This Week In Pac-10 Men's Basketball
Feb. 9, 2009
Four of the top six teams in the league standings square off this weekend in the Arizona desert starting with ARIZONA STATE hosting UCLA on Thursday (ESPN, 7 p.m. MT)... Mid-season honors are rolling in - Wooden Award Midseason List includes - Jon Brockman (WASH), Darren Collison (UCLA), Taj Gibson (USC), James Harden (ASU), and Jordan Hill (ARIZ). Meanwhile, Collison is also a Bob Cousy Award Finalist... The Conference is 91-29 (.758) in non-league play this season... This week’s Top 25 rankings include UCLA (No. 11 AP/No. 6 ESPN/USA Today), ARIZONA STATE (18/18) and WASHINGTON (-/24).
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Tues., Feb. 10
Cal State Bakersfield at Stanford, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 12
Oregon at Washington State, 7 p.m.
Series: ORE leads, 155-120. Streak: WSU 4
Oregon State at Washington, 8 p.m. FSN NW
Series: WASH leads, 147-135. Streak: WASH 3
No. 11 UCLA at No. 18 Arizona State, 7 p.m. ESPN
Series: UCLA leads, 56-15. Streak: ASU 1
USC at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Series: ARIZ leads, 54-38. Streak: USC 2
Sat., Feb. 14
Oregon at Washington, 12 noon FSN
Series: WASH leads, 181-102. Streak: WASH 1
Oregon State at Washington State, 4 p.m. FSN NW
Series: OSU leads, 160-117. Streak: WSU 5
Stanford at California, 2 p.m. FSN
Series: CAL leads, 139-113. Streak: STAN 4
No. 11 UCLA at Arizona, 11 a.m. CBS
Series: UCLA leads, 56-31. Streak: UCLA 8
Sun., Feb. 15
USC at No. 18 Arizona State, 8 p.m. FSN
Series: USC leads, 46-32. Streak: USC 2
Tip times are local to site. Associated Press Rankings.
Around the league... Over the last five games, ARIZONA has cranked up the offensive productivity by averaging 82.2 points per game in that span. That figure is 11.0 points per game better than its overall season scoring average (71.2 ppg). During its five game win streak, Arizona has actually been outscored by an average of 2.4 points in the first half before responding with a +8.8 points per game margin in the second half. That’s an improvement of 11.2 points between periods. Junior F Chase Budinger has averaged 20.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game over the last five games. In that span, he has only six turnovers in 199 total minutes played (39.8 mpg), or one miscue every 33.2 minutes played. In the last seven contests, Budinger has collected no fewer than seven rebounds in each game... ARIZONA STATE sophomore G James Harden scored 36 points in the win at Oregon. Harden has posted 30 or more points five times this season and has led the team in scoring in 17 of 23 games. Senior F Jeff Pendergraph leads the league and the nation in field goal percentage (127-of-188, .676) and is even better in league play (69-of-99, .697). The Sun Devils close out the regular season with five of their last seven games at home. Coach Herb Sendek will coach his 500th game Thursday against UCLA. He is 301-198 (.603) overall. The 45-year-old Sendek is the second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, behind only Billy Donovan of Florida... CALIFORNIA junior G Patrick Christopher and junior G Jerome Randle each scored their 1,000th career point in the same game (vs. Washington State). Randle currently has 1,024 career points, while Christopher has tallied 1,020 career points. At 7-4 in Pac-10 play, the Bears surpassed their league win total in each of the last two seasons as they posted identical 6-12 records in 2007 and 2008 ... OREGON junior G Tajuan Porter is averaging 4.7 three-pointers made per game over the last six contests. During that span of games, he’s shooting 28-of-58 (.483) from beyond the arc. Freshman F Drew Wiley scored a career-high 18 points, hitting 5-of-9 from three-point range against Arizona. In the previous eight league games he played in, Wiley scored a total of 24 points and hit just three three-pointers... OREGON STATE’s defense has allowed just 54.5 points per game over the last four games. Senior G Ricky Claitt has been taking care of the ball for the Beavers. Over the last six games, Claitt has tallied 22 assists (3.7 apg), while turning the ball over just three times (0.4 topg) in 226 minutes (37.7 minutes per game). He’s also shooting 18-of-30 (.600) from the field during those six games... STANFORD junior F Landry Fields scored a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds against Washington for his third double-double this season. Sophomore C Will Paul provides the Cardinal with another longball threat. He was 3-of-3 from three-point range in the win over Washington State and has connected on 9-of-17 (.529) from beyond the arc in Pac-10 play... UCLA has won its last four games in impressive fashion. Over that span, the Bruins are averaging 85.8 ppg while allowing just 63.0 ppg (+22.8 margin of victory). In addition, they are forcing the opposition into 18.5 turnovers per game. Also helps to rest the starters as Josh Shipp (31 minutes vs. California) and Darren Collison (30 minutes vs. California) are the only Bruins to see 30 or more minutes of action over the last four games. Over the last four games, senior C Alfred Aboya is averaging 14.5 points (23-of-36, .639) and 7.8 rebounds, while averaging just 26.0 minutes per game... USC junior F Taj Gibson suffered a dislocated right pinkie at UCLA and was limited to season lows of two points and four rebounds. Junior G Dwight Lewis scored a game-high 20 points at UCLA. He’s scored in double digits in 16 of 20 games this season, with five games of 20 or more points... WASHINGTON junior F Quincy Pondexter posted back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career with 21 points at California and 20 at Stanford. Senior F Jon Brockman grabbed 27 rebounds last week to move up to No. 4 on the Pac-10’s all-time rebounds list with 1,136. He’s got a ways to go before moving into the third spot currently held by Lew Alcindor (1,367 rebounds, 1967-69). The Huskies play six of their final eight games at home where they are 12-1 this season... WASHINGTON STATE senior G Taylor Rochestie (3.37 gpa/Communications) and senior F Daven Harmeling (3.54 gpa/Health and Fitness/Kinesiology) were honored with ESPN the Magazine All-District VIII Academic All-America honors. Freshman F Klay Thompson is averaging 17.3 ppg over the last four games and is shooting 15-of-25 (.600) from three-point range during those four contests. He’s 13th in the Pac-10, averaging 13.9 ppg in league games.