A Recap Of Opening Weekend in the Pac-12Posted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) on November 11th, 2013
The Pac-12 opened the 2013-14 season with a big splash in South Korea and ended with a head-scratching upset in Corvallis. Let’s take a closer look at how the conference fared through the first three days of the regular season.
Best Game – Oregon vs Georgetown: The stage couldn’t have been bigger. A top 20 Oregon team, missing two of its starters after receiving suspensions earlier in the week, against a good Georgetown club, being played in South Korea on ESPN at the Armed Forces Classic. The Ducks jumped out to a 19-9 lead on the Hoyas before they finally found their offense, but Georgetown eventually settled down and got a Mikael Hopkins jumper with 10 seconds remaining in the first half to pull within three. Oregon held onto a lead for the final 15 minutes of the game, but each time it looked as if it would pull away, Georgetown would come up with a big stop to stay within striking distance. The dagger came with two and a half minutes to play, as senior Richard Amardi slammed home a dunk to end a mini-Hoya run, putting the Ducks up 73-68. Junior guard Joseph Young led Oregon with 24 points and five rebounds.
Upsets – Only one, but it was a biggie. Coppin State, who was picked to finish ninth in the MEAC, went into Corvallis without its best player and topped Oregon State, 78-73. The Beavers, of course, were without two of their starting forwards, Devon Collier and Eric Moreland, so the loss may not be held against Craig Robinson‘s team if they are in the mix for an NCAA bid come March (assuming they’re in the mix at all). But regardless, this was a pathetic performance turned in by the Beavers. Except for a brief spurt of points from center Angus Brandt late in the second half, the only source of offense came from senior Roberto Nelson, who scored a career-high 36 points.
Player of the Week – DaVonte Lacy: Nelson, Young, or even Utah forward Jordan Loveridge would all be good picks, but let’s go a little off the radar and pick Lacy. The junior guard was everywhere for Washington State on Friday in its win against Cal State Bakersfield, scoring 28 points, grabbing six rebounds, and recording a key four steals. He scored eight straight points for the Cougars at one point midway through the second half, and his two free throws with 10 seconds to play put Wazzu up six and ended any thoughts of an upset.
Upcoming Game of the Week – Arizona @ San Diego State: The Wildcats and Aztecs will meet Thursday at 7:05 PM in San Diego. San Diego State is projected by most to sneak into the NCAA Tournament, while Arizona should be a #2 or #3 seed, according to the majority of prognosticators. But we have a while until talk turns to seeds and play-in-games. This game will feature some classic early-season, West Coast hoops at its finest. The Wildcats opened the season with a 73-62 victory against Cal Poly on Friday, using a balanced attack with two underclassmen, guard Gabe York and forward Aaron Gordon, to slowly put away the pesky Mustangs. Before the trip to Southern California, they’ll meet Long Beach State at the McKale Center on Monday night in the second game of the California mid-major stretch.
The Aztecs also find themselves at 1-0 after rolling over UC Riverside, 77-41. Senior guard Xavier Thames led the team with 15 points, while senior forward Josh Davis shined in the post, grabbing eight rebounds and recording a block and a steal. The Wildcats are by far the toughest opponent on San Diego State’s schedule up until Janaury 5, when Steve Fisher will take his team to Lawrence to face a top five Kansas club. You can catch the Arizona game on the CBS Sports Network.