Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week 11

Posted by AMurawa on January 28th, 2013

With another week in the books, here are this week’s Pac-12 top performers…

Team of the Week – Arizona State

It’s not just the 2-0 record on the week – both Oregon and Colorado also scored a couple of home wins this week – but the way the Sun Devils did it, that earns them this nod. ASU started off the week by engaging in one of the conference’s most thrilling games of the season as they battled USC long and hard, basically having to beat them twice, before coming away with a 98-93 overtime win. They dodged insanely good career efforts by both Jio Fontan and J.T. Terrell, including increasingly improbable three-pointers down the stretch, but came away with the victory. Then on Saturday, the Sun Devils dominated UCLA from start to finish, getting excellent performances from up and down their roster, with Jordan Bachynski punishing the UCLA interior to the tune of 22 points, 15 boards and six blocks, Carrick Felix double-doubling for the second time in a week, Evan Gordon flashing his scoring ability from the wing, and Jahii Carson once again turning in a masterful performance as the floor general. While there were plenty of doubters following the Sun Devils’ mediocre non-conference slate, they have definitely at this point worked their way into NCAA Tournament contention.

Mike Ladd Has Broken Out Of His Offensive Shell In The Past Month (Dean Hare, AP Photo)

Mike Ladd Has Broken Out Of His Offensive Shell In The Past Month (Dean Hare, AP Photo)

Player of the Week – Mike Ladd, Washington State

After averaging nearly double-figures over his two seasons at Fresno State, Ladd slid into a role as a tough defender and offensive afterthought in his first season at Washington State. But this year, with incumbent point guard Reggie Moore dismissed from the team prior to the season and with second-option-to-be Davonte Lacy hamstrung by injury, he has not only taken over plenty of lead guard duties, but he has quietly emerged as the Cougs’ Robin to Brock Motum’s Batman. After scoring in double figures in just eight of his first 38 outings at WSU, Ladd has now reached that mark in eight straight games. And Saturday night against Oregon State, Ladd set a new career high for the second time in as many weeks; this time it was 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, with six boards mixed in there for good measure.

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Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week Six

Posted by AMurawa on December 24th, 2012

Back before the season began, we figured that the Pac-12 would be dominated by a pair of teams: Arizona and UCLA. And prior to this week, one of those teams – Arizona – has dominated our weekly honors, earning the last three Team of the Week nods. Well, this week, based on a schedule that didn’t exactly feature the most brilliant competition in the world, that other team – UCLA – earns some recognition of its own, sweeping our awards for the week.

Behind Their Heralded Freshmen, UCLA Is Beginning To Show Glimpses Of Their Potential

Behind Their Heralded Freshmen, UCLA Is Beginning To Show Glimpses Of Its Potential

Team of the Week – UCLA

I’ll just come right out and say it: we were suffering a little Arizona fatigue and looking for an excuse – any excuse – to write about some team other than the Wildcats in this spot. We looked at Colorado, who blew out a bad Northern Arizona team by 47; we briefly considered giving Arizona State the nod on the strength of a road win over a major conference team (albeit, arguably the worst major conference team in the nation) in Texas Tech. But in the end we give the Bruins the benefit of the doubt for a pair of wins over middling mid-major programs, Long Beach State and Fresno State. But, more so than the mere fact of a couple of ho-hum wins, UCLA gets the nod because we finally got a glimpse of some of what we were expecting from their talented batch of freshmen. The trio of Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams combined for per-game averages of 62.5 points, 23.5 rebounds, nine assists, six steals, and a 66.7% effective field goal rate this week as the team is rounding into an offensive juggernaut. Well, at least against bad teams. Missouri looms on Friday evening and if UCLA can do the Pac-12 proud in that one, it’s a good bet we’ll be writing about them again next week.

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Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week Four

Posted by AMurawa on December 10th, 2012

As we ponder what happened to Colorado this weekend, what is missing in Washington, and what exactly we witnessed as UCLA and Texas met in a football stadium, we search around the conference for some good news while handing out our weekly honors.

Team of the Week – Arizona

Last week we gave the Wildcats these honors almost by default, since very few other teams stood out. This week, while again very few teams stood out, we feel pretty good about our selection. While Utah and Colorado scored nice wins early in the week, neither could back that up by handling their opposition on Saturday. The ‘Cats, however, scraped by Southern Miss on Tuesday in an ugly but effective performance, then came back over the weekend to score a quality road win over Clemson. In doing so, they put themselves in excellent shape to win this award three times in a row, because I guarantee you, if they win Saturday against Florida, you’ll see their name here again next week.

Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State

Jordan Bachynski’s History-Making Day For Arizona State Earned Him Our POTW Honors (US Presswire)

Player of the Week – Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State

After Bachynski’s six points, three boards and three blocks against Hartford on Wednesday, he was all but eliminated from contention for this award, especially considering that same night Spencer Dinwiddie was going off for 29 points, Brock Motum and DaVonte Lacy turned in excellent performances in losing efforts, and Bachynski’s own teammate, Jahii Carson, was continuing his excellent season. But, on Saturday afternoon, Bachynski threw down the gauntlet, posting the first recorded triple-double in ASU history, and doing it the hard way. His 13 points and 12 rebounds are pretty standard fare, but 12 blocks? Yup, that’s one way to earn some recognition. In doing so, Bachynski became the first player in the conference to record a triple-double since Daniel Hackett did it more than five years ago. Bachynski now leads the nation in blocked shots this season with 50.

Newcomer of the Week – Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Carson makes it a complete sweep for the Grand Canyon State this week, after averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in the Sun Devils’ two wins this week. This is Carson’s second such honor this year and clearly the long wait for his eligibility was well worth it for Herb Sendek and Sun Devil fans.

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Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week Three

Posted by AMurawa on December 3rd, 2012

While this past week may not have returned the types of results that should cause anybody to generate newfound confidence in the Pac-12’s ability to have multiple teams play a big part in the national picture, we’ve still found some jewels around the conference to recognize for their efforts over the past seven days.

Team of the Week – Arizona

It was admittedly not a sparkling week for the Pac-12. And as such, we wind up handing out our highest honor to an Arizona team whose biggest accomplishment was going into Lubbock and knocking off a Texas Tech team that is on the short list for this year’s “Worst Major Conference Team” award. Still, it goes down as a week in which the Wildcats played two games against two teams they were supposed to kill… and did. Wins over Northern Arizona and the Red Raiders this week were by an average of 35.5 points per game. And while Sean Miller’s club has yet to play anybody of any great significance, at least the ‘Cats deserve credit for their overall lack of drama thus far.

C.J. Wilcox, Washington

C.J. Wilcox Handled The Scoring Load For Washington This Week As The Huskies Got Back On Track With Consecutive Wins

Player of the Week – C.J. Wilcox, Washington

After a pair of losses to quality teams, the Huskies needed to bounce back in a big way, and Wilcox helped make sure that happened this week by averaging 24 points, 3.5 boards and a couple assists per game as UW knocked off a tough Saint Louis team midweek before inching past Cal State Fullerton last night. Against CSUF, it was Wilcox who provided the final two-point margin, knocking down a pair of free throws in the waning moments of the game to complete the Huskies’ successful comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit.

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Pac-12 Honors: Week One

Posted by AMurawa on November 19th, 2012

We’ve got a 10-day week of basketball in the books and, while there have been some ups and downs around the conference, it’s plain to see that the Pac-12 of 2012-13 is a far sight better than last year’s version. But, without further ado, let’s get right to our first edition of our weekly honors.

Team of the Week – Colorado

Askia Booker, Colorado

Askia Booker Led The Way As Colorado Swept To A Charleston Classic Title and Three Key Wins (Patrick Ghidossi, BuffaloSportsNews)

The Buffaloes are the easy pick after taking home the Charleston Classic title last night, knocking off Murray State to complete a perfect start to the season. Sophomore guard Askia Booker led CU in scoring in each game in Charleston and even earned a vote for our Player of the Week award, while junior Andre Roberson led the way on the boards. Given the luxury, and the pressure, of getting the toughest opening round opponent, the Buffs leave South Carolina with three quality wins already on the season, along with earning the pleasure of getting revenge on Baylor, the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last season.

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