Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week SixPosted by AMurawa on December 24th, 2012
Back before the season began, we figured that the Pac-12 would be dominated by a pair of teams: Arizona and UCLA. And prior to this week, one of those teams – Arizona – has dominated our weekly honors, earning the last three Team of the Week nods. Well, this week, based on a schedule that didn’t exactly feature the most brilliant competition in the world, that other team – UCLA – earns some recognition of its own, sweeping our awards for the week.
Team of the Week – UCLA
I’ll just come right out and say it: we were suffering a little Arizona fatigue and looking for an excuse – any excuse – to write about some team other than the Wildcats in this spot. We looked at Colorado, who blew out a bad Northern Arizona team by 47; we briefly considered giving Arizona State the nod on the strength of a road win over a major conference team (albeit, arguably the worst major conference team in the nation) in Texas Tech. But in the end we give the Bruins the benefit of the doubt for a pair of wins over middling mid-major programs, Long Beach State and Fresno State. But, more so than the mere fact of a couple of ho-hum wins, UCLA gets the nod because we finally got a glimpse of some of what we were expecting from their talented batch of freshmen. The trio of Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams combined for per-game averages of 62.5 points, 23.5 rebounds, nine assists, six steals, and a 66.7% effective field goal rate this week as the team is rounding into an offensive juggernaut. Well, at least against bad teams. Missouri looms on Friday evening and if UCLA can do the Pac-12 proud in that one, it’s a good bet we’ll be writing about them again next week.
Player of the Week – Jordan Adams, UCLA
We’ve talked about Adams in these parts before, when he took home the Newcomer of the Week award in week one, but this past week he took it to a whole different level. Back at the start of the season, Adams was playing without Shabazz Muhammad alongside him so he had the opportunity to take just about all the shots he wanted to take. This past week, Adams proved that he’s more than capable of sharing the stage with Muhammad and still performing at an insanely efficient level. Check this out: He took 25 shots this week and missed just seven, and five of those shots that went in were from three-point land. If you’re doing the math, that’s 41 points from the field on just 25 shots, or an effective field goal percentage of 82%. That’s good. That’s real good. Throw in 12 boards, seven assists, six steals and zero turnovers and that’s about as close as you’re going to come to a perfect week.
Newcomer of the Week – Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Yeah, Jordan Adams is a newcomer and he’s our player of the week, so that means he should be our newcomer of the week, right? Well, Muhammad is slightly newer of a newcomer, having arrived on the scene a bit later than Adams, so we found a way to justify splitting these awards. Muhammad had himself a pretty darn good week in his own right, averaging 24 points, 6.5 boards and posting a 59.1% effective field goal rate. He doesn’t have as complete of a game as Adams (or even Kyle Anderson – hey Slo Mo, we saw your per-game averages of 14 points, 11 boards, 5.5 assists and two steals also, but just ran out of space), but Muhammad is a dedicated scorer who is just beginning to round into the shape we expected from him back before the season began. He’s scored in double figures in all of his games in a UCLA uniform and has posted 20 or better in his last three outings, albeit against less than stellar competition.