Pac-12 basketball preview: Arizona leads the way heading into regular season
EXTRA STUFF: Oregon leads the conference in rebounding margin (+10.7). ... The Ducks top the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds with 14.3 per game. ... Freshman forward Ben Carter is the league’s best free-throw shooter (.938) and Kazemi is the leader in steals (3.1 per game). ... Senior forward E.J. Singler has made 91 consecutive starts. ... Oregon leads the league in steals (10.1 per game).
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (10-3)
Head coach: Craig Robinson (61-70, 91-98)
Scoring leader: Junior G Roberto Nelson, 15.8 ppg
Rebounding leader: Sophomore F Eric Moreland, 11.2 rpg
Assists leader: Nelson, 3.2 apg
2012-13 vs. Top 25: 0-1 (lost to Kansas)
National RPI: 211th
National strength of schedule: 339th
EXTRA STUFF: Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage (.407). ... Nelson is the conference’s best from beyond the arc (48.9 percent). ... Robinson is the brother of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. ... Under Robinson, the Beavers are 61-6 when leading with five minutes left to play. ... Oregon State won 21 games last season, reaching 20 for the first time since 1989-90.
USC TROJANS (5-8)
Head coach: Kevin O’Neill (46-63, 217-243)
Scoring leader: Senior F Eric Wise, 10.8 ppg
Rebounding leader: Junior F Dewayne Dedmon, 7.3 rpg
Assists leader: Senior G Jio Fontan, 5.3 apg
2012-13 vs. Top 25: 0-3 (lost to San Diego State, New Mexico, Minnesota)
National RPI: 152nd
National strength of schedule: 25th
EXTRA STUFF: USC and Florida State are the only major college programs with three seven-footers on the roster. The trio of towering Trojans includes Dedmon (7-0), senior James Blasczyk (7-1) and junior Omar Orab (7-2). ... Ten of USC’s 17 players are transfers. ... The Trojans have six seniors. ... USC has lost 13 consecutive games on the road. The last win was at UC Riverside in 2011.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (9-4)
Head coach: Ken Bone (66-50, 401-217)
Scoring leader: Senior F Brock Motum, 19.7 ppg
Rebounding leader: Motum, 7.0 rpg
Assists leader: Sophomore G Royce Woolridge, 2.9 apg
2012-13 vs. Top 25: 0-2 (lost to Kansas, Gonzaga)
National RPI: 191st
National strength of schedule: 275th
EXTRA STUFF: Washington State is giving up a league-low 55.2 points per game. ... The Cougars have three Australians on their roster — Motum, sophomore forward James Hunter and sophomore guard Dexter Kernich-Drew. ... Wazzou enters Pac-12 play with four straight wins (Fresno State, Jackson State, Buffalo and Idaho State). ... The Cougars dropped a 71-69 decision to 10th-ranked Gonzaga on Dec. 5.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (11-2)
Head coach: Herb Sendek (98-95, 352-253)
Scoring leader: Freshman G Jahili Carson, 17.7 ppg
Rebounding leader: Senior G-F Carrick Felix, 7.5 rpg
Assists leader: Carson, 5.5 apg
2012-13 vs. Top 25: 0-1 (lost to Creighton)
National RPI: 74th
National strength of schedule: 199th
EXTRA STUFF: Arizona State is averaging a conference-best 7.9 blocks per game. ... Junior center Jordan Bachynski, the brother of Utah’s Dallin Bachynski, is the Pac-12’s individual leader with 59 rejections. ... Jonathan Gilling is the league co-leader in 3-pointers made with 34. ... Carson is on track to become the first freshman in the nation to average 17 points and five assists in a season since 1996-97.
UTAH UTES (8-4)
Head coach: Larry Krystkowiak (14-29, 56-49)
Scoring leader: Senior G Jarred DuBois, 13.5 ppg
Rebounding leader: Freshman F Jordan Loveridge, 7.6 rpg
Assists leader: DuBois, 4.0 apg
2012-13 vs. Top 25: 0-0
National RPI: 115th
National strength of schedule: 91st
EXTRA STUFF: Utah tops the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense (.352) and 3-point shooting defense (.307). ... The Utes grab a conference-best 29 defensive rebounds per game. ... Loveridge has three double-doubles this season. ... Utah had double-digit leads in three of its four losses. ... The Utes are 1-14 on the road over the past two seasons — prevailing at Texas State (74-69) on Nov. 30.
RPI and strength of schedule rankings source: www.teamrankings.com
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