Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.
Conference: Big West
Coach: Bob Thomason
Record: 22-12, 14-5
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 124
– RPI: 105
– AP/USA Today: N/A
Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Pacific as a No. 15 seed in Saturday’s bracket projection.
Names you need to know: Lorenzo McCloud (11.2 ppg, 4.1 apg), Travis Fulton (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
Stats you need to know: Pacific caught fire at the right time, winning their last four games in the regular season before running through the Big West tournament.
Tendencies: Pacific’s defensive efficiency is nothing to get excited about, but they’ve ramped it up during league play. They were the best defensive team in the Big West, according to Kenpom.
Big wins, bad losses: The Tigers picked up a couple of big wins back in November, when they knocked off St. Mary’s and Xavier in the Anaheim Classic.
How’d they get here?: Pacific knocked off UC-Irvine in the Big West title game to earn the league’s automatic bid.
Outlook: The Tigers don’t necessarily have the look of a team that can pull off an upset or two, but this isn’t any regular team. Pacific is a team of destiny, if you will. This is Thomason’s 25th season as the head coach of Pacific. It’s also his last, as he’s stepping down after the season. It’s also the last season that Pacific will be a member of the Big West as they head to the WCC next year. Is that enough to be this year’s Norfolk State or Lehigh?
How do I know you?: Pacific has been to the tournament four times in Thomason’s tenure, even winning a game in 2004 and 2005.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.
Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.
“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.
“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”
Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.
This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.
Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.
“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.
This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.
He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.
The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.