All-Conference Candidates so far

Pac-10 play begins this week and it promises to be a crazy season. There are a lot of good teams and a ton of good players. Today let's look at the candidates for the All-Conference team.

Later in the week I'll release my Non-Conference Slate All-Conference team. Here are the candidates by team.

The Wildcats are tough to judge with the rest of the league. The Wildcats play up-tempo, giving them great offensive numbers and rarely go to the bench. The five starters all log over 30 minutes a game, further boosting their statistics.

Ivan Radenovic (17.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, .582 FG%) does not get the headlines or the highlights, but the well rounded senior may be the team's best player. Heck, he could be the league's best player. He leads the Wildcats in scoring and is just 0.1 behind in rebounding all while shooting nearly 60% from the floor.

Chase Budinger (17.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, .550 FG%) One of the top freshmen in the country, in a conference loaded with talented freshmen. His off the charts athleticism and highlight reel dunks have folks talking.

Marcus Williams (15.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) Williams is having a solid season, but he's getting overshadowed by his teammates. Most teams would kill to have a player averaging 15 and 7, but a few bad outings have folks sleeping on the talented sophomore.

Mustafa Shakur (13.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 7.4 apg, .429 3P%) Shakur seems to be getting more love outside of Tucson than he is in his home. He is leading the Pac-10 in assists and is ranked third in the nation. His stellar 2.3:1 assist to turnover ratio is also top notch.

Jawann McClellan (13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) McClellan is the fifth option is Tucson, and as such does not get the attention and touches his teammates do. He's a stat filler who takes on whatever role the Cats need him to, but those type of players rarely make all-star teams.

Jeff Pendergraph (11.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, .559 FG%) Many thought that with the Sun Devils losing Kevin Kruger and Bryson Krueger that Pendergraph would benefit. In reality he seems to miss the veteran backcourt players. His rebounding is still very strong but without the backcourt scoring punch he has only seen his scoring average climb by half a point. That being said, he's third in the Pac-10 in rebounding average and a very efficient scorer on the inside.

Christian Polk (14.7 ppg) Polk has been a very pleasant surprise for the Sun Devils. He blew up as an underclassman, but by the time he signed with ASU he was mostly an afterthought. All he has done is come in and led the Sun Devils in scoring. He needs to become a more well rounded player, just 2.5 rpg and 2.4 apg, but he looks to be a player the Devils can build upon.

Ryan Anderson (17.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg, .523 FG%, .444% 3P%) Raise your hand if you had Anderson pegged as one of the top candidates for Pac-10 Player of the Year. Anyone? Didn't think so. No player has been a bigger surprise than the freshman for the Bears. He leads the Pac-10 in scoring and is top-five in rebounding. At 6-9 he is also hitting 44% of his threes.

Ayinde Ubaka (13.8 ppg, 5.4 apg) Ubaka came into the season pegged as one of the top point guards in the league. He is having another good season but may get overshadowed by Shakur and Darren Collison. He could feel the loss of Davon Harden but he takes care of the ball as evident by his 2.56 assist to turnover ratio.

Tajuan Porter (18.2 ppg, 3.1 apg, 3.8 topg, .493 3p%, .929 FT%) Another surprising freshman. This kid is a pure scorer, who can really stroke the ball. Although he plays point guard, his assists and turnovers are not that good, but that is why he and Aaron Brooks have been playing next to each other in the backcourt.

Bryce Taylor (17.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, .515 FG% Taylor is another stat book filler. He's a wing, but is one of the Ducks' best rebounders. His 17.4 points a game scoring average and 51.5% field goal shooting show that he can flat out score.

Aaron Brooks (16.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.9 apg) Brooks got moved to shooting guard, but sharing the backcourt with Porter sure hasn't hurt. He's scoring well and leads the team in assists.

Malik Hairston has been hurt and hasn't made a huge impact this season, but he should resume a prominent role with the Ducks now that the conference season is starting and it would be foolish to count him our for the final All-Conference team.

Oregon StateBR> Marcel Jones (15.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) Jones is having a solid season, but unless the Beavers start to make a run, Jones could be a solid player on a bad team. Not exactly the resume to make the team.

Stanford Lawrence Hill (15.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, .581 FG%) The second-year forward is having a breakout season. He's leading the Cardinal in scoring and hitting the boards. He's sixth in the league in field goal percentage and is helping a surprising Stanford team to a 7-2 start.

Don't count our freshmen Robin and Brook Lopez. Both are having solid starts to their career, but could be a year away.

The Bruins are in a tough spot. They are the nation's top ranked team, but because they play hard nosed defense and average only 78.5 ppg they don't put up the offensive numbers that Arizona and Washington do.

Arron Afflalo (16.0 ppg) A great scorer, he's currently eighth in the league, his problem is that he doesn't do any one thing great. His rebounding and assist numbers are pedestrian and he does not have the highest shooting percentage, but he is the leading scorer for the nation's top ranked team.

Josh Shipp (14.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg) Another Bruin whose numbers don't leap off the page, but there is no denying that he's a good player on a potentially great team.

Darren Collison (13.0, 6.2 apg, .593 FG%) He and Shakur are the two best PG's in a league with several really good PG's. His assists are even better when you consider that the Bruins score less than 80 a game. He's also made those in Westwood all but forget Jordan Farmar.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (10.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, .582 FG%) His numbers go beyond the stat book. His hustle and defense are key to what UCLA wants to do.

Nick Young (16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .519 FG%, .438 3P% Young picks up right where he left off a year ago. He's one of the top scorers in the Pac-10 and has helped the Trojans while they wait to get Gabe Pruitt back.

Loderick Stewart (14.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) Stewart is having a very nice season, in this his last for the Bruins. If the Trojans can make a run at the league crown, his play may be more recognized.

Taj Gibson (12.3, 9.4, .626 FT%) Another stellar freshman in this league. He's among the top rebounders in the conference and has helped pick up the scoring load.

Like Arizona, the Huskies are scoring in bunches and boosting their offensive numbers. Spencer Hawes (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.5 blk, .621 FG%) One of the best freshmen in the nation. Hawes has lived up to the hype. He's the best pure center in the league and maybe the best big man as well.

Quincy Pondexter (15.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, .8 spg, .458 3p%) Maybe a tad overlooked because of Hawes, but Pondexter is yet another great first year player in the Pac-10. He scores, rebounds and has shown flashes on defense. He and Hawes have made the Huskies a dangerous team earlier than many thought.

Jon Brockman (12.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg, .549 FG%) This kid is a load. He disappointed a tad a year ago, but he's looking like a man among boys so far this year. One of the best rebounders in the Pac-10 and almost impossible to stop on the blocks.

Justin Dentmon, (11.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.0 apg) The young point guard gets lost in the shuffle but he's a really good one. He hits the board really well for a player his size and he gets the ball to the scorers on his team.

Washington State
Derrick Low (15.5 ppg, .443 3pt%) Low has been the best player on the surprising Cougar team. A good scorer and a good shooter.

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