Pac-12 Player of the Week
Brandon Randolph, Arizona
The 6’6 sophomore guard from Yonkers has been consistent in the scoring department for this Arizona team all season. In the Wildcats’ second conference matchup this season Saturday, Randolph poured in 21 points to go with a steal in the overtime win against a hot Utah team who had just beat Arizona State. In another conference matchup Wednesday on the road against Stanford, Randolph scored 17 along with eight rebounds and an assist. That performance for Randolph marks the fifth consecutive win for Arizona, which started off the year a bit flat. The New York sophomore also converted on 6-6 of his free throws in each of Arizona’s last two games.
If Arizona wants to keep up the momentum, it will need Randolph to continue the scoring output, and it appears possible. The 6’6 guard has scored in double figures in every single game for the Wildcats this season. Averaging 16.6 points per contest, expect Arizona to rely on him heavily for the remainder of the season.
The Trojans are up to four wins in a row after defeating Stanford Sunday 77-66. The duo of Nick Rakocevic and Bennie Boatwright combined for 45 points in the win. Boatwright added seven boards, two assists, and a block on 7-10 shooting. Rakocevic, who leads the Pac-12 in rebounds with 10.1 per game, had a double -double with 10 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks on 11-19 shooting from the field. Junior guard Derryck Thornton also had quite an impressive all-around game with 13 points, nine assists, three rebounds, and a scrappy four steals. Thornton’s all around game and playmaking ability has helped the Trojans improve to a 9-6 record after winning four straight, making USC third in the Pac-12.
The Cougars have lost their last four games and it is tough to see when things might improve for this Washington State squad. The Cougars fell to the Washington Huskies 85-67 Saturday. It seems no one except for CJ Elleby can step up for this team lately. Elleby had an incredible game with 26 points on 8-13 shooting and 3-5 from deep. The 6’6 freshman also added 10 boards, two assists, a block and a steal, and it still wasn’t nearly enough to handle the Huskies, which had three of its players score at least 17 points. The Cougars were held to 46 percent shooting from the field while Washington shot 56 percent from the floor. If Elleby can get any level of help from a few of his teammates, perhaps this team could turn things around.
Top 5 Rebounders in the Pac-12 not named Nick Rakocevic
1. Zylan Cheatham, Arizona State
The 6’8 senior has had a nose for the basketball all season averaging 9.3 rebounds per game which is three more rebounds per game than his last season. That could have something to do with Bobby Hurley coaching this Sun Devil team to an extremely hot start in the early part of the season. Cheatham’s athleticism and length has allowed him to lead his team and rebounding and be successful as a team while doing it.
2. Moses Brown, UCLA
Brown has been the big presence down low for this Bruin team since the first tip this season averaging 8.9 rebounds per game. The 7’1, 245 lb. freshman from Queens averages a conference leading 15.2 rebounds per 40 minutes. Another stat he leads the whole conference in is offensive rebounds per game with 4.1 per contest. Brown should remain the leading rebounder for this UCLA team as it wants to fight its way back into the top 25.
3. Tyler Bey, Colorado
Although he is listed as a guard standing at 6’7 and weighing 218 pounds, the sophomore grabs nine rebounds per contest. He is Colorado’s leading rebounder by a margin of over 3.5 boards per game. The fact that this Colorado team can be successful in this competitive conference says a lot about Bey being an undersized player, let alone being a guard.
4. Robert Franks, Washington State
The 6’9 senior records 7.9 boards per game and is the leading rebounder for the Cougars. As a forward, Franks is a bit light at 225 lbs. For his height and length but his athleticism helps him be as physical as he is. Franks is an especially hot commodity because he has been able to lead his team in rebounds while also scoring over 22 points per game.
5. Tres Tinkle, Oregon State
Similar to Franks, Tinkle does everything for his team and rebounding is absolutely one of them. While being such a versatile scorer who can also make plays for other people and handle the basketball, it is particularly impressive that he has been able to average 8.6 rebounds per game, with two of them being offensive.