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Like Father, Like Son

Player of the Week

Bryce Alford - UCLA

Brice AlfordBrice AlfordIt was a slow week for the Pac-12, with barely any teams playing two games, but Alford had an exceptional week for the Bruins. Alford did not have a very good year last year. The sophomore guard only shot 38 percent from the field while playing only 23 minutes a game. However, Alford has been great so far for the Bruins. UCLA played two close games against both UC Riverside and San Diego this week, winning both. Alford was one of the catalysts for the Bruin’s victories. The son of UCLA head coach Steve Alford averaged 19 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in the two games, clearly directing the offense in close games. He is clearly a good decision maker and can find the open man, but he is just flat out not good defensively. If Alford wants any hope in making the NBA he must shoot at least 40 percent from three.

Hot

Delon Wright - Utah

Our player of the week last week remained hot and had a great game against BYU. Wright had 18 points with 11 rebounds and three assists, but what the senior guard did this week had nothing to do with stats. Utah went on a seven minute scoreless streak against BYU. Even with this, Wright was able to will the Utes to a victory in a game they had no business winning. Wright was the only player on Utah to score in double digits and was an absolute nightmare defensively for BYU. Wright will surely continue to climb up draft boards if he continues to shoot well and play defense at an exceptional level.

Jordan McLaughlin - USC

Scoring a career high will likely land you on the hot list and that is exactly what McLaughlin did against Utah State. The freshman had 21 points with five assists but only shot 37 percent from the field. McLaughlin was left off the Top 5 last week because of some concerns NBA teams will have. Simply put, efficiency is not one of McLaughlin’s strong suits, he only shoots 40 percent from the field for the year. The freshman basically shot only threes against Utah State and hit 5 of them, but he is clearly at his best when he uses his quickness to drive and find the open man. Size will also be an issue, listed at extremely generous 6 foot 1, 170 pounds McLaughlin will have a hard time guarding anybody in the league. If the freshman from California wants any hope of getting drafted this year, he must improve his efficiency and three point shot.

Cold

Rondae Hollis Jefferson

For a player that is so enjoyable to watch, this is a tough addition to the cold list. The addition of Stanley Johnson has hurt Hollis-Jefferson. He has found ways to impact the game without the ball, but his play with the ball has been even more alarming. For a player that is going to be a swingman in the league his assist to turnover ratio is terrible, basically sitting at one to one. The sophomore also has perimeter game. In a league where spacing is so important, NBA teams will be wary to draft the sophomore swingman. Hollis-Jefferson is fantastic at rebounding and locking down any position, but he must find a shot before the year is out for him to go in the first round.

With a quick week in the Pac-12, it seems unfair to put players in the cold list after only one bad game, so I am going to move right into the Top 5. (I am also counting Delon Wright as a shooting guard. I talk about him way too much anyway)

Top 5 Point Guards in the Pac-12

1. Nigel Williams Goss - Washington

It is finally time to talk about one of my favorite players from the Pac-12, Nigel Williams-Goss. To start, his name is unbelievable, all-name first team! Washington was finally able to play an incredible defensive team in San Diego State and did not play their best game, but they came away with the victory. Williams-Goss was able to score 15 points, while hitting two threes. The sophomore guard is only shooting 25 percent from three this year, but he shot 35 percent last year, so his shooting should come back to a respectable percentage. Williams-Goss has great vision, size and athleticism, and he has a knack for leading his teams to wins, making him the best point guard in the Pac-12.

2. Chasson Randle - Stanford

Randle has had a tough start to this year. The senior guard is only shooting 42 percent from the field and is only averaging three assists a game. However, Randle was exceptional last year and should eventually find his game. The guard from Rock Island, Illinois is a scorer. He has a great shot and soft touch around the rim, making teams really pick their poison. Look for Randle to get hot as the season continues, especially from three.

3. Jordan McLaughlin - USC

McLaughlin was already covered above, but in a Pac-12 that is pretty weak at point guard, he takes the number three spot. McLaughlin is great at driving and finding open teammates. The freshman has to get better at actually scoring once he gets to the rim, but that should come with time. Defensively, he will have a hard time covering bigger guards so he has to learn when to go in for double teams and easy steals. McLaughlin definitely has potential and deserves the number three spot on this list.

4. Joseph Young - Oregon

The senior from Oregon is incredibly to close to averaging a 20-5-5, which is great for any college player. However, Young is doing this by basically having the ball in his hands the entire game for a high tempo team. Young only shoots 42 percent from the field and a paltry 24 percent from three on EIGHT attempts a game! It makes some sense, since Young shot 42 percent from three last year, but shooting eight threes a game when your a point guard and cold is not a good look. Young should look to get his teammates more involved and shoot less.

5. TJ McConnell - Arizona

This is definitely a stretch at number five, but putting the point guard from the best team in the Pac-12 seems right. McConnell is perfect for this Arizona team. The senior gets everyone involved, attempts to keep their three stars happy and occasionally hits a big three or two. Good point guards know when to impact the game and get their teammates involved. It is a incredibly hard trait to learn and understand. McConnell is slowly learning when to score and when to pass. The senior will be the key if Arizona wants to win the National Championship.

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