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Tres Bien

Player of the Week

Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

Tres TinkleTres TinkleWhile helping the Beavers to a 2-0 record Saturday with a 19 point win over Wyoming, the 6'8 junior forward from Montana scored 28 points on 12 of 18 shooting along with 11 rebounds and five assists. Tres Tinkle showed that he has no problem shooting over defenders right up in his face. Tinkle also got the job done on the defensive end with a block and two steals. He can do a number of things on the offensive end in particular to help his team whether it is scoring isolation, finding his cutting teammates, or shooting the deep ball.

If Tinkle can find a way to continue producing the way he has through the first two games of the season, he along with guard Ethan Thompson and forward Alfred Hollins could make some noise with this Oregon State squad. Tinkle is in for some high scoring nights for the remainder of this season if he continues to see 17 field goal attempts per game.

Something is to be said about how Tinkle is so in sync with his teammates. Although he can create his own shot, Tinkle had a lot of catch and shoot opportunities because he does a great job moving without the ball and his teammates Ethan Thompson and Stephen Thompson Jr. kept finding him for open looks. There was very little the Cowboys could do to stop Tinkle just about everywhere you looked on offense Saturday. Expect future opponents of Oregon State to focus more on neutralizing Tinkle because he can have one of the strongest seasons in all of the Pac-12.

Who’s Hot

Oregon

The Ducks ought to be feeling pretty mighty after their 3-1 record to start the season led by freshmen Bol Bol, son of the tallest player to play in the NBA, Manute Bol. Bol has been terrifying on defense averaging four blocks through the first four games but he’s contributing just as much on the offensive end with 18.8 points per game as well as 10.5 rebounds on 51 percent shooting. Although the Ducks fell the Iowa Hawkeyes about 3000 miles from home in Madison Square Garden, the team showed it can bounce back and beat 15th ranked Syracuse the following night by 15. Payton Pritchard should also warrant attention on this Oregon team as he’s off to a hot start as well averaging 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and five assists.

Who’s Not


Washington State

The transfer of junior guard Malachi Flynn to San Diego State was definitely a tough blow for this Washington team.

The Cougars suffered their first loss Wednesday night against the Seattle Redhawks 78-69. Washington was able to use a 12-0 run late in the game to take a three point lead but ultimately could not get the job done. The main factor that came back to bite the Cougars in the butt was their 30 percent shooting from the field. They also allowed Seattle to shoot 51 percent on the night so clearly defense was an issue. The season is still extremely young so this loss shouldn’t hurt the Cougars too much but if the poor shooting trend continues as well as falling to other unranked teams, then they could be in some trouble.

Top 5 Teams in the Pac-12

1. UCLA Bruins

Despite being seven ranks behind Oregon at 20th in the nation and Shareef O’Neal being sidelines for the year, UCLA has talent at every position as well as size. With three players averaging over 15 points per game, the Bruins have multiple options to look to for scoring production. Kris Wilkes leads the team in scoring with 22 and teammates Moses Brown and Jaylen Hands have combined to be an absolute problem for opponents. This team also gets after it on defense as it recorded 20 steals over the first two games. Look for UCLA to close the gap on the Oregon Ducks in the national AP rankings.

2. Oregon Ducks

Son of the tallest player in NBA history, freshman Bol Bol has led the way for the 13th ranked Ducks this season for the on both ends of the floor. He averaged 18.8 points and 10.5 rebounds along with four blocks per game. Junior Payton Pritchard is also contributing quality minutes on both ends of the floor. Senior forward Paul White is the only other Duck who is scoring in double figures this year. After a huge bounce back win over Syracuse Friday, look for Oregon to build some momentum and perhaps move up a few ranks. This team has showed they can be a nightmare defensively for opponents.

3. Washington Huskies

Although the Huskies are one of the first Pac-12 teams to sustain a loss this season, it remains a top team in the conference for a number of reasons. Lets not forget that this team is returning all of its players who made contributions last season in wins over Kansas, Arizona, and Arizona State. Sophomore guard, Jaylen Nowell has been impressive and efficient leading the Huskies with 17 points per game on 57 percent shooting and 50 percent from beyond the arc. To be fair, the team that beat Washington this year is currently ranked 9th in the country which is a very talented Auburn team. Look for Washington to make some noise in the Pac-12 over the next few weeks in particular as they do not face a ranked opponent until December 5th when the team heads to Gonzaga.

4. Colorado Buffaloes

The Buffaloes may have lost George King from last season but this team can score a lot of points in a hurry. In its only matchup so far this season, Colorado put up 100 points against Drake. This team showed in that one game alone that it can flat out shoot the ball. Senior guard Namon Wright led the way for the Buffaloes with a conference leading 25 points. Sophomore guard McKinley Wright IV will also be looking to build off a strong freshman season as he contributed 17 points and six assists in the game. Colorado should continue to be a strong team in the Pac-12 because the team is smart and the bad shots are kept to a minimum. Of the nine players who saw minutes for Colorado this season, only two of them shot below 50 percent. Keep an eye on that number as The Buffaloes try to move up in the rankings as the season moves forward.

5. USC Trojans

The Trojans may have lost some of their talent during the offseason but still have the makings to be a tough team to beat in the Pac-12. Bennie Boatwright is back for his senior season after an impressive junior season. He’s a leader for this team and acts as an extremely versatile, focal point for the Trojan offense and defense. Six players are averaging double figure scoring over the first three games this season. It is really difficult to game plan for a team like the Trojans because if the opposing coach chooses to double-team somebody who is hot, there are multiple other players who can score a number of ways. Some of those guys include Nick Rakocevic, Jonah Matthews, Shaqquan Aaron, and one-and-done candidate, Kevin Porter Jr.

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