Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week FourPosted by AMurawa on December 5th, 2011
Improvement. Two weeks ago, Pac-12 conference teams posted an 11-17 record against Division I teams. This week, they were 14-7. Yes, the wins in there are mostly over teams like McNeese State, Pepperdine, UC Riverside and Grambling, but a few Pac-12 schools scored some decent wins, such as Arizona taking care of New Mexico State and Colorado beating of Georgia (although they came back a couple of nights later and lost a heartbreaker against their in-state rival, Colorado State). And then there was the weekend, which kicked things off in proper fashion with Washington looking sloppy in a road loss at Nevada. On Saturday, UCLA looked like the team we expected to see for 16 minutes, before turning into the team we’re getting used to seeing for the rest of the game in a home loss to Texas. USC was dominated by Minnesota, Oregon let BYU run away in the second half, and Utah – well, poor Utah. Nevertheless, though we may be grading on a curve here, we’ve got some excellent report cards to hand out.
Team of the Week
Stanford – Stanford had the biggest win of the week Sunday night, bouncing back from a 12-point second half deficit to knock off a solid North Carolina State team to make it a perfect 3-0 week for the Cardinal. While the earlier wins over Pacific and Seattle aren’t going to do them much good when the selection committee gets around to discussing them in March, they at least did what they were supposed to do in those games, winning by a combined total of 65 points. Johnny Dawkins’ team had six different players score in double figures at least once this week, with Josh Owens, Chasson Randle, Aaron Bright and Anthony Brown doing so twice.
Player of the Week
Solomon Hill, Jr, Arizona – Sean Miller praised Solomon Hill up and down this past week, saying that he “is clearly playing better than he ever has,” and that he is a “jack-of-all-trades in a very positive way for us.” Through eight games, Hill leads the Wildcats in minutes played, points and assists, and is second on the team in rebounding. According to Ken Pomeroy’s initial individual rankings, Hill is the most efficient contributor on the team. And this week was a good summation of what Hill does for this team. He averaged 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and five assists while playing an average of 34 minutes a night, shooting a 65.8% eFG and knocking down three threes in the Wildcats’ two wins.
Newcomer of the Week
Spencer Dinwiddie, Fr, Colorado – In an up-and-down week for the Buffaloes, Dinwiddie was not only the most consistent of CU’s impressive freshmen guards, he was probably the best player on the team. He scored 16 points in each game, grabbed 7.5 rebounds per contest and added three long-range bombs as well. The freshman from Los Angeles had averaged just 4.8 points per game prior to this week, but earned significantly more playing time this week and played with an offensive aggressiveness that he had not earlier displayed. If he and classmate Askia Booker can continue to improve as they have done in recent games, the Buffs could be a solid middle of the Pac team come conference play.