Washington's sweep of the Los Angeles schools in men's basketball continued paying off Monday when the Huskies returned to the national rankings, and forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning was selected Pacific-10 Conference player of the week.
“Matthew is on a roll,” UW assistant coach Paul Fortier said last week. “I told him some things I won’t share right now as far as what he can accomplish. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing: He’s finishing, he’s attacking the rim, and he’s rebounding.”
The Huskies (10-3 overall, 2-0 Pac-10) are tied atop the standings after the opening week of league play. However, that may not last long. Washington will be visited by Oregon on Thursday and co-leader Oregon State on Saturday.
Nationally, the Huskies returned to the Top 25 after a three-week absence, showing up at No. 23 in The Associated Press media poll. UW remained unranked as the No. 28 vote-getter in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
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Arizona received two votes in the AP poll and one in the coaches poll. No other Pac-10 teams received votes.
Duke, Ohio State and Kansas remained first, second and third, respectively, in the AP poll for the fourth consecutive week. The Blue Devils remained the unanimous pick at the top.
Minnesota, Louisville and Temple fell out of the rankings, replaced by Washington, Cincinnati and UNLV.
Washington’s return has come on the strength of a four-game winning streak. Last week, the Huskies opened Pac-10 play with a 73-67 overtime win at Southern California on Wednesday and a 74-63 win at UCLA on Saturday.
Over those two games, Bryan-Amaning averaged 19.5 points and nine rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. That earned the senior his first player of the week honor.
After the UCLA game, Bryan-Amaning shared the credit with 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye.
“Aziz’s body is ridiculous, and his length is crazy,” Bryan-Amaning said. “It takes pressure off of myself, (allowing me) to take on somebody who’s more my size and my weight, rather than having to take on a 300-pound dude for however long I played. It’s really good for myself.”
Other nominees were Kevin Parrom of Arizona, Joe Burton of OSU, Jeremy Green of Stanford, Reeves Nelson of UCLA and Nikola Vucevic of USC.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org