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Big Love

Player of the Week

Jordan Loveridge, Utah

Jordan LoveridgeJordan LoveridgeLoveridge has continued to improve his game as the season goes on. He’s been a great rebounder all season, averaging 9.5 rebounds per game ranking him fourth in the conference. His increased consistency shooting the ball has provided a spark for the Utes during the team’s impressive early-season run.

The sophomore forward averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game over the course of the week as Utah picked up wins over Idaho State and BYU. He posted a career high 27 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the Utes win against Idaho State. Against BYU the following game, he scored 21 points and added another career-high with five assists. Loveridge shot .531 from the field and .778 from the free-throw line over both games.

Loveridge is averaging close to a double-double on the year with 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He is especially a strong rebounder on the defensive end, averaging 7.8 rebounds per game, which is tops in the conference. His performances in the Utes last two games helped the team remain undefeated at home and improved their overall record to 9-1 on the season.

Who’s Hot

Brandon Ashley, Arizona

Ashley has provided an interior presence on this Arizona squad that was lacking one through the first few weeks of the season. He’s confident when he gets the ball in his hands and makes his challenged shots in the paint. In the Wildcats win against Michigan over the weekend, he had a team-high 18 points along with six rebounds, two steals and a block. He shot 50 percent from the field and made crucial shots down the stretch for his team in their comeback victory over Michigan. Ashley is proving to be a valuable piece of the puzzle on this complete Arizona team. He’s averaging 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Devon Collier, Oregon State

Collier has been hot all year for the Beavers, averaging a double-double with 22.7 points (2nd in conference) and 10.0 rebounds (2nd in conference) per game. He also adds 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals per game to his season averages. The senior forward is a great all-around player for Oregon State, but does most of his damage in the post. He’s very efficient when he gets his touches shooting .694 from the field, ranking him second in the conference. He also does a good job at getting to the stripe when he has the ball (8 fta per game). It will be interesting to see if Collier can keep up his outstanding production when conference play rolls around.

Who’s Not

Brandon Taylor, Utah

Taylor’s offensive production has taken a hit over the past week. In the Utes last game against BYU he shot a very poor .182 (2-of-11) from the field in 30 minutes of play. Over the past couple games he’s had bad shot selection, which can be related to his meager field-goal percentage over that span. With the emergence of Loveridge and Delon Wright for Utah, Taylor has taken a backseat in the scoring department for the team. He’s contributing by averaging 4.2 assists per game, but with his ability he should be putting up more than 10 points per game.

Top 5 Sophomores

1. Kyle Anderson, UCLA

The 6-9 point guard is always under control and smooth with the ball and is a great all-around player for UCLA. He rebounds, drives, shoots outside and distributes to his teammates each game. His ability to find teammates or finish in traffic is a key aspect to his game and he is so good at facilitating the offense. Anderson is averaging 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. He has four double-doubles on the season, as well as a triple-double.

2. Jordan Adams, UCLA

Adams along with Anderson might be the best backcourt in the nation. Adams is the scorer on the team, averaging 21.2 points per game (3rd in conference). He does a good job at getting to line and converts often when he gets there. His defense is another aspect to his game this season, averaging 3.5 steals per game, good for third in the league. Adams also leads the conference with seven 20-point games thus far.

3. Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Carson is one of the best point guards in the league. He’s a scorer and if he gets hot it can be a long night for opposing defenders. Challenging defenders inside is not a problem for Carson and he has confidence when finishing near the rim. He also is great at setting up his teammates, averaging 5.2 assists per game to go along with his 19.9 points per game. Carson is efficient with his touches (.516 FG %) and takes over for the Sun Devils when the game is on the line.

4. Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona

The 7-0 center is starting to come around in this point of the season for the Wildcats. Tarczewski looked slow and confused with the ball in his hands around the basket at the beginning of the season, but since has provided some scoring near the rim for his team. He uses his size on defense when opponents get into the paint and is shaping up to be a solid defender down low. Improving his offensive play in the post would be a huge asset to add to his big man game. He’s averaging 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

5. Jordan Loveridge, Utah

Much was said about Loveridge above. To add to that, he’s contributing for mostly the whole game averaging 32.8 minutes per game. With a little improvement on the defensive end he can become another great all-around player for the Utes.

Note

Dominc Artis and Ben Carter returned to the Ducks Tuesday against UC Irvine after completing their suspensions for selling shoes that were given to them by the university. Artis had five points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of play and Carter added four points and two steals in 19 minutes on the floor.

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