Desert duel, league logjam mark week ahead in Pac-12 men's basketball

Arizona Athletics

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#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

2 - Two Pac-12 teams are in the AP Top 25 as No. 25 ARIZONA STATE returned after a one-week absence. ASU hosts #17 ARIZONA on Thursday (ESPN, 6 p.m. PT) in the second ranked matchup between the teams this season.
>> It marks only the second time these two programs have met twice as ranked teams in the same season (1994-95: 1/5/95 - #15 ASU 53, #9 ARIZ 52; 3/11/95 - #18 ASU 103, #12 ARIZ 98 2OT).

4.5 - 4.5 games currently separate 10 teams (1st through 10th place) in the Pac-12 standings. Additionally, nine teams (2nd-10th) are separated by just 2.5 games.
>> That marks the tightest league race among the most teams of the 32 conferences (5 - SEC).

9 - Nine Pac-12 teams are in the NCAA RPI Top 100, the fourth-most nationally. Two Pac-12 teams are in the top 25 (ARIZ, ASU), four are in the top 50 (WASH, USC) and seven are in the top 75 (UCLA, UTAH, COLO).
>> Nine NCAA RPI Top 100 teams would equal the most ever for the Conference (2015-16).

11.2 - Through 76 league games as of Feb. 9, the average scoring margin is 11.2 points.
>> 42 games have been decided by single digits
>> 14 have been decided by one possession (3 pts. or less)
>> 4 have gone into overtime (6 total OT periods)
>> 4 decided on team’s final possession (Daejon Davis, STAN - 1/7 vs. USC; Dominic Green, WASH - 2/3 vs. ARIZ; Tra Holder, ASU - 2/8 vs. USC; Stephen Thompson Jr., OSU - 2/10 vs. WASH).

15 - The overall national seed given to ARIZONA in the NCAA Selection Committee’s Bracket Preview on Sunday, Feb. 11. The Wildcats were awarded a No. 4 seed in the West Region.

PAC-12 TIPOFF

ELITE COMPANY: ARIZONA STATE’s Tra Holder (1697p/433a) is three points shy of becoming the 13th member of the Pac-12’s 1,700-point, 400-assist club. The other members:

Sean Elliott (Arizona, 1986-89)
Jason Gardner (Arizona, 2000-03)
Damon Stoudamire (Arizona, 1992-95)
Eddie House (Arizona State, 1997-00)
Jeremy Veal (Arizona State, 1995-98)
Jerome Randle (California, 2007-10)
Luke Jackson (Oregon, 2001-04)
Gary Payton (Oregon State, 1987-90)
Brevin Knight (Stanford, 1994-97)
Bryce Alford (UCLA, 2014-17)
Toby Bailey (UCLA. 1995-98)
Isaiah Thomas (Washington, 2009-11)

USC’s Jordan McLaughlin has entered an exclusive list of Pac-12 players with at least 1,500 points and 600 assists in their careers:

Gary Payton, Oregon State
Jason Gardner, Arizona 
Damon Stoudamire, Arizona
Brevin Knight, Stanford
Tyus Edney, UCLA
Jordan McLaughlin, USC (1506p/651a)

UCLA's Aaron Holiday is on an exclusive national list of players averaging at least 19.0 points and 5.0 assists this season:

Trae Young, Oklahoma
RJ Cole, Howard
Jon Elmore, Marshall
Jermaine Marrow, Hampton
Junior Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s

CATS ON TOP: ARIZONA’s National Player of the Year candidates Allonzo Trier (19.6 ppg) and Deandre Ayton (19.5 ppg) currently rank Nos. 1-2 in the Pac-12 in scoring. Since the formation of the Pac-8 in 1968-69, no teammates have finished 1-2 in the league in scoring average.

MUCH IMPROVED: According to NCAA research, three Pac-12 teams are currently among the top 20 most improved in the nation. OREGON STATE and WASHINGTON are the second- and third-most improved major conference teams to date, trailing only Missouri (+12.5).
>> 4. OREGON STATE - +12.0 (13-11 from 5-27)
>> 5. WASHINGTON - +11.0 (17-8 from 9-22)
>> T19. ARIZONA STATE - +8.0 (19-6 from 15-18)

RECORDS WATCH: Several Pac-12 teams and players have set marks or are climbing/on pace for game, season or career records lists:

Kenny Wooten, OREGON
>> 73 blocks, T-3rd on Pac-12 freshman season list

Matisse Thybulle, WASHINGTON
>> 77 steals, eight shy of Pac-12 season top 10, on pace to approach Pac-12 season record (110, Jason Kidd, CAL 1993)
>> 181 career steals, 44 shy of Pac-12 career top 10

Jordan McLaughlin, USC
>> 651 career assists, ninth on Pac-12 career list, one shy of eighth
>> 190 career steals, 35 shy of Pac-12 career top 10

Deandre Ayton, ARIZONA
>> 19.5 ppg, on pace for Pac-12 freshman season top 10
>> 10.7 rpg, on pace to break Pac-12 freshman season record (10.6, Kevin Love, UCLA 2008)

Tra Holder, ARIZONA STATE
>> 510-of-666 FT, 22 FTM and 29 FTA shy of Pac-12 career top 10
>> 1,697 points, T-60th all-time in Pac-12

Thomas Welsh, UCLA
>>  935 career rebounds, 27th all-time in Pac-12, 65 shy of becoming 14th to 1,000 in league history

Kingsley Okoroh, CALIFORNIA
>>188 career blocks, three shy of Pac-12 career top 10


UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Thursday, Feb. 15    
#17 ARIZONA at #25 ARIZONA STATE ESPN 6 p.m.
OREGON at USC ESPN2 6 p.m.
UTAH at WASHINGTON P12N 6 p.m.
COLORADO at WASHINGTON STATE P12N 8 p.m.
OREGON STATE at UCLA FS1 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17    
COLORADO at WASHINGTON P12N 5 p.m.
UTAH at WASHINGTON STATE ESPN2 7 p.m.
OREGON at UCLA ESPN 7:15 p.m.
OREGON STATE at USC FS1 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18    
STANFORD at CALIFORNIA ESPNU 5 p.m.
 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Arizona  10-3 20-6
UCLA 8-5 17-8
USC 8-5 17-9
Oregon 7-5 17-8
Washington 7-5 17-8
Arizona State 7-6 19-6
Utah 7-6 15-9
Colorado 7-6 15-10
Stanford 7-6 13-13
Oregon State 5-7 13-11
California 2-11 8-18
Washington State 1-11 9-15
 
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