Arizona basketball: Stanford 'eraser' makes shots disappear

Stanford forward Josh Huestis blocks a shot by Oregon State's Devon Collier in the final minute to preserve an 81-73 win on Sunday.


As a springy rebounder and shot blocker, Stanford junior forward Josh Huestis was never much of an offensive threat in three previous games against the Arizona Wildcats.

But Huestis, who was 1 for 6 against the UA last season, earned the Pac-12's Player of the Week award Monday after he averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds during the Cardinal's sweep of the Oregon schools last weekend.

Huestis shot a combined 11 for 16 from the field while collecting 13 rebounds in each game and totaling five blocked shots.

"Josh is like an eraser," Stanford guard Chasson Randle told The Associated Press on Sunday after the Cardinal beat Oregon State. "Anything to the basket I count on him taking it out. He's been a key for us."

Huestis is now averaging 9.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks for Stanford (14-8, 5-4 Pac-12), which faces the Wildcats (19-2, 7-2) Wednesday night at McKale Center.

The 6-foot-7-inch, 230-pounder from Great Falls, Mont., is third in the Pac-12 in rebounding and blocks.

"I'll take the blocked shot over scoring because it does so much for the team," Huestis said in an AP story. "It helps us defensively by stopping them from scoring and gives us another opportunity to go on offense.

"Defense is a huge part of our game."

Cats move up to No. 7

Arizona moved up one spot to No. 7 in both major polls Monday after beating Washington and Washington State over the weekend. The Wildcats were a spot ahead of Miami (Fla.), which is 8-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play but lost to Arizona in the Diamond Head Classic.

The only other ranked Pac-12 team, Oregon, dropped from 10 to 19 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll after losing to both Stanford and California.

Arizona has an RPI of 4, and the Wildcats are projected as a No. 2 NCAA tournament seed by both ESPN and CBSSports.

Johnson leaves Providence

Former Wildcat forward Sidiki Johnson has taken what Providence officials say is a "voluntary leave of absence" from the Friars after he did not play on Jan. 31 against Connecticut, according to the Providence Journal.

The Journal said Providence coach Ed Cooley did not address Johnson's departure but quoted the coach as saying:

"We're just trying to find guys to buy into what we're trying to do. If everybody is on the same page, you can have success. If there are guys who are not on the boat, they can go swim in another one. I want guys who'll swim with me on my boat and those guys who do are with me today."

Arizona dismissed Johnson in December 2011 after he played in just three games for the Wildcats.

Gordon adds Ducks

UA recruiting target Aaron Gordon, a Top 10 forward in the 2013 class from San Jose, Calif., has added Oregon to his lists of finalists that also include Arizona, Washington and Kentucky.

Gordon posted the following tweet on Sunday:

"University of Oregon is not a bad look…there (sic) in my final four."

Up next

• Who: Stanford at No. 7 Arizona

• When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

• TV: ESPNews (Ch 331 on Cox; Ch 102 on Comcast; Ch 207 on DirecTV; Ch 142 on Dish)

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

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