Bird's breakout performances garner player of the week recognition
SAN FRANCISCO - A pair of breakout performances by junior Jabari Bird led CALIFORNIA to two key victories and to his first career Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week nod as voted upon by media members who cover the league.
Bird averaged 23.5 points on 64 percent shooting (18-28), including 56 percent (9-16) from three-point range, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists as the Golden Bears improved to 17-8 overall and 1.5 games out of first place in the league with a 7-5 mark.
The 6-6 guard from Vallejo, Calif., scored over 20 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career, going for a career-high tying 24 in Thursday’s 83-63 upset of then No. 11 OREGON and 23 in an 83-71 victory over OREGON STATE on Saturday that kept CALIFORNIA undefeated at home (16-0) this season. He went 9-of-14 from the floor in both games and hit a season-high five 3-pointers against the Ducks, including three in the opening five minutes as the Bears built a double-digit lead.
Bird’s laurels evens the distribution of Pac-12 awards this season to seven backcourt and seven frontcourt selections, mirroring the balance and depth of a conference in which only five games separate first through 11th place in the standings with five games remaining for the majority of the league.
This week’s 10-game slate features a pair of rivalry games as No. 12 ARIZONA hosts ARIZONA STATE for the Territorial Cup on Wednesday (7 p.m. MT, ESPN2) and No. 16 OREGON welcomes OREGON STATE in the Civil War on Saturday (7 p.m. PT, PAC12).
ALSO NOMINATED: Gabe York, ARIZ; Wesley Gordon, COLO; Tres Tinkle, OSU; Rosco Allen, STAN; Bryce Alford, UCLA; Jakob Poeltl, UTAH; Marquese Chriss, WASH.
2015-16 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK