because Hansen refused to get into the present day by holding onto old business models and by thinking that Pac-10/Big-10 Rose Bowl match-up should never change the Pac-10 has fallen behind in decent bowl game match-ups and Pac-10 basketball is pretty much non-existent east of Arizona unless 1) a game with national interest like USC v. ucla in 2007 or 2) it is some conference challenge with another power conference. Getting stuck on Fox Sports West does not give us great exposure.
Instead of asking the tough questions as to why the Pac-10 is so out of touch the media continued to enable guys like Hansen. The media has a bully pulpit, but by not turning up the heat on Hansen like some did demanding that USC say something, anything about the NCAA's investigation they become complicit in reducing the PAc-10's exposure.
Hansen is pretty much gone now so hopefully the new Pac-10 commissioner will try and change things.
It is just disappointing to see Miller stand up for Hansen because he is a "nice guy" but not hold his feet to the fire on something that is so important to the conferences exposure overall. Sure the job is difficult but it is not like Hansen started just a a few years ago he has been there 25+ years and he changed nothing.
Hopefully things will change when Larry Scott takes over...