This Week In Pac-10 Men's Basketball
March 9, 2009
HUSKIES CAPTURE PAC-10 TITLE AND TOP SEED FOR PAC-10 TOURNAMENT
The WASHINGTON Huskies captured their first Pac-10 title since sharing the crown with USC in 1985. It's the first outright title for the Huskies since claiming the Pacific Coast Conference crown in 1953... The Huskies enter the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament with the No. 1 seed, followed by defending Pac-10 Tournament Champion UCLA as the No. 2 seed ... The Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament opens play Wed., March 11 with Oregon State taking on Stanford at 6 p.m., followed by Washington State vs. Oregon at 8:30 p.m.... The Conference is 93-29 (.762) in non-league play this season... This week's Top 25 rankings include WASHINGTON (No. 13 AP/No. 10 ESPN/USA Today), UCLA (No. 15/No. 14), and ARIZONA STATE (No. 23/No. 23).
ARIZONA STATE'S JAMES HARDEN NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
ARIZONA STATE sophomore guard James Harden was tabbed the Pac-10 Player of the Year, while WASHINGTON guard Isaiah Thomas was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Washington's Lorenzo Romar was tabbed Coach of the Year. Complete list of Conference honors are on page three of this release.
THIS WEEK'S PACIFIC LIFE PAC-10 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Staples Center - Los Angeles, Calif.
Wed., Mar. 11 TV
No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Stanford, 6 p.m. FSN
No. 7 Washington State vs. No. 10 Oregon, 8:30 p.m FSN
Thurs., Mar. 12
No. 4 Arizona State vs. No. 5 Arizona, 12 noon FSN
No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8/9 winner, 2:30 p.m. FSN
No. 3 California vs. No. 6 USC, 6 p.m. FSN
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7/10 winner, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Fri., Mar. 13
Semifinal 1, 6:00 p.m. FSN
Semifinal 2, 8:30 p.m. FSN
Sat., Mar. 14
Championship, 3 p.m. CBS
Tip times are local to site.
AROUND THE LEAGUE... Fans kept the turnstiles spinning again this season. After setting a Pac-10 attendance record last season with 8,723 fans per game, the league posted its second best attendance mark, averaging 8,460 fans per game... In scoring 28 vs. Stanford Saturday, ARIZONA junior F Chase Budinger passed former Wildcat Chris Mills (1991-93) to became Arizona's most prolific three-year scorer. With 1,632 points, Budinger now sits 12th on UA's career scoring list... ARIZONA STATE sophomore G James Harden became the third sophomore in Pac-10 history to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year - the other two were California's Jason Kidd (1994) and Arizona's Mike Bibby (1998). Sun Devil senior F Jeff Pendergraph finished the regular season strong, posting a double-double in five of the last six games, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds in that span... CALIFORNIA continues to lead the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.438) The previous Cal single-season best was 38.7 percent (1990). Junior G Jerome Randle hit 8-of-11 from beyond the arc in Cal's win at Arizona. He's shooting 46.7 percent from three-point range, a significant leap from his 35.9 percent he shot during his first two seasons. Randle now owns the school's single-season record with 74 three-pointers... OREGON junior G Tajuan Porter is closing in on the school's career three-point record. With 274 career treys, he needs nine more to pass Orlando Williams (1992-95) for the top spot... OREGON STATE is shooting 46.5 percent from the field for the season. It's the best shooting percentage for the Beavers since they shot 48.6 percent in 1992... With 504 career assists, STANFORD senior G Mitch Johnson is one of three players in school history to reach 500 assists, joining Brevin Knight (780) and Keith Ramee (513)... UCLA seniors Alfred Aboya and Darren Collison have each played in a Pac-10 record 138 games during their careers... USC junior F Taj Gibson posted five blocked shots in the regular season finale vs. Oregon State to break his own USC single-season record with 86 blocked shots, bettering the mark of 84 he set last season... WASHINGTON freshman G Isaiah Thomas set a school freshman record by scoring 477 points this season. The Huskies became the seventh team to win the Pac-10 regular season title with a 14-4 record... WASHINGTON STATE senior G Taylor Rochestie averaged 39.9 minutes in Pac-10 play, logging 718 of a possible 730 minutes (2 games went to overtime). Senior C Aron Baynes scored his 1,000th career point in the game at Washington. He now has 1,003 points for his career. He became the 11th Pac-10 player this season to reach 1,000 career points.