All the Wright Moves
Player of the Week
Delon Wright, Utah
The JUCO transfer has been all that for the Utes this season. He does everything while out on the court and is a true stat-sheet stuffer every game. Wright does a great job at attacking the basket with the ball in his hands; he takes it to the hole strong and has the ability to finish through contact at the rim. The big guard also means a lot on the defensive end for his team, with his quick hands constantly plucking opponents for steals.
Wright put up a team-high 22 points in the Utes win against the Trojans, with 10 of his points coming from the free-throw line (10-11). He also added six rebounds, five assists, six steals and two blocks. The following game he contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks in the upset victory over #25 UCLA. Wright averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the two victories.
Another aspect of his game worth noting is how dangerous he is in transition. He flies down the court off an opponent’s miss and creates offense by taking it into the paint or setting up a teammate for a good shot. His high basketball IQ is evident each time he’s out on the court. Wright leads the conference in field-goal percentage (.635), second in steals (49) and fifth in assists (94).
Richard Solomon, California
Solomon was the only player in the conference averaging a double-double with 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game (Eric Moreland returned from suspension on January 2). He has six total on the season, cashing in two during conference play. In Cal’s win against Washington, the senior posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. He followed that up in the win against Washington State with 12 points and nine rebounds along with three blocks and two steals. The forward ended the week with a .762 field-goal percentage.
His improvement on the defensive end has also been a huge factor to his success. He’s averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game and has created a problem for opponents penetrating the paint. Solomon along with Justin Cobbs has provided a terrific two-man game for this offense and is a big reason for the Golden Bears early success in conference play.
Chasson Randle, Stanford
Randle has continued his hot streak through another week. He has no fear going into the paint and is very aggressive at getting to the free-throw line when he has the ball. On average he gets to the line 6.5 times per game. In the teams win against Washington he posted another 30-point game, the second time in four games and third of the season, with 33 points. He shot .733 (11-15) from the field and .769 (10-13) from the charity stripe.
The Cardinal has won three straight games with Randle leading the way in two of them. If he can learn to translate some of his activeness on the offensive side onto defense, he can make for a better all-around player. But for now, his contributions on offense have been just what the team needs to help them win games.
Eric Moreland, Oregon State
Since returning from his 12-game suspension, Moreland is averaging a double-double with 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the five games he’s played in this season. He has recorded a double-double in three of those games. In the Beavers win against Oregon he posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He also added five assists and three blocks to his stat sheet total. The junior went 2-12 from the field, but picked up the slack from the free-throw line making 11-12 attempts.
Moreland has improved each game since the suspension and now seems to have found a cozy spot in the double-double range each night out. He’s also been a great addition down low since returning, averaging 2.0 blocks per game.
Bryce Alford, UCLA
The freshman did not record a point in either of the Bruins two games last week. He shot 0-11 from the field, 5 of which came from behind the arc, as the team split during the week with a win and a loss. Alford has been struggling with the outside game, something he was relied upon earlier in the season. His quick shots and 3-point shooting ability gives the Bruins offense a spark off the bench and change of pace compared to when Kyle Anderson mans the point. He did contribute three assists in the loss to Utah, but his main role is to knock down the money ball. If he’s not doing that, then Alford has little else to bring to the table.
Damyean Dotson, Oregon
Dotson was ineffective in the Ducks lose to Oregon State on Sunday. He shot 2-9 from the field for seven points, while only making one of his four 3-point attempts. Two of his points came from the free-throw line. The sophomore guard is the finisher around the basket in this offense, but nothing was falling for him as he attacked the rim. This was the first outing since November 30 that he’s finished a game with a single-digit scoring output. He added two steals to his final stat-sheet, but that’s about the only positive to take away from this game for this duck. Oregon has lost four games in a row.
Top 5 Juniors
1. Nick Johnson, Arizona
Johnson has been outstanding for the Wildcats on their undefeated run. He’s involved in every play on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and his full arsenal of abilities make him a tough opponent in the Pac-12 each game. His confidence to take big shots with the game on the line is an important trait on a team with many freshman and sophomores.
The guard leads his team in scoring, averaging 16.3 points per game. He also leads the Wildcats in free-throw percentage shooting .819 from the stripe.
2. Delon Wright, Utah
Wright’s versatility has helped propel the Utes to a strong first two months of the season (14-4 record). He leads his team in assists (5.2), steals (2.7) and blocks per game (1.4) to go along with a conference best .635 field-goal percentage. The guard has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, which came back on December 28. Note that he did record 17 rebounds, six assists and two blocks in this game. Wright is averaging 15.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the season.
3. TJ McConnell, Arizona
McConnell is the assist man on this Arizona squad, averaging 6.2 assists per game (3rd in conference). He’s an unselfish player that is a great setup guy, getting his teammates open with excellent passes throughout the game. The Wildcat guard is also very active on the defensive end, averaging 1.9 steals per game (3rd in conference). Perhaps his biggest contribution to his team is his efficiency as a point guard. He’s leading the conference with an assist/turnover ratio of 3.0.
4. Chasson Randle, Stanford
Randle is ranked third in the conference in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game on a .522 field-goal percentage. He’s getting good looks at the basket and has been scoring a ton during January (21.4 points per game). His jumpshot has been on-point and he’s getting to the free-throw line frequently, also adding in a 3-pointer or two each game. The guard has recorded eight 20-point games on the season, tying him for second in the conference.
5. Joseph Young, Oregon
Young is a pure scorer that gets the ball through the hoop by any means necessary. He leads his team averaging 18.0 points per game, which also ranks him fifth in the conference in scoring. The Duck guard has a quick shot off the pass and can get in the paint and create fouls to get attempts at the free-throw line where he is money (.859 free-throw percentage). He’s also not afraid to jack up the 3, averaging 2.1 made 3-point attempts per game (3rd in conference). Young has seven 20-point games on the year.