Pac-10 Basketball Notebook

    
November 28th, 2006
 

Player of the Week

 

This week’s honor goes to Darren Collison of the UCLA Bruins. Collison averaged 13.3 points, 7.0 assists and 2.7 steals over 3 games this week at the Maui Invitational. He was named MVP of the tournament after leading the Bruins to the title of the 8-team tournament. With the departure of Jordan Farmar to the NBA from last year’s squad, Collison was expected to shoulder the load at the point and has more than lived up to the lofty expectations so far.

 

 

Power Rankings

 

#1 UCLA BRUINS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (4-0)

 

The Bruins took sole possession of first overall in the AP poll. Big wins over Kentucky and Georgia Tech allowed the Bruins to avoid an early season upset. After a slow start, Bruin’s guard Arron Afflalo bounced back in a big way including a 19-point effort against Georgia Tech in the final of the Maui Invitational. Darren Collison and Lorenzo Mata continued their strong performances this week.

 

The Bruins host a couple of Big West opponents in Long Beach St. and UC Riverside later this week.

 

Game results this week:

Mon, Nov 20         at Chaminade      W 88-63

Tue, Nov 21          at (20) Kentucky   W 73-68

Wed, Nov 22         at (19) Georgia Tech           W 88-73

 

#2 WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (5-0)

 

The Huskies move up two spots to settle at thirteenth overall in the AP poll at the end of this past week. The Huskies needed two comeback wins over Eastern Washington and Sacramento State to stay unbeaten. The Huskies had problems slowing down NBA-ready Rodney Stuckey but managed to eek out the victory thanks to the steady play of Justin Dentmon. With all the attention Spencer Hawes is getting, fellow freshman Quincy Pondexter is quietly making a name for himself scoring in double-digits for both games.

 

The Huskies host Idaho for their only game of this upcoming week.

 

Game results this week:

Sun, Nov 19          Sacramento St.    W 83-74

Fri, Nov 24            Eastern Wash.      W 90-83

 

#3 ARIZONA WILDCATS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-1)

 

A quiet week for the sixteenth-ranked Wildcats saw only one game on the schedule. The Wildcats wasted little time dispatching an over-matched opponent in Samford. All five starters reached double-digits led by Marcus Williams. Freshman Chase Budinger was followed-up on his PAC-10 player of the week honors with a another strong performance in the big win.

 

The Wildcats prepare for a couple of big games with UNLV visiting on Tuesday before a primetime matchup against Illinois on Saturday.

 

Game results this week:

Wed, Nov 22         Samford                W 86-57

 

#4 WASHINGTON ST COUGARS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (6-0)

 

Off to their best start in more than a decade, the Cougars had impressive wins over Idaho St. and Boise St. this week. Derrick Low continues to be the most consistent Cougar pacing his team offensively in both games. Daven Harmeling finished strong this week hitting a couple of clutch three-pointers at the end of the win over Boise St.

 

The Cougars look to extend their red hot start hosting Portland before heading on the road to face Utah.

 

Game results this week:

Tue, Nov 21          Idaho St.                W 66-60

Sat, Nov 25           Boise St.                W 65-63

 

#5 OREGON DUCKS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (5-0)

 

The Ducks managed to keep their unbeaten streak alive, but just barely. The Ducks overcame a dismal first-half shooting performance before outlasting Rice in overtime. Freshman Tajuan Porter hit a game-tying three-pointer to send the game to overtime and the eventual win.

 

The Ducks head out east for their biggest test of the early season against eighteenth-ranked Georgetown later this week.

 

Wed, Nov 29         at (18) Georgetown             7:30 pm

 

Game results this week:

Mon, Nov 20         at Rice    W 79-73

 

#6 STANFORD CARDINAL

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (4-1)

 

The rout was on as the Cardinal annihilated a cold-shooting Denver team earlier in the week. Freshman Robin Lopez finished with a double-double while a total of five players finished in double-digit scoring.

 

The Cardinal host UC Davis on Tuesday before a huge Sunday matchup against Bobby Knight’s Texas Tech squad.

 

Game results this week:

Sat, Nov 25           Denver  W 82-39

 

#7 CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (5-1)

 

A busy week ended with four straight victories for the Bears at the Great Alaska Shootout happening over the Thanksgiving holiday. The surprising play of freshman Ryan Anderson has given the Bears the biggest boost so far this season. Anderson led the team in scoring in three of the four wins while teammate DeVon Hardin also had strong games this week.

 

A real tough week ahead awaits the Bears with games against Bob Huggin’s Kansas St. team, then to face Nick Fazekas and his Nevada team.

 

Game results this week:

Mon, Nov 20         Santa Clara          W 73-48

Thu, Nov 23          Marshall                W 72-70

Fri, Nov 24            at Hawaii               W 72-56

Sat, Nov 25           at Loyola Marymount          W 78-70

 

#8 USC TROJANS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-1)

 

Winnable games over Citadel and Long Beach St. gave the Trojans some confidence early on in the season. Nick Young led the way in both wins, while Lodrick Stewart remains one of the more consistent threats in the lineup.

 

The Trojans look to win number four and five as they prepare to host Miss. Valley St. and Loyola Marymount later this coming week.

 

Games this week:

Tue, Nov 21          Citadel  W 74-58

Fri, Nov 24            Long Beach St.    W 79-61

 

#9 ARIZONA ST SUN DEVILS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-2)

 

After a sluggish first-half performance, head coach Herb Sendek benched freshman Christian Polk for the first few minutes in the Sun Devil’s game against San Jose St. The message must’ve worked as Polk went back later in the second half and scored 11 points in 14 minutes to help give the Sun Devils the win. Polk carried that momentum into the Iowa game hitting the game-winning shot with about 12 seconds left to play.

 

The Sun Devils host Northern Colorado before heading on the road to face Minnesota later in the week.

 

Game results this week:

Tue, Nov 21          San Jose St.         W 64-52

Sat, Nov 25           Iowa       W 67-64

 

#10 OREGON ST BEAVERS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-3)

 

After getting hammered by Hawaii early in the week, the Beavers salvaged two wins on the road against Northern Colorado and Montana St. to climb back to .500 for the season. Junior forward Marcel Jones was the most consistent for the Beavers through the three games.

 

The Beavers get a short break before facing Fresno St. late this upcoming week.

 

Game results this week:

Sun, Nov 19          at Hawaii               L 41-85

Fri, Nov 24            at Northern Colorado          W 69-67

Sun, Nov 26          at Montana St.      W 72-63

 

 

Big Games next week

 

Wed, Nov 29 Oregon at (18) Georgetown      7:30 pm

 

The Ducks have started out the season red hot winning their first five games but will get their biggest test yet when they travel to play the fourteenth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas. The Ducks will need to find a solution for the Hoya’s huge front line featuring Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert.

 

Sat, Dec 2 Illinois at (16) Arizona     5:15 pm

 

The Wildcats have already been stung early on losing to Virginia to open the season. Freshman Chase Budinger though appears ready to lead the way night-in and night-out for the Wildcats and this game will go along way to establish himself on the team and throughout the nation as a possible NBA draft lottery pick. Meanwhile the Illinois Fighting Illini are 7-0 on the season with Jamar Smith lighting up the scoreboard everywhere he plays. The Wildcats will be in tough against a solid Illini team.

 

Sun, Dec 3 Texas Tech at Stanford                 6:30 pm

 

The Cardinal face Bobby Knight’s Texas Tech Red Raiders this coming weekend. Raider’s guard Jarrius Jackson has been shooting lights out and could give Stanford a lot of matchup problems. Beyond Jackson though, the depth drops off significantly.

 

Sun, Dec 3  (24) Nevada at California            9:00 pm

 

The Cal Bears get their crack at NBA-bound Nick Fazekas this Sunday as they host Nevada. The Wolfpack are 5-0 on the season with all five wins over unranked opponents. Fazekas has lived up to all the preseason hype so far averaging 25 points and 14.8 rebounds per game so far this season.