Pac-12 men's basketball leaders set for marquee matchups this week
#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE
3 - Saturday’s showdown featuring #14 ARIZONA at #3 UCLA will mark the third Conference clash between two ranked teams so far in this Pac-12 season. Using combined ranking total, it marks the league’s best matchup of AP ranked teams since #3 UCLA beat #11 STANFORD, 67-64, in the 2008 Pac-12 Tournament title game.
>> It’s the best regular-season matchup since #3 UCLA edged #7 STANFORD, 77-67, in OT on March 6, 2008.
5 - Five Pac-12 standouts were named to the John R. Wooden Award National Player of the Year Midseason Top 25 list on Jan. 11 (Lauri Markkanen, ARIZONA; Dillon Brooks, OREGON; Lonzo Ball, UCLA; TJ Leaf, UCLA; Markelle Fultz, WASHINGTON), tied with the ACC for the most selections in the nation.
>> The five selections are the most for the Pac-12 since five in 2008-09.
8 - Pac-12 teams rated inside the Top 100 of the NCAA RPI rankings as of Jan. 17 (OREGON, ARIZONA, UCLA, USC, STANFORD, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, UTAH), including six in the Top 60 and three in the Top 20.
>> Nine Pac-12 teams are rated inside the Top 100 of the Sagarin ratings.
14 & 10 - OREGON’s current 14-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in the nation, while ARIZONA’s 10-game win streak is the fifth-longest in the country.
>> The Ducks’ 13 straight Conference wins dating back to last season are the second-best streak in the country behind Kansas (19).
8,668 - Through 32 of the 108-game Pac-12 slate, league contests are drawing 8,668 fans per game. That mark would be the highest average since the formation of the Pac-12 for 2011-12, besting the 8,380 average during the 2015-16 season, which featured a 7,732 average though 32 league games.
NCAA.com Team of the Week - Lonzo Ball, UCLA (Nov. 28)
NCAA.com TOW - TJ Leaf, UCLA (Dec. 5)
NCAA.com TOW - Derrick White, Colorado (Dec. 12)
NCAA.com TOW - Chris Boucher, Oregon (Dec. 19)
NCAA.com POW - Dillon Brooks, Oregon (Jan. 2)
USBWA POW - Dillon Brooks, Oregon (Jan. 2)
USBWA FrOW - Markelle Fultz, Washington (Jan. 2)
NCAA.com TOW - Ivan Rabb, California (Jan. 9)
NCAA.com POW - Ivan Rabb, California (Jan. 16)
FAST STARTS: The unbeaten league starts by ARIZONA (5-0) and OREGON (5-0) are the best for a pair of Pac-12 teams since ARIZONA and CALIFORNIA both started 5-0 in 2013-14. Sweeps this week by the Wildcats and Ducks would mark the best league starts for a pair of teams since the Wildcats and Bears both opened 7-0 in 2002-03.
ROAD RARITITES: Of the 14 two-game Conference road swings so far in 2016-17, three teams have completed sweeps:
OREGON at WASH/WSU
ARIZONA at CAL/STAN
UCLA at COLO/UTAH (only the 4th sweep of mountain schools since 2011-12)
>> During the 2015-16 season, only six times in 48 swings did a Pac-12 team complete a road sweep.
EVERY GAME’S A BATTLE: Through 32 league games as of Jan. 15:
>> Average scoring margin is 13.4 ppg.
>> 13 have been decided by single digits.
>> 5 has been decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> 3 decided by a team’s final possession.
HOME SWEET HOME: Three Pac-12 teams have built double-digit home court winning streaks. OREGON owns the nation’s second-longest home streak at 36 consecutive games. ARIZONA has won its last 16 at home, good for a tie for seventh nationally, and UCLA has won 10 in a row at home, tied for 24th in the country.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: ARIZONA’s 89 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 is the second-longest nationally behind Kansas’ streak of 153. OREGON’s stretch of 19 consecutive appearances is its second-longest in program history behind 21 from 2007-08.
LA-LA-LAND: Two Conference teams have gone undefeated in non-conference play just three times dating to the founding of the Pac-8 in 1967.
2016-17: UCLA (13-0) and USC (13-0)
2013-14: ARIZONA (13-0) and OREGON (12-0)
1994-95: STANFORD (9-0) and UCLA (9-0)
WEST COAST BLOCK PARTY: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked inside the national top 20 in blocked shots: OREGON (1st, 7.6 bpg), WASHINGTON (6th, 6.4 bpg), UCLA (12th, 5.9 bpg) and USC (16th, 5.7 bpg).
INSTANT IMPACT: Five-or-more freshmen appear in the Pac-12 statistical rankings in six different categories: scoring, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, steals, three-point field goals made and three-point percentage.
Freshmen lead the Pac-12 in key categories:
Markelle Fultz, WASH - 22.2 ppg
Lonzo Ball, UCLA - 8.0 apg, 3.5 A/TO ratio, 35.4 mpg
TJ Leaf, UCLA - 64.1% FG, 51.3% 3FG
OREGON (7.4 bpg, 1st in NCAA) is ahead of WASHINGTON’s Pac-12 single-season record setting block mark of 6.59 set last season.
At his current clip of 22.2 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). Fultz would be only the third freshmen to pace the league in scoring along with Abdur-Rahim and Cliff Robinson (USC, 1977-78).
UCLA’s Bryce Alford has entered the Pac-12 career Top 10 in three-point field goals as his 278 triples (3rd active in NCAA, most among Power 6 players) rank 10th all-time. Alford’s 1,702 career points are the most among active players from Power 6 programs (10th active in NCAA) and rank 57th in Conference history.
The 49 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 877 career caroms, a total which currently ranks 39th in Pac-12 history.
COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (186 blocks) and OREGON junior Jordan Bell (184 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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