Co-Players of the Week
Matthew Bryan-Amaning / Nikola Vucevic
Matthew Bryan-Amaning led Washington into Southern California and the Huskies emerged with two impressive road wins. Bryan-Amaning averaged 19.5 points a game while collecting nine rebounds per contest and shooting 53.8 percent from the floor against USC and UCLA. He recorded his fourth double-double of the season in Saturday’s win against the Bruins.
Nikola Vucevic started the Pac-10 season off with a bang. The 6’10,” 260 pound junior took his teammates on his back and nearly carried the Trojans to a victory against the Pac-10 favored, Huskies. Vucevic scored 28 points and grabbed 14 boards, but USC fell short in the overtime session. Vucevic notched two more double-double performances last week bringing his season total to nine.
Oregon State Beavers and Washington Huskies
It’s tough to even call Oregon State a Jekyll and Hyde type team since prior to last week they had really not done much to warrant the positive portion of that analogy. Heading into Pac-10 play the Beavers were a big disappointment, losing three games to teams with RPI rankings worse than 250 and not beating a team with a RPI better than 225. What a difference a week and two wins makes. Oregon State’s home win against an undermanned Arizona State team was shocking, but following that performance with an even more impressive win against Arizona earns the Beavers a share of the top spot in the standings and this week’s “Hot” category.
Washington went on the road and defeated USC and UCLA to earn two impressive road victories. The Trojans were winners of four of their last five with their lone loss coming to Kansas, and the Bruins were riding a six game winning streak prior to meeting the Huskies. Washington found ways to win both games with the combination of Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Isaiah Thomas and key contributes from Terrence Ross and Justin Holiday. Washington heads home this week looking to extend their home win streak and gain sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.
Washington State Cougars and Oregon Ducks
Although the weather in Pullman, Washington is not nearly as nice as it was in California or Hawaii rest assured the Cougars are happy to be home. What started as an impressive road trip with wins against Santa Clara, Mississippi State and Baylor, culminated with losses to Butler, UCLA and USC. The Cougars were on the road for two weeks and it noticeably took its toll against UCLA and USC. The two road losses are not devastating, but it makes this week’s home games against the Oregon schools must win.
The Ducks had played better than anticipated early in the season, but as last week’s blog pointed out the home loss to Idaho was not a good sign heading into the first week of conference play. Joevan Catron has led the Ducks offensive attack this season, but he was mired in foul trouble against Arizona only playing 11 minutes. After a disappointing three game home stand the road won’t be any easier. Oregon will start the week off at Washington and then to Pullman to face a Washington State team with its back against the wall.
Top 5 NBA Prospects in the Pac-10
(and a bonus selection)
1. Derrick Williams (Arizona) 18.6 points / 6.7 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* Williams has the versatility to play either forward position for the Wildcats, and he’s been able to produce going up against bigger defenders night in and night out. He has a knack for slipping screens and reading plays, putting himself in scoring position with exceptional off ball movement. He can score from the perimeter and inside much like a young Juwan Howard.
2. Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA) 14.6 points / 7.6 rebounds / 2.8 assists
* Honeycutt has the size and length to play on the wing at the next level, but it’s his versatility and skill set that has NBA scouts interested. Honeycutt can handle the ball, shoot from distance, distribute and because of his length is productive playing passing lanes and blocking shots. He's comparable to a hybrid of Tayshaun Prince and Josh Childress.
3. Klay Thompson (Washington State) 22.2 points / 4.6 rebounds / 4.0 assists
* Thompson is a highly skilled wing that can shoot from distance and create off the dribble. He’s shed his “soft” tag and continues to be one of the most explosive scorers in the nation. His points, rebounds and assist averages highlight his versatility.
4. Dwight Powell (Stanford) 9.2 points / 4.3 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* Powell’s length and perimeter oriented skills are indicative of the change in basketball over the past several years. At 6’9” Powell grades out higher as a small forward than he does at power forward. He’s still young and could possibly gain additional height and length in the next couple of years. He’s shown flashes in multiple facets of the game, but is still inconsistent from night-to-night.
5. Nikola Vucevic (USC) 15.9 points / 10.0 rebounds / 1.9 assists
* Vucevic developed before everyone’s eyes last season and the progression is continuing this year. Early in the season Vucevic was USC’s only proven offensive threat and he was up to the task. His production increased while only suffering a slight decrease in efficiency. On the other end of the court he remains the center of USC’s stingy defense.
Bonus. Jeremy Green (Stanford) 16.8 points / 2.5 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* This is a bonus selection as I believe Jeremy Green is one of the best pure shooters in college basketball and the best in the Pac-10. He’s being asked to handle the ball and create which hurts his field goal percentage as his shot selection is suspect at times off the bounce. At the next level Green projects as a shooter rather than a scorer. The question is his height (6’4”), is he tall enough to exclusively play shooting guard in the NBA?
Washington losing Abdul Gaddy for the season after an ACL injury sustained in practice yesterday is a tough blow.
Upcoming Games of Interest
01.06.2011 Oregon State @ Washington State
01.08.2011 Oregon @ Washington State
01.08.2011 Oregon State @ Washington
2011. UCLA @ USC
Results of Interest
12.29.2010 Washington 73 USC 67
12.29.2010 Washington State 71 UCLA 80
12.31.2010 Washington State 56 USC 60
12.31.2010 Washington 74 UCLA 63
i think the huskie freshman, aziz ndyae i beilieve his name is, is someone to keep an eye on going forward as an nba prospect. He is a well built and athletic 7 footer. He has great form on his ft's which leads me to believe he can be a solid face up shooter. Next year could be a breakout season for him and scouts should keep their eyes on him.
and this coming week, washington state has to bounce back and sweep the oregon schools. ANd ucla vs usc will be a big game for 2 bubble teams