Player of the Week
Carlon Brown, Colorado Buffaloes
Brown was lights out this past week in leading the Buffaloes to a sweep of the Washington schools scoring 23 points per in the two games on 59% shooting from the field including 9 of 15 from three point land. The 6-5 senior wing man is stepping up as a scorer who can both shoot from the outside as well as use his solid frame to get into the paint and play through contact. Colorado leads the Pac 12 at 3-0 out of the gate and will look to validate their candidacy as a team to beat in the conference with a pair of upcoming road games versus the Bay Area schools, Stanford and Cal.
Joe Burton, Oregon State Beavers
The 6-7 280 pound big man has steadily been improving and showing more consistency. Joe is an excellent high post passer who loves to hang outside showing off his passing abilities and court vision while the wings play off the ball using screens and back cuts looking to get open. But as the season progresses, he is now looking to establish himself down low demonstrating his own offensive repetoire. In 4 Conference games, Burton is averaging 16 points on 66% shooting to go with 7 boards.
Anthony Brown, Stanford Cardinal
A lot was expected coming into this season for the sophomore shooting gaurd after a solid freshman season was followed by his selection to the USA men's Under 19 national team last summer which led to Brown being on many people's radar as a potential breakout candidate for the Cardinal. But it has been a relatively slow season for the 6-6 shooting gaurd that has not shown much progress in recent weeks as he has only averaged 6 points over the last five games with his only double digit outing coming in a 4 overtime game vs Oregon State where he shot 3 of 14 from the field to finish with 11 points.
Top 5 Conference Player of the Year Candidates
1. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal
Gutierrez is averaging 18 points, 5.6 assists and 5 rebounds to begin Conference play. He is an all first team defender as well and has come a long way with his skill development where he is now a very comfortable ball handler and one on one shot creator.
2. Tony Wroten, Washington
Wroten is off to a good start in Conference play averaging 20.5 points and doing it on 55% shooting. He has as much game changing ability as anyone in the Pac 12 and is getting scarier for opposing defenses as his confidence grows.
3. Allen Crabbe, Cal
Crabbe is averaging 18.5 points and just under 7 rebounds in 4 Conference games and has continued to showcase what the pro scouts love about him which is his shooting ability. He has made 14 of 25 three pointers these past two weeks raising his season three point percentage to 48%. He has a very smooth game and can put up points in a hurry when he gets in a groove.
4. Josh Owens, Stanford
Owens' box scores wont jump out at you where he currently is at 14 points and 8.3 rebounds in Conference play. But he is the leader of one of the best teams in the Pac 12 and is a reliable big man on a squad that prides itself on depth and sharing the ball.
5. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
Cunningham is an excellent defender and athlete who causes havoc by getting into passing lanes and running the court where he covers ground quickly. Through 4 games, he is averaging 19.8 points for the highscoring Beavers.
5b. Brock Motum, Washington State
Okay, Im cheating a little here adding a 6th guy to the list, but I really want to give props to a guy who gets little recognition outside of the teams and players who have to face him on the hardwood. Motum is averaging 18.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in conference play while his combination of inside and outside skills are on full display to those who have watched the Cougars this year.
-Rough week for Herb Sendek and Arizona State fans. Starters Keala King, Kyle Cain and reserve Chris Colvin were all suspended for this past week's games for "unacceptable conduct" as Sendek put it. King, who was leading the Sun Devils in scoring at just under 14 a game and had serious breakout potential going forward decided to leave the program.
-The Wear Twins, David and Travis, are coming along fine for the UCLA Bruins and showing solid improvement. They struggled finishing around the paint earlier in the season and seemed unsure of how much freedom they had on the perimiter. But in 2 wins this past week over the Arizona schools, they combined to average 29 points and 13 rebounds per game on an efficient as can be 22 of 29 from the field.
-Oregon State and Stanford were involved in an instant classic back and forth battle that lasted 4 overtimes and saw both teams crack 100 points. Stanford was led by freshman gaurd Chasson Randle's 24 points while Jared Cunningham and Roberto Nelson both dropped 19 for the Beavers. It finally came to an end as Nelson missed an off balance three pointer at the buzzer that was off by inches allowing the Cardinal to finally breathe a sigh of relief and walk away with a hard earned 2 point victory on the road.
-Washington had a rough week suffering a blowout loss to Colorado and following that up with a close 4 point victory over a Utah squad that has no business keeping pace with the Huskies and their considerable talent advantage.