Player of the Week
Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State
Shot blocking master Bachysnki had a stellar week in helping the Sun Devils pick up two victories. Apart from his play on defense, the center has picked it up offensively by being more patient with the ball deep in the paint and using good footwork to gain an advantage over the defender. He’s a southpaw, but is still good with his right hand, especially as he gets closer to the basket. The big man also does a good job running the floor, which gives him another advantage over slower defenders. The biggest improvement to his game has to be his free-throw shooting, where he is shooting 70 percent from the line in the month of February.
In the Sun Devils overtime win over Oregon State, the senior posted a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds along with seven blocks. He followed that up by dropping 26 points (career-high) and adding nine blocks and nine rebounds in the win over Oregon, also ending the game with a blocked shot on a last second floater. Bachynski averaged 21.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 8.0 blocks in the two home wins, while shooting .750 from the field for the week.
The senior from Canada is averaging nearly a double-double with 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. With 16 blocked shots this week, he’s now moved his career blocked shots total to 288 and currently leads the nation averaging 4.5 blocks per game. Bachynski’s 9.1 rebounds per game rank second in the Pac-12 and he has recorded the second most 20-point games in the conference with 11.
Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Arizona
The freshman got his first start of the year against Oregon with Brandon Ashley being sidelined for the season following an injury. In his first start, RHJ made a statement by recording a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. He also contributed with three assists, two blocks and a steal. The 6-7 forward then posted a season-high 16 points along with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win over Oregon State. He averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in Arizona’s Pac 12 wins.
Hollis-Jefferson is smart player that has to fill a pretty big gap in the frontcourt for the Wildcats with Ashley done for the season. He’s a good all-around player that passes specifically well near the basket and is a pest on defense by getting his hands in the way of intended passes.
Askia Booker, Colorado
Booker has been settling in nicely as primary ballhandler without Spencer Dinwiddie. With each game he seems to be getting better at knowing when to shoot or when to pass the ball. He’s still a quick and shifty guard, but now he’s developed the ability to draw the attention of the defense when he’s penetrating inside enabling him to dish out a dime to an open shooter.
In the Buffs’ two victories this week, the junior averaged 23.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. He was efficient on all facets on the offensive end, shooting .585 from the field, .583 from behind the arc and .875 (12-14) from the charity stripe.
Johnathan Loyd, Oregon
Loyd struggled a little bit in the two losses suffered by the Ducks this week. The guard has been distributing the ball more since returning to the 6th man role, but failed to contribute much this week. He averaged 3.5 points per game on .333 shooting from the field and only contributed 2.0 assists per game. Loyd broke his nose on January 29 and the mask he wears could be affecting his court vision slightly while he’s on the court.
Top 5 Scoring Big Men
1. Dwight Powell, Stanford
The senior attacks the rim aggressively down low and has added more creativity to his game by shooting more mid-range and 3-point jumpshots. Also, his work on the offensive glass has helped him pick up more opportunities to score. Powell is second on his team in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game and he’s cashed in five 20-point games this season.
2. Josh Scott, Colorado
Scott has become the first option on offense since the injury to Dinwiddie. He is great with the ball in the paint and is a good off hand shooter with his jump hook down on the block. The sophomore is ranked second on his team in scoring, averaging 14.1 points per game. His efficiency shooting from the field really stands out as he sports a .544 field-goal percentage on the year.
3. Angus Brandt, Oregon State
Brandt is mostly known for his play on the defensive end, but he has greatly improved on the other side of the floor. He can shoot the ball pretty well from close range along with getting the tough buckets down low in the post. The senior is ranked third on his team in scoring, averaging 12.6 points while shooting .535 from the field.
4. Jordan Bachynski, Arizona St.
The big man has been efficient this season (.599 FG%) when he gets his touches. He doesn’t put up a lot of bad shots, which gives his teammates confidence to keep feeding him down low. He’s also done a better job finishing plays he gets fouled on enabling him a chance to pick up the and-1 from the free-throw line. Bachynski is third on his team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game.
5. Omar Oraby, USC
Oraby gets himself in the right position on the block to score and also grab rebounds on the offensive glass. He doesn’t break the bank in the scoring category each outing, but is so efficient as he currently leads the conference with a .610 field-goal percentage. The center is ranked fourth on his team, averaging 9.0 points per game.