Greetings Coug fans, and a happy humpday to you and yours. In today's edition of the Morning Drip, we'll take a look around at what's out there for today, plus some real appreciation for a certain player who really seemed to grow up in 2012. So with that, let's get rolling…..
You know, it's funny but sometimes as a fan you find yourself torn up by your own players. And what I mean by that is yeah, you love your team and you support your team and all that good stuff, but there are players sometimes that just…..I don't know, drive you crazy sometimes?? Take Connor Halliday for example. You see the length and the arm strength and the fearlessness, and you find yourself saying "SUPERSTAR!" when you see him do some really impressive things in stretches here and there.
But then when he makes mistakes or whatever else, he find yourself less-than-thrilled with what he's doing because you really believe he's capable of so much more. But hey, I'm just a fan and all that so deep down I guess it doesn't really matter what I think, and that we tend to flip out over the smallest things while coaches and players understand mistakes and growing pains are simply part of the process? But all that said, there is a player who drove me nuts at times this year, but really seemed to take a huge step as 2012 went on. And that player, my friends, is Deone Bucannon.
I think back to the start of Bucannon's career, and it was incredibly easy to get excited by what we saw when he first showed up in Pullman. He played immediately, and he announced his presence with AUTHORITY early and often with those huge, bone-jarring hits in the secondary. It wasn't pretty though, and it seemed like every time you turned around you were seeing him get beat in coverage or delivering personal foul hits to the opponent. It was at times hard to watch, and he was very up-and-down as many young players tend to be in the beginning of their college careers. But it just seemed that his mistakes were glaring, and you found yourself remembering the errors vs. appreciating what he was really doing back there.
What made matters worse is that his start to the 2012 season was rocky, at best. Here was a junior who had played a ton already in his career, and you found yourself simply expecting more and more and to see him take a huge step. Early on, that just wasn't the case. Maybe it wasn't all his fault, but there were some boneheaded personal fouls (vs EWU) and a huge mistake vs. Colorado, where he admitted he simply didn't see the tight end in the slot and gave up a crucial touchdown in CU's fourth quarter comeback. As the guys at Cougcenter broke it down so well, here is a gif from just what I'm talking about….
JUUUUUUUSSSSSTTT a little late
Anyway, a strange thing happened around the middle of the season – Bucannon, as well as the rest of the defense, seemed to start to figure things out. He played well vs. Oregon, where he picked off a couple of passes. He had a huge game vs. ASU when so many didn't get off the plane, with a season-high 17 tackles(!). But maybe the best indicator of Bucannon playing better and better? You stopped hearing fans bitch about his performances! Where early in the year there were complaints left and right, the Bucannon-haters seemed to really pipe down as the season went on. But you also saw him talking more in the media, and really starting to embrace his role and showing some leadership back there in the secondary, where he really appeared to be growing up.
And I can happily say that 2012 concluded with Bucannon being named All-Pac-12 second team, with a team-high 106 tackles, a team-high 4 INT's, and second on the team in passes defended. Bucannon's 106 tackles were second in the Pac-12 this year, and when you step back and look at the end result after a full season, you can see he really deserved it! Quite a turnaround from how his 2012 started out, and I can say this – if you would have told me after, say, the Colorado game that he was going to finish the season like this, as a second-team all conference player? I would have said WHAT, ARE THEY LEGALIZING MARIJUANA OR SOMETHING?? Oh yeah…..
Anyway, for that I say Bucannon is a perfect example of "Why Do We Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again!" Great job Bucannon, and we hope for a huge senior year out of a kid who suddenly appears to be figuring it out.
Moving on, Coug recruiting is continuing to percolate. The Cougs appear to be a finalist for a JC d-tackle, Marquel Combs, per ESPN insider (hat tip to Cougcenter for the link). Combs is a beast at 6-3, 310, and per ESPN currently holds about 50 offers. We'll see what happens there, but adding a top-notch JC tackle to the mix up front could be a nice addition!
Finally, so I guess there's a hoops game or whatever tonight? Don't look for much out of me in the way of college hoops though, as I'm just not a huge fan (but I still dream of a return of the Supersonics). Cougcenter has a huge rundown of reading material for tonight's showdown vs the hated Zags, so check it out here.
That's it for now. Enjoy your humpday, and of course, GO COUGS!