Pac-12 Men's Basketball seeking strong finish to non-conference play

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#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

 2 (of 6) - UCLA (12-0) and USC (11-0) are two of six remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I as of Dec. 19. The Pac-12 (2) and Big East (2) are the only conferences with multiple unbeaten teams remaining.

4 - Pac-12 teams in the national rankings for the second consecutive week: No. 2 UCLA, No. 18 ARIZONA, No. 20 OREGON and No. 23 USC. The Pac-12’s four ranked teams are tied for the second-most of any conference in the nation with the Big East (four) and trails only the ACC’s six.

4 - Pac-12 Player of the Week honors awarded to freshmen so far in 2016-17 (2x TJ Leaf, UCLA; Lonzo Ball, UCLA; Charlie Moore, CAL), which matches the second-most awards by rookies in a season since the award’s creation in 1983. The record of seven selections was set in 2007-08 (3x Kevin Love, UCLA; Ty Abbott, ASU; James Harden, ASU; Jerryd Bayless, ARIZ; O.J. Mayo, USC).

40 - The Pac-12’s top seven teams have combined for a 40-game winning streak to improve to a 68-11 composite record. Six of those 11 losses have come to teams currently ranked in the Top 25 polls (Gonzaga, Butler 2x, Baylor, Notre Dame and Xavier).

46 - Seasons since UCLA (12-0) and USC (11-0) have combined for as good of unbeaten starts to a campaign. The two schools combined to begin the 1970-71 season at 30-0 (UCLA 14-0, USC 16-0). The Bruins (29-1) handed the Trojans (24-2) their only two losses that season en route to a national title.

PAC-12 TIPOFF

WEST COAST BLOCK PARTY: Pac-12 teams currently average 5.2 total blocked shots per game, the highest rate in the country. Four teams are ranked inside the national top 15: OREGON (1st, 8.7 bpg), WASHINGTON (3rd, 7.2 bpg), USC (7th, 7.0 bpg) and UCLA (12th, 6.2 bpg).

INSIDE THE RANKINGS: UCLA’s No. 2 national ranking is the highest for a Pac-12 team since ARIZONA was No. 2 in Nov. 2014, and is UCLA’s best since being No. 2 during the 2007-08 season when it last reached the Final Four. ARIZONA’s 85 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 is the second-longest nationally behind Kansas’ streak of 149.

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 third-longest home streak at 32 consecutive games, while CALIFORNIA ranks fourth with 27 home wins in a row. ARIZONA has won its last 12 at home, good for a tie for 16th nationally.

UNICORNS: OREGON’s Chris Boucher was named to the NCAA.com National Team of the Week on Dec. 19 after a stat line only seen four times in NCAA Division I this season according to College Basketball Reference. However, Boucher isn’t the only Pac-12 player to make the short list of D-I players with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in a game so far in 2016-17:

Drew Eubanks, OSU - 23p, 16r, 6b vs. Savannah St. (12/11/16)
Chris Boucher, ORE - 23p, 19r, 5b vs. Montana (12/13/16)

INSTANT OFFENSE: Nearly half of the Pac-12’s Top 20 scorers, as well as 10 of the Top 30, are in their first seasons in the league:

Markelle Fultz, Fr., WASH - 1st, 23.2 ppg
TJ Leaf, Fr., UCLA - 2nd, 17.5 ppg
Charlie Moore, Fr., CAL - 5th, 16.9 ppg
Torian Graham, Sr., ASU - 6th, 16.5 ppg
Lauri Markkanen, Fr., ARIZ - 7th, 16.3 ppg
Shannon Evans II, Jr., ASU - 8th, 16.1 ppg
Derrick White, Sr., COLO - 16th, 14.8 ppg
Lonzo Ball, Fr., UCLA - 19th, 14.3 ppg
Rawle Alkins, Fr., ARIZ - 27th, 12.3 ppg
Kobi Simmons, ARIZ - 27th, 12.3 ppg

Freshmen also lead the Pac-12 in key stat categories:
Markelle Fultz, WASH - 23.2 ppg
Lonzo Ball, UCLA - 8.7 apg
TJ Leaf, UCLA - 66.4% FG
De’Anthony Melton, USC - 2.1 spg

RECORD WATCH

UCLA (96.9 ppg, 2nd in NCAA) is currently ahead of its league-record 92.3 points per game average set in 1967-68. OREGON (8.7 bpg, 1st in NCAA), WASHINGTON (7.2 bpg, 3rd in NCAA) and USC (7.0 bpg, 7th in NCAA) are ahead of the Huskies’ record-setting block mark of 6.59 set last season.

At his current clip of 23.2 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 8.67 assists per game, UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball is near the NCAA freshman assist mark held by St. John’s Omar Cook (8.69 apg, 2000-01). He’s also near the Conference single-season record for assists per game, currently at 9.19 apg by ARIZONA STATE’s Ahlon Lewis in 1995-96.

The 48 career double-doubles for WASHINGTON STATE senior Josh Hawkinson are the highest active total in NCAA Division I. Hawkinson is also second among active Division I players in rebounding with 818 career caroms, a total which currently ranks 58th in Pac-12 history.

COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (177 blocks) and OREGON junior Jordan Bell (177 blocks) are both nearing the career Top 10 in blocked shots in Pac-12 history, just shy of 10th place Jelani McCoy’s 188 (UCLA, 1996-98).

KEY NON-CONFERENCE WINS (thru 12/20)

POWER 6 OPPONENTS (14-16)
#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
at COLORADO 68, #13 Xavier 66
ARIZONA 79, at Missouri 60
at UCLA 102, Michigan 84
at #24 OREGON 65, Alabama 56
#19 ARIZONA 67, Texas A&M 63 (Houston, Texas)
#2 UCLA 86, Ohio State 73 (Las Vegas, Nev.)

PRESEASON CONFERENCE FAVORITES (8-6)
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
CALIFORNIA 62, Princeton 51 (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)
ARIZONA STATE 74, at San Diego State 63

2016 NCAA/NIT TOURNAMENT TEAMS (21-21)
#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.)
CALIFORNIA 62, Princeton 51 (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)
at COLORADO 68, #13 Xavier 66
ARIZONA STATE 74, at San Diego State 63
at UCLA 102, Michigan 84
at #24 OREGON 65, Alabama 56
#19 ARIZONA 67, Texas A&M 63 (Houston, Texas)
​#2 UCLA 86, Ohio State 73 (Las Vegas, Nev.)

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

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