Pac-10 “Co-Players of the Week”
Thompson started the week off with a stellar performance against the Cal Bears totaling 36 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals. However, Thompson’s production wasn’t enough and the Cougars dropped their third straight conference road game. Following the difficult 88-81 overtime defeat to Cal the Cougars bounced back with an impressive win against the Cardinal ending Stanford’s eight-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion. Thompson scored 21 points, grabbed eight boards and recorded two assists, a steal and three blocks. He finished the week averaging 28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals and blocks per game.
Williams continues to produce game in and game out. Named as NBADraft.net player of the week last week Williams provided an encore performance against in-state rival Arizona State. Williams led the Wildcats to an 80-69 win with 31 points and 10 rebounds. He finished 8 of 12 from the field and 15 of 16 from the foul line. Williams is averaging an impressive 13 free throw attempts per game during conference play.
What’s “Hot” in the Pac-10?
Thomas played well during Washington’s non-conference schedule, but he has been spectacular since entering Pac-10 play. During the non-conference schedule Thomas averaged 15.8 points per game, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists on 45.3 percent shooting from the floor and 67.2 percent from the foul line. Through six conference games he’s improved his shooting numbers to 46.5 percent from the floor and 82.9 percent from the free throw line. Similarly his scoring average is up to 17.8, but it is his assist numbers that stand out. Against Pac-10 competition Thomas is averaging 8.2 assists per game, signifying an increase of 4.3 assists per outing. If he can continue to post these numbers all season and Washington wins the Pac-10, he could challenge Derrick Williams and Klay Thompson for Player of the Year honors.
What’s “Cold” in the Pac-10?
Prior to the season it appeared Reggie Moore was primed for break out performances. The return of Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto, Marcus Capers and the addition of Faisal Aden meant Moore would be surrounded by an experienced cast that could score inside and out. However, a wrist injury during the off-season sidelined Moore for a significant amount of practice time and Washington State’s first five games. Since returning his play has been up and down primarily on the offensive end of the court. Moore is playing solid defense and is doing a good job getting the Cougars into their half court sets, but his shooting has plummeted of late. His field goal percentage has dipped below 30 percent during conference play (26.1%) and his three point shooting has fallen from 57.1 percent in non-conference games to 31.8 percent during the Pac-10 season. To make matters worse, Moore was recently suspended because of a drug related incident that occurred in December.
Top 10 Forwards in the Pac-10
1. Derrick Williams (Arizona) 19.7 points / 7.3 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* Williams is doing it all for the Wildcats and his play is being noticed not only in the Pac-10, but by NBA scouts. Williams moved into the top spot in NBADraft.net’s 2011 Mock Draft this week following his 31 point, 10 rebound game against the Sun Devils. Williams is averaging 20.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in conference play.
2. Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA) 13.4 points / 7.9 rebounds / 2.7 assists
* Honeycutt is a long, lanky forward who can play multiple positions because of his versatile skill set. However, Honeycutt has struggled in conference play with production and efficiency. His shooting percentages are down across the board along with his points, rebounds, steals and blocks. He’s too good for this to continue, but right now he’s trending downward.
3. Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington) 15.2 points / 7.7 rebounds / 0.6 assists
* The gap between the top two forwards and the rest of the forwards in the Pac-10 was significantly wider prior to the start of the conference schedule. Bryan-Amaning’s recent performances have gone a long way in closing the gap. He is averaging 17.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during Pac-10 play.
4. Reeves Nelson (UCLA) 13.9 points / 7.8 rebounds / 1.6 assists
* Nelson brings emotion and energy to the Bruins along with his underappreciated skill set. He receives attention as a hard-nosed, aggressive player who can score close to the basket, but he also possesses good court vision, the ability to create off the dribble and he can knock down shots facing the basket.
5. Joevan Catron (Oregon) 15.9 points / 6.4 rebounds / 1.4 assists
* Despite his injury, Catron remains at the top of the list for Pac-10 “Most Improved Player” honors. His numbers have dipped in conference play (11.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game) because of foul trouble and his calf injury, but Oregon is needs his presence in the line-up to win basketball games.
6. Josh Owens (Stanford) 12.1 points / 6.5 rebounds / 0.8 assists
* Jeremy Green and Dwight Powell receive a lot of attention, but Stanford’s most consistent player this season is Josh Owens. Owens is averaging 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in conference play.
7. Alex Stepheson (USC) 9.9 points / 8.8 rebounds / 0.2 assists
* Stepheson has a NBA body, but his offensive game is limited. He’s an intriguing prospect who can take over a college game defensively and on the glass. In conference Stepheson is averaging 10 points and 9.4 boards a game.
8. Harper Kamp (California) 13.8 points / 5.6 rebounds / 1.9 assists
* Kamp is averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds through the early portion of the conference schedule. He’s not flashy and rarely receives much press, but he’s a very effective college player.
9. Justin Holiday (Washington) 12.4 points / 5.5 rebounds / 1.8 assists
* Holiday is the perfect compliment to Isaiah Thomas and M. Bryan-Amaning. He has the ability to consistently score from deep, play solid perimeter defense and is productive moving without the ball.
10. Dwight Powell (Stanford) 8.9 points / 4.8 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* Powell has the athleticism and skills to play at the next level, but has struggled with consistency thus far as a freshman. He’s averaging 10.6 points and 6.2 boards per game in Pac-10 play this season.
The Next Five
EJ Singler (Oregon) / Solomon Hill (Arizona) / Jamelle Horne (Arizona) / Rihards Kuksiks (Arizona State) / Joe Burton (Oregon State)
Upcoming Games of Interest
01.20.2011 Arizona @ Washington
01.20.2011 Stanford @ USC
01.22.2011 Stanford @ UCLA
01.22.2011 Arizona @ Washington State
Results of Interest
01.13.2011 USC 62 Oregon 68
01.13.2011 UCLA 62 Oregon State 57
01.13.2011 Washington 56 Stanford 58
01.15.2011 Washington State 61 Stanford 58
01.15.2011 Arizona State 69 Arizona 80
* Talented freshman Bryce Jones announced this week that he’s decided to transfer from USC. Jones was USC’s highest rated recruit entering the season and was averaging 12.8 points per game through the Trojans first eight games. Jones was also averaging 25.8 minutes per game during USC’s non-conference schedule, but only 7.0 minutes per contest through five conference games. No player on USC’s roster was more negatively affected by the arrival of Jio Fontan.
* The police investigation surrounding a current University of Washington basketball player remains underway. No new developments have been announced at this time.
* Alaska Airlines has purchased the naming rights to Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The University of Washington valued the naming right package at more than $600,000 per year. Cash payments, free travel and related marketing make up the yearly payments.
* Forward Joevan Catron (strained calf muscle) remains questionable for this week’s installment of the “Civil War.”
* Former University of Minnesota guard Devoe Joseph will transfer to the University of Oregon for the 2011-12 season. Joseph will be eligible to play for the Ducks next December in accordance with NCAA transfer regulations.
* The Pac-10 Conference reprimanded Josh Smith for comments he made regarding the officiating during UCLA’s game against USC.
* Former Cal point guard, Gary Franklin Jr. finalized his transfer decision and will play for the Baylor Bears next season.
* Reggie Moore was suspended indefinitely by Washington State head coach Ken Bone following the Cougars road loss at Cal. Moore was not in the line-up against Stanford, but may be cleared to play this week against the Arizona schools. Moore received the suspension because of misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges that originated from a search of his dorm room on December 11th.