Player of the WeekZeke Nnaji
The 6’11 freshman had strong back to back road wins against conference opponents.He’s averaging 16.6 points per game and just under nine rebounds. Nnaji played efficiently and played at a high level on both ends of the floor. He put up 21 points against Cal shooting over 61 percent from the field and did a little bit of everything else as well recording five boards, two assists, two blocks, and a steal. He matched his 21 points the next game against Stanford. He also pulled down 11 rebounds and had two steals. With production like his has been on both ends of the court, this young man should be drawing lots of attention. The duo of Nnaji and Nico Mannion is a tough one to stop. Arizona won four of its last five and Nnaji is a big reason for that.
Arizona State Sun Devils
This Sun Devil team has been as hot as the sun as of late having won their last four games. With a 7-4 conference record, they are currently in 4th place in the Pac-12 standings. Arizona State narrowly escaped with a win by two points over the Trojans. Remy Martin was the offensive catalyst for the Sun Devils in the game scoring 22 points to go with five boards and three assists. He hit perhaps the biggest shot of the game with just 19 seconds left to help his team secure the win. In the Sun Devils’ following game against Stanford, Alonzo Verge Jr. scored 19 points to go with seven boards and four assists. Arizona State obviously has more than one guy who can step up offensively. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep the hot streak going.
The Huskies are now on an eight-game skid and there appears to be no end in sight. No one predicted that this team would slip this far but things are just not going their way right now. Their record in the conference is now 2-11. They are definitely missing Matisse Thybulle right now who is in the NBA with a role on the Sixers now. The Huskies most recent loss came against UCLA where they lost by 10. The Huskies lost the game on turnovers and assists if you look at the stat column. Washington had five more turnovers than UCLA and they had six less assists. That assist to turnover ratio will get you if you aren’t careful. For the sake of Husky fans, hopefully this losing streak comes to an end sometime soon.
Top 5 Individual Performances of the Week in the Pac-12 other than Zeke Nnaji
1. CJ Elleby
The 6’6 sophomore helps his team in many ways. He had a monstrous 34 point performance with 10 rebounds against Washington. He shot 9/16 from the floor and sunk all 10 of his free throws. When any player has it going the way Elleby did, it is simply so hard to beat. This young man has been the engine on offense for this Washington State team and appears to remain the same heading closer to the month of March.
2. Tyler Bey
The 6’7 junior had a huge double double performance in a win over Oregon State. 21 points and 15 rebounds to go with a blocked shot on 60 percent shooting. When Tyler Bey has it going like this and him and McKinley Wright IV are on the same page, the Buffaloes are very tough to beat.
3. Chris Smith
The 6’9 junior had a 20 point performance against Washington as well as four assists and two steals. When the Bruins are able to capture a win, it is typically because Chris Smith had a strong game. This young man has an impact on winning basketball and his size combined with his versatility on both ends should allow him to have a very bright future.
4. Daniel Utomi
The 6’6 senior for the Trojans had a strong game in a win over Washington State. He had 23 points on 53 percent shooting to go with six rebounds and four assists. Utomi is only averaging 7.9 points per game this season but this week he reminded the world that he’s capable of going on scoring outbursts like this. When one of your guys can put up 20 on any given night, that is a big advantage for that team.
5. Timmy Allen
This 6’6 sophomore had himself a big game where he did a little of everything for the Utes. He had 21 points in the win over Cal shooting 50 percent from the floor. He also contributed in every stat column recording four rebounds, two assists, a blocked shot and two steals. He is averaging 17.9 points per game on the year and helps his team in so many ways. He is one of the most versatile players in the conference and what he is able to do cannot go unnoticed.