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Surging Ute

Player of the Week

Delon Wright - Utah

Delon WrightDelon WrightAfter a slow start to the season, Wright has picked up the slack for a Utah team that is finally getting some national recognition. The senior from Los Angeles, California, started the week off on fire from the field against two easier teams in Alabama State and North Dakota, scoring a combined 47 points in the two contests. The real gem of the week for Wright was against number 8 ranked Wichita State. The leader of the Utes squad hit the go ahead jumper with 14 seconds left in overtime. Wright didn't score as well as his other games, but he contributed in other ways. The senior guard had six boards and seven assists and played every single minute in the game. Wright also played his typical stellar defense.The California native helped to achieve Utah’s biggest win in years and showed why a slow start should not affect one’s stock.

Who’s Hot

Tyrone Wallace - California

The Junior from California deserves to be on this list for the second straight week. Despite only playing two games, Wallace is still showing how he can contribute to any NBA team. Playing against Fresno State he contributed 21 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Wallace was also the catalyst for the Golden Bears against Montana scoring 22 points with a whopping 15 rebounds and five assists. With back to back stellar games Wallace also rose his field goal percentage over 50 percent, something that scouts were looking for him to do this year. The junior definitely has things to work on: he still needs to improve on his three point shot and free throw shooting. Wallace should consider staying in school for his senior possibly being next year's Delon Wright.

Jakob Poeltl - Utah

The freshman from Austria has gotten a lot of buzz this week. Poeltl has shown tremendous footwork for a seven footer, which makes up for his lack of elite quickness. The freshman has helped the Utah defense to excel, making opponents think twice before driving to the rim. Poeltl averages 12 points 9.6 boards and three blocks on the year, but can get even better in the rebounding category. His offensive game is not a finished product but has very good speed and athleticism for a 7-footer. Utah can jump a level if the Austrian continues to improve as the season progresses.

Who’s Cold

Jabari Bird - California

Yes, Bird hurt his foot and didn't play against Montana, but his terrible game against Fresno State warrants a visit to the “cold” list. The sophomore was one for nine with four points and only two rebounds and one assist. It’s alright if you are struggling from the field, but a player that aspires to be in the NBA must find other ways to impact the game, and simply put, he did not against Montana. It will be very interesting to see how Bird responds to this bad game when he returns from injury.

Chasson Randle - Stanford

Randle is not ranked high on NBA draft boards. He has to be better if he wants any hope in making it to the NBA. Yes, Randle can score, but that is basically all he can do. For a shorter guard, this is almost a death wish, especially for a senior. The senior from Rock Island, Illinois is only shooting 42 percent from the field while adding only three rebounds and assists apiece per game. Not only are Randle’s assist numbers low, but he is turning the ball over three and a half times a game, which is a career high. The senior from Illinois struggled this week, and as goes Randle, so does Stanford. The Cardinals just lost to Depaul, with Randle shooting one for seven from three point range. The senior has to play better for Stanford to make the NCAA tournament, let alone Randle getting drafted.

Top 5 Freshman to Watch

With the season still ramping up, here are the top five freshman to keep an eye on in the Pac-12 as the year rolls on.

1. Stanley Johnson - Arizona

The reigning Pac-12 player of the week has shown that he can lead Arizona to the Pac-12 title. With the departures of both Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, Arizona was looking for a go-to scorer. Johnson has seemed to step right into this role for the Wildcats, leading the team with 14.1 points per game. Johnson had great games against both Gardner-Webb and San Diego State, but it just seems that he is getting more comfortable leading the offense every game. The freshman is great at getting to the rim and drawing fouls, he has even shown a reliable three-point shot. Johnson can improve defensively, but most freshman need work in this part of the game anyway. Johnson will definitely make whichever NBA team that drafts him incredibly happy.

2. Kevon Looney - UCLA

Looney has the potential to be a top ten pick this year. Standing at all of six foot nine, and weighing in at 220 pounds Looney certainly looks the part of a NBA player. The Wisconsin native rebounds at an incredible rate, 11.3 for the year, and has shown good awareness on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, Looney definitely needs some work. Looney still needs a consistent jump shot, and UCLA should look for him to score even more down low. Looney has the potential to be one of the best players in this years draft, NBA teams will definitely keep a close eye on him as the year drags on.

3. Jakob Poeltl - Utah

Poeltl is already getting some draft hype with his surprising quickness and great footwork. Poeltl definitely has to put on some weight and come up with some type of post game, but honestly, not many 19 year olds have a great post game. Poeltl is a work in progress but he still knows where to go defensively, which is half the battle for any seven footer. The Austrian native will surely get looks from NBA teams all year.

4. Dillon Brooks - Oregon

Brooks has impressed so far for a Ducks squad that is still undefeated at home. A four star recruit coming out of high school, Brooks has shown a great shot, shooting 40 percent from three point range already and 45 percent from the field. Brooks has the size and athleticism to be a two guard in the league, but he needs to work on his passing. Brooks should get better as the year progresses; NBA teams should be keeping a close eye on him. A three point bomber is always useful in the league.

5. Reid Travis - Stanford

Travis may be undersized, but man can this guy rebound. The freshman is listed at six foot eight, but looks more like six foot seven. It simply does not matter. Travis is averaging seven and a half rebounds a game for a Stanford team that should be good this year. He can get beaten up in the post, however he makes up for his lack of size with great hustle. The freshman from Minneapolis has pretty good touch around the rim, but he still has to learn how to score against larger defenders in college. Travis is a project but has all of the tools to be an NBA player especially if he improves his mid-range game. Look for Travis to slowly improve as the season rolls along.

AdamJCalleja
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Smh, how is Jordan Mclaughlin

Smh, how is Jordan Mclaughlin not a top 5 freshman in the Pac 12

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