Pac-12 Roundup: Week 11Posted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) & Andrew Murawa (@AMurawa) on January 29th, 2014
Out of the country? Living under a rock? Here’s what you missed in the 11th week of Pac-12 basketball.
Power Rankings (as voted upon by Connor Pelton and Andrew Murawa):
Arizona is once again the unanimous top choice this week, but the rest of this league is a jumbled mess. Check the full results below.
- Arizona (20-0, 2 Points). Comment: “Sky is blue, grass is green, Arizona is No. 1, Monday’s still suck” – @azdesertswarm
- UCLA (16-4, 4 Points). Comment: “Alford’s contract itself counts as theft or misappropriation of UCLA property.” – Gary Scott (@RB_GScott)
- Arizona State (15-5, 7 Points). Comment: “Hindsight might be 20/20, but Sendek’s mid-season makeover might have ultimately served dual purposes: muting the clamoring over his future in Tempe, while also preserving any chance ASU still has to make the NCAA tournament.” – Dave Dulberg (@TheDoubleD)
- California (14-6, 9 Points). Comment: “Well, 15 minutes left, but this looks like a lost weekend for Cal. Last week I was looking for a way to put them in the top 20 nationally.” – Andrew Murawa (@AMurawa)
- Stanford (13-6, 11 Points). Comment: “Ultimately always the story under Dawkins. Any success is unsustainable. (Except in the NIT!) – Scott Allen (@RuleofTree)
- Washington (13-8, 13 Points). Comment: “This performance, if nothing else, should dispel the nonsense about Coach Romar “rolling out the balls and letting the guys play undisciplined ball.” To dominate the game inside against a bigger opponent, and only “lob up” outside shots when necessary (nearly 70% of Washington’s baskets were either layups or from inside 5 feet), suggests a well though out game plan.” – Andy Wooldridge (@BuildingTheDam)
- Oregon (14-5, 14 Points). Comment: “The Oregon fans that said the four-game losing streak was nothing more than a fluke can stop now. This team has some serious issues. – Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28)
- Colorado (15-6, 16 Points). Comment: “Not a shock. Colorado MBB got no votes this week in the AP poll. First time all year they didn’t receive votes.” – Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33)
- Oregon State (11-8, 18 Points). Comment: “Coach Rob must be saving all his timeouts for the CBI.” – @beaverbkr
- Utah (14-6, 19 Points). Comment: “Larry Krystkowiak has clearly turned the Utes into a competitive program. Finishing is what’s left to do (see games vs. Oregon, WSU, ASU). – Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz)
- USC (10-10, 20 Points). Comment: “The Trojans fans haven’t really booed, because they know Enfield was hired too late to recruit his style of players. But the fans haven’t completely bought in yet, either, as they surely wonder whether Enfield’s two seasons in small and remote Fort Myers, Fla. — his only college head coaching experience — could have prepared him for this.” – Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke)
- Washington State (8-12, 24 Points). Comment: “I ate more tacos than Washington State two-point baskets in the same amount of time.” – Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28)
Best Game – Oregon @ Washington: While Sunday’s Stanford-USC game went to overtime, and typically any overtime game will take this honor, the contest at the Galen Center was ugly and ridden with fouls on fouls on fouls. The feeling three nights earlier in Seattle was much different. It didn’t necessarily seem like an NCAA Tournament game, more like a late-round NIT contest, with two up-and-down teams battling hard in an on-campus gym. Washington ended up getting the best of the rivalry matchup, pulling out a win in a game where no team led by more than seven points in the second half. Despite a combined 11 points from guards Joseph Young and Johnathan Loyd in the final 2:50, the Huskies were able to salt the game away at the free throw line for an 80-76 victory. Huskies’ senior C.J. Wilcox led all scorers with 23 points, while Young paced Oregon with 18. Washington’s home sweep of the Oregon schools keep it solidly within the NIT field at this point, but a 3-0 record on its upcoming road swing could put the Dawgs onto the NCAA bubble. The Ducks find themselves on that same bubble at the moment, but are definitely still in the field of 68 despite dropping five of their last six games. They’ll play host to UCLA tomorrow night in a huge game for Pac-12 positioning and national seeding purposes.
Team of the Week: UCLA – With a pair of impressive wins at home over the Bay Area teams, the Bruins have established themselves (for now) as the second-best team in the Pac-12 (nevermind for now that seven of their last 11 games will come on the road). Kyle Anderson is a bona fide star; Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine are explosive scorers; Norman Powell continues to have a breakout year; and the frontcourt gets just enough done. The Bruins still have a ways to go to prove their worth, but with a ton of upside, now is the time to buy stock in Steve Alford’s club.
Player of the Week: Roberto Nelson, Senior, Oregon State – Both Kyle Anderson and Nick Johnson received consideration for this nod, but both of those guys appear ready to duel it out for Player of the Year honors, while Nelson still gets overlooked much too often. So, we’ll take this opportunity to turn the spotlight on the explosive senior, who was spectacular in a split in Washington this week. Nelson averaged 28.5 points per game and shot a 62.9% eFG and is well on his way to running away with the Pac-12 scoring title.
Freshman of the Week: Nigel Williams-Goss, Freshman, Washington – There’s been a learning curve for the talented freshman in Seattle, but against Oregon State on Saturday afternoon, Williams-Goss was spectacular in willing his team all the way back from an early second-half double-figure deficit. His 32 points came on just 15 field goal attempts, knocking in three from deep and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe while also running the offense to perfection. He’s had a bumpy freshman year, but might be getting ready to turn the corner.