Team of the Week
UCLA – In the middle of last week, it certainly seemed doubtful that it would be the week of the Bruin. An article critical of head coach Ben Howland and the state of the program appeared in Sports Illustrated and the problems around Westwood were the talk of the college basketball world. But, a few days and a couple season-capping wins later and the Bruins are one of the hotter teams in the conference heading into the Pac-12 Tournament. UCLA came out Thursday on fire and ran Washington State off of the court, handing out assists on 26 of their 32 field goals and playing smothering defense on the way to a 32-point victory. Then, on Saturday, they kept Washington from clinching the conference title (temporarily at least) in a stirring team effort that left the program feeling pretty darn good about itself. All things considered, for a week in which a controversial article ripped the program to shreds, things couldn’t have gone a whole lot better.
Player of the Week
Devoe Joseph, Senior, Oregon – If the Bruins aren’t the hottest team in the conference right now, then the Ducks sure are. And a big part of the reason for that is the play of Joseph, who has been doing it all for Dana Altman recently. This week, Joseph hit 19 of his 25 field goal attempts (including five of his eight attempts from deep) for an average of 22.5 points per night, all while chipping in five assists, five rebounds and a steal or two per game. While the Ducks may be on the outside looking in right now, with regards to the NCAA Tournament, Joseph is a big reason why they are a significant threat to earn the conference’s automatic bid.