Day two was a lot less wild than the first one.
That’s what happens when Arizona plays California, at least lately.
To be fair, that game felt a lot closer than the final score for most of it, but still, Thursday’s first two games, and last one, were all good ol’ fashioned blowouts.
All in all, though, most of the games were high-scoring, which I’m a major proponent of. #TheShotClockShouldBe30Seconds.
Here’s Thursday's round-up from the Pac-12 Tournament.
Well, first, check out my story about how badly UCLA needs Kevon Looney to not miss the Arizona game, how Gabe York changed up his routine — deleting all social media accounts, adding a girlfriend — and it’s working, Bruce’s advance/recap and scouting report, and Greg Hansen’s column about Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
I also included some more Arizona and UCLA quotes I gathered post-game at the bottom, for your pleasure. I aim to please, people!
(1) Arizona against (8) California
- Final score: Arizona 73, Cal 51
- Player of the game: Stanley Johnson (Arizona). He had his best game probably in a month — 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 8-of-14 shooting, 3-of-5 from three. It was his first game of at least 15 points and 5 rebounds since Feb. 13 against Washington.
- Key moment(s): Rondae Hollis-Slammerson, Rondae Hollis-OMGfferson. I can probably do that for a while. But Hollis-Jefferson — his real name, I think — came out the gate and dunked it all over California’s face, and then blocked a Sam Singer floater as the ball reached its highest point. Less key moment and more just intense — when Brandon Ashley and David Kravish were near blows in the second half. The game was too over for it to matter at that point, though, when they both got technical fouls.
- Stat: 3. Isn’t a particular statistic, just pointing out that Brandon Ashley maybe has never been better than in the last three games. Including Thursday’s 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks stat line, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and shooting 65.3 percent.
- Quote (Arizona): “One thing I learned really fast, at the end of the day it's all about what he (Sean Miller” thinks about what I'm playing like.” — Stanley Johnson; “That’s a great answer. That’s the best I’ve ever heard.” — Miller
- Quote (Cal): “That's basketball. You compete, you play hard, you battle. You don't play dirty. You don't do anything malicious. Just battling.” — Cal coach Cuonzo Martin
- Next: Arizona against (4) UCLA, 6 p.m., Pac-12
(4) UCLA against (12) USC
- Final score: UCLA 96, USC 70
- Player of the game: Isaac Hamilton (UCLA): For a guy that didn’t even hit double digits in four of his last eight games, he kinda sorta went loco. He scored 36 points (!) and made 7 of 9 3-pointers.
- Key moment(s): Face-time. Not the app, but the time Kevon Looney was hit so hard in the face — 10 minutes into the game — that he had to not only leave the game, or the bench, but the arena all together, to go to a nearby hospital for a CT scan. This is the key moment because if Looney doesn’t play against Arizona, UCLA may or may not be destroyed.
- Stat: 33. Points for Hamilton in his last four games combined before Thursday.
- Quote (UCLA): . “He (Hamilton) was taking a lot of shots, he was reaching in his bag, doing nice moves, he was hot. He was like a 2k player out there.” — Tony Parker, channeling Hassan Whiteside, kind of.
- Quote (USC): “We've been so close all year long. We understand our weaknesses. We're going to have a big offseason.” —coach Andy Enfield
(2) Oregon against (10) Colorado
- Final score: Oregon 93, Colorado 85
- Player of the game: Joseph Young (Oregon): The Pac-12 Player of the Year didn’t look like that in the first half — he was 3 for 10 with eight points. He finished 12 of 22 with 30 points. You do the math. Also, he played every minute of the game.
- Key moment(s): Mighty Joe in the second half. Plus Elgin Cook, who scored 11 of his 20 points in that half.
- Stat: .759. Oregon’s shooting percentage in the second half. The Ducks were 22 of 27. TWENTY TWO OF TWENTY SEVEN. I wrote that out since you can’t capitalize numbers and I wanted emphasis, in case you were wondering.
- Quote (Oregon): “it's really my teammates setting the picks, finding me when I'm open and Coach calling the right plays.” — Young
- Quote (Colorado): “Over the course of time, when you look back 15, 20 years from now, you're going to say Askia Booker was the part of some really good teams and part of the resurgence of Colorado basketball.” — coach Tad Boyle
- Next: Oregon against (3) Utah, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
(3) Utah against (6) Stanford
- Final score: Utah 80, Stanford 56
- Player of the game: Delon Wright (Utah): The he-probably-should-have-been-player-of-the-year senior guard gave good reason for that long hyphenated word. Final line: 20 points (7-of-11 shooting), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 1 steal
- Key moment(s): Stanford led at the half, and was down 53-49 at 11:15. Then, the Cardinal missed nine of its next 10 shots and Utah went on a 22-3 run to lock-up the game.
- Stat: 7. Assists. As a team. The Stanford Cardinal had seven assists in a full 40-minute basketball game. This is a team with three fifth-year seniors. Dawkins of the Johnny.
- Quote (Utah): “We wanted a clean slate. This is our postseason. We wanted to come out as well as we could.” — forward Jordan Loveridge
- "I can say he (Hollis-Jefferson) definitely provided a little spark out there. There was that two minute stretch he was just dunking everything. It’s great to see him like that."
- "I think he (Hollis-Jefferson) does a great job every game, that’s what he is. That’s why he’s such a big-time starter for us. Game in game out he’s gonna bring us energy, no matter what happens."
"I think obviously when you talk about the Pac-12 for the last couple of years, they're (UCLA) one of our biggest rivals. They beat us last year in the championship, year before that in the semifinals. We keep it in the back of our minds, but at the same time it’s just like we go out and play our style of basketball. If we do that we’ll be all right."
"It can come up a little bit (the crowd noise). I’m gonna challenge our fans. It can get up a little bit more. We didn’t give you guys a run or dunk today like we supposed to. They did their job, they were loud and crazy as usual."
- "If he (Hamilton) had any kind of opening, he was going to make it tonight."
- "It’s the next man up kind of thing. Kevon’s been big for us all year, and for him to have to sit out for basically the whole game, for the first half all the way to the second half was big for Isaac to step up. We needed that scoring out of him."
"Obviously we want to go win it. If we win it, we’re probably definitely in, having a win of that caliber. We’re not bracketologists, we don’t know where we’re at, we just know we came here to try and defend our title as Pac-12 champs of the tournament. So to be able to do that we have to win tomorrow.
"He (Hamilton) was taking a lot of shots, he was reaching in his bag, doing nice moves, he was hot. He was like a 2k player out there. I kept screening for him and he was shooting and so it was a good look for us."