Pac-12 Morning Five: 1.10.12 EditionPosted by AMurawa on January 10th, 2012
- Utah did something this weekend that they had given no indication they were capable of doing this year: not only did they win a game in conference play, they were extremely competitive in both of their games. The difference between the Ute team this past weekend and the team that lost by 31 to Cal State Fullerton (just to pick one lowlight from the non-conference schedule)? This Utah team has been playing their hearts out defensively. Give credit to head coach Larry Krystkowiak for keeping his team’s attention and give credit to the players for buying in.
- Utah’s new conference-designated rival, Colorado, is also experiencing good things in their first year in their new conference. The Buffaloes sit atop the Pac-12 standings with a 3-0 record and head coach Tad Boyle sees his team coming together as the season progresses. However, last year the Buffaloes started play in the Big 12 with a 3-0 record and then proceeded to lose four straight and six out of seven games on its way toward missing the NCAA Tournament. In other words, good work Buffs; now get back to work. Elsewhere in Boulder, CU had a little milestone Monday as Carlon Brown became the first Buffalo to win a Pac-12 Player of the Week award. His 23-point average and nine-of-15 shooting from deep made his selection more or less a no-brainer.
- Lorenzo Romar got a mid-season present yesterday when Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a tight end on the Washington football team, announced he would be playing basketball for the Huskies this season. Seferian-Jenkins is a 6’6” 258-pound physical specimen who averaged 19 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in high school. Seferian-Jenkins began practice with the team yesterday, but there is no current timetable for when he will actually play for the Huskies, and his role on the team when he does get some minutes remains to be seen.
- UCLA got back to .500 in the conference this past weekend, in no small part due to the play of senior guard Lazeric Jones. Jones averaged 10.5 points, seven assists and four rebounds per game this weekend, and is the Bruins leading scorer and assist-man this year. Jones has always played the point in his basketball career, but in recent games has given up his primary ballhandling role in order to play on the wing and be more of a scorer for UCLA.
- Lastly, after stealing a win in Spokane to become the sole Pac-12 team to win on the road in the opening weekend of conference play, Oregon had its serve broken on Sunday night by California, falling back to .500. That makes successive weekends where the Ducks came out on Thursday night and played well, only to mail it in on the weekend and fall by double digits. Head coach Dana Altman knows that the Ducks will need to work on improving the consistency of the effort they put out.