By the Pac-12 Conference
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AROUND THE PAC-12
• Pac-12 play begins Wed., Jan. 2 with UTAH visiting ARIZONA STATE... Defending Pac-12 champion WASHINGTON looks for its third league title in six seasons, and 13th overall... Pac-12 Tournament champion COLORADO opens league play on the road at ARIZONA in a rematch of last season’s Pac-12 Tournament championship game.
• At 12-0, No. 3 ARIZONA remains the Pac-12’s lone unbeaten, and only one of four nationally. Arizona is off to its best start for the program since the 1987-88 squad also started the season 12-0. Prior to 1987-88, the best start for the Wildcat cagers came in 1931-32, when Coach Fred A. Enke’s club won its first 16 games en route to an 18-2 campaign.
• Five Pac-12 teams have posted 10 or more wins this season, with OREGON STATE looking to make it six teams to post double-digit wins before league play begins with its game against Texas-Pan American Monday. Only three teams posted 10 or more wins entering Pac-12 play last season.
• The next Pac-12 Coaches/Media Teleconference is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. MT. Complete teleconference schedule is listed on page 6 of this release.
• UCLA ROLLING... The UCLA Bruins have won five in a row and are now one of five Pac-12 teams (or six, depending on Oregon State’s outcome Monday night) to post 10 or more wins entering league play... The Bruins have scored 90 or more points in three of their last four games, averaging 93.0 ppg during that four-game stretch. The Bruins scored just 90 points once last season (92-60 win vs. Chaminade in the Maui Invitational). In fact, prior to this season, UCLA scored 90 or more points just five times over the previous five seasons, and just 13 times in 319 games during coach Ben Howland’s 10-plus seasons at UCLA... Freshman F Shabazz Muhammad has posted 20 or more points in each of the last four games and is averaging 25.0 points in that span, while shooting 36-of-66 (.545) from the field, 9-of-18 (.500) from three-point range, and 19-of-23 (.826) from the free throw line... Senior G Larry Drew II has posted 38 assists over the past four games (9.5 apg). His league-leading 8.6 apg ranks second nationally.
• HEEEERRREEEE’S JAHII!... ARIZONA STATE freshman G Jahii Carson is averaging 17.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats, no freshman has averaged 17 points and five assists in a season since Shaheen Holloway of Seton Hall in 1996-97 when he averaged 17.3 and 6.3. Jahii has led or shared the team lead in scoring in nine of 12 games this season. He has 74 assists through 12 games, just about halfway to 150 which has been done by just 11 freshmen at current Pac-12 schools.
• UTAH TURNAROUND... A big part of Utah’s success this season has been its team defense. The Utes are second in the league allowing just 57.2 ppg. Utah also ranks among the top 30 nationally in opponent field goal percentage (35.2). Last season the Utes ranked 321st... Offensively, Utah is shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 28th nationally. This is a drastic improvement from its 306th ranking last season.
• BOARD WORK... Three Pac-12 players are posting double digit rebound numbers - COLORADO junior F André Roberson (12.1 rpg/3rd nationally), OREGON STATE sophomore F Eric Moreland (11.3 rpg/8th nationally) and OREGON senior F Arsalan Kazemi (10.4 rpg/16th nationally)... Despite having no player among the league’s top 15 rebounders, ARIZONA has a rebound margin of +10.2 (second in the Pac-12).
• CAGGY COUG... WASHINGTON STATE senior F Brock Motum, last season’s Pac-12 scoring leader at 18.0 ppg, paces the Cougars with 19.7 ppg (second in the Pac-12). He’s posted 23 or more points in five of the last seven games... Of WSU’s four losses this season, three have been by two or less points.
• HOME SWEET HOME... Pac-12 teams sport a 79-16 (.832) home court record so far this season. Three Pac-12 teams are perfect at home this season, while the OREGON Ducks have extended their home-court winning streak to 15 games.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Mon., Dec. 31 Time TV
Texas-Pan American at OREGON STATE 2 p.m. PT P12N
Nevada at OREGON 4 p.m. PT P12N
Wed., Jan. 2
UTAH at ARIZONA STATE 8 p.m. MT P12N
Series: UTAH leads 25-17. Streak: ASU 1 (last - 57-52 at Arizona State)
Thurs., Jan. 3
COLORADO at No. 3 ARIZONA 6 p.m. MT ESPNU
Series: COLO leads 9-7. Streak: COLO 1 (last - 53-51 at 2012 Pac-12 Tourn.)
STANFORD AT USC 7 p.m. PT ESPNU
Series: USC leads 125-116. Streak: STAN 2 (last - 59-47 at USC)
CALIFORNIA at UCLA 8 p.m. PT FSN
Series: UCLA leads 132-100. Streak: CAL 3 (last - 73-63 at UCLA)
Sat., Jan. 5
STANFORD at UCLA 12 noon PT P12N
Series: UCLA leads 135-91. Streak: UCLA 1 (last - 72-61 at UCLA)
UTAH at No. 3 ARIZONA 3 p.m. MT P12N
Series: UTAH leads 28-23. Streak: ARIZ 5 (last - 70-61 at Arizona)
WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE 6:30 p.m. PT ESPNU
Series: WASH leads 174-100. Streak: WASH 3 (last - 59-55 at Washington State)
CALIFORNIA at USC 8 p.m. PT FSN
Series: CAL leads 130-121. Streak: CAL 2 (last - 75-49 at USC)
Sun., Jan. 6
COLORADO at ARIZONA STATE 6 p.m. MT P12N
Series: COLO leads 4-2. Streak: COLO 3 (last - 63-49 at Arizona State)
OREGON at OREGON STATE 7 p.m. PT FSN
Series: OSU leads 184-153. Streak: ORE 1 (last - 74-73 at Oregon State)
Rankings listed are AP poll; Game times local to site