RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, March 10

S14: Top 14 Returning Scorers in the Pac-10 Conference Tournament

The Staples Center is the home to the Pac-10 Tournament in recent years (maybe since the beginning, I'm not sure), and this year the field is reduced by one, as USC pre-emptively took itself out of all postseason possibilities once it found out other people had found out they were paying O.J. Mayo to play there for one year a couple years back. Speaking upon the east coast bias accusations again, let's compare Big East and Pac-10. One has a storied conference tournament, held in a basketball arena called Madison Square Garden that is home to the New York Knicks (on a down cycle, but have a strong history) where tons of historic moments have happened. The other conference tournament is played in a basketball arena called The Staples Center, home to the most continuously worst pro team ever in the Los Angeles Clippers, and I'm not sure what's happened there other than the Michael Jackson Memorial. Haha, yeah, quite a bias. Anyways, here are the top 14 players returning to this year's Pac-10 tourney who have scored the most points in previous tourneys...
#1: Tajuan Porter (Oregon guard; 101 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Senior point guard with amazing shot accuracy might be the best player in the Pac-10, and yet he'll be playing in the solitary opening round game, as Oregon against Washington kicks off the tournament tonight at 8 pm, with the winner playing top-seeded California early tomorrow afternoon. Regardless, by next week, coach Ernie Kent will probably be polishing up his resume.
(USC guard Dwight Lewis would be listed here, with 68 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament, but they aren't eligible for competition. Bad thing is, I'm sure with them getting busted for paying people, Lewis had to give up some of his extra walking around money sources from within the booster system as well.)
#2: Theo Robertson (California forward; 67 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Part of a four-pack of Seniors on this California roster that makes them really the only seriously dangerous team in the Pac-10. Robertson was second team All-Pac-10 this year, and is originally from Pittsburg, California, which has always been one of my favorite place names on the California map. I like to sit around and look at atlases and find nicely named places, in hopes of one day doing my Blue Highways Across America book for the post-suburban meltdown of actual back roads culture.
#3: Quincy Pondexter (Washington forward; 63 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Even though he lost out on Pac-10 Player of the Year to California's Jerome Randle, he's considered the cream of the Pac-10 crop this year. The Huskies come in as the #3 seed in the tourney and will face off against Oregon State Thursday evening. If the bracket holds, they'll have a big match-up against Arizona State in the semifinals which might be just about an NCAA play-in game.
#4: Patrick Christopher (California guard; 58 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - First team All-Pac-10 two years in a row. He's coming straight outta Compton, and the nationally famous Dominguez High basketball program.
#5: Derek Glasser (Arizona State guard; 51 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - The oil behind the fluidity of Arizona State, this Senior point guard was actually planning on walking-on at USC before ASU offered him a scholarship late in the recruiting game. If that had happened instead, he'd be off-the-radar on a team with no postseason possibilities, and Arizona State may not have ascended to the heights it's ascended this year, as the bonafide second-best team in a struggling yet still major power conference.
#6: Jerome Randle (California guard; 51 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Pac-10 Player of the Year this year, and first team All-Pac-10 two years in a row. He's such a goofy looking fellow, and looking up info on him, I found out his mother's name is Zsa-Zsa. I did not expect there to be more than one person with that name on this earth, much less some lady from Chicago.
#7: Landry Fields (Stanford guard/forward; 48 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Senior leader of a Cardinal team that, much like the entire conference, has underperformed this year. They play 2nd-seeded Arizona State in the nightcap of the quarterfinal round on Thursday evening.
#8: Nic Wise (Arizona guard; 46 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Man, Arizona basketball is in a downward cycle too, ain't it? They play UCLA in the 4/5 quarterfinal opener tomorrow afternoon in a showdown of downward cycles. Nic Wise's senior season last time through these parts motivation will probably be the difference.
#9: Ty Abbott (Arizona State guard; 38 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Of the main stars upon this Sun Devil team, he is the junior, who will probably be back next year to see if this was lightning in a bottle by coach Herb Sendek, or the actual start of something beautiful.
#10: Lathen Wallace (Oregon State guard; 37 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - He plays for the President's brother-in-law, on a team called the Beavers, and his name makes me think of The Jerk.
#11: Isaiah Thomas (Washington guard; 31 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - He got his name when his father lost a bet on a Detroit Pistons/Los Angeles Lakers playoff game in 1989. Amazing. Names help make you who you are though, and he was the Pac-10's freshman of the year last year. Would he have been that if he had been named Ervin? Somewhere in the holographic universe, that is happening right now.
#12: Nikola Dragovic (UCLA forward; 27 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Big ugly Serbian forward, who like all big ugly whiteboys is oafish and abusive inside the paint, yet since he's European, he's actually adept at hitting 3-pointers as well. A perfect college player, in his senior season, and after two Final Four appearances his first two years, this year's 13-17 season must seem torturous. And yet, even at 13-17, they are the fifth seed in the Pac-10 tournament.
#13: Jerren Shipp (Arizona State guard; 24 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - Senior sharpshooter for ASU who comes from a Pac-10 basketball family. His oldest brother Joe was league scoring leader back in the day at California, and his middle brother Josh played for UCLA during their triple Final Four run. Josh is in Turkey balling, and Joe was in Brazil, so next year, unless Jerren can latch onto the D-League in hopes of the NBA, he'll be somewhere overseas too. Backyard horse games must've been a motherfucker at the Shipp house.
#14: Jamal Boykin (California forward; 23 previous points in the Pac-10 tournament) - The final of the four Seniors running this California squad. Oddly enough, Boykin is the only one to have ever been the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, his freshman year when he played sparingly at Duke.

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