From A to Zylan

Player of the Week:

Zylan Cheatham, Arizona State

Zylan CheathamZylan CheathamIn its last two games, which were both conference matchups, this Arizona State team has seen senior forward Cheatham have two of his best all-around games of the season. When the Sun Devils faced Oregon State Thursday, Cheatham recorded a double-double with 10 points, 13 boards, and six assists. The Phoenix native shot 50 percent from the floor in 36 minutes in the three-point victory over the Beavers.

Cheatham topped his Thursday performance in a Saturday win over the Oregon Ducks 78-64, who will remain without the services of Bol Bol for the rest of the season. He scored 17 on 5-6 shooting and converted on 7-8 free throws. The versatile forward also came down with nine boards as well along with a block and assist. If this experienced senior continues into the later part of the season with his consistent production on both ends of the court, the Sun Devils should remain among the tougher teams in the Pac-12.

Who’s Hot

Washington Huskies

The Huskies have now won seven games in a row. They are 5-0 in conference play. Jaylen Nowell deserves major credit as he has lead this team on this run as of late. In Washington’s home win Thursday over Stanford, Nowell scored 22 points on 9-19 shooting and converted on two of his three 3-pointers. He also had five boards, two assists, and a steal in the 16-point win. There were also three Huskies in that game with at least two blocked shots.

Washington’s win over Cal Saturday was much more of a team effort in the scoring department. The Huskies had five of its players score in double figures with senior forward Dominic Green as the high man with 17 off the bench. With everyone doing their part on this team as of late, it seems the only team that can stop the Huskies in the Pac-12 right now may very well be themselves.

Who’s Not

California Golden Bears

The Golden Bears have now lost their last seven games, and are 0-6 in conference play so far this season. Cal fell to Washington State Thursday 82-59, the team in the Pac-12 with the lowest winning percentage except for them. Justice Sueing was the high scorer for Cal with 15 but only one other player scored in double figures. Washington State had a higher shooting percentage across the board with 3’s, field goals, as well as free throw percentage. The Golden Bears also gave up four more turnovers than the Cougars did in addition to losing the rebounding battle by six rebounds.

Cal had a crack at the Washington Huskies on Saturday and fell by 19 points. Despite committing five less turnovers than the Huskies, Cal could not so much as buy a 3-pointer for cold, hard cash. The Golden Bears converted on only one 3-point shot out of fifteen attempts. They seemed to have found the perfect recipe to lose that night with such a poor shooting performance.

Top 5 Individual Performances (Excluding Zylan Cheatham)

1. Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

Tinkle has been the backbone of this Beaver team all season and still put up impressive numbers despite losing the last two games. On Thursday on the road against Arizona State, the 6’8 junior scored 21 points along with seven boards, six assists, and two steals. His numbers were even more impressive against Arizona Saturday when he scored 25 on 9-17 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, four assists, one block , and two steals. Tres Tinkle is about as versatile and talented of a forward as you see in college basketball today and should warrant tons of attention from NBA scouts.

2. Robert Franks, Washington State

The 6’9 senior had himself a night in Thursday’s win over Cal. Franks scored 24 on 10-18 shooting along with eight boards, two assists and and a steal. Franks has been relied on heavily by the Cougars and he should continue to see the heavy workload as conference play continues. A huge key to the success of this team is if Franks and teammate CJ Elleby can perform at a high level simultaneously.

3. Brandon Williams and Ryan Luther, Arizona

The freshman guard and senior forward combined to be a major problem for the Oregon State defense Saturday. Williams had a very efficient performance in Arizona’s 82-71 win over the Beavers. He scored 20 points on 5-10 shooting, 3-4 from deep, and 7-9 from the strike. Williams also dished out five assists and blocked two shots. Luther, the senior coming off the bench, had a double-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and a steal. If Arizona can continue seeing bench production like this, the Pac-12 must be ready when facing them.

4. Sedrick Barefield and Timmy Allen, Utah

The Utes were able to put away the Buffaloes 78-69 Sunday night behind the performances of Sedrick Barefield and Timmy Allen. Barefield was the high scorer with 22 points shooting 5-11 from downtown. He also added four assists and a steal. Forward Timmy Allen had an excellent all-around performance scoring 21 points to go with 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Utah has shown they are not afraid of talented teams and here are two big reasons why.

5. CJ Elleby, Washington State

Despite its loss to Stanford Saturday, Washington State is fortunate it has Elleby producing all season long. The 6’6 freshman scored 18 points to go with his nine boards, three assists, and a steal. Elleby is one of the most talented players in the Pac-12 let alone freshmen. When both Elleby and Robert Franks have big-time performances, this Cougar team can be dangerous.

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