Pac-10 Pros Three Stars of the Week: Chase Utley, Gilbert Arenas, Steven Jackson
#1 Star: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
Alma Mater: UCLA
Stats (10/28 – 11/2) : 6 for 18, 6 Runs, 5 HRs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB, .333 avg
With the Philadelphia Phillies playing on the biggest stage in baseball, the World Series, they are getting exactly what they need out of their all-star second basemen Chase Utley. Although down in the series three games to two right now, you certainly can’t fault Utley. His five home runs have tied Reggie Jackson’s 1977 record for most in a World Series.
Chase Utley had three multi-hit games (games one, four and five), two multi-home run games (one and five), and three games where he has recorded at least two RBIs (one, four and five). In Game One, in his second at bat against CC Sabathia, Utley homered to right field to give the Phillies a 1 – 0 lead. In his next at bat in the sixth inning, he again blasted one over the right field wall that extended the Phillies lead to 2 – 0 and turned out to be the game winning run.
In game five, with the Phillies down 1 – 0 in the bottom of the first, Utley delivered again, this time a three run shot into right field. The Phillies never looked back, and Utley’s insurance home run in the bottom of the seventh (giving the Phillies a 7 – 2 lead) ended up being the game winning run again.
The Phillies still have a long way to go if they are going to win the World Series, but if anyone is making things difficult on the Yankees, it’s Chase Utley. He is putting together an MVP-like series and would very likely win the award if the Phillies can somehow come back and win it all.
#2 Star: Gilbert Arenas
Alma Mater: Arizona
Stats (10/27 to 10/31): (Per-Game Averages) 28.0 Points, 1.7 Rebounds, 6.7 Assists, 1.0 Steals, 2.3 3-Pointers, 50% FG PCT
The Washington Wizards were a pathetic 19-63 last year (tied for second worst in the NBA) with tons of questions surrounding the team. Will Gilbert Arenas be able to get back to his 2006-07 form after playing a combined 15 games the last two years? Or will the Wizards and Arenas continue to struggle and be one of the worst teams in the league?
Of course the health question cannot be answered in the first week of the season, but so far so good for Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards. The Wizards are 2-1 this season, and Gilbert Arenas has been leading the way. Arenas has led the Wizards in points in all three games this year, and his best game this week came on Halloween Night when he was 9 for 13 shooting, 11 for 12 from the line, 3 for 4 from behind the arc, and had 32 points and 7 assists in a 123 – 104 win over the New Jersey Nets.
The Wizard’s success this season starts and ends with Agent 0. If he can stay healthy for the entire season (knock on wood), the Wizards should be a respectable team throughout the year and be a surprise team in the East after last year’s horrible season.
#3 Star: Steven Jackson
Alma Mater: Oregon State
Stats (11/1): 22 Rushes for 149 Yards, 1 TD, 3 Receptions for 17 Yards
The St Louis Rams were 0-7 going into their week eight match up with the Detroit Lions. Steven Jackson almost single-handedly made sure they didn’t fall to 0-8 with his huge game in the 17 – 10 St Louis Rams victory.
With the game tied at 10 – 10 with 1:38 left in the game, Steven Jackson put an exclamation point on the game when he broke a 25-yard run to the right side to give the Rams a 17 – 10 lead. This was the first Rams rushing touchdown of the season and it provided the game-winning score.
Slowly but surely, Steven Jackson has been putting together one of the most underrated performances of the year. With these 149 yards he is now tied for second in the NFL in rushing (784 yards), and although he only has one touch down, he is still putting up great numbers with a team that everyone knows is going to run the ball as much as possible. The Rams probably wont win many more games this year, but I really respect the effort Steven Jackson has put together all year and am glad that he is at least able to celebrate this one.
Cal’s Aaron Rodgers (17 for 28, 287 Yards 3 TDs 0 INTs, 5 Rushes 52 Yards, 108.5 Rating)
UCLA’s Maurice Jones-Drew (8 Rushes for 177 Yards, 2 TDs)
USC’s Mark Sanchez (20 for 35, 265 Yards 2 TDs 0 INTs, 4 Rushes 6 Yards 1 TD, 100.3 Rating)
Washington’s Brandon Roy (27.0 Pts, 4.8 REBs, 4.8 ASTs, 2.0 3-Pointers, 39% FG PCT)
Oregon’s Aaron Brooks (21.0 Pts, 3.0 REBs, 8.5 ASTs, 1.0 STLs, 2.3 3-Pointers, 50% FG PCT)