Pac Ten Blog
Player of the Week
The Cal Bears finished the 2010-11 regular season with an impressive 74-55 win against the Cardinal, avenging their January 2nd loss at Stanford. Freshman, Allen Crabbe led the Bears with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a block. He shot an impressive 10 of 13 (76.9 percent) from the field including 1 of 2 (50.0 percent) from three and a perfect 3 for 3 from the free throw line. Crabbe finished Pac-10 play averaging 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Cal struggled without Crabbe in the line-up losing both contests while he was sidelined with his concussion. Crabbed scored 20 or more points four times this season and hit the 30 point mark against Washington State. Looking ahead, Crabbe comes into the Pac-10 Tournament averaging 23 points per game through his last three, but will likely be matched up against USC’s Marcus Simmons (Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year) in the first round of the Tournament. If Crabbe can win that match-up, Cal should be in position to advance.
NBADraft.net’s Pac-10 Awards
Pac-10 “Player of the Year”
Derrick Williams (Arizona)
In Pac-10 Conference play Williams averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.1assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. He shot 59.9 percent from the field, 55.2 percent from the three point line and 69.8 percent from the foul line. Williams was the best player on the best team and won this award by a wide margin. Williams carried the Wildcats offensively all season and will need more of the same if Arizona plans to make a deep Tournament run.
*Runner-up: Nikola Vucevic (USC)
Pac-10 “Freshman of the Year”
Allen Crabbe (California)
Crabbe started the year in typical freshman fashion, averaging 8.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on 38.9 percent shooting from the field and 30.4 percent from behind the three point arc. However, his play during the conference schedule opened eyes throughout the Pac-10. Crabbed not only increased his production, but he increased his efficiency as well. Crabbe finished the Pac-10 schedule shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and an impressive 48.1 percent from long distance.
*Runner-up: Joshua Smith (UCLA)
Pac-10 “Most Improved Player”
[Player: Matthew Bryan-Amaning] (Washington)
In Pac-10 Conference games Matthew Bryan-Amaning averaged 16.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. He shot 55.2 percent from the field, 61.7 percent from the free throw line and did not attempt a three point field goal in conference play. MBA improved in nearly every statistical category from his junior season including a +7.2 improvement in scoring, a +2.4 increase in rebounds per game and an overall increase in shot attempts (+4.5) and made field goals (+2.7).
*Runner-up: Jorge Gutierrez (California)
Pac-10 “Comeback Player of the Year”
Joevan Catron (Oregon)
Last summer the Oregon Ducks’ men’s basketball program was in disarray. Dana Altman was brought in to replace Ernie Kent who was fired after 13 seasons. Several Oregon players transferred, some left pending NCAA investigations and another was found ineligible, but Joevan Catron was granted a medical hardship waiver for a fifth season. Catron made the most of his opportunity and carried the Ducks through the non-conference schedule. He battled injuries in conference action, but finished the Pac-10 season averaging 13.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
*Runners-up: Harper Kamp (California) / Josh Owens (Stanford)
Pac-10 “Coach of the Year”
Miller led the Wildcats to a regular season Pac-10 Championship and has Arizona poised to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are not as deep or as talented as UCLA or Washington, but Miller has his team focused, ready and willing to compete hard every time they step on the court. The Wildcats were the only team in the Pac-10 to complete the conference schedule without a home loss. Miller has also done an excellent job recruiting this season and will add four ESPN Top 100 athletes to the mix next year.
*Runner-up: Mike Montgomery (California)
Pac-10 “Defensive Player of the Year”
Marcus Simmons (USC)
Although Simmons does not have the gaudy steal numbers of Jared Cunningham or the block numbers of Matthew Bryan-Amaning he’s earned this honor because he’s the best on ball defender in the Pac-10. His combination of size, strength and length made Simmons a tough match-up for opposing wing players throughout the season. Simmons’ match-up with Cal’s Allen Crabbe in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament will significantly influence the outcome of that contest.
*Runner-up: Jared Cunningham (Oregon State)
Pac-10 All-First Team
G – Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
G – Klay Thompson (Washington State)
F – Derrick Williams (Arizona)
F – Reeves Nelson (UCLA)
C – Nikola Vucevic (USC)
Pac-10 All-Second Team
G – Jorge Gutierrez (California)
G – Jeremy Green (Stanford)
F – [Player: Matthew Bryan-Amaning] (Washington)
F – Allen Crabbe (California)
C – DeAngelo Casto (Washington State)
Pac-10 All-Defensive Team
G – Jared Cunningham
G – Malcolm Lee
G – Jorge Gutierrez
F – Marcus Simmons
C – DeAngelo Casto
Pac-10 All-Freshman Team
G – Maurice Jones (USC)
G – Allen Crabbe (California)
F – Anthony Brown (Stanford)
F – Dwight Powell (Stanford)
C – Joshua Smith (UCLA)
Pac-10 Tournament Spotlight
The Pac-10 Conference got stronger as the year progressed, but missteps in the non-conference schedule and a poor conference RPI has Washington, USC, California and Washington State all on the bubble. The Pac-10 should get at least three teams into the tournament and maybe four depending on results in other conference tournaments around the country. Assuming, the Pac-10 Championship game features Arizona and UCLA, Washington would likely be the third team selected from the Pac-10. Under this scenario, USC, California and Washington State will at best have won one game and odds are that will not be enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament. If however, USC, Cal or Washington State were to advance to the Championship game and Washington suffered a first round loss the Huskies could find themselves on the outside looking in. As it stands right now, the only way the Pac-10 would get a fourth team into the NCAA Tournament is if Arizona and UCLA are both knocked out in the second round.
* Arizona – The ‘Cats are in. Arizona is playing for NCAA Tournament seeding.
* UCLA – The Bruins are in. If UCLA wins the Pac-10 Tourney a four or five seed is a possibility.
* Washington – One win puts them in. If UW loses its first round game things could get tense.
* USC – A trip to the Pac-10 Championship game should be enough to get the Trojans in.
* California – Wins over USC and ’Zona would put serious pressure on the selection committee.
* Washington State – A trip to the Pac-10 Championship game should be enough to go dancing.
* Oregon – The Ducks need to win the Pac-10 Tournament to earn a NCAA bid.
* Oregon State – The Beavers need to win the Pac-10 Tournament to earn a NCAA bid.
Thursday, March 10
Game 3: #5 California vs. #4 USC
First Meeting: Jan. 22 @ USC (California 68 USC 66)
Second Meeting: Feb. 17 @ Cal (USC 78 California 75)
California star Jorge Gutierrez has struggled with the Trojans shooting a combined 4 of 22 in the two games against USC this season. Similarly, USC standout center Nikola Vucevic had his worst offensive game of the Pac-10 season when these two teams met in mid-January, but bounced back with a strong performance when the two teams faced off in Berkeley. Cal’s Harper Kamp has been the most consistent player in this year’s series averaging 17.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. This sets up to be one of the most entertaining games of the Pac-10 Tournament and both teams understand the importance of this game. Cal comes in riding a four game winning streak and playing arguably their best basketball of the season, but the Trojans have found a way to play their best in big games. Which ever team wins this game should have a realistic chance of advancing past the Wildcats or Beavers on Friday.
Game 4: #9 Oregon State vs. #1 Arizona
First Meeting: Jan. 2 @ Oregon State (Oregon State 76 Arizona 75)
Second Meeting: Mar. 3 @ Arizona (Arizona 70 Oregon State 59)
Oregon State’s defense absolutely smothered the Cardinal’s offense in the first half of last night’s game, but after a three-point barrage by Stanford’s Jeremy Green the Beavers walked away with only a two point win. Oregon State will need to be better today if they have designs on knocking off the top-seeded Wildcats. The Beavers appear to have fully invested in a youth movement so underclassmen; Jared Cunningham, Joe Burton, Devon Collier, Roberto Nelson and Ahmad Starks will need to play well for Oregon State to keep the game within reach. Arizona will also rely on a pair of underclassman to lead the way. Pac-10 Player of the Year, Derrick Williams will once again be asked to shoulder the scoring load, but sophomore point guard Lamont Jones will need a solid ball handling effort to keep the Beavers out of transition.
Game 5: #7 Oregon vs. #2 UCLA
First Meeting: Jan. 15 @ Oregon (UCLA 67 Oregon 59)
Second Meeting: Feb. 10 @ UCLA (UCLA 64 Oregon 54)
The Ducks did a good job keeping UCLA forwards Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt out of rhythm in the two meetings this season. Nelson was held scoreless in the first meeting and managed just nine points in the second meeting at Pauley Pavilion. Honeycutt was even less efficient offensively shooting a combined 5 of 19 and averaging six points per game. Honeycutt did however collect 23 rebounds this year against the Ducks. Malcolm Lee was UCLA’s offensive star this year against the Ducks, averaging 21.5 points per game, but is currently nursing a knee injury. Oregon will need a big effort from their forward combination of Joevan Catron and EJ Singler. Catron missed Oregon’s first match-up with the Bruins, but scored 15 in the second meeting. Singler is coming off a career night, posting 22 points in Oregon’s win against Arizona State last night. Singer averaged 12 points against the Bruins this year and will need to be a factor if Oregon is to knock off UCLA.
Game 6: #6 Washington State vs. #3 Washington
First Meeting: Jan. 30 @ Washington State (Washington State 87 Washington 80)
Second Meeting: Feb. 27 @ Washington (Washington State 80 Washington 69)
Klay Thompson will play against the Huskies in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament and Reggie Moore is expected to do the same. Washington State swept their in-state rivals this year and need to knock off the Huskies for a third time to have any shot at a NCAA Tournament bid. Thompson led the way against Washington averaging 25.5 points per game. Center DeAngelo Casto also stepped up big in the series with the Huskies particularly in the second match-up where he contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds. Washington also enters this game with a sense of urgency. Once a NCAA Tournament lock, the Huskies with a loss, could play their way into the NIT. The Huskies need their marquee players to step up and provide solid performances, especially Matthew Bryan-Amaning. MBA has struggled in the head-to-head battles with Washington State, shooting a meager 4 of 19 (21.1%) against the Cougars.
Friday, March 11
Game 7: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
Game 8: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6
Saturday, March 12
Game 9: Pac-10 Championship Game
Results of Interest
03.03.2011 Oregon State 59 Arizona 70
03.03.2011 UCLA 63 Washington 70
03.03.2011 USC 77 Washington State 85
03.05.2011 Oregon 82 Arizona 90
03.05.2011 UCLA 58 Washington State 54
03.05.2011 USC 62 Washington 60
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