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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Ranking the Pac

On the Pac-10 coaches conference call yesterday, one reporter asked a few of the coaches to comment on the national perception that the Pac-10 is down this season.
One coach, I think it was Mike Montgomery, asked whose perception that was.
Good question.
Because at least one noted observer, Ken Pomeroy, continues to rank the Pac-10 No. 2 in the country behind only the ACC and ahead of the Big East.
What does Pomeroy know that some of the others don’t?
Could be largely that with the Pac-10 actually having only 10 teams, there aren’t as many weak teams at the bottom of the conference. Consider that Oregon, unquestionably the worst team in the Pac-10, beat Alabama and Kansas State — the latter making a late run at a tourney bid — in non-conference play.
Consider further that seven conference teams are bunched between 11 and seven conference wins, the most clogging at the top we’ve seen in years. To me, it adds further proof to the idea that the conference is deeper, if not as strong at the top in recent years. The question now is how well will that prepare the teams that make it to the NCAA Tournament for the rigors of March Madness. Ultimately, what kind of conference this is will be determined then.
On with the rankings:
1, Washington (11-4, 20-7) Quincy Pondexter needs nine points to reach 1,000, which would make him the 34th Husky to do so.
2, Arizona State (10-4, 21-5) — Commit fewest turnovers of any Pac-10 team and allow the lowest shooting percentage, which will be challenges for the Huskies Thursday.
3, Arizona (8-6, 18-9) — Loss at ASU actually only seemed to confirm how much better this team is playing of late. Two more wins should get the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament.
4, UCLA (9-5, 20-7) — Game at Stanford tomorrow should allow Bruins to get well. But Bruins have to get back to playing defense.
5, Cal (9-5, 20-7) — Sure, OSU’s better. Still, hard to believe the Bears could lose to the Beavers twice. If Cal doesn’t beat USC Thursday, its tourney hopes could start to get dicey as it ends with UCLA and then at the two Arizona schools.
6, Oregon State (7-8, 13-13) — Considering how young this team is, this may be a turnaround with some real long-term implications for the rest of the conference. Beavers can give more proof of their legitimacy with a win at Mac Court Sunday, where they haven’t won since 1993.
7, USC (7-7, 16-10) — Fittingly, the biggest soap opera in the Pac-10 is within a few miles of Hollywood. Should start playing their games on weekdays at noon.
8, Washington State (6-9, 14-13) — One more regular season win and one in the Pac-10 tourney and Cougars could get into the post-season.
9, Stanford (4-10, 15-10) — As lots of others have begun pointing out, scary thing is that the Cardinal will lose four seniors off this year’s squad. Meaning, this could be your No. 10 team heading into the 2010 season.
10, Oregon (1-14, 7-20) — Avoided ignominy with win over Stanford. But still hard to explain this big of a drop.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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