Player of the Week
Williams scored a career high 31 points to lead Arizona past Cal 73-71 in Arizona’s Pac-10 home opener. Williams scored 19 of his 31 in the second half and set a school record for most free throw attempts in a game with 22. Williams also grabbed 12 boards and added a steal and a block to go along with his career offensive night. Arizona finished their home sweep of the bay area schools with a 67-57 victory against Stanford. Williams followed up his big game with a perfect shooting night from the floor against the Cardinal. He was 5 for 5 from the field and 2 for 2 from the three point line and finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Williams has four double-double performances this season and six games of 20 or more points.
What’s “Old” in the Pac-10?
Time has a way of relentlessly passing rendering noteworthy present events as distant memories in what seems like “just the other day.” MacArthur Court saw its share of big events in its 84 years history, but Saturday the Oregon men’s basketball team left the intimate 9,087 seat Arena for the final time. MacArthur Court, Mac Court or “The Pit” as it is known by many was the second oldest active on-court Arena in DI basketball, only Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym is older. The Oregon men’s basketball team played its first game in Mac Court on January 14, 1927, defeating Willamette 38 to 10. Mac Court later saw Oregon’s “Tall Firs” team defeated Ohio State 46-33 to win the 1939 National Championship. Often regarded as one of the toughest places to play, “The Pit” and its student section “The Pit Crew” will be missed, but live on in the memories of those who attended games there.
What’s “New” in the Pac-10?
Matthew Knight Arena
Thursday, January 13, 2011 will mark the beginning of Matthew Knight Arena, Oregon’s new state-of-the-art basketball facility. The new building will seat 12,500 spectators and cost roughly $227 million to build. The project was made possible because of a large donation by Phil and Penny Knight to Oregon’s Athletic Department. The donation was made to the “Legacy Fund” and the new Arena will be named in memoriam of their late son Matthew Knight. The new facility features countless modern upgrades over McArthur Court including the newly designed “forest” artwork that will highlight the entire court. In this day and age of big stakes recruiting and on field performance, Oregon’s facilities are in a class of their own. Matthew Knight Arena is sure to be one of, if not the nicest on-court basketball Arenas in the country.
Top 10 Guards in the Pac-10
1. Klay Thompson (Washington State) 22.2 points / 5.2 rebounds / 4.1 assists
* Thompson is putting together a stellar season. His field goal percentage is down lightly in conference play, but his efficiency from the three point line and foul line has improved. He should keep Washington State towards the top of the Pac-10 standings and he is a strong candidate for Player of the Year honors.
2. Isaiah Thomas (Washington) 16.0 points / 3.7 rebounds / 4.8 assists
* Thomas’ production is on the rise early in Pac-10 play. His shooting percentages are up across the board along with his steals and points per game numbers, but the biggest improvement is in the assist category. Thomas is dishing out 7.3 assists per game in Pac-10 play, up from 3.9 during the non-conference schedule.
3. Jared Cunningham (Oregon State) 14.6 points / 3.1 rebounds / 2.1 assists
* Cunningham is one of the few consistent bright spots for the Beavers this season. He’s scored in double figures twelve times and is averaging 18 points per game in conference play. He’s also posting a gaudy 3.1 steals per game. Cunningham has five games this season with five or more steals.
4. Trent Lockett (Arizona State) 13.8 points / 6.5 rebounds / 2.5 assists
* Lockett was Arizona State’s all everything guard through the non-conference schedule, but was forced to miss the first two games of Pac-10 play with a sprained big toe. He was back on the court this past week, but ASU needs him at full strength to help on the boards and scoring the basketball.
5. Jeremy Green (Stanford) 15.9 points / 2.9 rebounds / 1.0 assists
* Green is an exceptional jump shooter, but because Stanford lacks a true point guard with experience his offensive game remains inefficient. He should look better as his young teammates mature.
6. Jorge Gutierrez (California) 12.9 points / 3.3 rebounds / 4.0 assists
*Gary Franklin’s decision to transfer means Gutierrez will have the ball in his hands more as Pac-10 play continues. Expect his shot attempts, scoring and his assists numbers to increase as the year progresses.
7. Jio Fontan (USC) 13.7 points / 1.7 rebounds / 2.8 assists
* Fontan’s impact on the Trojans goes much deeper than his stat line. USC is extremely young and inexperienced in the backcourt and his presence brings leadership and a calming influence.
8. Faisal Aden (Washington State) 14.8 points / 3.4 rebounds / 1.1 assists
* Through Washington State’s first five games this season Aden averaged 20.8 points per game. Since then his production has dipped. Increased scouting by opponents and a decrease in minutes are big factors.
9. Ty Abbott (Arizona State) 12.5 points / 3.3 rebounds / 2.5 assists
* If ASU is going to turn their season around Abbott needs to find his shooting stroke. Abbott was primed to enjoy a break out season, but to this point it hasn’t materialized.
10. Malcolm Lee (UCLA) 12.2 points / 2.9 rebounds / 1.8 assists
* If Lazeric Jones is forced to miss an extended period of time then Lee becomes even more important for UCLA. Like most of the Bruins Lee has been extremely inconsistent this season.
The Next Five
Calvin Haynes (Oregon State) / Reggie Moore (Washington State) / Allen Crabbe (California) / Terrence Ross (Washington) / Abdul Gaddy (Washington)*
*Injured and out for the remainder of the 2010-11 season
Upcoming Games of Interest
01.13.2011 USC @ Oregon
01.13.2011 UCLA @ Oregon State
01.13.2011 Washington @ Stanford
01.15.2011 Washington State @ Stanford
01.15.2011 Arizona State @ Arizona
Results of Interest
01.06.2011 Oregon State 70 Washington State 84
01.08.2011 Oregon 63 Washington State 77
01.08.2011 Oregon State 72 Washington 103
01.09.2011 UCLA 52 USC 63
* A troublesome report surfaced Monday surrounding the University of Washington’s men’s basketball team. According to published reports, a police investigation based on sexual assault allegations surrounding a current University of Washington student-athlete is underway. The University of Washington’s Athletic Department has no comment on the situation at this time.
* Sophomore guard Abdul Gaddy suffered a season ending knee injury last Tuesday while planting on a drive to the basket during practice. The injury is being classified as a torn ACL to the left knee.
* After a tumultuous off-season the Oregon Ducks were hit hard by injuries over the weekend. Starting point guard Malcolm Armstead missed Oregon’s game against Washington State with a sore left knee. Forwards Joevan Catron (strained calf muscle) and Jeremy Jacob (sore knees) both left Saturday’s game with Washington State do to injury. The status for all three players remains unclear for this week’s home stand.
* Junior point guard Lazeric Jones ruptured the tendon in his right middle finger in UCLA’s game against Washington and struggled this past weekend against the Trojans. Jones is trying to play through the injury, but he has yet to convert on a field goal attempt since suffering the injury. He wore a protective splint on the finger against USC.
* The Sun Devils have yet to play a conference game with their starting back-court in place. Starting point guard Jamelle McMillan missed Arizona State’s past two games with a sore groin. Prior to McMillan’s absence, Trent Lockett was sidelined for road games against Oregon State and Oregon.
* Freshman point guard Gary Franklin Jr. announced last Wednesday his decision to transfer from Cal’s basketball program. Franklin had started 11 of the Bears first 13 games this season while averaging 8.2 points and 2.0 assists.
i watched the opening of mathew knight arena tonight vs USC. They had a pretty awesome pre game show with lights and dancers and some student body rushing the court and of course the Duck doing his thing. Then the ducks went out and played some extremly inspired ball and beat the favored trojans on the court. However, the jury is out on the court. Its pretty out there and distracting and the halfcourt line is completley invisible on telelvision. Even the announcers said you have to be standing on the halfcourt line to see it. Surely this can be an issue in the future.