Pac-12 Week One Honors

Posted by Andrew Murawa on November 23rd, 2015

Week one in college basketball is in the books. And yes, we’re counting week one as going back to opening day a couple Fridays back. Sure, that makes 10 days, but this is a sport that claims a Feast Week that runs for 10 days or more, a Championship Week which is actually a fortnight, and a March Madness that stretches into April. All of those semantics now out of the way, our normal Monday Pac-12 Honors post will wrap up the previous week, unveil our weekly power rankings, and anoint a Team, Player, Freshman and Newcomer of the Week. Let’s jump right in.

Team of the Week: Washington

Andrew Andrews And The Huskies Have Been Electric Early (Dean Rutz, Seattle Times)

Andrew Andrews And The Huskies Have Been Electric Early (Dean Rutz, Seattle Times)

The Huskies are not the best team in the conference, or at least they probably aren’t. But for a team that wiped the slate clean after last season and brought in eight brand new players, they sure are fun to watch. After going to China and coming away with a win against a veteran Texas team on opening night, the Huskies have poured it on, backing up a 33-point win over Mount St. Mary’s with a 37-point win over Penn. They’ve played three straight games of 80 or more possessions, have the third-highest tempo in the nation, and get in and out of a possession in just over 12 seconds, the quickest such team in college basketball. Loaded down with aggressive free-wheeling freshmen, these Huskies have been a pleasant surprise and everything we want a Lorenzo Romar team to be.

Player of the Week: Jordan McLaughlin, Soph, USC

Jordan McLaughlin's Sophomore Season Is Off To A Great Start (USA Today)

Jordan McLaughlin’s Sophomore Season Is Off To A Great Start (USA Today)

After a freshman season cut short by injury and filled with inconsistency, the Trojans’ sophomore point guard is off to a spectacular start. He’s hit a couple threes in each of USC’s three games. He’s in the top 100 in the nation in both effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage. He’s had at least three assists in every game. He’s turning it over almost never. He’s occasionally spectacular. And he’s really lived up to the expectation of the point guard as the coach on the floor. He’s directing a USC defense that has also taken a step forward from last year, while the offense has taken a giant leap forward (from 244th in the nation last year to 38th this season). It’s not all going to be as easy as it has been so far and a significant test comes on Thanksgiving Day when USC hosts Wichita State, but McLaughlin’s early returns are great.

Newcomer of the Week: Ryan Anderson, Sr, Arizona. Despite missing Sunday’s game, Anderson has been everything he was expected to be for the Wildcats. In his three games, he’s been a double-double machine, dominated the defensive glass and grabbed 34 percent of opponents’ missed field goals. More importantly, on a team transitioning from the hyper-talented veteran teams of the last two seasons to this year’s more inexperienced squad, he’s been a rock-solid presence for the Wildcats.

Freshman of the Week: Tyler Dorsey, Oregon. He may not be as highly-touted as California’s dynamic duo, but Dorsey has played like an unflappable veteran in his first four games. He’s shooting 52.6 percent from three and has shown an ability to score in a variety of ways inside the arc. He gets to the line, dishes to teammate and plays great defense. And the scary thing is that he’s only going to get better.

Week One Power Rankings

  1. Oregon. I had the Ducks atop the league to begin the year and they’ve got perhaps the best resume in the nation at this point with two wins over Top 25 caliber teams. Of course, they’re still #1.
  2. Arizona. Their win over Boise State on Thursday will go down as a quality win, but the schedule is about to get much tougher.
  3. California. They haven’t played anybody yet, but they’ve done what they’re supposed to do.
  4. Utah. Getting dominated by Miami stings, but there is a learning curve required for this team.
  5. Oregon State. They’ve beaten a good Iona team by 20 before going on the road to win those. Valparaiso will be the real litmus test for this team tomorrow night.
  6. USC. A Saturday night win over New Mexico was very good. Wichita State in Orlando on Thanksgiving would be spectacular.
  7. UCLA. Opening the season with a home loss to Monmouth is unforgivable, but this team has plenty of talent and will improve over time. And they had better, because the non-conference schedule gets very tough, beginning today.
  8. Washington. Surprisingly enough, this may be low.
  9. Colorado. Their sole loss is to a top 10 Iowa State team in a hostile environment, but the Buffs still have a lot to prove.
  10. Arizona State. The opening night loss to Sacramento State was no fun, but beating Belmont proves the Sun Devils have reason for optimism.
  11. Washington State. Maybe this team is surprisingly good, but we won’t really know for a while since its November schedule is awful.
  12. Stanford. There’s no point guard; they can’t play defense and two straight losses are about to become three when Villanova gets a hold of them on Thanksgiving.
AMurawa (999 Posts)

Andrew Murawa Likes Basketball.

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