Player of the Week
Nikola Vucevic (USC)
The Trojans started the week with a disappointing loss to TCU, but bounced back with their best performance of the year knocking off the Texas Longhorns 73-56. Vucevic led the Trojans attack against both Texas schools, picking up a double-double against TCU (16 points and 10 rebounds) and scoring a season-high 24 points against the Longhorns. Vucevic was named the “Pac-10’s Most Improved Player” a year ago and he’s continued to refine and develop his skill set as a junior. He’s collected five double-double’s this season to go along with a three game stretch where he averaged five assists per contest. He’s averaging 16.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game, while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 70.9 percent from the free throw stripe.
The UCLA Bruins were within seven-tenths of a second from taking fourth ranked Kansas to overtime and placing Kansas’ 63 game home winning streak in serious jeopardy. Tyler Honeycutt led the way for the Bruins with 33 points, 9 rebounds and four assists. Honeycutt shot spectacularly from everywhere on the court including his game tying three with 5 seconds left in regulation. The game ended on a controversial foul call, but the Bruins looked like a unit that could compete with any team in the nation. Freshman, Josh Smith finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds and point guard Lazeric Jones contributed 11 points.
Although UCLA was in the midst of a three game losing streak their play had steadily improved over the three game span. After a disappointing result against Kansas, the Bruins returned home to face a Montana team still winless on the road. This was the definition of a get well game, only the UCLA players didn’t receive the memo. UCLA started the game shooting poorly, but were only down four at the break despite an uninspired first half. Surely, the Bruins would turn things around and dispose of an over-matched Big Sky Conference foe. That wasn’t the case, the Bruins continued to struggle after halftime and fell 57-66 for their fourth consecutive loss.
Top 5 Senior Production in the Pac-10
1. Joevan Catron (Oregon) 17.9 points / 6.8 rebounds / 1.9 assists
*Catron is finally having his break-out season. He’s making the most of his extra year of eligibility and if he can stay healthy he’s the favorite to earn Pac-10 “Most Improved Player” honors.
2. Justin Holiday (Washington) 14.3 points / 6.8 rebounds / 1.9 assists
*Holiday’s offensive and defensive consistency is supremely important to UW’s success. He’s scored in double figures in every game this season and is shooting over 50 percent from the field and from three.
3. Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington) 14.9 points / 6.0 rebounds / 0.8 assists
*Matthew Bryan-Amaning is Washington’s lone low-post offensive threat and he’s drawing a lot of attention. His numbers are solid, but he’s more valuable to the Huskies than his stat line indicates.
4. Omari Johnson (Oregon State) 13.1 points / 7.7 rebounds / 1.4 assists
*Johnson is another player making the most of his senior season. Johnson recorded two double-doubles this season and had scored in double figures in each contest this season prior to Saturday’s loss at Colorado.
5. Calvin Haynes (Oregon State) 12.4 points / 3.7 rebounds / 3.4 assists
*Haynes is off to an inconsistent start and like Oregon State is not performing up to potential. He came off the bench in the loss to Colorado, finishing with 2 points on 1 of 5 shooting and is quickly slipping down our rankings.
Others Receiving Votes:
6. Alex Stepheson (USC)
7. Jamelle Horne (Arizona)
8. Ty Abbott (Arizona State)
9. Markhuri Sanders-Frison (California)
10. Rihards Kuksiks (Arizona State)
Dig it, well done. Love the shout out to Joevan, never thought he would be "the man" for the Ducks, but he really has and I am greatly impressed.
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