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Pac 12 Blog

Player of the Week

Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado Buffaloes

Spencer DinwiddieSpencer DinwiddieOver the past three games, Spencer has averaged 21 points 5 rebounds and 3 assists for the 19th ranked Colorado Buffaloes. Spencer has always shown the ability to knock down open shots as well as attack when the openings are available, but has occasionally lacked aggression to force the issue when the defense is set. Recently though, he has shown more aggression and looked to take the lead on the offensive end not worrying about always making the smart play. After not taking more then 8 shot attempts in any of the first 5 games, he has gotten up double digit shot attempts in each of his recent games as well as forcing his way into the paint and getting to the line to the tune of 11 free throw attempts per contest over those 3 games. His emergence as a scoring weapon will further increase his draft stock going forward where not too many people outside of Pac 12 land are aware of his talents.

Who’s Hot

Brock Motum, Washington State Cougars

Brock has seen his numbers rise over the past 3 games averaging 23 points to go with 7 boards and shooting 55% from the floor and 7 of 13 from three point range. In that span, the Cougars have gone 2-1 with the loss being a narrow 2 point defeat to top 10 Gonzaga in game that was tied until the final few seconds when the Bulldogs pulled it out by a basket. Motum put the Cougars on his back and continues to establish himself as an early Conference Player of the Year candidate in the Pac 12. The lefty big man is crafty and agile and capable of hitting from anywhere on the floor. He tends to shy away from tough physical play which hinders his prospects as an NBA player, but he may turn out just flat out too good to not get some looks at the next level.

Who’s Cold

Kyle Anderson, UCLA Bruins

The Bruins as a team have struggled out of the gate and speculation about head coach Ben Howlands job security will be in question if things don’t get headed in the right direction. One player in particular who has not lived up to the pre-season hype is talented frosh Kyle Anderson. Anderson has a variety of tools at his disposal where he can rebound, push the ball himself and routinely makes smart choices with the ball in terms of hitting the open man and reading the court. His status as an NBA prospect is still strong, just not any time soon. There is a lot of work to do for the 6-9 wing player. While he currently leads the team at 8 rebounds per contest, his 6 points per game on a hideous 33 fg% including just 1 of 10 from three on the season leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn’t shoot well from anywhere on the court yet. He not only struggles hitting the open jumper, but he has not finished well in the paint either, nor has he shown the ability to take smaller opponents into the paint and finish over them. These are things that he will need to work on going forward, but for now, the Kyle has been getting out performed by his opposition on the floor.

Team of the Week

Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils are off to a solid 7-1 start to the year. They have not yet beaten anyone of merit, but they are clearly more talented than most predicted including my preseason rankings of them finishing 10th in the conference. Freshman point guard Jahii Carson brings the spark and playmaking ability while talented senior wing Carrick Felix has been showning significant improvement across the board, particularly with his outside shooting. Forward sharp shooter Jonathan Gilling has shown a willingness to battle down low on the boards where he leads the team at over 8 rebounds per game. Coach Herb Sendek also has the rare luxury of having a 7-2 center with shot blocking ability and decent skills to throw the ball inside to in Jordan Bachynski. The starting five is rounded out with junior shooting guard Evan Gordon who is the brother of NBA player Eric Gordon. Evan has struggled shooting thus far, but did showcase a flash of brilliance with his 29 point performance versus Sacramento State which included knocking down 5 three pointers. This is a well rounded squad that has thus far put up 80 points per contest and should be in the mix once conference play begins to battle for a spot in the top half the field.

Top 5 Seniors

Solomon Hill, Arizona Wildcats

Hill continues to show his all around play, amassing 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He has transitioned seamlessly from playing primarily at the pf spot the last few seasons to the sf position this year where he has displayed an improved jump shot and ball handling skills. Hill is not asked to put up big numbers very often on a very deep Wildcat squad that remains undefeated, but he routinely finds a way to pick up the slack and raise the bar for the young roster around him.

Carric Felix, Arizona State Sun Devils

Felix has been a tremendous surprise for the Sun Devils this season. He has always been a solid athlete and defender from the wing position, but this year he has shown remarkable improvement shooting the ball. The 6-6 wing is averaging 16 points 6 boards and continues his traditional defensive prowess with just over a block and two steals per game as well. His shooting percentages are an impressive 59% from the field and 44% from three. He has benefitted tremendously from the playmaking abilities of point guard Jahii Carson where Carrick no longer has to create as much off the dribble like seasons past.

Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon Ducks

It was unknown starting the season if Kazemi, a transfer student from Rice, would be eligible this season for the Ducks. After missing the first two games of the season, he was cleared to play and has immediately made his impact felt. Arsalan was a double double machine all three seasons at Rice and has picked up right where he left off providing the Ducks with 9 points and 10 rebounds in the early going to go along with 4 steals per contest as well. These numbers should only rise as he continues to establish his role on a deep Ducks squad that has started the year 7-1. The Iranian import is one of the few guys who might be able to give Colorado’s Andre Roberson a run for his money for the Pac 12 rebounding crown.

Brock Motum, Washington State Cougars

Motum, as was noted above, has been carrying the load for the undermanned Cougars. He is currently averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds while drawing the majority of attention from opposing defensive schemes. Motum, is a skilled big man who can hit from deep, drive by his man and moves well off the ball. It’s still unknown if the 6-10 Aussie forward has the strength and defensive intangibles to be an NBA player, but regardless of his draft stock, everyone in Pullman appreciates what he brings to the table on a nightly basis.

Abdul Gaddy, Washington Huskies

Four years removed from being a highly touted high school recruit, Gaddy has yet to showcase himself as a dominant college player, often taking a backseat to more talented guards under coach Lorenzo Romar. But this was supposed to be the season where Gaddy was given the keys to the car and allowed to shine. And so far the Huskies have struggled while Gaddy has displayed an unimpressive 1-1 assist to turnover ratio. Now with all that negatives out of the way, The Huskies are on a 2 game winning streak after a slow start and Gaddy is averaging a very solid 14 points per game on a fantastic 49% shooting from the field. Gaddy is knocking down his threes with a very solid shooting stroke. While he hasn’t blown anyone away this season Gaddy is still one of the best ball handlers and overall point guards out west.

Notes

-UCLA has lost two key contributors over the past week in shooting guard Tyler Lamb who played over 30 minutes a game a year ago before seeing his minutes disappear this season to the incoming freshman class as well as disappointing big man Josh Smith who has decided to transfer.

-Speaking of Joshua Smith, it became appa

Who’s Cold

Kyle Anderson, UCLA Bruins

The Bruins as a team have struggled out of the gate and speculation about head coach Ben Howlands job security will be in question if things don’t get headed in the right direction. One player in particular who has not lived up to the pre-season hype is talented frosh Kyle Anderson. Anderson has a variety of tools at his disposal where he can rebound, push the ball himself and routinely makes smart choices with the ball in terms of hitting the open man and reading the court. His status as an NBA prospect is still strong, just not any time soon. There is a lot of work to do for the 6-9 wing player. While he currently leads the team at 8 rebounds per contest, his 6 points per game on a hideous 33 fg% including just 1 of 10 from three on the season leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn’t shoot well from anywhere on the court yet. He not only struggles hitting the open jumper, but he has not finished well in the paint either, nor has he shown the ability to take smaller opponents into the paint and finish over them. These are things that he will need to work on going forward, but for now, the Kyle has been getting out performed by his opposition on the floor.

Team of the Week

Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils are off to a solid 7-1 start to the year. They have not yet beaten anyone of merit, but they are clearly more talented than most predicted including my preseason rankings of them finishing 10th in the conference. Freshman point guard Jahii Carson brings the spark and playmaking ability while talented senior wing Carrick Felix has been showning significant improvement across the board, particularly with his outside shooting. Forward sharp shooter Jonathan Gilling has shown a willingness to battle down low on the boards where he leads the team at over 8 rebounds per game. Coach Herb Sendek also has the rare luxury of having a 7-2 center with shot blocking ability and decent skills to throw the ball inside to in Jordan Bachynski. The starting five is rounded out with junior shooting guard Evan Gordon who is the brother of NBA player Eric Gordon. Evan has struggled shooting thus far, but did showcase a flash of brilliance with his 29 point performance versus Sacramento State which included knocking down 5 three pointers. This is a well rounded squad that has thus far put up 80 points per contest and should be in the mix once conference play begins to battle for a spot in the top half the field.

Top 5 Seniors

Solomon Hill, Arizona Wildcats

Hill continues to show his all around play, amassing 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He has transitioned seamlessly from playing primarily at the pf spot the last few seasons to the sf position this year where he has displayed an improved jump shot and ball handling skills. Hill is not asked to put up big numbers very often on a very deep Wildcat squad that remains undefeated, but he routinely finds a way to pick up the slack and raise the bar for the young roster around him.

Carric Felix, Arizona State Sun Devils

Felix has been a tremendous surprise for the Sun Devils this season. He has always been a solid athlete and defender from the wing position, but this year he has shown remarkable improvement shooting the ball. The 6-6 wing is averaging 16 points 6 boards and continues his traditional defensive prowess with just over a block and two steals per game as well. His shooting percentages are an impressive 59% from the field and 44% from three. He has benefitted tremendously from the playmaking abilities of point guard Jahii Carson where Carrick no longer has to create as much off the dribble like seasons past.

Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon Ducks

It was unknown starting the season if Kazemi, a transfer student from Rice, would be eligible this season for the Ducks. After missing the first two games of the season, he was cleared to play and has immediately made his impact felt. Arsalan was a double double machine all three seasons at Rice and has picked up right where he left off providing the Ducks with 9 points and 10 rebounds in the early going to go along with 4 steals per contest as well. These numbers should only rise as he continues to establish his role on a deep Ducks squad that has started the year 7-1. The Iranian import is one of the few guys who might be able to give Colorado’s Andre Roberson a run for his money for the Pac 12 rebounding crown.

Brock Motum, Washington State Cougars

Motum, as was noted above, has been carrying the load for the undermanned Cougars. He is currently averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds while drawing the majority of attention from opposing defensive schemes. Motum, is a skilled big man who can hit from deep, drive by his man and moves well off the ball. It’s still unknown if the 6-10 Aussie forward has the strength and defensive intangibles to be an NBA player, but regardless of his draft stock, everyone in Pullman appreciates what he brings to the table on a nightly basis.

Abdul Gaddy, Washington Huskies

Four years removed from being a highly touted high school recruit, Gaddy has yet to showcase himself as a dominant college player, often taking a backseat to more talented guards under coach Lorenzo Romar. But this was supposed to be the season where Gaddy was given the keys to the car and allowed to shine. And so far the Huskies have struggled while Gaddy has displayed an unimpressive 1-1 assist to turnover ratio. Now with all that negatives out of the way, The Huskies are on a 2 game winning streak after a slow start and Gaddy is averaging a very solid 14 points per game on a fantastic 49% shooting from the field. Gaddy is knocking down his threes with a very solid shooting stroke. While he hasn’t blown anyone away this season Gaddy is still one of the best ball handlers and overall point guards out west.

Notes

-UCLA has lost two key contributors over the past week in shooting guard Tyler Lamb who played over 30 minutes a game a year ago before seeing his minutes disappear this season to the incoming freshman class as well as disappointing big man Josh Smith who has decided to transfer.

-Speaking of Joshua Smith, it became apparent immediately this season that he was not going to be given the opportunity to breakout and his minutes and touches were only going to drop. From a draft prospective, he was going to bury himself this season had he stuck around UCLA with the way things were gheaded. He stopped the bleeding by transferring and disappearing from the national scene for a bit where he has one last chance to reemerge as a serious athlete who takes his conditioning seriously at another school.

-One team I have watched extensively in the early going is the Oregon State Beavers who have been impressive even in defeat where they lost a tough back and forth contest to top 10 ranked Kansas to drop to 4-2. What’s really unfortunate though is the season ending injury of starting power forward Angus Brandt. Brandt was the teams, and arguably the conferences, best low post scorer. He was averaging 11 points and 9 rebounds prior to blowing out his knee during a victory over Purdue. The Beavers lost a key piece and it severely hinders what could have been a rare tournament bound season.

-Another tough season ending injury occurred in the Bay Area where the Stanford Cardinal lost junior swing man Anthony Brown to a season ending injury. Brown was a very solid contributor his first two seasons before struggling in the early going this year.

-While Allen Crabbe was not mentioned as conference player of the week, he certainly played well enough to earn the award for the second week in a row by averaging 25 points over the past week in two games while showcasing his quick release jump shot with extended range that makes him a tough cover for any team.

-While senior point guard Mark Lyons has scored well for the Arizona Wildcats, his lead guard capabilities have come into question. Lyons has more turnovers then assists through 5 games and has not shown much interest in turning down his own shot for the possibility to set up teammates. The silver lining to this is that sophomore guard Nick Johnson has come on strong not only scoring the ball, but showing increased point guard abilities handling the ball and being a facilitator. Nick is currently taking care of the offense while handing out 4.2 assists to just 0.8 turnovers while also scoring in double figures routinely. This new found ability to play point after playing off the ball all last season is huge for Johnson’s NBA stock as a he was a small 6-3 who would be viewed as an undersized two guard if he stayed at that position.

-Speaking of Arizona, they are undefeated and the lone top 10 team representing the pac 12 conference. However they have not had a marquee matchup as of yet to truly test that high ranking. That will change soon when they take on #6 ranked Florida on December 15th.

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sadiaromi
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