Checking in on the… Pac-10

Posted by rtmsf on February 19th, 2009

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

Pac-10 Tidbits.

  • Freshman extraordinaire Isaiah Thomas is averaging 16.5 points a game for Washington. His 413 points so far on the season are the second-highest point total for a freshman in Washington history.
  • Jon Brockman is putting together another solid season for the Huskies.  Against Oregon he registered his 54th double-double of his career. That is the most of any active player.
    • Jon Brockman, Washington      54
    • John Bryant, Santa Clara           45
    • Jeff Adrien, Connecticut           44
    • Luke Harangody, Notre Dame   43
    • Tyler Hansbrough, UNC           41
  • Brockman also holds the Washinton career record for rebounds with 1,159 and is the only Husky in history to total 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds.  Check out this video the University of Washington made to market its All-American  candidate.
  • Arizona State’s season sweep of UCLA was their first since 2002-03 and first by any team over UCLA since Washington did it in 2005-06.
  • Arizona’s six-game conference winning streak is the longest by any Pac-10 team this year.
  • When you hear “Big Three” Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen shouldn’t come to mind, but rather Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise.  They have combined to account for 69 percent (1,303 of 1,877 points) of the Wildcats scoring.

Player of the week

Justin Dentmon continues to play himself into the Pac-10 player of the year discussion with another big week. Dentmon averaged 24.5 points a game on 16-for-24 shooting, including 10-for-14 from downtown, and 4.5 assists in Washington’s undefeated week.

Honorable Mention:

Nic Wise continues to lead Arizona back into the Pac-10 race. Wise averaged 26.5 points this past week on 17-for-24 shooting.  Derek Glasser came up big in Arizona State’s 2-0 week. Glasser averaged 16.5 points a game, almost a full ten over his season average. Glasser also had five assists a game and came through with a huge three-pointer against UCLA.

Team of the week

Arizona continued their hot play with wins over both Los Angeles teams at home this past week. They have won six straight in conference, seven overall, and the win over UCLA firmly puts them in the tournament. Nic Wise has been playing unbelievable recently and Chase Budinger has been shooting how everyone expected him to since the beginning.

Game of the week

Arizona State’s second victory over UCLA this season has to be considered the best. The game was full of intensity and it was the loudest and most packed Wells Fargo Arena has been this year. The end of the game did not disappoint with a questionable charge/block call on Darren Collison followed by ASU running away with it with a dunk by Jeff Pendergraph finishing it off.

Best game(s) of the upcoming week:

  • 02/19 Washington at UCLA– Even with UCLA having a tough recent week, they still have only been beaten once this year at the Pauley Pavilion. If the Bruins can rebound with a victory here it will make the top of the Pac-10 even closer. It would put four teams within half a game of each other at 10-4 or 9-4, assuming California beats Oregon.
  • 02/22 Arizona at Arizona State- This game can solidify Arizona’s inclusion off the bubble and in the tournament if they can win. The Sun Devils do not want to slip up in the last game of their home stand especially after the momentum of the victory over UCLA. Arizona State is basically a lock for the tournament, but every loss will hurt their seeding from here on out.

Team Rankings

1. Arizona (18-8, 8-5)

Last week: 02/12 W 83-76 over USC at home, 02/14 W 84-72 over UCLA at home
Next week: 02/22 at Arizona State

Arizona continued to be the hottest team in the Pac-10 and one of the hottest in the country winning both games at home this week. The victory over USC was important come selection Sunday as both teams are considered on the bubble.  Nic Wise came up big in the last minute including a three-pointer and couple free throws to help Arizona pull away. Wise finished with 27 points and Chase Budinger added 25. Both teams combined shot 22-for-37 from three-point range in the game. Arizona’s win over UCLA was even more important. They are one loss out of third place. Wise had another big game scoring 26 points and Jordan Hill added 22 and 13 rebounds. Budinger also had 18 points for Arizona who started off 2-5 in Pac-10 play and has won six straight since.

2. Washington (19-6, 10-3)

Last week: 02/12 W 79-60 over Oregon State at home, W 103-84 over Oregon at home
Next week: 02/19 at UCLA, 02/21 at USC

Washington took care of business this week by beating both of the Oregon teams at home to regain first place in the Pac-10. In the first game Justin Dentmon scored 28 points off of seven three-pointers. Dentmon also had seven assists.  The only other player in double figures was Quincy Pondexter with 11 points. The Huskies handled Oregon with ease in a nineteen-point wire-to-wire win.  At halftime they already had built a twenty-four-point lead. Jon Brockman had 21 points and 18 rebounds, while the guard play was terrific. Isaiah Thomas led the way with 24 points and Dentmon added 21 points.

3. Arizona State (20-5, 9-4)

Last week: 02/12 W 74-67 over UCLA at home, 02/15 W 65-53 over USC at home
Next week: 02/22 at home vs. Arizona

After losing two straight at home against the Washington teams, Arizona State has went on a four-game winning streak.  The win over UCLA gave them a season sweep, which may be enough to make them a lock for the tournament. Derek Glasser hit a huge three-pointer to put the Sun Devils up two with just over a minute remaining. James Harden found him for one of his 11 assists on the night to go with 15 points. Jeff Pendergraph culminated the night with a dunk off an alley-oop from Glasser. Pendergraph finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Glasser had 15 points and five assists. Against USC Glasser had another big game scoring 18 points. Pendergraph added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Harden once again had a tough time against the stellar defense by Daniel Hackett, but finished with 13 points compared to the four last meeting.

4. UCLA (19-6, 8-4)

Last week: 02/12 L 74-67 at Arizona State, 02/14 L 84-72 at Arizona
Next week: 02/19 at home vs. Washington, 02/21 at home vs. Washington State

UCLA had a tough week in the state of Arizona.  The Bruins lost both games falling to a tie for third in the Pac-10. UCLA had won their previous four games at home, but the defense fell apart against Arizona State. They allowed ASU to shoot sixty percent from the field and were outrebounded by a margin of six. UCLA was down early, but managed to come back and tie the game at the half. The last two minutes were wild, and a big charge call on Darren Collison was the last chance UCLA had to tie it.  Replays show Jeff Pendergraph may have still been moving, but Arizona State when onto score the last five points for a final margin of victory by seven. Trying to rebound against Arizona was not successful, as the Bruins lost by twelve.  They were down at halftime by eighteen, by as many as twenty-five in the second half and could not overcome the deficit. Collison scored 26 points including 6-for-10 from three-point range. It was the first time all year UCLA has lost two straight.

5. California (19-6, 8-4)

Last week: 02/14 W 82-75 over Stanford at home
Next week: 02/19 at Oregon, 02/21 at Oregon State

California was victorious in their only game last week. The win gives the Golden Bears three straight as they make a push for an at-large bid in the tournament. They will have to take care of business on the road next week in Oregon.  In their last game, Cal fell behind early by as many as 22. They were down by 14 at half, but rallied to an 82-75 victory. They outscored Stanford 46-25 in the second half.  Patrick Christopher had 21 points and Jerome Randle had 18 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. The bench played a big part as two players scored double figures off it. Jorge Gutierrez scored 10 points, had eight rebounds, and five steals. Harper Kamp had 11 points, and secured eight rebounds.

6. USC (15-9, 6-6)

Last week: 02/12 L 83-76 at Arizona, 02/15 L 65-53 at Arizona State
Next week: 02/19 at home vs. Washington State, 02/21 at home vs. Washington

After USC got back into the hunt winning a couple at home, they blew three straight on the road severely hurting their bubble chances. They lost to fellow Pac-10 team on the bubble, Arizona, and then lost at Arizona State. The loss to Arizona especially hurt because they led by four with three and a half minutes remaining. Dwight Lewis was on fire hitting six three-pointers, but missed two big ones late in the game.  Lewis finished with 21 points and DeMar DeRozan and Daniel Hackett also each dropped 20. Next the Trojans traveled to Arizona State, but were no more successful. DeRozan led the way with 16 points, but USC suffered their first three game losing streak. USC has six games left, including four at home.  They should be favored in three, Washington being the only exception. It then will come down to at least splitting at Cal and at Stanford.  If USC does not win four of the final six games, they will be in a real tough spot come Pac-10 tournament time.  It may take them a run to the finals to get in the NCAA tournament.

7. Oregon State (11-103, 5-8)

Last week: 02/12 L 79-60 at Washington, 02/14 W 54-52 at Washington State
Next week: 02/19 at home vs. Stanford, 02/21 at home vs. California

In the first game of the week Oregon State lost at Pac-10 leader Washington. Calvin Haynes led the way with 15 points. After losing their last three games, Oregon State pulled one out at Washington State. The Beavers were down by as many as 13 on the road at Washington State, but rallied for a victory. Haynes scored 17 points and Seth Tarver added 13.

8. Washington State (13-12 5-8)

Last week: 02/12 W 67-38 over Oregon at home, 02/14 L 54-52 at home to Oregon State
Next week: 02/19 at USC, 02/21 at UCLA

Washington State broke their three-game losing streak with a victory over cellar dweller Oregon. Klay Thompson scored 25 points including five three-pointers. Taylor Rochestie had 16 points and Aron Baynes had 11 points and nine rebounds. In the second game of the week they lost by two to Oregon State. Klay Thompson had 20 points in the loss as Wsahington State blew a thirteen-point lead at home.

9. Stanford (15-8, 4-8)

Last week: 02/14 L 82-75 at California
Next week: 02/19 at Oregon State, 02/21 at Oregon

Stanford has not been able to regain footing as they suffered yet another Pac-10 loss. They are 1-5 in their last six Pac-10 games. This time the loss was at the hands of Cal.  The Cardinal blew a 22-point lead including a fourteen-point lead at halftime.  Five Stanford players finished in double figures, but they only made one three-pointer in the second half.  Stanford also only had one field goal in the final eight minutes. Landry Fields led the way with 16 points.

10. Oregon  (6-19, 0-13)

Last week: 02/12 L 67-38 at WSU, 02/14 L 103-84 at Washington
Next week: 02/19 at home vs. Cal, 02/21 at home vs. Stanford

Oregon’s long season continued with two more losses to add to the thirteen-game losing streak. The Ducks traveled into the state of Washington and were throttled in both games including a season low 38 points against Washington State. Oregon shot only 21 percent from the field. Drew Wiley was the only Duck to get double figures with 10 points. At Washington the offense played considerably better, especially in the second half when they posted a season-high 59 points, but the result was still the same. Tajuan Porter scored 33 including 27 in the second half. LeKendric Longmire, Michael Dunigan and Garrett Sim all finished in double figures.

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