This Week in the Pac-12, Jan. 5: Arizona Basketball looks for rare wins in Los Angelesby Scott Terrell on Jan. 05, 2012, under Sports
The Cal Bears, Stanford Cardinal and Washington Huskies posted 2-0 records last week as Pac-12 play got underway. All three will look to remain perfect as their paths do not yet cross.
The Arizona Wildcats posted a victory in their single conference game a week ago so they too will attempt to keep their Pac-12 record clean.
To do so the Cats will have to reverse their recent fortunes of the past few years in the City of Angels (or, in the case of tonight’s game, the University of California, Los Angeles of Anaheim).
TWIT-Pac has more games but fewer viewing opportunities this week.
Here is the TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain):
|Thu Jan 5||Stanford||Oregon||7 p.m.||CSN NW/BA|
|Washington||Colorado||7 p.m.||ROOT RM/NW|
|Sat Jan 7||Washington||Utah||12 p.m.||FSN|
|Stanford||OSU||8 p.m.||ROOT NW/CSN BA|
|Sun Jan 8||ARIZONA||USC||3:30 p.m.||FSN|
|Cal||Oregon||5:30 p.m.||FSN/ROOT NW|
CSN BA = Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
CSN NW = Comcast SportsNet Northwest
FSAZ = Fox Sports Arizona
FSN = Fox Sports Net
PT = Prime Ticket
ROOT RM = Root Sports Rocky Mountain
ROOT NW = Root Sports Northwest
Thu. Jan. 5
Stanford (12-2 / 2-0) at Oregon (10-4 / 1-1)
Stanford passed its first test by sweeping the L.A. schools at home last week. Taking two from the Oregons would officially give them For Real status.
Washington (8-5 / 2-0) at Colorado (9-4 / 1-0)
Husky guard Tony “Not Rotten” Wroten introduced himself to the Pac-12 by winning the Player of the Week award, the first freshman to do so this season.
WSU (9-5 / 1-1) at Utah (3-10 / 1-1)
Unfortunately for the Cougars (and Huskies), this is their only game against Utah this year. UCLA and USC are the other pair that doesn’t get to double up on the woeful Utes.
ASU (4-9 / 0-1) at USC (5-10 / 0-2)
Somebody’s first league win is coming! First team to 35, wins!
Cal (12-3 / 2-0) at OSU (10-4 / 0-2)
Since it’s never too early…
Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
OSU. Root for the Pac-12 favorite to feel the wrath of the Oregon Trail this weekend.
ARIZONA (10-4 / 1-0) at UCLA (7-7 / 0-2)
This game is at the Honda Center in Anaheim, the site of last year’s win over Duke (and loss to UConn). You’ll know it’s over if De’End Parker enters the game.
Sat. Jan. 7
Washington at Utah
UW averaged 85.5 points per game at home last week but only scored an average of 68.5 in their two true road games this year.
WSU at Colorado
Wazzu’s Reggie Moore is the Pac-12’s leading assist man, averaging 5.6 a game. Sharing is caring.
Stanford at OSU
The Beavers went 10-2 out-of-conference but started 0-2 in league play, and now they face what looks like the best two teams in the Pac-12. Oregon State’s season could go from “Great story!” to “Here we go again” in a hurry.
ASU at UCLA
The Sun Devils are in the middle of a stretch where they play five of their first seven conference games on the road. UCLA is doing the same thing but this is the Bruins’ two at “home.”
Sun. Jan. 8
ARIZONA at USC
USC has won its last three home games against the Wildcats. I wonder if Kevin O’Neill’s wife will be there.
Cal at Oregon
53 points against USC, 85 points vs. UCLA. Cal showed it can win at multiple speeds last week.
* * *
Neither the Bruins nor Trojans are going to win the conference but they’re still plenty dangerous. We all know what happened to the Cats in L.A. last year, and it’s the same thing that happened three years ago. All told the UA has lost five of its last six games on the SoCal swing.
Arizona won’t have to deal with Reeves Nelson but UCLA still features three 6-10 players in Josh Smith and the Wear twins. Will Sean Miller counter with more minutes for Kyryl Natyazhko and Angelo Chol or will he try to spread the floor and outshoot the Bruins with Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry?
USC went from relying on 7-footer Nikola Vucevic to being led by 5-7 Maurice Jones. But, as always, the name of the game for a KO-coached team is defense so the Cats will have to be patient and make sure their outside shots are good ones.
It’s too early to say any weekend is critical but Arizona’s two toughest road trips (the Bays and the Washingtons) are both on the back half of the schedule. Now’s the time to pick up wins and see if you can gain ground on Cal and Stanford. It also helps that UCLA and USC are as collectively down as they’re going to be.
The Wildcats are trying to get back to Hollywood endings in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
* * *
A dollop of football…
If you were following on Twitter this is old news but Nick Foles’ reign as the most accurate passer in Pac-12 history was short-lived. After Foles finished the season ahead of Matt Leinart’s record for career completion percentage Andrew Luck completed a ridiculous 87% of his passes in the Fiesta Bowl to move ahead of Foles, 67.0% to 66.8%.
At least Foles can say he broke the record of a Heisman Trophy winner, and he held it for 36 days.
Speaking of Stanford, Cardinal fans have to be at least a little disappointed by the Jim Harbaugh/Andrew Luck era. Crazy? Here’s what they had:
• The greatest football coach in the world (the previous two Stanford coaches went 16-40 (.286) and the 49ers hadn’t had a winning season in nine years before Harbaugh went 13-3 this year)
• The greatest quarterback prospect in 13 years (The Next Peyton Manning will be replacing The First Peyton Manning in Indianapolis)
• Only the school’s second and third 10-win seasons in the past 71 years
…and they end up with no conference championships and a single bowl win. That’s gotta sting, right?
Of course, they got a Rose Bowl out of Ty Willingham and an eight-win team so Stanford has a long way to go in the Woe Is We department.
- – - – -