The start was delayed, and the finish may be extended. As for the exact midpoint of this pandemic season, that’s anyone’s guess.
For our purposes, it’s today.
Presenting the Hotline’s midseason Pac-12 honor roll …
Best coach: USC’s Andy Enfield.
We gave serious consideration to Stanford’s Jerod Haase, UCLA’s Mick Cronin and Arizona’s Sean Miller, but Enfield is the current call based on USC’s surprising success: We didn’t envision the Trojans sitting one game off the pace (loss column) as February arrived, especially given the injury to point guard Ethan Anderson.
Best player: Stanford’s Oscar da Silva.
He leads the conference in scoring (19.5 ppg), but da Silva’s versatility has set him apart: He’s fifth in rebounding (7.3 rpg), creates for his teammates, spreads the court with his range and plays high-level defense. Also considered: USC’s Evan Mobley, UCLA’s Tyger Campbell and Colorado’s McKinley Wright.
Best freshman: USC’s Evan Mobley.
As good as advertised, the potential top pick in the NBA Draft leads the conference in rebounding and blocked shots and is No. 7 in scoring (16.4 ppg). Also considered: Nobody.
Best transfer: Arizona’s James Akinjo
The Georgetown arrival has provided a stabilizing presence and steady production (14.8 ppg, 5.7 apg) for a roster stocked with rookies. Also considered: Oregon’s Eugene Omoruyi, USC’s Tahj Eddy and Oregon State’s Warith Alatishe.
G: UCLA’s Tyger Campbell
G: Arizona’s James Akinjo
G: Colorado’s McKinley Wright
F: Stanford’s Oscar da Silva
C: USC’s Evan Mobley
G: Washington State’s Isaac Bonton
G: Oregon’s Chris Duarte
G: Arizona State’s Remy Martin
F: UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez
F: Utah’s Timmy Allen
G: Cal’s Matt Bradley
G: Washington’s Quade Green
G: Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson
F: Colorado’s Jeriah Horne (Tulsa)
F: UCLA’s Cody Riley
G: Arizona State’s Josh Christopher
F: Stanford’s Ziaire Williams
F: Arizona’s Azoullas Tubelis
F: Washington State’s Efe Abogidi
C: USC’s Evan Mobley
G: Arizona’s James Akinjo (from Georgetown)
G: USC’s Tahj Eddy (Santa Clara)
F: Oregon’s Eugene Omoruyi (Rutgers)
F: Oregon State’s Warith Alatishe (Nicholls State)
F: Colorado’s Jeriah Horne (Tulsa)
And finally, because there is some serious talent on the sideline …
G: Arizona’s Jemarl Baker
G: Stanford’s Bryce Wills
G: Oregon’s Will Richardson
G: UCLA’s Chris Smith
F: Oregon’s N’Faly Dante
To the power ratings …
1. UCLA (13-3/9-1)
Last week: 1
Results: DNP vs. Oregon (twice), beat Oregon State 57-52
Next up: at USC (Saturday)
Comment: The Bruins are one victory (this weekend) from breaking free and clear for the No. 1 seed, which is determined by winning percentage. Oregon’s lack of games played would give UCLA a significant advantage in that head-to-head scenario.
2. USC (13-3/7-2)
Last week: 6
Results: Beat Oregon State 75-62, DNP vs. Oregon
Next up: at Stanford (Tuesday)
Comment: No good options for this spot this week. At least the Trojans didn’t lose.
3. Colorado (13-5/7-4)
Last week: 2
Results: Beat Washington State 70-58, lost to Utah 77-74
Next up: vs. Arizona State (Thursday)
Comment: After the collapse, senior leadership is on the clock in Boulder.
4. Stanford (10-6/6-4)
Last week: 5
Results: Won at Arizona 73-64, lost at Arizona State 79-75
Next up: vs. USC (Tuesday)
Comment: The 6-4 conference mark feels like 8-2 given that the Cardinal has been without three starters (Bryce Wills, Ziaire Williams and Daejon Davis).
5. Arizona (13-4/7-4)
Last week: 3
Results: Beat Arizona State 80-67, lost to Stanford 73-64, beat Cal 71-50
Next up: at Utah (Thursday)
Comment: The Wildcats have nothing to look forward to, but at least they have someone to look down upon (ASU).
6. Oregon (9-3/4-2)
Last week: 4
Results: DNP vs. UCLA (twice), DNP vs USC
Next up: vs. Washington State (Thursday)
Comment: The algorithm for determining our power ratings includes a component for games played.
7. Utah (7-7/4-6)
Last week: 8
Results: Won at Colorado 77-74
Next up: vs. Arizona (Thursday)
Comment: Unreal comeback at Boulder (19 down with 8:30 left) came almost two years to the day the Utes rallied from 22 down to beat UCLA on Parker Van Dyke’s buzzer beater.
8. Arizona State (6-8/3-5)
Last week: 9
Results: Lost at Arizona 80-67, beat Cal 72-68, beat Stanford 79-75
Next up: at Colorado (Thursday)
Comment: “Alive! It’s alive! It’s aliiiiiive!”
9. Oregon State (8-7/4-5)
Last week: 7
Results: Lost at USC 75-62 and UCLA 57-52
Next up: vs. Washington (Thursday)
Comment: If it’s possible to be sneaky-good and under .500 at the same time, the Beavers are it.
10. Washington State (10-7/3-7)
Last week: 10
Results: Lost to Colorado 70-58
Next up: at Oregon (Thursday)
Comment: For rivalry purposes, Kyle Smith is Chris Petersen and Mike Hopkins is Mike Leach.
11. Washington (3-12/2-8)
Last week: 11
Result: Lost to Washington State 77-62
Next up: at Oregon State (Thursday)
Comment: A reminder that when the Huskies are bad, they are really bad.
12. Cal (7-12/2-10)
Last week: 12
Results: Lost at Arizona State 72-68 and Arizona 71-50
Next up: vs. Stanford (Thursday)
Comment: Stretch-run schedule provides plenty of opportunities for a third league win, and perhaps a fourth, fifth and sixth.
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