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Pac-12 notes: Utah, Stanford among league’s early surprises

Utes’ Timmy Allen wins second Player of Week honor

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21: Adam Seiko #2 of the San Diego State Aztecs guards Timmy Allen #1 of the Utah Utes in the first half of the game at Staples Center on December 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 21: Adam Seiko #2 of the San Diego State Aztecs guards Timmy Allen #1 of the Utah Utes in the first half of the game at Staples Center on December 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Oregon is cruising, Stanford and Utah are surprising, and Washington is holding its own.

And while Colorado served notice it might finally be ready to play to the level of its preseason expectations, it might bring Buffaloes fans some holiday joy that Arizona goes into the holiday hiatus mired in a slump.

Though it was CU’s buzzer-beating, overtime win against Dayton that dominated headlines locally, it was another solid week for the Pac-12 Conference in the penultimate week of nonconference play. Topping the list was Utah’s win against then-No. 6 Kentucky on a neutral floor in Las Vegas.

The Utes were picked ninth in the Pac-12 Conference preseason media poll, with Stanford immediately behind them at No. 10. Though Utah was dominated by No. 15 San Diego State three days later in Los Angeles, Utah still goes into the holidays with a 9-3 record, and the Utes steadily have climbed to No. 65 in Monday’s version of the NET rankings.

It was Utah’s first win against an AP top-10 team in nearly four years, since a victory against a sixth-ranked Arizona team in 2015-16.

Stanford, which began the week  at No. 12 in the NET, improved to 11-1 for the first time since 2008-09 with wins against San Francisco and San Diego. The Cardinal will have an opportunity for a strong start in league play next week with three of its first Pac-12 games at home.

In the latest AP top 25 released Monday, Oregon moved up two spots to No. 6 while Washington edged up one slot to No. 21. Arizona, which has lost three of its past four games, dropped eight spots all the way down to No. 24.

Weekly honors

For the second time this season, Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after scoring a game-high 25 point in the Utes’ upset win against Kentucky.

Allen went 8-for-15 from the field and 9-for-12 on free throws against the Wildcats while also recording nine rebounds and four assists. Allen also enjoyed a strong game in the loss against San Diego State, going 6-for-14 overall and 3-for-5 on 3-pointers before finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Allen entered the game with a 1-for-11 mark on 3-pointers.

Washington’s Isaiah Stewart also became a two-time weekly award winner on Monday as he was named Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks. In the Huskies’ wins against Ball State and Seattle last week, Stewart went 19-for-26 from the field and 8-for-11 at the free throw line. Stewart scored a season-high 27 points against Seattle to go with 13 rebounds, and he recorded 19 points with 10 rebounds against Ball State.

Stewart has posted five double-doubles this season, recording four of them over the past five games.

Notable

Oregon guard Payton Pritchard is one of just three players in the nation averaging at least 18 points, six assists, and four rebounds. The senior is averaging 19.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds…With the holidays it’s a slow week on the league schedule, but one matchup of note is No. 5 Kansas visiting Stanford on Sunday (1 p.m. MT, ABC).

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