Greg Hansen: Time for changes in Pac-12 basketball

2013-03-14T00:00:00Z Greg Hansen: Time for changes in Pac-12 basketballGreg Hansen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If I were King of Pac-12 Basketball, I would cut the shot clock to 30 seconds. Did you realize only Arizona (71.3), Stanford (71.3) and UCLA (70.8) averaged more than 68 points in Pac-12 games this season?

There were 108 conference games this year and only once, Washington's 96-92 victory over ASU in Seattle, did any team score 90 points in regulation.

Hard to believe it was only 15 years ago that Arizona averaged 90.8 points per game over the entire season.

Also:

• I would put a limit on the number of games each referee could work. The distinguished Michael Reed, who officiated the Pac-12 tournament championship game every year from 2008 to 2012, must be running on fumes.

After calling the UA-USC game Feb. 27, he flew to Honolulu to work the next day's Hawaii-UC Santa Barbara game and a Hawaii-Cal Poly game on March 3. After returning to the mainland, Reed called games on four consecutive days, March 6-9, at Washington, at New Mexico State, at Utah and in the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. He took one day off, then worked Monday's WCC title game.

A referee of Reed's stature earns about $2,600 per game, from which he pays his own expenses. He has called 62 games this season. Expect to see him Saturday night at the Pac-12 title game; Reed and Dick Cartmell have both officiated the last five championship games.

• I would shave the allowable timeouts from five to three for each team. Eight media timeouts and three more per team should be enough. The flow of most college basketball games has been compromised so badly that a two-hour TV window is a joke.

Too many games now are squeezed into the "joined in progress" mash.

Last week's UA-ASU game required 2 hours 17 minutes and it wasn't even close at the end. Sean Miller and Herb Sendek actually didn't use three timeouts between them, which is rare.

• I would require Pac-12 coaches to make public their all-conference ballots.

I've got nothing against Oregon's E.J. Singler, but how did he make the first team? He averaged 11.5 per game, which is the fewest points by a first-teamer since Arizona's Reggie Geary, 9.8, in 1996. But Geary was the league's most feared defensive player and a point guard with 231 assists.

Singler is shooting .395 percent afield and is a pedestrian defensive player.

Somehow, Washington State's Brock Motum didn't make the first team. He was a one-man team in the Palouse, averaging 18.4, the second-highest total in the league.

I strongly suspect the coaches voted for Singler because he's a good kid, a senior, and there was no one else on second-place Oregon's roster accomplished enough to consider.

Perhaps the coaches should consult statistical/metrics authority Ken Pomeroy. Using his numbers, Pomeroy ranked Stanford big man Dwight Powell as the Pac-12 Player of the Year, and put Motum on his five-man first team.

• I would enforce a strict dress code: Coaches must not wear, ever, suits on the sideline. It's a college basketball game, not a fashion show. Require coaches to wear casual gear, maybe even school-logo inspired warm-ups. Best-dressed coach in the league? Oregon State's Craig Robinson, who eschews a tie and is the only coach who doesn't look ready for a day on Wall Street.

• I would worry that the Pac-12's annual Hall of Honor ceremony will soon be short of worthy inductees.

This is the 13th class to be honored. Arizona, which seems to have a bottomless list of qualified ex-players, will induct the esteemed Jason Gardner on Saturday. But some schools are already installing fringe coaches/players.

ASU, for example, has already honored Jeremy Veal and Ike Austin, two nice players, but hardly those worthy of conference-wide special mention. This year ASU is honoring Dennis Hamilton, a 1960s player whose career average was 13.6.

Who's next, Tommy Smith?

• I would put a death grip on the tournament's contract with the MGM Grand. This is a grand slam of host sites as we have come to know them. After taking the tournament to Pauley Pavilion, McKale Center, ASU's Wells Fargo Center, the Great Western Forum and Staples Center, this is the place.

Better yet, the league no longer has a current worry about where to stage the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament. Last week at KeyArena in Seattle, the women's tournament drew 5,452 for Friday's quarterfinals and 6,152 for Saturday's semifinals, which was sensational considering that host Washington didn't advance past Friday's game.

There's no need to bring the women's tournament to Las Vegas and double-book the place as was often the case in Los Angeles.

Contact columnist Greg Hansen at 573-4362 or ghansen@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @ghansen711

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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