Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week 17Posted by AMurawa on March 5th, 2012
Team of the Week
UCLA – In the middle of last week, it certainly seemed doubtful that it would be the week of the Bruin. An article critical of head coach Ben Howland and the state of the program appeared in Sports Illustrated and the problems around Westwood were the talk of the college basketball world. But, a few days and a couple season-capping wins later and the Bruins are one of the hotter teams in the conference heading into the Pac-12 Tournament. UCLA came out Thursday on fire and ran Washington State off of the court, handing out assists on 26 of their 32 field goals and playing smothering defense on the way to a 32-point victory. Then, on Saturday, they kept Washington from clinching the conference title (temporarily at least) in a stirring team effort that left the program feeling pretty darn good about itself. All things considered, for a week in which a controversial article ripped the program to shreds, things couldn’t have gone a whole lot better.
Player of the Week
Devoe Joseph, Senior, Oregon – If the Bruins aren’t the hottest team in the conference right now, then the Ducks sure are. And a big part of the reason for that is the play of Joseph, who has been doing it all for Dana Altman recently. This week, Joseph hit 19 of his 25 field goal attempts (including five of his eight attempts from deep) for an average of 22.5 points per night, all while chipping in five assists, five rebounds and a steal or two per game. While the Ducks may be on the outside looking in right now, with regards to the NCAA Tournament, Joseph is a big reason why they are a significant threat to earn the conference’s automatic bid.
Newcomer of the Week
Carlos Emory, Junior, Oregon – The junior college transfer took some time to get comfortable in his new digs; in his first 20 games he only scored in double figures once. However, right about the time when calendars were being flipped to February, the light clicked on for Emory. Since he played 20 minutes in a home loss to Oregon State on January 29th, Emory has been a major cog for the Ducks. Over the final ten games of the season, he has scored in double figures seven times and has averaged 11 points per night, and this week it was a total of 33 points (on 12-of-16 shooting) with eight rebounds to boot.
Dunk of the Week
No, we don’t normally hand out a dunk of the week in this section. But then again, we don’t usually see dunks in games where a player jumps completely over their defender on the way to the rim. That’s the kind of stuff that normally bores you when you’re watching the NBA Dunk Contest or something. But when you see it in a game, as Oregon’s Olu Ashaolu did to Utah’s Javon Dawson on Saturday, that’s impressive.