Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week Eight

Posted by Andrew Murawa on January 13th, 2015

Each week the Pac-12 microsite will run down our weekly superlatives, which typically will include a Team, Player and Newcomer of the Week, along with our weekly Power Rankings.

Team of the Week: Oregon State

Behind Their Tough Defense, Oregon State Continues To Exceed Everyone's Expectations (Randy Rasmussen, The Oregonian)

Behind Their Tough Defense, Oregon State Continues To Exceed Everyone’s Expectations (Randy Rasmussen, The Oregonian)

Between the time UCLA wrapped up its home sweep and the Beavers tipped off against Arizona on Sunday evening, I had this section all wrapped up and delivered to the Bruins. After all, there was no way Oregon State had any chance of knocking off the Wildcats, even in Corvallis, right? That is the kind of underestimation the Beavers have dealt with all season long, as we penciled them in for 20-plus losses and contention for the worst major-conference team award back in the preseason. Halfway through the season, Oregon State instead has the scalp of the team we easily pegged as the best in this league, and the bulk of our voters are ranking Oregon State as the third-best team in the Pac-12. First-year coach Wayne Tinkle has done a masterful job in getting the best out of his guys, as Malcolm Duvivier and Gary Payton II make a terrific backcourt combination, Olaf Schaftenaar and Victor Robbins have made huge strides with their games, and everybody has bought in on the defensive end. The Beavers are still going to take some lumps when they head out on the road in league play, but they’re sitting at 11-4 right now. Un-freaking-believable.

Player of the Week: Kevon Looney, UCLA

Much like every other Bruin, the freshman Looney averaged only 8.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG and a 33.3 percent effective field goal rate during UCLA’s five-game losing streak. During last week’s home stand sweep of the Bay Area schools, though, he flipped those numbers to 23.5 PPG, 13.0 RPG and 52.1 percent eFG. Perhaps more importantly, Looney recovered the fire and confidence that had made him so special in the early part of the season, something the Bruins desperately needed. With the Bruins down 13 points midway through the second half against Stanford, Looney put together his own 6-0 run on a three followed by a hoop-and-harm to nearly cut the lead in half. Only a minute later, he strung together a 4-0 run on a dunk and a pair of free throws following an offensive board. By the time his individual stretches were done, the Bruins were within two points and finally believing in themselves again.

Newcomer of the Week: Jordan Bell, Oregon

Looney is technically our newcomer of the week but Bell was so good in breaking a couple of important school records that he has earned a mention here too. In blocking eight shots against Arizona State over the weekend, Bell tied Blair Rasmussen’s 30-year-old Oregon record for most blocks in a game and broke Tony Woods’ season record of 51 rejections. Through only 16 games this season, Bell already has logged more blocks in a season than anybody who ever wore a Ducks uniform. For the week, Bell averaged 9.5 points, 5.5 boards and 5.5 blocks per game.

(Also receiving votes: Gary Payton II, Wayne Tinkle)

Power Rankings


With Arizona’s loss on Sunday, Utah is now finally our unanimous choice atop the weekly power rankings. The Wildcats didn’t fall far, however, and now are the unanimous choice as #2. Given that Arizona hosts the Utes this weekend, all of this will become much more clear very soon. As for Oregon State, the Beavers jumped from #8 in last week’s rankings to #3 this week. I maintain that #3 is a little high for Tinkle’s group, but it is hard to argue against them today. Elsewhere, UCLA rebounded from the depths of last week’s #9 ranking to crawl back up to #6, while Cal took a dive from #6 to #10. And then there are the Washington schools. While Washington State just went into Seattle and beat the Huskies, three of our four pollsters still have Washington ranked higher than the Cougars.

AMurawa (999 Posts)

Andrew Murawa Likes Basketball.

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *