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.
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.