Pac-12 men's basketball favorites grab early league lead
#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE
2 - Pac-12 student-athletes swept both USBWA National Player of the Week awards on Jan. 3 as OREGON’s Dillon Brooks was named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and WASHINGTON’s Markelle Fultz was tabbed Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.
>> Brooks was also named NCAA.com National Player of the Week as well as Pac-12 POW.
4 - Pac-12 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 for the fourth consecutive week: No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 OREGON, No. 17 ARIZONA, and No. 25 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 seven.
>> It marks the most Conference teams ranked in the AP Top 25 for the longest period of time since the 2007-08 season. (4-5 teams ranked for six consecutive weeks from 11/26/07 - 12/31/07)
7 - Pac-12 teams rated inside the Top 100 of the NCAA RPI rankings as of Jan. 3 (OREGON, USC, UCLA, ARIZONA, STANFORD, COLORADO, CALIFORNIA), including four in the Top 25 and six in the Top 75.
>> The Pac-12 has nine teams in the Top 100 of the Sagarin ratings.
11 - OREGON’s current 11-game winning streak is tied as the fifth-longest in the nation, while ARIZONA’s seven-game win streak is tied for the 14th-longest in the country.
302, 299, 294, 291 - Four of NCAA Division I’s five most-played rivalries will play out this week:
2. OREGON at WASHINGTON - 302nd meeting;
3. OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON - 299th meeting;
4. OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON STATE - 294th meeting;
5. OREGON at WASHINGTON STATE - 291st meeting.
>> The most played Division I rivalry is OREGON vs. OREGON STATE, currently at 346 games.
ROAD RARITY: ARIZONA opened Pac-12 play last week with a Bay Area road sweep. Of the 48 two-game road swings in Conference play during the 2015-16 season, only six times did a team complete a road sweep.
EVERY GAME’S A BATTLE: Through 10 league games as of Jan. 2:
>> Average scoring margin is 13.1 ppg.
>> 5 have been decided by single digits.
>> 1 has been decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> 1 decided by a team’s final possession.
HOME SWEET HOME: Two Pac-12 teams have built home court winning streaks among the top 12 in the country. OREGON owns the nation’s second-longest home streak at 35 consecutive games, while ARIZONA has won its last 13 at home, good for a tie for 14th nationally.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: ARIZONA’s 87 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 is the second-longest nationally behind Kansas’ streak of 151.
WEST COAST BLOCK PARTY: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked inside the national top 10 in blocked shots: OREGON (1st, 7.7 bpg), WASHINGTON (4th, 6.9 bpg), USC (T7th, 6.5 bpg) and UCLA (T7th, 6.5 bpg).
INSTANT OFFENSE: Nearly a third of the Pac-12’s Top 30 scorers, including six of the Top 10, are in their first seasons in the league:
Markelle Fultz, Fr., WASH - 1st, 22.3 ppg
Torian Graham, Sr., ASU - 2nd, 18.3 ppg
TJ Leaf, Fr., UCLA - 4th, 17.5 ppg
Lauri Markkanen, Fr., ARIZ - 8th, 15.8 ppg
Shannon Evans II, Jr., ASU - 9th, 15.4 ppg
Charlie Moore, Fr., CAL - 10th, 15.3 ppg
Derrick White, Sr., COLO - 12th, 15.0 ppg
Lonzo Ball, Fr., UCLA - 17th, 14.3 ppg
Rawle Alkins, Fr., ARIZ - 29th, 12.7 ppg
Freshmen also lead the Pac-12 in key categories:
Markelle Fultz, WASH - 22.3 ppg
Lonzo Ball, UCLA - 8.1 apg
TJ Leaf, UCLA - 65.7% FG
UCLA (93.9 ppg, 2nd in NCAA) is currently ahead of its league-record 92.3 points per game average set in 1967-68. OREGON (7.7 bpg, 1st in NCAA) and WASHINGTON (6.9 bpg, T4th in NCAA) are ahead of the Huskies’ record-setting block mark of 6.59 set last season.
At his current clip of 22.3 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).
WASHINGTON STATE’s Josh Hawkinson, who currently tops the Pac-12 at 10.5 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)
The 48 career double-doubles for WASHINGTON STATE senior Josh Hawkinson are the highest active total in NCAA Division I. Hawkinson is also third among active Division I players in rebounding with 837 career caroms, a total which currently ranks T48th in Pac-12 history.
OREGON junior Jordan Bell (181 blocks) and COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (180 blocks) are both nearing the Pac-12’s career Top 10 in blocked shots, just shy of 10th place Jelani McCoy’s 188 (UCLA, 1996-98).
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