Checking in on the… Pac-10

Posted by rtmsf on January 3rd, 2009

Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 Conference.

Conference Notes.

  • Last week’s player of the week, UCLA’s Michael Roll, was back in a reserve roll and scored five points in 26 minutes.
  • Early on in the Pac-10 schedule will dictate if the Arizona St. Sun Devils are for real, as , their first two games are at Stanford and Cal.  Four of Arizona State’s wins have come against teams with two wins or fewer,  including winless Mississippi Valley State.
  • In Arizona’s win Chase Budinger played 40 minutes for already the fifth time this season, In all of last year he only played 40 minutes or more four times.
  • Cal is shooting a nation best 50.6 percent from three-point range.  Theo Robertson leads the country at 61.5 percent and Jerome Randle is in fifth at 56.1 percent.
  • Stanford is one of only six teams still undefeated in Division I competition.

Player of the week- Calvin Haynes – Calvin Haynes of Oregon State scored 24 of the Beaver’s 59 points in the victory over Seattle.  He shot 6-for-9 from the field and went 10-for-12 from the stripe.

Honorable Mention: Jrue Holiday of UCLA who scored 12 points, had 10 rebounds, and had 5 assists in the Bruin’s win.  James Harden of Arizona State who scored 24 points this week for the Sun Devils.

Team of the week- Stanford – Stanford won both of their games this week.  The first was a thorough domination of Texas Tusech from the Big 12.  The Cardinal won by 45 points.  In their second win of the week they beat Hartford by 14.  The undefeated week concluded a 10-0 start.

Game of the week – The LSU-Washington State game was a tight game until LSU went on a late run.  The teams went back and forth with Washington State last leading with six minutes left.  In a week in which Pac-10 teams dominated their warm-ups for conference scheduling, Washington State was the only one to play a possible tournament team.

Best game of the upcoming week:

01/04 Arizona State at California
– This the first chance in the Pac-10 scheduling to see who is going to truly contend with UCLA.  Arizona State has played an easy schedule up to this point contributing to the 11-1 start.  California has surprised many starting off the year at 11-2.  Two superstar guards James Harden and Jerome Randle will go up against each other in this matchup, but it will be the role players who decide who wins this game. Will Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin provide the difference, or will it be Jeff Pendergraph and Ty Abbott?

Team Rankings

1. UCLA (10-2)

Last week: 12/28 W 78-55 over Louisiana Tech at home
Next week: 01/02 at Oregon State, 01/04 at Oregon

The Bruins’ final tune-up before conference play was an easy one. The 23 point win for UCLA was their sixth straight win.  All the wins on the streak were by 17 points or more.   Josh Shipp returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games and scored 16 points leading UCLA.  Jrue Holiday had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Darren Collison finished with only two points, the first time this season he has not finished in double figures.  Freshman Malcolm Lee did not play due to an injury to his left knee. He is doubtful for the Oregon State and Oregon games. Surprisingly enough UCLA has never won an opener at Oregon State, so this is a chance for the Bruins to accomplish a first.

2. Arizona State (11-1)

Last week: 12/29 W 84-47 over Central Connecticut State at home
Next week: 01/02 at Stanford, 01/04 at California

Arizona State finished the out of conference slate at 11-1 for the first time since 2004-05, matching their best start in 34 years.  James Harden also continued with his hot touch scoring 24 points.  The Sun Devils shot 65.3 percent from the field.  All the starters scored in double figures for the second straight game.  It was the first time in seven years that it had been done by Arizona State.  They have four starters scoring in double digits right now, with Harden leading the way with 23.7, Jeff Pendergraph with 12.9, Ty Abbott with 11.3, and Rihards Kuksiks with 10.8 points per game.  ASU is leading the Pac-10 with 9.2 three-pointers per game.

3. Arizona (9-3)

Last week: 12/29 W 71-65 over Weber State at home
Next week: 01/02 at California, 01/04 at Stanford

In Arizona’s only game of the week the Wildcats had a tougher time with Weber State than expected. Nic Wise led the way with 23 points, a career-high, and Chase Budinger added 16 points and 12 rebounds.  It was his first double-double of the season and seventh of his career.  Arizona only shot 38% from the field and trailed 36-33 in the second half. Leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Hill sat out with left leg muscle strain.

4. California (11-2)

Last week:12/27 W 98-62 over Dartmouth at home 12/28 W 81-61 over Portland at home
Next week: 01/02 at home vs. Arizona, 01/04 at home vs. ASU, 01/08 at WSU

Jerome Randle may have not shot as well in the win over Dartmouth, but he matched his season-high with eight assists.  He finished shooting 5-of-12 from the field for 15 points.  Jordan Wilkes added a career-high 11 points as Cal stayed unbeaten at home this year. It was the highest scoring game and largest win for the Golden Bears this year. In Cal’s second game of the week the Randle led the way with 14 points in the first half.  The Golden Bears won by 20 points and Randle won MVP of the tournament.  Jamal Boykin finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Theo Robertson added 16 points.  The last time the Golden Bears had double-digit victories before New Years Day was 1947-48.

5. USC (9-3)

Last week: 12/28 W 66-56 over Oral Roberts at home
Next week: 01/02 at Oregon 01/04 at Oregon State

Demar DeRozan followed up his 18 point performance last week with another against Oral Roberts leading the way in the 10 point win for USC.  Taj Gibson added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans.  The next game for Gibson will be a historical one.  He is one block short of tying Sam Clancy’s school record 195 blocks. Gibson is also five points away from the 1,000 point milestone.

6. Stanford (10-0)

Last week: 12/28 W 111-66 over Texas Tech at home, 12/30 W 69-55 over University of Hartford at home
Next week: 01/02 at home vs. ASU, 01/04 at home vs. Arizona, 01/08 at Washington

Stanford went wire to wire in the win over Texas Tech.  It was 45-point drubbing, the second largest loss in Texas Tech history.  Anthony Goods led the way with 21 points.  Landry Fields and Lawrence Hill added 19 and 17 points each.  It was Stanford’s season-high for points.  Against Hartford, Mitch Johnson scored a team high 14 points and had a career-high eight assists.

7. Washington State (8-4)

Last week: 12/27 L 64-52 at LSU
Next week: 01/03 at home vs. Washington, 01/08 at home vs. Cal

Washington State led as late as 49-47 with six minutes left, till LSU went on a 17-5 run to finish the game. Taylor Rochestie scored 14 points for the Cougars.  Klay Thompson chipped in 12 and Caleb Forrest added 10. DeAngelo Casto leads all freshmen in the Pac-10 with 1.3 blocks per game.  His average places Casto third overall.

8. Washington (9-3)

Last week: 12/28 W 75-53 over Montana at home, 12/30 W 81-67 over Morgan State at home
Next week: 01/03 at Washington State, 01/08 at home vs. Stanford

Jon Brockman’s senior year up to this point has been full of small injuries.  Christmas time brought another when he cut his hand trying to open a Christmas present for his nephew. Brockman played with a heavy bandage on his left hand, but still finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Montana.  The Huskies defense held Montana to 28 percent shooting from the field.  Against Morgan State freshman Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 27 points.  Brockman added 18 points and got his 1,000th rebound of his career.  The Washington school record is 1,051 rebounds, Brockman finished the game with 1,004 rebounds. Brockman is already active leader in the Pac-10 with 1,481 points.

9. Oregon  (6-6)

Last week: 12/29 W 86-74 over Long Beach State at home
Next week: 01/02 at home vs. USC, 01/04 at home vs. UCLA, 01/08 at Arizona

In Oregon’s only game this week four players scored in double figures.  LeKendric Longmire scored 14 points, Joevan Catron had 13 points, Garrett Sim scored 12, and Michael Dunigan added 10.  Oregon led by as many as 20 points with 13 minutes left before Long Beach made a late run using a full-court press.  Tajuan Porter is only two three-pointers shy of tying Terik Brown for third on the Oregon all-time three-pointers made list.

10. Oregon State (5-5)

Last week: 12/29 W 59-50 over Seattle at home
Next week: 01/02 at home vs. UCLA, 01/04 at home vs. USC, 01/08 at ASU

Calvin Haynes led the way in Oregon State’s victory, with a career-high 24 points.  Daniel Deane added 10 points for the Beavers.  The Beavers will be immediately tested, they open up the conference schedule against UCLA.

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