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UCLA Basketball: Week 17 Hoops Q&A -- Looking Back Editon

The conference season is over, and the Bruins look forward to a quarterfinal match on Thursday with the winner of ASU/USC. We take this opportunity to look back at the season.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

1)  There were many surprises in the PAC-12 this season. Oregon finishing in second has to be the biggest.What are your thoughts on the surprises? Should Joseph Young be PAC-12 POY?

chrissorr: I don't think I was so crazy to think UCLA could finish in second (UCLA underperformed despite the media prediction of fourth place). Oregon did it with a skeleton team. Hand it to Altman. Though the top slime in the league (yes, it's true, do the research if you don't believe it), he's been a great coach on the floor. His recruiting has been flawed, but his game prep is the best in the league.

The three best NBA prospects in the league, Stanley Johnson, Kevon Looney and Jakob Poeltl, are not going to be POY. So who?

I'd bet on Delon Wright, but I see the groundswell for McConnell. I can understand it, but I still think that's crazy.

Given how well Oregon did, it might as well be Young.

DCBruins:  Delon Wright.  McConnell may get it but I agree that is not right.  Powell certainly should be in the running but that would involve giving him respect.  Something Powell has never received.  Wright seems to be the best all-around on a good team.

2) Who is PAC 12 coach of the year?

DCBruins: Altman is too flawed and slimy.  Miller has had some bad losses in the bigger scheme.  It is either Oregon State's Wayne Tinkle or Utah's Larry Krystkowiak.  I pick Tinkle because his team pulled off the upset of the year (OSU beating Arizona) and won with one good player.  He even was classy by starting his 5 walk ons for Senior Day to thank them for their hard work.

chrissorr: I don't know if the PAC-12 will look at slimeness. Eliminate that, and it is surely Altman. I would have said Krystkowiak, but Utah slumped, and so did Oregon State.

I say Tinkle, but I don't know how they give it to someone who was 8-10 in the conference, albeit extenuating circumstances?

3) What are your early thoughts on ASU-UCLA?

chrissorr: Herb Sendek got the perfect storm. He schemed perfectly to bottle up Parker and Looney, and then Parker obliged him by playing his first of two miserable games, and fouled out at 9:42. They had no business killing us on the boards.

Smart coaches can come back a second time with new wrinkles, so I wouldn't count ASU out, but I would be astounded if Parker/Looney do nothing again.

As per usual in this league, the home court advantage is the biggest thing, and this is a neutral court.  I like UCLA's chances.

DCBruins: We win.  Home court is huge in the PAC 12 and makes a different game in every aspect.  Arizona State will not beat us on the boards again.  Sendek will out coach Steve Alford but it won't be enough.

4) Lightening round, has each player failed to meet, met, or exceed expectations for the season?


Tony Parker:  Met, he has improved each year

Kevon Looney:  Met, was exceeding early in the year, down to meet now

Norman Powell:  Exceed, he is the best player on the court most games now.  His late game defense has been key as well.

Isaac Hamilton:  Fail.  He has been just awful at times this year.  Other times he has met but too many bad games

Bryce Alford:  Fail.  He has struggled to realize his role on this team.

Thomas Welsh.  Met. Welsh has questions as an athlete but has improved through the season

Noah Allen.  Fail.  Noah plays hard but just can't shoot and is too small to play four.

GG:  Exceed.  Nothing was expected from GG and proved to be a good passer.


Tony Parker:  Met. I would have said exceed if it weren't for the inconsistency.

Kevon Looney:  Met, agree with you. If he has a good P12T, I will upgrade.

Norman Powell:  Exceed, but slow start. Exceed Minus.

Isaac Hamilton:  Fail. Fail Plus. It would have been a totally different season if his offense was what we thought it was going to be. His defense exceeded my expectations.

Bryce Alford:  Met. We knew what he was going to be.

Thomas Welsh.  Met. Met Minus. He's had his moments, but I still cringe with him on the floor.

Noah Allen.  Met. Met Minus. The shot is bad. Other than that, my expectations weren't high.

GG:  Exceed.  Exceed minus. You're right, we had zero expectations.

5) There are many keys to a successful PAC-12 Tournament run, at least two wins, for the Bruins. What is your top key and why?

chrissorr: I will say Looney being active, and playing decent defense without getting in foul trouble. It would be easy to say Parker, but the defenses will focus on him, and he's just expected to handle it. Looney will get free, whether it's from the three, or even better, underneath. He has to get a double-double plus --- big plus.

DCBruins:    Hamilton.  He is the x factor.  When he is passing well it makes everyone better.  He has been terrible on the road and good at home.  If he plays like a home game throughout the tourney, we are in good shape.