Checking in on the… Pac-10

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2009

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

  • Darren Collison has hit a UCLA school-record 40 consecutive free-throws.  The previous record was 36 straight by Henry Bibby in 1972
  • Washington is bringing a nine-game winning streak into the game of the week against California, who is riding an eight-game winning streak. One streak will come to an end.
  • Cal is still first in three-point percentage shooting 98-for-194 as a team for a 50.5 % clip.  The next closest team is Miami Ohio shooting 42.9 %
  • This could be the first time Arizona fails to start 2-2 through the first four games in Pac-10 play since 1983-84
  • The Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor just announced the new inductees.  Led by Detlef Schrempf and Lute Olson, there are ten new inductees.

Player of the week- Patrick Christopher. Christopher put up three 20 point games this week.  He had 23 against Arizona, 20 against Arizona State, and 22 at Washington State.  The Golden Bears went 3-0 in the games.

Honorable Mention: Darren Collison averaged 18 points and 6.5 assists in the Bruins two wins this past week.  He shot 13-for-19 from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.  Jeff Pendergraph averaged 18 points and 7.3 rebounds a game in the three games this week.  The Sun Devils went 2-1 and Pendergraph fought through injuries in the last two games.

Team of the week- California. California proved they are a force to be reckoned with this first week in Pac-10 play.  They beat Arizona and Arizona State at home and went into Washington State and won.  They are the only Pac-10 team 3-0 at this point and are riding an eight-game winning streak.

Game of the week– The Washington 84-83 win at home over Stanford went down to the wire.  A tip-in by Jon Brockman was the difference.  Stanford had one last chance as a three-quarter court length pass to Fields was successful, but he dribbled the ball off his foot (or a Huskie?) and out of bounds surrendering possession.

Best game of the upcoming week:  01/04 California at Washington – Can Cal continue this run?  They lose two players to the league from a ninth place team and start out 3-0 in league play.  Does that seem right? Washington’s not playing too shabby themselves at 2-0 in league play 11-3 overall.  Something has to give and one team will have their first Pac-10 loss.  I’d put my money on Cal in this one Jerome Randle is bound to bounce back with a huge game and Christopher is playing light’s out ball.

Team Rankings

1. UCLA (12-2, 2-0)

Last week: 01/02 W 69-46 at Oregon State, 01/04 W 83-74 at Oregon
Next week: 01/11 at USC, 01/15 at home vs. Arizona

UCLA won their first conference opener at Oregon State with ease.  UCLA led wire to wire in the victory.  The Bruins jumped out to a 15-4 lead with 13:06 left in the first half and the Beavers never got closer the rest of the way. Darren Collison and Michael Roll each scored 16 points for UCLA. Roll was a perfect 4-for-4 from downtown in 26 minutes off the bench.  Freshman Drew Gordon also chipped in 11 points and four rebounds off the bench.  Oregon State’s Calvin Haynes was coming off a career-high 24 points against Seattle, but UCLA’s defense managed to hold him to 16. Josh Shipp hit five three-pointers against Oregon including four in the second half.  He finished with 17 points.  Collison led the way with 22 points and nine assists.  Nikola Dragovic scored 12 points off the bench. The Ducks cut it to four with six minutes left, but the Bruins ran away with it.

2. California (14-2, 3-0)

Last week: 01/02 W 69-55 over Arizona at home, 01/04 W 81-71 over ASU at home, 01/08 W 57-50 at WSU
Next week: 01/10 at Washington

California took the first step in proving they are for real in beating Arizona. Patrick Christopher scored 23 points and had four assists.  Christopher also played stifling defense against Arizona guard Chase Budinger who shot 4-for-16 for the field. Jerome Randle also had 14 points for the Golden Bears. Theo Robertson added 13 points including three 3-pointers. In California’s second game in Pac-10 play, they took another step toward proving they are for real this year. Randle had another huge game for the Golden Bears matching his career-high with 26 points and setting a career-high with 10 assists.  Randle had a huge four-point play with just over two minutes remaining, turning a two-point game into a six-point one. Christopher had another big game scoring 20 points and playing good defense on Harden when it mattered. California continued their streak with an eighth straight victory over Washington State.  Christopher had his third 20-point game of the week, scoring 22.  Jamal Boykin added 12 points.

3. Arizona State (13-2, 2-1)

Last week: 01/02 W 90-60 at Stanford, 01/04 L 81-71 at California
01/08 W 69-38 over Oregon State at home
Next week: 01/10 at home vs. Oregon, 01/15 at USC

Arizona State’s 30-point win was the largest ever against Stanford.  Jeff Pendergraph scored 31 points and had 11 rebounds.  James Harden was shut out in the first half, but finished with 17 points and 10 assists.  Derek Glasser added 13 points for the Sun Devils who shot 59 percent from the field.  In one five-minute stretch in the first half Pendergraph scored all 13 points for Arizona State. Against California, Harden scored 26 points and had eight rebounds, but it was not enough.  His dunk pulled the Sun Devils within two with 2:43 remaining, but California outscored Arizona State 10-2 the rest of the way. Pendergraph scored 16 points and had seven rebounds while only playing 10 minutes in the first half because of injuries. Rihards Kuksiks added 16 points for the Sun Devils who had an eight-game winning streak snapped. The Sun Devils bounced back in their last game of the week, winning by 30 plus for a second time this week.  The team shot 65 percent from the field including 89 percent in the second half.  Harden scored 22 points in the game to lead the way.  The Arizona State defense held the Beavers to 36 percent shooting from the field. Pendergraph did play with a sprained MCL in his right knee.

4. Washington (11-3, 2-0)

Last week: 01/03 W 68-48 at Washington State, 01/08 W 84-83 over Stanford at home
Next week: 01/10 at home vs. Cal, 01/15 at Oregon

In a game that Jon Brockman had only 10 points and five rebounds, the rest of the Huskies picked up the slack.  Isaiah Thomas continued with the hot hand and scored 19 points.  Justin Dentmon added 17 points and Quincy Pondexter 16.  It was the Huskies first win in the last eight games against Washington State.  The second half was all Huskies as they outscored the Cougars 38-20. Against Stanford, Brockman’s only field goal in the second half was a huge one.  He hit the game-winner with 4.6 seconds left on a putback.  Brockman finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds.  Isaiah Thomas added 18 points.  Washington is on an eight game winning streak.

5. Arizona (10-5, 1-2)

Last week: 01/02 L 69-55 at California, 01/04 L 76-60 at Stanford
01/08 W 67-52 over Oregon at home
Next week: 01/10 at home vs. Oregon State, 01/15 at UCLA

After winning their last four of their last five of the non-conference schedule the Wildcats dropped their Pac-10 opener. Arizona had beaten the likes of Gonzaga, Kansas, and San Diego State in the last month. Arizona had beat California in both match-ups last year.  Jordan Hill led the Wildcats with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Nic Wise added 16 points, but Arizona could not overcome another poor shooting performance from Chase Budinger. He shot 4-for-16 from the field and did not get to the charity stripe once.  The Wildcats also got virtually no production from the bench, who scored one point. In the second game of the week for the Wildcats they looked just as bad.  After scoring a season low 55 against California, they only managed to put up 60 against Stanford. Hill once again led the way with 17 points and 16 rebounds.  The Wildcats did not hit one shot from downtown the whole game. Arizona got their first Pac-10 win of the year at home over Oregon.  Budinger’s had his first good game shooting in the last five games.  He shot 8-for-15 from the field for 20 points. Hill had six points and 10 rebounds in the first half on route to finishing with nine points and 12 rebounds.

6. Stanford (11-2, 1-2)

Last week: 01/02 L 90-60 at home vs. ASU, 01/04 W 76-60 over Arizona at home,
01/08 L 84-83 at Washington
Next week: 01/10 at Washington State

In Stanford’s first chance to prove their mettle against Pac-10 opponents, they fell flat.  It was Stanford’s first game against a ranked opponent. The Cardinal shot 2-for-18 from downtown and just 37 percent in the game.  Lawrence Hill was the only Cardinal to finish in double-digits scoring 14 points. Landry Fields led the way for Stanford scoring 19 points and getting 11 rebounds in the Cardinal’s 16 point win over Arizona.  Hill added 14 points and Anthony Goods had 13. Stanford took control for good with eight minutes left in the first half.  The Cardinal had a nine-point lead at halftime 35-26.  In Stanford’s final game of the week they blew a seven-point lead in the second half on route to an 84-83 lost in Washington. Goods scored 19 points for Stanford, but his jumper to give the Cardinal the lead with 14 seconds left was not enough.

7. USC (10-4, 1-1)

Last week: 01/02 W 83-62 at Oregon, 01/04 L 62-58 at Oregon State
Next week: 01/11 at home vs. UCLA, 01/15 at home vs. ASU

USC won by 21 points over Oregon in Eugene to open up Pac-10 play.  The Trojans finished the game on a 22-9 run.  Dwight Lewis scored 26 points and DeMar DeRozan stayed on a tear with 14 points and 12 rebounds.  Daniel Hackett added 15 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.  USC had won seven of their last eight, with the only loss being by one point at Oklahoma.  The Trojans then blew a 15-point lead to the preseason pick for Pac-10 bottom feeder, Oregon State.  Oregon State had not won a game in Pac-10 play all of last year. USC had beaten the Beavers seven consecutive times before last week. Taj Gibson scored 15 points in a game when four of the five starters played 40 minutes or more.

8. Oregon State (6-7, 1-2)

Last week: 01/02 L 69-46 at home vs. UCLA, 01/04 W 62-58 over USC at home,
01/08 L 69-38 at ASU
Next week: 01/10 at Arizona, 01/15 at home vs. Washington State

Oregon State, who went winless in conference play last year, started off this year much of the same.  They suffered a 23-point loss at the hands of the Bruins.  The one bright spot was sophomore Calvin Haynes, who scored 16 points. Oregon State broke their 23-game Pac-10 Conference losing streak. Roeland Schaftenaar scored 18 points and hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.  Calvin Haynes then scored four of his 16 points in the extra period.  The Beavers overcame a 15-point second half deficit. Oregon State put up their worst showing offensively of the year against the Sun Devils.  They scored 23 points under their season average. Not one starter scored over five points and reserve Lathen Wallace was the team’s only player to reach double digits with 13 points.

9. Washington State (8-6, 0-2)

Last week: 01/03 L 68-48 at home vs. Washington, 01/08 L 57-50 at home vs. Cal
Next week: 01/10 at home vs. Stanford, 01/15 at Oregon State

Washington State lost by 20 points to Washington at home.  The Cougars had won seven straight games in the cross-state series.  Taylor Rochestie scored 12 points for Washington State.  Washington State had been allowing only 49 points a game, but the Huskies went off in the second half.  The 48 points were also the second lowest amount totaled by the Cougars this season. The Cougars stopped Jerome Randle, but still lost by seven against California. Rochestie’s 19 points were not enough for Washington State as they lost their third straight game.

10. Oregon  (6-9, 0-3)

Last week: 01/02 L 83-62 at home vs. USC, 01/04 L 83-74 at home vs. UCLA,
01/08 L 67-52 at Arizona
Next week: 01/10 at Arizona State, 01/15 at home vs. Washington

Oregon managed to keep it close through the first half, but USC blew the Beavers out in the second half.  Tajuan Porter scored 12, Garrett Sim 11, and Michael Dunigan added 10 points.  The team shot only 37 percent from the field and 28 percent from downtown.  The Ducks played much tougher in their second game of the week against UCLA.  Porter had 24 points in the 83-74 loss to UCLA.  Porter scored 15 of them in the second half when Oregon was as close as four with six minutes left. Joevan Catron had 13 points and seven assists and LeKendric Longmire scored 10 off the bench. In the Ducks third loss of the week not one player scored in double-digits.  The team shot only 37 percent from the field including 18 percent from downtown.  Porter only scored two points in the loss.

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