Pac-12 Roundup: Week FourPosted by Connor Pelton & Andrew Murawa on December 10th, 2013
Out of the country? Living under a rock? Here’s what you missed in the fourth week of Pac-12 basketball.
Power Rankings (As voted upon by Connor Pelton, Andrew Murawa, and Adam Butler):
Arizona is once again the unanimous favorite, with Oregon the unanimous runner-up. From there, things get muddied, but we all agree that while there isn’t a lot of difference between Washington State and, say, USC, the Cougars have the basement sewn up tight.
- Arizona State
- Oregon State
- Washington State
Game of the Week: Kansas @ Colorado: Marshall Henderson and Mike Moser trading punches and going to overtime deep in the heart of SEC country might have taken this title any other week, but this spot belongs to the thrilling meeting between Kansas and Colorado in Boulder over the weekend. The Buffaloes came in as winners of their last eight, but they had been handled easily by their only other Big 12 opponent on their schedule, Baylor, on the first night of the season. In front of a raucous sold-out home crowd on Saturday, they were determined not to let it happen again. It appeared as if coach Tad Boyle and Colorado had the signature win locked up with 1:40 remaining, up 68-62, but a 10-4 Jayhawks’ run, made possible by some crucial missed free throws, tied the game with five seconds to go. That was just where the Buffs wanted their old Big 12 mates. Askia Booker received an inbounds pass and took two dribbles and a euro-step before launching a three-pointer that sent the C-Unit into a frenzy, dog-piling and rushing the court.
Team of the Week: Colorado. While a strong case was made for Arizona as this week’s winner based on their body of work and new national #1 ranking, everybody up and down the coast has to be pleased with Colorado’s upset of Jayhawks in Boulder. Not only does it boost the conference’s RPI ceiling, but it gives the Pac-12 four solid teams at the top of the league that figure to duke it out come conference play.
Player of the Week: Askia Booker, Junior, Colorado. We’ve already linked to it above, but you know, this kind of play is the sort that turns a player into a conference Player of the Week.
Yeah, we could fund players with better numbers over the course of the week, but given the fact that Booker really needed something to go right for him and the fact that this win establishes the type of progress that the Buffaloes have made since they looked awful in the first week of the season, Booker’s capper not only makes for a big personal accomplishment but a big win for his squad and the conference. And the actual numbers? 13.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 APG, 43.8% eFG? Yeah, there are a dozen players in the conference with better numbers over the last week, but I dare you to find me one guy with a bigger play.
Newcomer of the Week: Mike Moser, Senior, Oregon. Moser only played one game last week, but his 24-point, 10-board, triple three-pointer performance in an overtime win at Ole Miss proved exactly the type of high profile threat the UNLV transfer can bring to a undermanned Ducks’ frontcourt. While the Rebels don’t exactly provide a stellar froncourt themselves, it was a breakout performance for Moser, especially following a ridiculously bad effort in his last game.
Freshman of the Week: Zach LaVine, Freshman, UCLA. So, um. Zach LaVine vs. Missouri. Yeah, that’s good. But, frankly, if we’re going to give a freshman this award for one play, why not give it to Aaron Gordon, whose block in the waning minutes against UNLV probably saved the game and gave his team the win? I don’t have a good answer for that question, other than two votes LaVine, one vote Gordon.