This Week In Pac-10 Men's Basketball
March 2, 2009
The WASHINGTON Huskies captured at least a share of the Pac-10 title and look to win it outright when they host WASHINGTON STATE Saturday. It's the first title for the Huskies since 1985 (shared with USC), and a win would give them the outright title for the first time since capturing the Pacific Coast Conference crown in 1953... ARIZONA, Washington State, USC and OREGON STATE will be battling this week for the fifth and sixth seeds in the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament... The Conference is 92-29 (.760) in non-league play this season... This week's Top 25 rankings include WASHINGTON (No. 16 AP/No. 13 ESPN/USA Today), UCLA (No. 20/No. 17), and ARIZONA STATE (No. 21/No. 21).
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Tues., Mar. 3
Seattle University at No. 16 Washington, 8 p.m. FSN NW
Thurs., Mar. 5
Stanford at No. 21 Arizona State, 6:30 p.m. FSN AZ
Series: STAN leads, 37-28. Streak: ASU 2
Oregon State at No. 20 UCLA, 7:30 p.m. FSN PT
Series: UCLA leads, 82-33. Streak: UCLA 8
Oregon at USC, 7:30 p.m.
Series: USC leads, 61-42. Streak: USC 3
California at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Series: ARIZ leads, 51-26. Streak: CAL 1
Sat., Mar. 7
California at No. 21 Arizona State, 12 noon CBS
Series: ASU leads, 34-32. Streak: CAL 2
Oregon at No. 20 UCLA, 12:30 p.m. ABC
Series: UCLA leads, 80-25. Streak: UCLA 4
Washington State at No. 16 Washington, 2:30 p.m. FSN
Series: WASH leads, 168-98. Streak: WASH 1
Oregon State at USC, 5 p.m.
Series: USC leads, 63-55. Streak: OSU 1
Stanford at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. FSN AZ
Series: ARIZ leads, 48-29. Streak: STAN 4
Tip times are local to site. Associated Press Rankings.
Around the league... ARIZONA junior F Jordan Hill led Arizona with averages of 21.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He connected on 63.3 percent of his field goal attempts (19-of-30), while adding two blocks and four steals. Hill opened the week with 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals at Washington State. He followed that up with a game-high 27 points (12-of-18), 10 rebounds and three assists at No. 21 Washington. For Hill, it was his Pac-10-leading 16th double-double and 11th 20-point game this season... Over the last eight games, ARIZONA STATE senior F Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 15.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. During that span, he's shooting 48-of-71 (.676) from the field. Sophomore G James Harden is one of 15 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. The Sun Devils are 11-2 in Wells Fargo Arena this season. Should Arizona State pick up two wins at home over the Bay Area schools this week, it would finish league play with 12 wins for the first time since 1995... CALIFORNIA junior G Patrick Christopher scored a career-high 29 points on 10-of-17 (.588) shooting in the win over USC. He also was perfect from the line, hitting all seven free throw attempts. Junior G Jerome Randle averaged 17.5 points and 8.0 assists in a home split with the Los Angeles schools. With 358 career assists, he's one of eight Bears all-time to post 350 or more assists, and one of five Bears all-time with 1,000 career points and 350 career assists. Randle is currently leading the league in assists (5.1 apg). The last Cal player to lead the Pac-10 in assists was Jason Kidd (9.07 apg, 1994)... After dropping its first 14 Pac-10 games, OREGON has won two straight league games. The victory over Oregon State Sunday was the Ducks' 16th consecutive win over the Beavers at Mac Court. Junior G Tajuan Porter scored a team-high 24 points in the win over Oregon State. It was the eighth time this season, and 23rd overall, that he has scored 20 or more points. With 269 career three-poointers, he's just 13 treys shy of matching the school career record of 282 set by Orlando Williams (1992-95)... OREGON STATE has improved from 0-18 a year ago in Pac-10 play to 7-8 this season. The +7 difference in victories is tied for fifth on the list of biggest Pac-10 improvements from one season to the next. Junior G/F Seth Tarver currently leads the league in steals with 1.74 spg, holding a slight edge over Arizona State's James Harden (1.71 spg). If he holds onto that lead at season's end, he will become the first Beaver to lead the league in that category since Gary Payton in 1990... STANFORD senior G Anthony Goods shot 13-of-20 (.650) from the field and 5-of-9 (.556) from three-point range in a home split with the Los Angeles schools last week. Senior G Kenny Brown averaged 12.0 points over the weekend and hit 6-of-9 (.667) from three-point range, including a career-high tying four treys in the win over USC. Brown had entered the week shooting 14-of-42 (.333) for the season from beyond the arc... UCLA leads the nation in field goal percentage (50.1 percent). The last time a Pac-10 team led the league shooting better than 50 percent was Stanford in 2001 (.511). The Bruins have won 19 of the last 20 meetings vs. Oregon State in Pauley Pavilion and 22 of the last 24 meetings with Oregon. The Beavers picked up their win in 2003, while the Ducks posted back-to-back wins in 2002 and 2003... USC junior F Taj Gibson posted four blocks against Stanford. It was the second time in three games he's recorded four or more blocks, and the seventh time this season. He has 230 career blocks and sits behind former Arizona players Anthony Cook (278 blocks, 1986-89) and Channing Frye (258 blocks, 2002-05) on the Pac-10's all-time list. Over the last four games, junior G Daniel Hackett has played in 164 of a possible 165 minutes, including all 45 minutes in the overtime loss at Cal... WASHINGTON can capture its first outright league title since 1953 (Pacific Coast Conference). The Huskies have shared Pac-10 titles in 1985 (with USC) and 1984 (with Oregon State). Having scored 459 points this season, freshman G Isaiah Thomas needs three points to set a Husky freshman record. Former Husky Spencer Hawes tallied 461 points during his freshman season in 2007... WASHINGTON STATE has won three in a row, with two of those victories coming over ranked foes UCLA and Arizona State. In their last two victories, the Cougars had to rally from three-point halftime deficits in both games. Defensively, the Cougars held the Arizona schools to a combined 13-of-39 (.333) shooting in the second half. USC's Daniel Hackett isn't the only Pac-10 player to pile up the minutes. Senior G Taylor Rochestie also has played in 164 of 165 minutes over the last four games, including all 45 minutes in the overtime win against Arizona State. Rochestie is averaging 39.9 minutes per game in Conference play.