WEEK 8 PAC-10 POWER RANKINGS
In descending order …
No. 10. Last week (6) Arizona State (Record: 8-7, Pac-10: 1-3; RPI rank: 144)
Recent results: Lost 65-61 to California, Lost 55-41 to Stanford
Washington loses its starting point guard and keeps on rolling. ASU loses senior point guard and the wheels fall off the Sun Devils bandwagon. Without Jamelle McMillan, ASU managed just 41 points, which is remarkably low even for a Herb Sendek team. Last season the Sun Devils managed just 37 points in a 10-point defeat at USC and Sendek revamped ASU’s entire schemes midseason. The changes worked. ASU won its next four games and finished 12-6 in the Pac-10. This time, Sendek says the Devils’ problems are not schematic and believes his players need to give a better effort.
Next up: Wednesday vs Tulsa, Saturday at Arizona
9. (10) Oregon (7-9, 0-4; 189)
Recent results: Lost 77-63 at Washington State, Lost 87-69 at Washington
Big week for the Ducks who unveil their $227 million spanking new Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday. From what I’m told it’s a gorgeous facility and should be one of the best in the nation. Too bad Oregon fans won’t have much to cheer about on the court. The Ducks are hot mess right now. Junior guard Malcolm Armstead (knee), leading scorer Joevan Catron (calf) and Jeremy Jacob, UO’s tallest player, missed all or parts of Saturday’s game with injuries. The Ducks can ill afford to lose one starter let alone three. Oregon has lost six straight games.
Next up: Thursday vs USC, Saturday vs UCLA
8. (9) California (8-7, 1-2; 50)
Recent results: Won 65-61 at ASU, Lost 73-71 at Arizona
The Golden Bears battled with Arizona down to the wire after beating arguably the worst team in the Pac-10, but as coach Mike Montgomery said: “a road win is a road win.” Cal may be one of those teams that will need a few weeks before rounding into shape because they’re so young. Cal has finally scrapped the Jorge Gutierrez at point guard experiment. He just doesn’t have the temperament to be a floor general. With Gutierrez sliding to the wing, sophomore Brandon Smith has taken over at point guard. … The Bears lost freshman Gary Franklin Jr. last week, however, freshman Allen Crabbe is starting to emerge as a dependable scorer.
Next up: Thu vs. WSU, Sunday vs. UW
7. (7) Stanford (9-5, 2-1; 102)
Recent result: Lost 67-57 at Arizona, Won 55-41 at ASU
Difficult game Sunday for the Cardinal, which played at Arizona a day after the game was scheduled due to the shooting incident in Tucson. Said junior Jeremy Green: “If anything, I think it made both teams want to get out there and play even harder, given the tragedy. There are other things more important and bigger than basketball and you’ve got to handle that first.” … Freshman guard Aaron Bright, the former Bellevue High star, entered the Arizona game connecting on all 20 free throws he attempted this season. He missed for the first time in the second half. Bright is 22 of 24 from the line.
Next up: Thu vs UW, Sat vs WSU
6. (2) Oregon State (7-8, 2-02; 236)
Recent results: Lost 103-72 at UW, Lost 84-70 vs WSU
Difficult to believe, but the Beavers are a deep team that uses a 10-man rotation. . … Senior guard Calvin Haynes moved into 24th on Oregon State’s all-time scoring list with 1,122 points. … OSU has a major problem at point guard. No guard has adopted a pass-first mentality. Haynes and Lathen Wallace are a shooters. Jared Cunningham is a scorer. Roberto Nelson is more of a combo guard, which leaves 5-8 freshman Ahmad Starks to run the offense.
Up next: Thu vs UCLA, Sat. vs Oregon
5. (5) UCLA (9-6, 1-2; 75)
Recent results: Lost 63-52 at USC
The Bruins are no longer Kings of LA after falling for the fourth straight game to cross-town rival USC. … Freshman center Joshua Smith, the former Kentwood High star, fouled out his second straight game yesterday. He finished with eight points and three rebounds in 22 minutes. … Tyler Honeycutt was three turnovers and a rebound away from an awkward triple double against USC.
Next up: Thu at OSU, Sat at Oregon
4. (8) Washington State (12-4, 2-2; 57).
Recent results: Won 77-63 vs Oregon, Won 84-70 vs OSU
Okay I can admit it now, the Cougars shouldn’t have fallen so far in last week’s power rankings. They slid from third to eighth and in hindsight, they should have dropped a few spots, which is just about where they are this week. … Junior guard Klay Thompson moved into ninth on WSU’s career scoring list with 1,379. … If sophomore guard Reggie Moore was distracted by last week’s marijuana arrest, it wasn’t apparent against Oregon when he scored a season-high 15 points. Thompson on Moore: “He took good shots and set the tempo on offense and played well. He had a lot of opportunities to make some plays and Reggie’s a good player, so when he has those opportunities he will capitalize.”
Next up: Thu at Cal, Sat at Stanford
3. (4) Arizona (14-3, 3-1; 39).
Recent results: Beat Stanford 67-57, Beat Cal 73-71
Derrick Williams scored a career-best 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds last week against Cal. Despite being a Pac-10 MVP candidate, he’s taken fewer than seven shots in four of the past five games. … Arizona is second in the Pac-10 with a 5.7-plus rebounding margin.
Next up: Thu vs. Cal, Sat vs. Stanford
2. (3) USC (10-6, 2-1; 64)
Recent results: Beat UCLA 63-52
The Trojans have won six of their last eight games, holding each of those opponents to 40 percent shooting or worse. … senior forward Alex Stephenson is no longer wearing a cast around the left hand he fractured Nov. 13. … Nikola Vucevic tends to get overlooked when folks begin to talk about the best post players in the Pac-10, but the 6-foot-10 junior forward is arguably the most offensively skilled big man in the Pac-10.
Up next: Thu at Oregon, Sat at OSU
1. (1) Washington (12-3, 4-0; 23)
Recent results: Won 103-72 vs Oregon State, Won 87-69 vs Oregon State
A Washington Husky may win the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Matthew Bryan-Amaning was honored last week and this week it could be Isaiah Thomas, who averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 assists during a home sweep against the Oregon teams. … Ken Pomeroy ratings has Washington at No. 5 in the nation.
Next up: Thu at Stanford, Sat at Cal