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Player of the Week

Zylan CheathamZylan CheathamArizona State's Zylan Cheatham had two sensational games this week. After coming up an assist shy of a triple double on November 28th against Omaha, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists, Cheatham put up near identical stats adding one in each category with 14 points, 13 boards, and 10 assists against Texas Southern. While the competition the Sun Devils played in those two games wasn't top notch, the production shows the great versatility that Zylan possesses.

After transferring from San Diego State and sitting out last season, Cheatham has begun to realize his potential playing at Arizona State. His teammate Luguentz Dort has captured more of the limelight in the early part of the season, but Cheatham has been more efficent and impactful of late. The Sun Devils have a huge test Friday Night in Los Angeles facing the 6th ranked Nevada Wolfpack at the Staples Center.

Who’s Hot

Arizona State

Coach Bobby Hurley and the red hot Sun Devils are still the only remaining undefeated program in the Pac-12. ASU improved to 7-0 on the season Saturday as it defeated Texas Southern 83-71. That win places the Sun Devils at number 20 on the AP list and it doesn’t look like they are showing any sign of slowing down. Players like Luguentz Dort have led the way for this team this season but it is because of the depth of this team that separates the program. With a pivotal Friday matchup against sixth ranked Nevada, ASU could really move up in the national ranks with a victory over the Wolf Pack. The Sun Devils will need continued production from players such as Kimani Lawrence, Rob Edwards, Zylan Cheatham, and Remy Martin. A motivated, ferocious defense obviously will help as well of course.

Who’s Not

California

The Golden Bears find themselves at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings with a record of 2-5 after their second consecutive loss of the season Wednesday. San Francisco was able to hold Cal to just 40 percent from the field and also out-rebound the Bears by 12. Cal will host San Diego State Saturday in the Haas Pavilion and hope to bounce back with a weak start to the season. With plenty of time still left in the season, it’ll be a sight to see if Coach Wyking Jones can help this team turn things around and get back to where it wants to be.

Top 5 (Non-Zylan) Performances of the Week


1. Stephen Thompson Jr., Ethan Thompson, Tres Tinkle, OSU

This trio combined for 71 points Saturday in a 101-77 victory over Missouri State. Just the fact that just three players combined for six less points than the entire other team had is astounding. Stephen Thompson Jr. was the high scoring man with 25 points on 5-9 shooting from downtown along with three assists and a steal. Ethan Thompson impressively made all five of his three point attempts. He also contributed nine rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. Tres Tinkle was able to feast this night as well as he recorded 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. If these three players see any extra production from their other teammates, the Beavers are capable of scoring triple digits easily.

2. Jaylen Hands, UCLA

The 6’3 sophomore led the Bruins to a 82-58 victory over Loyola Marymount and remains a huge reason for the program’s success so far this year. Hands had a double double as he did an excellent job facilitating with 10 assists. Hands also contributed 17 points and sunk all eight of his free throws. Look for the trio of Jaylen Hands, Moses Brown, and Kris Wilkes to be the best chance for UCLA to make some serious noise in the Pac-12 come spring.

3. Romello White, Arizona State

While Cheatham was doing his thing, Romello White also had a strong rebounding and scoring output helping to propel the Sun Devils to their seventh straight victory to start the season over Texas Southern. White had 19 points along with 14 rebounds and a block on a highly efficient 9-10 shooting.

4. Jaylen Nowell, Washington

It is difficult putting a guy in the top five who’s team did not win but Jaylen Nowell deserves some recognition after his effort against the number one ranked Gonzaga Wednesday. Gonzaga may have escaped Washington by only two points, but the NCAA has been put on notice that Nowell can produce when his team needs him, even against the toughest of competition. The sophomore from Seattle poured in 26 points on 10-18 shooting from the field. He also made sure to get his teammates involved with his six assists and also recorded a steal on the defensive end.

5. Brandon Randolph, Arizona

The versatile, 6’6 guard from New York helped the Wildcats to its second straight victory Sunday as Arizona defeated Uconn in a close one 76-72. Randolph contributed 20 points and a block. He was able to knock down all nine of his free throws as well. Randolph has shown that he clearly has a knack for getting to the foul line and making it count. His penetrating abilities should continue to help his team as he can kick it out to open shooters.

Freshman of the Week

CJ Elleby, Washington State

The Cougars have themselves quite a player in CJ Elleby as the 6’6 freshman has produced at a high level consistently so far this season. Although Washington State suffered a tough six point loss to New Mexico State, Elleby had a strong performance with 18 points, 10 rebounds and a steal on 8-12 shooting. The physical guard had just as strong a performance in the Cougars bounceback win over Idaho Wednesday. In that game, Elleby went for 20 points, eight rebounds, and a block on 7-14 shooting.

This team can be very dangerous when both CJ Elleby and Robert Franks have it going and that is exactly what happened against the Vandals. Elleby had a bit of a slow start to his freshman season from a scoring standpoint but ever since his breakout game on 11/27 against CSU Northridge with 23 points, he has shown no sign of slowing down. If these types of performances continue, the Seattle native could start to make NBA scouts take notice. He's clearly been coming into his own on the collegiate level the past couple of weeks. With limited television exposure, it is not a surprise the Elleby has flown under the radar playing on the West Coast.

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