L.A. schools, freshmen continue to power Pac-12 men's basketball

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#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

2 -  National ranking for UCLA following its 97-92 upset of then-No. 1 Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Saturday. It’s the highest ranking for a Pac-12 team since ARIZONA was No. 2 in Nov. 2014, and is UCLA’s best ranking since being No. 2 during the 2007-08 season when it last reached the Final Four.

2 - Pac-12 student-athletes nominated for the 2017 NABC Allstate Good Works Team which recognizes players whose charitable involvement and altruistic acts stand out: CALIFORNIA senior Sam Singer and OREGON STATE sophomore Stephen Thompson Jr. Current USC senior Samer Dhillon was named to the five-member Good Works Team in 2016.

3 - Consecutive weeks a freshman has earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week award (TJ Leaf, Lonzo Ball, Charlie Moore), the first time since the award’s creation in 1983 that that has occurred. The three weekly honors by freshmen so far this season also matches the fourth-most by rookies in one season in league history (7 - 2007-08; 4 - 2014-15, 2006-07; 3 - 2016-17, 1995-96, 1989-90). 

4 - Different statistical categories in which Pac-12 teams lead NCAA Division I through Dec. 5. UCLA paces the nation in assists per game (24.0 apg) and field goal percentage (55.1% FG), UTAH leads the country in rebound margin (+17.2) and OREGON is the top shot blocking team in nation (8.9 bpg).

17-0 - Combined record of the L.A. schools, two of 11 remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I as of Dec. 5. UCLA (9-0) is off to its best start in a decade while USC (8-0) is one victory shy of its best start since opening the 1970-71 season 16-0.

PAC-12 TIPOFF

HOME SWEET HOME: Two Pac-12 teams have built home court winning streaks among the top 5 in the country. OREGON owns the nation’s fourth-longest home streak at 30 consecutive games, while CALIFORNIA ranks fifth with 25 home wins in a row. ARIZONA has won its last 10 at home, good for a tie for 20th nationally.

BANGED UP: A large number of key Pac-12 performers, nearly 20 in total including several starters, have missed or will miss games during non-conference play.

ARIZONA: A. Trier, K. Allen, P. Jackson-Cartwright
CALIFORNIA: J. Bird, G. Mullins, I. Rabb, K. Rooks
COLORADO: D. Collier, B. Peters, T. Miller
OREGON: D. Brooks, M.J. Cage
OREGON STATE: S. Thompson Jr., T. Tinkle, K. Dew, B. Kone
UCLA: A. Olesinski, I. Anigbogu
USC: B. Boatwright

Additionally, UTAH will benefit from the midseason arrival of transfers Sedrick Barefield and David Collette.

RECORD WATCH

UCLA (97.0 ppg, 24.0 apg) is currently ahead of its league-record 92.3 points per game average set in 1967-68 as well as OREGON STATE’s 21.7 assists per game mark set in 1979-80. OREGON (8.9 bpg) and WASHINGTON (7.7 bpg) are ahead of the Huskies’ record-setting block mark of 6.59 set last season.

At his current clip of 22.7 points per game, WASHINGTON’s Markelle Fultz is aiming to become the first freshman to lead the league in scoring since CALIFORNIA’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96 (Conference freshman record 21.1 ppg).

At his current rate of 9.3 assists per game, UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball would set a new Conference single-season record for assists per game, besting the current high of 9.19 set by ARIZONA STATE’s Ahlon Lewis in 1995-96.

WASHINGTON STATE’s Josh Hawkinson, who currently tops the Pac-12 at 11.6 rebounds per game, is seeking to become just the sixth player in Conference history to lead the league in rebounding for three seasons (no player has led the Conference for four seasons). The others:

Lew Alcindor, UCLA (1967-69)
Bill Walton, UCLA (1972-74)
Trevor Wilson, UCLA (1988-90)
Adam Keefe, STANFORD (1990-92)
Jon Brockman, WASHINGTON (2007-09)

KEY NON-CONFERENCE WINS (thru 12/5)

POWER 6 OPPONENTS (8-12)
#10 ARIZONA 65, #12 Michigan State 63 (Honolulu, HI)
USC 65, at Texas A&M 63
OREGON 69, Tennessee 65 (OT) (Lahaina, Hawaii)
COLORADO 68, #22 Texas 54 (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
UCLA 82, Nebraska 71 (Fullerton, Calif.)
STANFORD 66, Seton Hall 52 (Orlando, Fla.)
#14 UCLA 74, Texas A&M 67 (Anaheim, Calif.)
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92

PRESEASON CONFERENCE FAVORITES (6-4)
at STANFORD 67, Weber State 49
at OREGON 76, Valparaiso 54
at UCLA 114, Long Beach State 77
at WASHINGTON 94, Long Beach State 88
at ARIZONA 85, Texas Southern 63
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92

2016 NCAA/NIT TOURNAMENT TEAMS (14-15)
#10 ARIZONA 65, #12 Michigan State 63 (Honolulu, HI)
at CALIFORNIA 82, South Dakota State 53
at ARIZONA 78, CSU Bakersfield 66
at STANFORD 67, Weber State 49
at OREGON 76, Valparaiso 54
USC 65, at Texas A&M 63
at UCLA 114, Long Beach State 77
at WASHINGTON 94, Long Beach State 88
OREGON 79, Connecticut 69 (Lahaina, Hawaii)
STANFORD 66, Seton Hall 52 (Orlando, Fla.)
#14 UCLA 74, Texas A&M 67 (Anaheim, Calif.)
at ARIZONA 85, Texas Southern 63
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92
USC 91, BYU 84 (Los Angeles, Calif.)

OTHER (1-0)
at USC 78, SMU 73

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