With all of the discussion regarding lineups here and on the RealDawg forums, a common talking point was the idea that Darnell Gant was a “lock” for the starting lineup. So here’s a poll asking how many of you think that Gant will be awarded a starting spot in time for the first game next season…
Jon Wilner discusses the possibility of a Pac-10 Network: Personally I would love a Pac-10 Network just because of how much I dislike FSN’s coverage of college basketball. It did improve for the Huskies a bit last season whenever Kevin Calabro was able to call games, but a network dedicated to the conference and its news 24/7 would be incredible.
Chad Ford has a story on James Harden prepping for the NBA Draft: While I could care less about the NBA, its interesting to follow some of the premiere Pac-10 players as they move on from their college career to the riches of the NBA. Ford brings up the possibility of Harden being a top-5 pick, something that seemed to be slipping lately.
Andy Katz briefly writes about the perceived “lack of star power” in the Pac-10 next year: You will be able to find that near the bottom of the blog entry, very brief. But I also wanted to point this out because he mentions he talked to Pac-10 coaches and administrators about who will stand out next year as possible first team conference players, with Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter being listed.
Pat Forde has a story on the Renardo Sidney roller coaster recruitment: Sidney was headed to USC next fall, but instead decided to sign with Mississippi State. This was one of the big news stories for USC to couple with the Mayo/Floyd scandal as of late. It was expected that Sidney would be an x-factor for the Trojans next year, but USC realized the difficulty Sidney could be and ultimately passed.
News broke that Noel Johnson was released from his LOI with USC: Just to add on to Floyd’s troubles, one of his top gets in the ’09 recruiting class was Johnson, who he enticed to come to USC all of the way from Georgia. Besides Sidney and Johnson, Floyd had already lost highly rated Solomon Hill to Arizona.
In a teleconference on Tuesday, USC head coach Tim Floyd announced that Dwight Lewis will attempt to play on Thursday when the Trojans travel up to play Washington. Lewis leads the Trojans in scoring at 15.8 per, so for the Huskies it would have been nice to see him sitting on the bench. However it appears that Lorenzo Romar & co. will now have to focus not only on Lewis, but freshman Demar DeRozan as well when originally it appeared as if Lewis would not be a factor. So far this year DeRozan has not lived up to the lofty expectation set for him, only magnified by the fact that Floyd infamously brought in Percy “Lil Romeo” Miller on scholarship because of his close relationship with DeRozan.
DeRozan of late seems to be getting in somewhat of a groove after his 22 point, 8 rebound effort against UCLA last week. This is much better than him “absolutely sucking,” which one of my USC friends proclaimed. Seems as if DeRozan is somewhat of USC’s Quincy Pondexter this year, in that he is held to a much higher standard than what he actually produces.
With Lewis coming back, expect to see Justin Holiday getting more playing time to contain either DeRozan or Lewis. With this sudden change, it also could lead to Elston Turner making his first significant appearance since his ankle injury almost three weeks ago. DeRozan and Lewis would be difficult to defend for the two guard whenever Romar uses the small guard combo involving Justin Dentmon, Isaiah Thomas, and Venoy Overton.
After last season’s loss at home to USC, it would be nice to see this rebound season continue with a win over a talented Trojan team. By splitting against the two Los Angeles schools this week, it could push Washington into the Top 25.