Checking in on the… Pac-10

Posted by rtmsf on January 29th, 2009

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

News & Notes.

  • California’s 66.7% from the field against Oregon was the best any Pac-10 team has registered in conference play this year.  Theo Robertson of the Golden Bears still leads the nation in 3-point percentage shooting at a 55.2% clip. 
    Patrick Christopher is just 13 points shy of 1000, at 987.  Jerome Randle is right behind at 957.  Randle also is ninth in career 3-point field goals made at 125, and tenth in career assists with 313. Randle is also first in career free-throw percentage at 85.7%.
  • This is just the third time Washington has started 6-1 in the last 25 years.  Washington has won 13 out of their last 14 games. It is the first time the Huskies have been in sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 since January 2005. It is just the third time Washington has started 6-1 in the last 25 years.  The only time the Huskies ever had a better start through seven games was 1953 when they went 7-0.  Last week Washington averaged getting to the free throw line 41.5 times a game.  If they keep getting to the line this much they will be hard to beat.
  • Arizona forward Jordan Hill’s 30 points and 18 rebounds against Houston, was his first game of his career that he broke the 20 point and 15 rebound plateaus.  Blake Griffin on the other hand has put together 10 such games so far this year. Aubrey Coleman’s face stomp of Chase Budinger was the most classless act I have seen in years.  He should have been suspended multiple games for that.  Each high-five he got while leaving the game, should have added a game to it.
  • Oregon State’s three victories so far match their total of the last two seasons combined.
  • Joe Lunardi currently has Arizona State, California, UCLA and Washington getting in the dance.  It is hard to see any other Pac-10 teams really making a push.  USC has been too inconsistent still and they are the only other team with a shot in my mind.

Player of the week- Calvin Haynes (Oregon St.):  Haynes averaged 22 points a game this week.  Haynes shot 64% from the field, 7-for-12 from downtown, and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.  He also average four rebounds a game in Oregon State’s 2-0 week.

Honorable Mention: Isaiah Thomas averaged 20.5 points while leading the Huskies into first place in the Pac-10 this week. Jerome Randle averaged 21 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds a game in two games this week. In Jordan Hill’s only game this week he scored 30 points and had 18 rebounds for Arizona.

Team of the week- Washington:  As well as Oregon State is doing, Washington held court at home to USC and UCLA.  Walking away with both victories vaulted the Huskies into first place.  The team has won 13 out of 14 and is on fire.

Game of the week- Arizona’s comeback against Houston this week was impressive.  The Wildcats were down nine with less than a minute to play.  Arizona’s furious comeback can partly be attributed to Aubrey Coleman’s blatant disregard for Chase Budinger’s face.  After he stepped on Budinger’s face and was ejected Arizona mounted a comeback. The Wildcats scored 55 points in the second half.

Best game of the upcoming week:

  • 01/31 Washington at Arizona State – Washington has yet to play one of the top tier (Arizona State, UCLA, Cal) teams on the road.  It will be a great chance to see James Harden go against Isaiah Thomas.  Arizona State has a chance to snap Washington’s four-game winning streak and get the Sun Devils back into a tie for first place.

Team Rankings

1. Washington (15-4, 6-1)
Last week: 01/22 W 78-73 at home vs. USC, 01/24 W 86-75 at home vs. UCLA
Next week: 01/29 at Arizona, 01/31 at Arizona State

Washington stayed hot this past week picking up two wins at home.  In the first game against the southern California schools, Washington was victorious with a five-point win.  The Huskies did this despite senior Jon Brockman not making a single field goal. Brockman scored a season-low four points, but corralled 13 rebounds.  Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points, but it was senior guard Justin Dentmon who really stepped up scoring 22 points including a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe.  Washington only shot 37% from the field, but went 6-for-11 from downtown and went 32-for-40 from the line.
In the second matchup of the week Washington once again came out on top winning by 11 points over UCLA.  Thomas once again had a big game scoring 24 points.  Brockman rebounded from his poor offensive outing scoring 18 points and getting eight rebounds. Washington once again got many of their points from the foul line, going 36-for-43 from the stripe.

2. Arizona State (16-3, 5-2)
Last week: No games
Next week: 01/29 at home vs. Washington State, 01/31 at home vs. Washington

3. UCLA (15-4, 5-2)
Last week: 01/22 W 61-59 at Washington State, 01/24 L 86-75 at Washington
Next week: 01/29 at home vs. Cal, 01/31 at home vs. Stanford, 02/04 at home vs. USC

UCLA continued to have trouble in Pac-10 play.  The Cougars played the Bruins tougher than expected.  UCLA eked out with a two-point victory in Pullman.  The Bruins had a huge first half led by Nikola Dragovic’s six 3-pointers.  It was Darren Collison in the end though, as he scored all eight of his points in the last five minutes.  Dragovic finished with a game-high 20 points, the only player reaching double figures for UCLA.  In the second game of the Washington trip UCLA came up short losing by eleven at league leader Washington.  UCLA was down two with 5:42 left, but was blown out from that point on.  Josh Shipp scored 25 points, but was held scoreless for a key nine-minute stretch in the second half.  Shipp shot 6-for-9 from three-point range while the rest of the team shot a paltry 3-for-15.

4. California (16-4, 5-2)
Last week: 01/22 L 69-65 to Oregon St. at home, 01/24 W 76-69 over Oregon at home
Next week: 01/29 at UCLA, 01/31 at USC

California had a tough split at home against the Oregon teams.  California went into the week tied for first place in the Pac-10 at 4-1.  With two games at home against the Oregon squads whom were a combined 1-10 in Pac-10 play, it was not unrealistic to expect a sweep at home to hold onto first.  Despite Jerome Randle’s 20 points eight assists and six rebounds the Golden Bears lost by four. Jamal Boykin added 15 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.  Patrick Christopher also added 15 points, but only shot 1-for-8 inside the three-point arc.  Against the Ducks, Cal had four starters in double figures.  Randle had 22 points, Boykin 13, Christopher 13, and Theo Robertson had 11.  As a team the Bears shot 66.7 from the field, their season best in conference games.

5. USC (13-6, 4-3)
Last week: 01/22 L 78-73 at Washington, 01/24 W 46-44 at Washington State
Next week: 01/29 at home vs. Stanford, 01/31 at home vs. Cal, 02/04 at UCLA

USC must be happy to get back to their home state of California this week.  The Trojans had a tough five-point loss against Washington. Dwight Lewis missed the game due to a ankle injury.  Daniel Hackett scored a season-high 24 points and DeMar DeRozan scored 16.  It was not enough though as they let Washington consistently get to the line the whole game. Taj Gibson added 15 points and 13 rebounds.  The second game of the week for USC got the Trojans a win, but an ugly one at that.  They scored a season-low 46 points, only 18 in the first half.  Hackett finished with 14 points, including four clutch free throws in the final minute. Gibson had his second double-double of the week, netting 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. USC only shot 35% from the field and 61% from the free-throw line.

6. Oregon State (9-10, 3-5)
Last week: 01/22 W 77-62 at Stanford, 01/26 W 65-59 at home vs. Cal Bakersfield
Next week: 01/31 at home vs. Oregon

Calvin Haynes scored a career-high 25 points leading Oregon State to their second straight conference road victory.  The Beavers hadn’t won two straight conference games on the road in six years.  Oregon State shot 62% from the field.  Seth Tarver scored 19 points and Roeland Schaftenaar had 18. Against Cal State Bakersfield it got closer than expected in the final minute.  The Beavers had a 13-point lead in the second half that they saw whittled away to four in the final minute. Haynes and Schaftenaar both had big games again as Haynes scored 19 points and Schaftenaar had 20 points and eight rebounds.

7. Stanford (13-4, 3-4)
Last week: 01/22 W 77-55 at home vs. Oregon, 01/24 L 77-62 to Oregon State at home,
Next week: 01/29 at USC, 01/31 at UCLA

Anthony Goods led the way for Stanford with 20 points in the Cardinal win over Oregon.  Kenny Brown made only the second start of his career and knocked down three 3-pointers, had four assists, and three rebounds.  Landry Fields added 13 points for the Cardinal.  Stanford forced Oregon into making 20 turnovers.  In the second game of the week Stanford was not as successful.  They lost by 15 points at home to Oregon State.  Goods scored 15 points and Fields had 12 points and 11 rebounds.  Mitch Johnson missed both games this past week with a calf strain.

8. Arizona (12-8, 2-5)
Last week: 01/24 W 96-90 over Houston at home
Next week: 01/29 at home vs. Washington, 01/31 at home vs. Washington State

The Wildcats broke a three game losing streak and showed some life in a 15-point second half comeback.  Arizona was down nine with 52 seconds left in the game before going on a 13-to-4 run to tie the game at 88.  Jordan Hill finished with a career-high 30 points and 18 rebounds.  Nic Wise’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation knotted the score up at 88.  Wise finished with 23 points while Chase Budinger scored 15 points.

9. Washington State (11-8, 3-4)
Last week: 01/22 L 61-59 at home vs. UCLA, 01/24 L 46-44 at home vs. USC
Next week: 01/29 at Arizona State, 01/31 at Arizona

Washington State lost two tough games at home this past week by a combined four points.  Marcus Capers’ three-point shot was the Cougars chance for a victory over UCLA, but it was off target. Capers drive the possession before cut the lead to two, but the Cougars could not convert.  Caleb Forrest led the way with 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting.  Aaron Baynes added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

10. Oregon  (6-14, 0-8)
Last week: 01/22 L 77-55 at Stanford, 01/24 L 76-69 at California
Next week: 01/31 at Oregon State, 02/05 at home vs. Arizona State

Oregon is still searching for their first victory. Tajuan Porter averaged 20 points this week including 26 points against Cal.  The freshmen Michael Dunigan and Garrett Sim have had a tough stretch.  Each has only scored in double-digits once in the past seven games.

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