Things to watch this week in Pac-12 Conference basketball:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Oregon State at Southern California, Thursday. What would have been the marquee game of the week, Oregon at No. 23 UCLA, was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the Ducks’ program. The other game between the Pac-12’s other Southern California and Oregon teams should be pretty good, too. The Trojans, coming off an eight-point win over Stanford, are 1.5 games behind UCLA for the Pac-12 lead at 6-2. The Beavers have been moving up the standings after winning three straight, including rival Oregon. They also beat USC 58-56 last week despite going scoreless over the final 3:13.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona State, one of the preseason favorites to win the Pac-12, is looking to get back on track this week against Stanford and Cal. The Sun Devils are coming off consecutive losses to rival Arizona and have lost six straight overall. … Arizona is two back of UCLA for the conference lead and also plays the Northern California schools. … Washington and Washington State have struggled in conference play, but the Apple Cup rivalry usually has some fun games. They play Sunday in Seattle. … Colorado and Utah play twice this week, Wednesday and Saturday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: USC’s Evan Mobley averaged 18.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks in two games last week to earn Pac-12 freshman of the week honors. … Arizona leads the Pac-12 with 80.2 points per game. … UCLA’s Tyger Campbell leads the conference and is 17th nationally with 6.2 assists per game.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jamal Bey, Washington. The junior guard was named the Pac-12 player of the week after averaging 21.0 points on 15-of-19 shooting, including 6 of 7 behind the 3-point arc.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 6 Stanford will try to get back on track after losing two of its past three games. The Cardinal, who opened the season with 11 straight wins, play Washington State on Friday and Washington on Sunday. … COVID-19 protocols within Arizona’s program caused the 10th-ranked Wildcats to postpone their games against No. 5 UCLA and USC this weekend. … UCLA sophomore guard Charisma Osborne was named the conference player of the week after after finishing with 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals in a win over Stanford.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer John Marshall in Phoenix.
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