Arizona Basketball

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad increasing his productivity as season hits homestretch





Shabazz Muhammad has made a steady climb up the Pac-12 productivity charts

Shabazz Muhammad has made a steady climb up the Pac-12 productivity charts

UCLA freshman sensation Shabazz Muhammad, who will go for a season sweep over Arizona on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion, has climbed his way near the top of the WILDABOUTAZCATS.net Pac-12 Productivity Report.

Music to UCLA coach Ben Howland’s ears is that Muhammad had another productive game (32 productivity points in 31 minutes) in the Bruins’ 75-59 win at USC on Sunday, but the wing player was not the most productive for his team. That honor went to fellow freshman Jordan Adams, a shooting guard who earned the WILDABOUTAZCATS.net Pac-12 Player of the Week selection with his 36 productivity points in 32 minutes (see glossary for definition).

Moreover, another freshman — multi-dimensional player Kyle Anderson — is right behind Muhammad in the Pac-12 player rankings with a .739 rating. Muhammad, who at the midway point of the conference season had a .655 rating, ranks No. 4 at .744. Stanford forward Dwight Powell, continuing to make a surge with 50 productivity points in 48 minutes at Oregon State and Oregon last weekend, leads the conference with an .816 rating.

Jason Washburn — Utah’s one-man gang at the post — remains at No. 2 with a .767 rating and Oregon power forward Arsalan Kasemi, the likely Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, is third at .754.

The Pac-12 named Cal point guard Justin Cobbs its conference player. He was decent during the road sweep of the Oregon schools (making the game-winning shot at Oregon), but he had 44 productivity points in 75 minutes in the two games.

Sean Miller continues to have the most balanced team in the conference

Sean Miller continues to have the most balanced team in the conference

Why are no Arizona players rated high, you ask? UA coach Sean Miller would rather have balance than a top-heavy lineup such as Stanford and Oregon State, two bottom-tiered conference programs who have two players each in the top 10.

Arizona’s rotation from No. 1 to No. 6 in conference games has the third-best productivity rating of .540 behind UCLA (.567) and Oregon State — yes, the Beavers — which stands at .542.

Oregon State’s top three players — forwards Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier and post player Joe Burton — are having banner years and forward Eric Moreland has also been productive. What is crippling Craig Robinson’s team is the drastic reduction in productivity after those four players, including point guard Ahmad Starks, who has a disappointing .390 rating.

The Wildcats are led by senior point guard Mark Lyons with a .610 power rating in conference games. Their No. 6 player in terms of productivity in conference games is freshman forward Brandon Ashley with a .495 rating. That separation of only .115 percentage points between the No. 1 and No. 6 player tops the conference by far.

The other upper-division Pac-12 teams compare this way: California, .354 between junior forward Allen Crabbe and freshman guard Tyrone Wallace; Colorado, .386 between wing player Spencer Dinwiddie and reserve guard Sabatino Chen; UCLA, .387 between Muhammad and reserve post player David Wear; ASU, .453 between post player Jordan Bachynski and reserve guard Chris Colvin; and Oregon, .531 between Kasemi and point guard Johnathan Loyd.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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PAC-12’s TOP TEN
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This Week (Tucson times):
Today
No. 11 ARIZONA at USC 7:30 p.m. P12N
Series: ARIZ leads, 61-40. Streak: ARIZ 4 (last, 74-50 at ARIZ)
COLORADO at STANFORD 9 p.m. ESPN2
ARIZONA STATE at UCLA 9:30 p.m. P12N
Tomorrow
UTAH at CALIFORNIA 7 p.m. ESPNU
OREGON STATE at No. 24 OREGON 9 p.m. PT ESPNU
Saturday
ARIZONA STATE at USC 1 p.m. FSN
COLORADO at CALIFORNIA 3 p.m. PT ESPNU
No. 11 ARIZONA at UCLA 7 p.m. PT ESPN
Series: UCLA leads, 50-37. Streak: UCLA 1 (last, 84-73 at ARIZ)
Sunday
WASHINGTON STATE at WASHINGTON 1:30 p.m. FSN
UTAH at STANFORD 3 p.m. P12N

PRODUCTIVITY LEADERS
Players listed are top six in minutes played in Pac-12 games
GLOSSARY:
S: Number of starts.
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)


ARIZONA (11-4)
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ARIZONA STATE (9-6)
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COLORADO (8-6)
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UTAH (3-11)
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (7-7)
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UCLA (10-4)
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CALIFORNIA (10-5)
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STANFORD (7-8)
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OREGON (11-4)
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OREGON STATE (3-12)
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WASHINGTON (7-8)
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WASHINGTON STATE (2-13)
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Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner

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