Colorado has awaken from its controversial overtime loss at McKale Center on Jan. 3, when Sabatino Chen’s three-point bank at the buzzer was ruled too late by the refs and Arizona held on for a 92-83 win.
The Buffaloes, who started 1-4 in the Pac-12 after the demoralizing loss, have won three straight games and play at last-place Utah on Saturday. Colorado (14-6 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12) should have a four-game winning streak heading into its showdown at Oregon on Feb. 7.
Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson had his best week of the Pac-12 season in the Buffaloes’ victories over Stanford and Cal in Boulder last weekend. His 1.000 productivity power rating (56 productivity points in 56 minutes) was not good enough to top ASU junior center Jordan Bachynski for the WILDABOUTAZCATS.net Pac-12 Player of the Week. For a definition of productivity points, see the glossary in this blog.
Bachynski had 62 productivity points in 52 minutes (1.192 rating) in the Sun Devils’ sweep of USC and UCLA at Tempe. The league named ASU’s Carrick Felix its player of the week. He was deserving with a rating of .927 against USC and UCLA (77 productivity points in 83 minutes) but Bachynski’s 50 productivity points in 30 minutes (10-of-12 shooting from the field, 15 rebounds, six blocked shots and 22 points) against UCLA on Saturday will be difficult for anybody in the league to match this season.
Arizona’s top productivity game is Brandon Ashley’s 40 points in 24 minutes against Long Beach State on Nov. 19.
While Colorado is regaining its form befitting of a team with a No. 20 RPI rating according to CBSSports.com, Washington — Arizona’s next opponent — has slipped as of late. The Huskies (12-8 and 4-3) have lost three straight games, including one at home against the struggling Utes in a game that was not close (won by Utah 74-65 on Jan. 19). They lost both games at the Oregon schools last weekend.
As junior guard C.J. Wilcox goes, so go the Huskies. Wilcox had a productivity rating of .933 (97 productivity points in 104 minutes) after leading a sweep of the Bay-area schools two weeks ago. In the four games since, he has posted a productivity rating of .597 (83 productivity points in 139 minutes).
Wilcox posted his eighth 20-point game of the season with a 23-point effort at Oregon State but he followed that with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting in 36 minutes in the Huskies’ loss at Oregon. Wilcox has led the Huskies in scoring 14 times in 20 games this season.
Washington senior point guard Abdul Gaddy, who committed to Arizona but opted for the Huskies when Lute Olson retired in 2008, is having a disappointing Pac-12 season to this point with a productivity rating of .264. He is averaging only 3.1 assists per game (22 assists with 15 turnovers while shooting 22 of 65 from the field).
Despite Washington’s shortcomings, Thursday’s game is in Seattle and nothing comes easy there for Arizona, which has lost five straight games to the Huskies in the Emerald City. Washington has won by an average of 10.6 points over the Wildcats in that span.
Washington State 6-5 senior guard Mike Ladd, a former Fresno State player who hails from Seattle, is one of the top 10 productivity players in the league with a .689 rating. The Wildcats will contend with him in Pullman on Saturday.
Ladd is coming off a career-high 23 points in a 71-68 victory at Oregon State. He was 10-for-11 from the field including 1-for-1 from three-point range and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.
He has scored in double digits in each of the last eight games, averaging 17.1 points during that span. He will likely be guarded by ASU’s Felix on Thursday in what should be a good matchup. Arizona’s Nick Johnson will likely get the defensive assignment on Ladd on Saturday.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
PAC-12’s TOP TEN
This Week (Tucson times):
USC at UCLA, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
No. 10 Oregon at Stanford 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 8 Arizona at Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Oregon State at California, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
ASU at Washington, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networkds)
Colorado at Utah, 12:30 p.m. (FSN)
No. 10 Oregon at California, 2:30 p.m. (FSN)
ASU at Washington, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 8 Arizona at Washington State, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Oregon State at Stanford, 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Players listed are top six in minutes played in Pac-12 games
S: Number of starts.
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)
|ARIZONA STATE (5-2)
|SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (3-5)
|OREGON STATE (1-6)
|WASHINGTON STATE (2-5)
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner