Smooth as Silk

Player of the Week

Kris Wilkes, UCLA

Kris WilkesKris WilkesAfter suffering three conference losses in a row, UCLA was finally able to capture a win as Wilkes exploded for 34 points Saturday in a matchup against the Arizona Wildcats. The 6’8, 215 lb. guard was able to get just about any shot he wanted on Arizona. He shot 12-16 overall and 5-7 from deep. Wilkes also added four boards and three assists to go with his huge scoring night and bounceback win. UCLA won this game by 21 points, showing what this team is capable of when Wilkes has a scoring outburst like he did.

This wing is 6’8 and has some of the best size among any wings in the Pac-12, let alone the nation. If he can keep perfroming well as a point forward, where he can bring the ball up the floor and facilitate as well as score from anywhere on the court in both isolation situations and moving without the ball, he adds further intrigue to his resume as an NBA prospect.

Who’s Hot

Washington Huskies

The Huskies are up to nine wins in a row and are 7-0 in conference play so far. This team also has a little breathing room at this point as the next best record is 5-2 which USC and Utah are tied for. Oregon nearly beat Washington Thursday but the Huskies held on to win by five behind the performances of Jaylen Nowell and David Crisp. Nowell had 20 points with a steal, block, six boards, and 3-4 shooting from deep. Crisp also shot well from deep going 4-8 with his 18 points respectively. The Huskies were then able to capture a 10 point victory over Oregon State Saturday. In those two games combined, it is worth noting that senior guard Matisse Thybulle recorded eight steals. Nowell and Crisp again were the catalysts for the Huskies but sophomore forward Nahziah Carter contributed 18 points of the bench with three of each assists, boards, and steals. If Washington continues to see high level play on both ends of the floor, the win streak may grow much larger than nine games.

Who’s Not

Washington State Cougars

The Cougars fell Thursday to Oregon State 90-77 and the same theme is apparent every time this team comes up short. CJ Elleby and Robert Franks almost always produce at a high rate consistently on both ends but obviously it takes more than two talented guys to win a basketball game. Franks and Elleby combined for 41 points and 15-30 shooting in the game. Outside of that, only one player scored in double figures who came off the bench. The Cougars then fell by 20 points to the Ducks Sunday and again, right on cue, Franks and Elleby each had nice performances in the game and then the next highest scorer scored a whopping 10 points. The Cougars will continue to struggle unless the supporting cast around the two main pieces step it up.

Top 5 Freshman of the Week

1. Moses Brown, UCLA

In UCLA’s bounceback win Saturday over Arizona, the freshman center had a superb all-around performance. Brown recorded a double double with 11 points, and 15 rebounds on 4-9 shooting. Brown gets it done on both ends as he was also able to record two steals and two blocks on the defensive side. Look for the 7’1 freshman out of Queens, New York to remain a focal point for the Bruins moving forward.

2. Timmy Allen, Utah

As a contribution to the Utes fourth consecutive victory, Allen had a near perfect offensive performance Saturday on the road against Cal. The 6’6 freshman scored 17 points on 7-9 shooting, made his only 3-pointer, as well as pulled down 12 boards and drop four dimes to his teammates. Allen is averaging just over 10 points per contest but he has shown all season he is capable of averaging twice as much if given the opportunity.

3. Louis King, Oregon

After the Ducks lost two conference matchups in a row, King posted a very strong performance against the Cougars when he scored 22 points on 8-11 shooting and 4-6 from downtown. The 6’9 freshman has demonstrated marksman shooting at his size and will prove to be invaluable if he can keep up the efficient scoring output averaging just under 12 points per game.

4. Luguentz Dort, Arizona State

Dort had an exceptional game in the road win Thursday vs. UCLA despite missing all five of his 3-pointers. Weighing in at 220, Dort is a strong 6’4 and it allows for him to affect the game in a number of ways. He had 16 points on 7-15 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds. Dort took a small step back Saturday in ASU’s loss at USC as he only scored nine points but he is poised for a breakout performance as the Sun Devils look to climb back to the top of the Pac-12.

5. Matt Bradley, Cal

Cal has had the most disappointing season in all of the Pac-12 but that didn’t stop Bradley from contributing a solid all-around performance. He had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block. The 6’4, 220 lb. freshman guard has shown flashes of potential with his strength for his height as well as deep shooting range. Look for Bradley’s name to pop up more with this Cal team moving forward.

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