For the second straight week, Arizona is nominating guard Nick Johnson for the Pac-12’s player of the week award.
Johnson averaged 18 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals, along with five assists and seven turnovers, in UA’s wins over Southern Miss and Clemson.
Johnson hit 56.5 percent of his field goals, and was 4 for 9 from three-point range while his five steals at Clemson were a career high. For the season, Johnson is leading the Wildcats in scoring (13.6 points per game) and has a 2.4-1 assist-turnover ratio.
Johnson will have to beat out ASU center Jordan Bachynski, who had a triple-double with 12 blocks against Cal State Northridge, among others, to win the award. It is typically announced on Monday afternoons.
In two road games, freshman Brandon Ashley is shooting 70 percent from the field, has hit 6 of 8 free throws while averaging 10.5 points a game.
Maybe Mark Lyons’ preference for road games is rubbing off on him.
“Honestly, road games are a lot more fun than home games just for the simple fact that you have people going against you,” Ashley said at Clemson. “Once you make a big play or do something good, their crowd gets shut down and I think that’s probably one of the best feelings in basketball.”
By beating Clemson, UA moved to 5-0 against ACC teams under Sean Miller. Since Miller arrived at UA before the 2009-10 season, the Wildcats swept home-and-home series with North Carolina State and Clemson, while also beating Duke 93-77 in the 2011 NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Some other items courtesy UA publicist Richard Paige:
-- UA’s 20 offensive rebounds Saturday were its most since the Wildcats had 20 in their 82-78 loss to Villanova in the second round of the 2006 NCAA tournament at Philadelphia.
-- Kaleb Tarczewski is averaging 7.2 rebounds in his last five games.
-- UA is averaging 25.3 free throws per game and is outscoring opponents by an average of 9.6 points per game from the line.
-- The Wildcats have not hosted a game in which both teams are ranked in the top 10 since Jan. 10, 2004, when No. 4 Stanford beat No. 3 UA 82-72.
USC came out flat in a loss to Minnesota.