Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week 3Posted by AMurawa on November 28th, 2011
Since we last did this the Pac-12 has gone 11-17 against Division I schools. And among those wins, we have to count victories over Houston Baptist, Denver, and Towson as positives. Eight Pac-12 schools played in tournaments this week, and between those eight schools, the conference posted a 4-14 record against D-I schools. There has been plenty of talk about how bad the conference has been, with losses to Loyola Marymount, Middle Tennessee State, Pepperdine, Cal Poly, and Montana State littering the resume, but this week the big conferences got a crack at Pac-12 schools and the results were not pretty.
So, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Honors. Hmmm, there have got to be some lying around here somewhere.
Team of the Week
Stanford – Last week Oregon State took this award and had done enough positive things to have Pac-12 fans be encouraged about their upside. Even a tough loss Monday night to Vanderbilt in the Legends Classic did little to dampen those expectations. Stanford’s week at the NIT Season Tip-Off was pretty similar, in that a strong semifinal win over Oklahoma State gave way to a hard-fought loss to a highly-ranked veteran Syracuse team in the championship game. And yet, despite the loss, Stanford proved that this team has taken great strides over last year’s team, has youngsters improving on a night-by-night basis, and could be a factor in the race for the conference title and in NCAA Tournament bid discussions. Sophomore guard Aaron Bright won himself some fans in New York City, posting 28 points, eight assists, and six threes over the two nights at Madison Square Garden, while the Cardinal also showed a knack for getting role players to step up when needed, as little-used sophomore John Gage contibuted ten points, a couple of threes, and a couple of charges drawn in his 12 minutes.
Player of the Week
Devon Collier, So, Oregon State – Collier has turned into a very consistent player for the Beavers after suffering through ups and downs last year. He has scored in double figures in OSU’s last five games (including an average of 17 points per game this week), and is Craig Robinson’s most versatile player. Not only can he guard multiple positions on the defensive end he is also a solid rebounder, a good passer, and a highly efficient scorer although he could certainly stand to improve his free throw shooting. In the Beavers’ two games this week, he made 15 of his 23 field goal attempts, grabbed ten rebounds, blocked four shots, swiped four steals, and handed out four assists. He is a large part of the reason for Oregon State’s early season improvements.
Newcomer of the Week
Chasson Randle, Fr, Stanford – After some predictable struggles out of the gate, Randle found his rhythm in New York City and made major positive contributions to the Cardinal this week. Largely playing off of the ball, the freshman from Illinois knocked down five of his nine three-point attempts on his way to 29 points in Stanford’s two NIT games. Randle’s long arms also helped him provide stingy defense and earned him big minutes down the stretch against Syracuse. He still needs to work on taking better care of the ball and getting his teammates involved more (his 0.55-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio demonstrates that), but Johnny Dawkins has to be pleased with the recent production out of his prized recruit.