New: Pac-10 Weekly Notebook

    
November 21st, 2006

Player of the Week

 

The PAC-10 player of the week goes to true freshman Tajuan Porter of the Oregon Ducks. Porter combined for 93 points in his first three games including a school-record 10-of-12 from 3-point range against Portland State. The 5'6 point guard from Detroit was a three-star recruit that signed with the Ducks last November with little hype or expectations making his debut all the more remarkable.

 

1. UCLA BRUINS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (1-0)

 

The sixth-ranked Bruins opened the season with a comeback win at home against a tough BYU team earlier in the week. A couple of sophomores had career games to key the second-half comeback including forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute netting a career-high 24 points while point guard Darren Collison finished with 16 points and 10 assists, all career highs.

 

The Bruins head to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational this coming week, their first game is against host Chaminade. The Bruins are the top-ranked team at the tournament with a possible UCLA/Memphis showdown for the final.

 

Game results this week:

Wed, Nov 15         BYU        W 82-69

 

2. WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-0)

 

The fifteenth-ranked Huskies hosted and completed a 3 game sweep of the Basketball Travelers Classic to kick-start the season. Justin Dentmon was named Tournament MVP averaging 15.3 points and 4 assists per game. The highly anticipated debut of hometown freshman Spencer Hawes lived up to all expectations to the thrill of the home crowd. Hawes made several key defensive plays and sank four clinching free throws in the final seconds of the Northern Iowa victory.

 

The Huskies host a couple of Big Sky opponents in Sacramento State and Eastern Washington this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

 

Sun, Nov 12          Pepperdine           W 99-91

Mon, Nov 13         Nicholls St.            W 102-74

Tue, Nov 14          Northern Iowa      W 70-61

 

3. ARIZONA WILDCATS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (1-1)

 

The sixteenth-ranked Wildcats stumbled to a narrow loss to unranked Virginia in the season opener before bouncing back big against Northern Arizona later in the week. The key statistic in both games was the points allowed, 93 to Virgina, and 79 to Northern Arizona. Meanwhile, freshman standout Chase Budinger exploded for 32 points in the win over Northern Arizona.

 

The Wildcats hope to solve their defensive woes before hosting New Mexico St. and Samford this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

 Sun, Nov 12         at Virginia              L 90-93

 Wed, Nov 15        Northern Arizona                 W 101-79

 

4. OREGON DUCKS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (4-0)

 

The upstart Ducks shot out of the gate with four straight wins at home hosting three Big West opponents and Lehigh of the Patriot League this past week. Oregon freshman guard Tajuan Porter starts off the season on a remarkable hot streak, scoring 27, 28 and a school-freshman record 38 points in his first three games while shooting a blistering 21-of-33 from 3-point range.

 

The Ducks head on the road to face Rice before heading for a big time showdown with eighth-ranked Georgetown later this week.

 

Game results this week:

Fri, Nov 10            Lehigh  W 77-65

Sat, Nov 11           CSU Northridge   W 84-73

Sun, Nov 12          Portland St.           W 116-68

Fri, Nov 17            UC Irvine               W 85-42

 

5. WASHINGTON ST COUGARS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (4-0)

 

New head coach Tony Bennett started his tenure with the Cougars on a winning note by reeling off four straight wins including two on the road at the John Thompson Foundation Classic in Milwaukee, Wisc. The Cougars received outstanding performances from tournament MVP Ivory Clark, while Derrick Low and Mac Hopson both stood out for the Cougars. More importantly though, the team chemistry has started strong and the Cougars appear to be on the rise.

 

The Cougars will host Idaho St. who narrowly lost in OT to seventeenth-ranked Marquette and Boise St. later this week.

 

Game results this week:

Fri, Nov 10            UAB        W 71-60

Sat, Nov 11           at Wis. Milwaukee               W 74-54

Sun, Nov 12          at Radford             W 84-67

Fri, Nov 17            UTSA     W 67-44

 

6. STANFORD CARDINAL

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (3-1)

 

Stanford was host to the College Basketball Experience Classic this past week winning their first two games before suffered their worst home loss since 1982 to a more experienced Air Force team. The Cardinal feature one of the top recruiting classes heading into this season, and it was their youth that carried them through the first two wins. Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill led the team in scoring while highly touted freshman Robin Lopez was solid in all four games this week.

 

The Cardinal host Denver of the Sun Belt Conference later this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

Sat, Nov 11           Siena     W 92-72

Tue, Nov 14          San Jose St.         W 73-52

Wed, Nov 15         Air Force                L 45-79

Fri, Nov 17            Northwestern        W 58-53

 

7. CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (1-1)

 

The Bears struggled through a sloppy win against Utah Valley St. to open their season relying on a suffocating defense to limit Utah Valley St. to 47 points. Freshman Ryan Anderson finished with a team-high 20 points in his debut. Later in the week the Bears traveled to face a rapidly improving San Diego St team but unlike the win earlier in the week, the defense was unable to stop the hot shooting Aztecs. On the injury front, 7-foot center Jordan Wilkes, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice earlier this month is expected to have surgery later this week.

 

The Bears host Santa Clara and Marshall later this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

Wed, Nov 15         Utah Valley St.     W 60-47

Sat, Nov 18           at San Diego St                    L 79-86

 

8. USC TROJANS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (1-1)

 

Thursday was not just any opening night for the Trojans. First, the team unveiled their new 10,258-seat Calen Center hosting South Carolina. Then at halftime, the school held a ceremony to honor the death of guard Ryan Francis. Unfortunately, the Trojans could not turn their emotions into a win losing a close one in overtime. But the Trojans bounced back later in the week with a narrow win over St. Mary's. Freshman Taj Gibson and Senior Lodrick Stewart led the way for the Trojans in both games.

 

The Trojans host Citadel and Long Beach St. later this coming week.

 

Games this week:

Thu, Nov 16          South Carolina     L 74-80

Sat, Nov 18           St. Mary's               W 69-63

 

9. ARIZONA ST SUN DEVILS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (1-2)

 

Big performances by freshmen Jerren Shipp and Christian Polk were not enough to give the Sun Devils the win in their home opener against Northern Arizona. The home opening loss is the first in 17 seasons for the Sun Devils and Herb Sendek's first ever season-opening loss in 13 seasons as a head coach. A bounce-back victory against Cal State-San Bernadino followed by another close loss, this time to Portland St. rounded out the week.

 

The Sun Devils host San Jose St. before a Saturday matchup with Iowa this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

Mon, Nov 13         Northern Arizona                 L 71-75

Wed, Nov 15         Cal State-San Bernadino   W 69-52

Sat, Nov 18           Portland St.           L 67-71

 

10. OREGON ST BEAVERS

Record: Conference (0-0) Overall (2-2)

 

The Beavers finished 2-1 as they hosted the Oregon Rain Invitational this past week including wins over Portland and Cal-Poly. The Beavers lost to Southeastern Louisiana who went undefeated in the 3 games. Next up was twenty-fourth ranked Nevada with their star center Nick Fazekas. The Beavers managed to keep Fazekas and the rest of the Wolfpack in check for the first half, before the Wolfpack blew the doors down in the second. All eyes this week focused on the highly anticipated debut of top recruit Seth Tarver. However, the freshman has so far shown little despite logging twenty plus minutes in each game he has played. Over four games, the Beavers were led by junior forward Marcel Jones.

 

The Beavers begin a three-game road swing to Hawaii, Northern Colorado and Montana St. this coming week.

 

Game results this week:

Fri, Nov 10            Portland                 W 65-48

Sat, Nov 11           SE Louisiana        L 63-65

Sun, Nov 12          Cal Poly                 W 78-65

Wed, Nov 15         (24) Nevada         L 47-75 

 

Big Game next week

 

Wed, Nov 29 Oregon at (8) Georgetown        7:30 pm

 

The Ducks have started out the season red hot winning their first four games but will get their biggest test yet when they travel to play the eighth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas. The Ducks will need to find a solution for the Hoyas huge front line featuring Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert.

 

PAC-10 Recruiting News

 

The USC Trojans have landed one of the most prized recruits of the 2007 class by announcing that OJ Mayo of West Virginia has signed a letter of intent with the Trojans. The signing was widely speculated for months before the official announcement came earlier this week.

 

The courting of Jerryd Bayless ended this week as he announced in a press conference his intention to sign with the Arizona Wildcats. Several schools battled for the prized recruit and further intensified when Bayless first committed to Arizona, then flip-flopped on his decision more than once, before making his announcement formal this past week.

 

The Arizona State Sun Devils landed their highest ever rated prospect this week with the announcement that prep star James Harden has decided to play for the Sun Devils. The hiring of Harden's high school coach, Scott Pera, to be the school's Director of Basketball Operations gave Harden all the reasons he needed to sign up.

 

Four-star recruit Drew Viney who originally committed verbally to California made the switch official signing a letter of intent with the Oregon Ducks. The decision ultimately came down to Viney's desire to play with childhood friend Kamyron Brown who has already signed with Oregon.

 

The Stanford Cardinal added a three-star recruit from the 2007 class with the announcement that Josh Owens, a 6-foot-8 forward from Exeter Academy in New Hampshire has signed a letter of intent to play for the Cardinal. Owens made several visits including to Penn and Vanderbilt in addition to Stanford and weighed all options before making his decision final earlier this week.