Checking in on the… Pac-10Posted by nvr1983 on March 5th, 2009
Michael Hurley is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 Conference.
News & Notes
- Washington has clinched their first regular season Pac-10 title since 1985 and with a win against Washington State can clinch their first outright conference title since 1953.
- Washington State’s first senior class of Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes, Caleb Forest, and Daven Harmeling is its first to defeat all nine Pac-10 rivals since 1989.
- Darren Collison is shooting 91.8 percent (89-for-97) from the free-throw line this year good for second in the nation, and second on the UCLA all-time single-season chart.
- It may not make Oregon feel any better, but Pomeroy College Basketball ranks Oregon’s schedule as the toughest in the nation.
Some three-point information
- California still leads the nation in three-point accuracy, at 43.9 percent.
- Junior guard Jerome Randle is two shy of the team record 68 set by Ryan Drew in 1990.
- Theo Robertson has hit 52.2 percent of his three-point attempts this year which would be the highest in school history, and is first in California career percentage at 44.3.
- Junior guard Tajuan Porter of Oregon is second all time in team history in three-pointers made with 269. The leader is Orlando Williams with 282.
Player of the week: Jon Brockman
Brockman scored 17.5 points per game and pulled down 10.5 rebounds in the two victories for Washington this past week. Brockman came up big in overtime against ASU scoring the first two baskets.
Freshman Klay Thompson scored 16.5 points per game this past week fueled in part by 7-for-15 shooting from three-point range. Thompson also pulled down seven rebounds in the victory over Arizona State. Darren Collison scored 14.5 points a game for UCLA in the past week when the Bruins bounced back with two wins. He also posted five assists a game. Arizona was winless this past week, but could not find much fault in Jordan Hill who averaged 21 points, and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Team of the week: Washington
The whole year the Pac-10 has been up and down waiting for a leader to pull away from the pack. It seems like Washington did just that in the second to final week of the season. They won three games, including two Pac-10 ones. The victory over second place Arizona State created some separation between themselves and the rest of the league. Even if UCLA wins out, Washington still controls their destiny. Even if Washington loses they own a share of the Pac-10 regular season crown.
Game of the week
The Arizona State – Washington match-up was everything it lived up to be. The game got sent to overtime because of mental mistakes by Justin Dentmon, but he then proceeded to take the game over in the extra period scoring six points. The match up between Jeff Pendergraph and Jon Brockman was great to watch.
Best game of the upcoming week
02/26 Washington State at Washington– Washington has a chance to clinch the outright Pac-10 regular season championship with a victory at home on the last day of the season. In-state rival Washington State will do everything in their power to prevent it from happening. The Cougars have won their last three games, at UCLA and at home over both Arizona teams. Even a victory at Washington will not be enough to push them into tournament consideration, but at least it will give the team the confidence that they can win the Pac-10 tournament.
1. Washington (23-7, 13-4)
Last week: 02/26 W 73-70 over ASU at home, 02/28 W 83-78 over Arizona at home, 03/03 W 87-60 over Seattle at home
Next week: 03/07 at home vs. Washington State
Washington’s overtime win over Arizona State gave them a comfortable game and a half lead over first place in the Pac-10. Justin Dentmon hit six free throws in overtime to help the Huskies get the key victory. Jon Brockman led the way with 21 points in a game that the Sun Devils forced overtime because of mental lapses by Dentmon at the end of regulation. Washington shot only thirty-eight percent from the field including eleven percent from three-point range. They blew a thirteen-point first half lead, but went 25-for-31 from the foul line. Washington’s victory over Arizona was due to a 52 point second half for the Huskies. Brockman had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas also scored 19 points for the Huskies who clinched a share of the Pac-10 regular season title with the victory. In a cupcake game before finishing off against in-state rival WSU, Washington trounced Seattle 87-60. Washington held a 42-19 halftime advantage. Eleven men saw 10 minutes or more for Washington, while only three played over 20 minutes. Brockman led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
2. UCLA (22-7, 11-5)
Last week: 02/26 W 76-71 at Stanford, 02/28 W 72-68 at Cal
Next week: 03/05 at home vs. Oregon State, 03/07 at home vs. Oregon
After UCLA had lost three out of the last four, they rebounded this past week with two victories. Josh Shipp led the Bruins in their victory over Stanford. Shipp was the team leader with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. The win kept their hopes alive for a Pac-10 crown. UCLA’s victory over Cal was only the second time this year Cal did not leave Haas Pavilion victorious. Darren Collison scored 22 points including 16 in the second stanza. Nikola Dragovic, Alfred Aboya, and Shipp all reached double digits for the Bruins.
3. Arizona State (21-7, 10-6)
Last week: 02/26 L 73-70 at Washington, 02/28 L 51-49 at Washington State
Next week: 03/05 at home vs. Stanford, 03/07 at home vs. Cal
Arizona State went into Seattle envisioning a win that could vault them into first place in the Pac-10. They came away with a sour taste in their mouth as their dreams evaporated. A three-point loss to Washington in overtime virtually knocked them out of the Pac-10 regular season championship race. Jeff Pendergraph scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds and James Harden had 19 points including the game-tying dunk at the end of regulation. Both players were in foul trouble that hurt them at the defensive side of the game. Harden had four fouls for the final nine minutes of regulation and fouled out early in overtime and Pendergraph had a tough time guarding forward Jon Brockman when he got charged with his fourth foul. Arizona State had another tough overtime loss in Pullman against WSU. Ty Abbott had a shot at the buzzer to win it, but it bounced off the rim. Harden fouled out of his second straight game, a first for the star. However, Harden did hit the three free-throws to send the game into overtime.
4. Washington State (16-13, 8-9)
Last week: 02/26 W 69-53 over Arizona at home, 02/28 W 51-49 over Arizona State at home
Next week: 03/07 at Washington
Washington won two games this week pushing their winning streak to three. Their sixteen-point victory against Arizona was in large part because of a big second half. Taylor Rochestie scored 17 points, Klay Thompson had 16 points, and Caleb Forrest 15. The Cougars opened up the second half with a 21-6 run erasing a three-point deficit. Against Arizona State, Rochestie hit a three-pointer with two second left in overtime to lift the Cougars to victory. Thompson had 17 points and seven rebounds.
5. California (21-8, 10-6)
Last week: 02/16 W 81-78 over USC at home, 02/28 L 72-68 to UCLA at home
Next week: 03/05 at Arizona, 03/07 at Arizona State
California split their two games this past week. Patrick Christopher led the way in the victory over USC, scoring a career-high 29 points, including eight in overtime. It didn’t appear that Cal would need overtime as they had a 10-point lead with seven minutes remaining. Jerome Randle added 15 points and eight assists. Cal had a two-point lead over UCLA at home before falling 72-68. Cal led the game as late as the nine-minute mark in the second half. Randle scored 20 points, Christopher had 16, and Theo Robertson added 14.
6. Arizona (18-9, 8-6)
Last week: 02/26 L 69-53 at Washington State, L 83-78 at Washington
Next week: 03/05 at home vs. Cal, 03/07 at home vs. Stanford
The Wildcats could not pull out a victory this past week in Washington. They lost both games at WSU, and at Washington. Against Washington State Arizona actually held a three point lead at halftime, but was blown away in the second half. Chase Budinger had a poor day shooting. He only shot 3-for-11. Nic Wise led the Wildcats with 19 points on only nine shots from the field. Jordan Hill also posted a solid line of 15 points and nine rebounds. The Wildcats then traveled to Seattle to play Pac-10 leader Washington. The result was just as disappointing. A four-point halftime lead vanished in the second half. The Wildcats only shot 29 percent from three-point range including a dismal 1-for-8 from Wise. Despite good games from Budinger, 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting and 8 rebounds, and Hill, 27 points and 10 rebounds, the Wildcats could not pull out a victory. By losing the last three games they sit square on the bubble, Lunardi has them as his last team in at the moment.
7. USC (16-12, 7-9)
Last week: 02/26 L 81-78 at California, 02/28 L 75-63 at Stanford
Next week: 03/05 at home vs. Oregon, 03/07 at home vs. Oregon State
USC lost two more games this past week, and have only won one out of their last seven. Anything short of a miracle in the Pac-10 tournament assures the Trojans they will not be in the NCAA tournament. Against Cal USC lost in overtime by three. Despite Daniel Hackett’s 26 points he missed a three-pointer at the buzzer in OT to tie the game. USC went on a fervent second half run to knot the game up at 65 going into overtime. At the Maples Pavilion USC blew a four-point halftime lead to Stanford. The Trojans gave up 46 second-half points and allowed Stanford to shoot 12-for-22 from downtown. At the same time USC shot an abysmal 9-for-21 from the foul line. Taj Gibson scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds. Without his perfect 5-for-5 day from the line, USC shot even worse, 4-for-16 from the charity stripe
8. Stanford (15-10, 4-10)
Last week: 02/26 L 76-71 to UCLA at home, W 75-63 over USC at home
Next week: 03/05 at Arizona State, 03/07 at Arizona
Stanford lost to UCLA by five points to begin the week. Stanford played good, they shot 7-for-14 from three point and even held a slim one-point advantage at halftime, but had trouble defending UCLA. Anthony Goods scored 18 points, while Landry Fields added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Stanford ended their four-game losing streak against USC. Goods led Stanford with 20 points and Kenny Brown chipped in with 14 points. Stanford held USC to three points in the final four minutes of the game to run away with it.
9. Oregon State (13-14, 7-9)
Last week: 03/01 L 79-69 at Oregon
Next week: 03/05 at UCLA, 03/07 at USC
The Beavers loss at Oregon was tough, because it was the first of a season ending three-game road trip. On paper it appeared to be the best shot at a victory for Oregon State. At halftime it looked like the Beavers would secure the victory as they ran out to a ten-point lead. Early in the second half the Beavers’ lead reached 14 points, before a 19-5 run tied the game with just over twelve minutes left. Oregon took the lead and did not relinquish it the rest of the game. Calvin Haynes scored 16 points for the Beavers.
10. Oregon (8-20, 2-14)
Last week: 03/01 W 79-69 over Oregon State at home
Next week: 03/05 at USC, 03/07 at UCLA
In Oregon’s only game of the week they secured their second straight Pac-10 victory after losing the previous fourteen straight. Oregon’s win over Oregon State was sparked by Tajuan Porter’s 24 points. Matt Humphrey finished with 17 points. The Ducks played great ball in the second half scoring 51 points while turning the ball over just once.