In the first week of conference play, form more or less held, with nine of the ten games being won by the home team. California, Stanford, Washington, and Arizona emerged atop the conference with undefeated records (although the Wildcats played just one game, as opposed to the two played by the other three teams), but the Huskies have to go down as the team with the most impressive weekend, after knocking off not only Oregon State, a team considered by many to be a contender for the conference title, but also Oregon, who was the one road team to score a win in the opening weekend. All things considered, this could not have been a better weekend for the Huskies.
Team of the Week
Washington – Not only did the Huskies score two wins, they earned them over two good teams. And they did so in impressive fashion, winning by 15 over the Beavers and 16 over the Ducks. More importantly, they looked good in doing so. In recent weeks there had been concern over several areas of their performance, notably their defensive effort and their team chemistry; in these two games, those areas were strengths, not weaknesses. After allowing just over a point per possession to a solid OSU offense on Thursday, they held Oregon, who was coming off lightning up the Washington State defense, to just 36.3% 3-point shooting. As for chemistry, six Husky players scored in double figures against the Beavers, and sophomore wing C.J. Wilcox took his shift to the bench (allowing Aziz N’Diaye to regain his starting spot and Tony Wroten to retain his) in stride, scoring 15 points in the opener before lighting up the Ducks for 24 points on just 11 shots. There is still some concern that Wroten may dominate the offense too much, and again, he led the team in attempted field goals in both games, but he also played good defense, handed out nine assists on the weekend and rarely was out of control. The Huskies still have to prove that they’re capable of earning quality conference road wins, but they get to start out that challenge with the training wheels on, as they face Colorado and Utah in their first road trip this weekend. The Buffaloes could present a challenge, but if the Huskies can get out to a 4-0 start in conference play, they will definitely be on the short list of teams leading the conference title race.
Tony Wroten's First Weekend In Pac-12 Play Proved To Be His Most Impressive Back-to-Back Performances Of A Young Career (Credit: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press)
Read the rest of this entry »