Photo credit: AP Photo – Paul Sakuma
WEEK 11 PAC-10 POWER RANKINGS
In ascending order …
No. 10. Last week (10) Arizona State (Record: 9-12, Pac-10: 1-8; RPI rank: 152)
Recent results: Lost to UCLA 73-72 OT, Lost to USC 63-61
It’s been awhile since the Sun Devils were this bad. They’ve lost seven in a row in the Pac-10 conference. The last time they’ve lost so many came when coach Herb Sendek began his first season in 2006-07 and ASU started Pac-10 play with an 0-14 record. … In the past three seasons, the Sun Devils are 18-9 (.667) in the second half of the conference season, but it’s asking a lot of Sendek to salvage this season that’s been wrecked by injuries. ASU was picked to finish fourth in the preseason media poll.
Next up: Thursday at California, Saturday at Standford
9. (9) Oregon State (8-12, 3-6; 234)
Recent results: Lost 70-56 at Stanford, Lost 85-57 at California
After a period of growth, it appears as if the Beavers have hit a wall. They’ve lost six of the past seven games. They’re last in scoring defense (72.9 ppg.) and field goal defense (46.8 percent). … Coach Craig Robinson continues to push buttons. He still plays a 10-man rotation and 10 players saw at least 11 minutes of action in both games last week. It’s the ninth time in the last 14 games that double-digit minutes have been spread to at least nine different players. Some nights someone gets hot like freshman G Ahmad Starks who scored a career-high 17 points at Stanford. … Six different Beavers have led the team in scoring in nine Pac-10 games.
Next up: Thu vs Washington, Sat vs Washington State
8. (8) Stanford (11-9, 4-5; 144)
Recent result: Beat OSU 70-56, Lost 67-59 to Oregon
The win over the Beavers snapped a four-game losing streak and the 70 points was the most points Stanford has scored since Jan. 2. Coach Johnny Dawkins has a vaunted defense, but the Cardinal needed a scorer on the floor which explains why freshman guard Anthony Brown (above, middle) replaced freshman Aaron Bright, the former Bellevue High standout, in the starting lineup. Brown is shooting 26-of-53 (.491) over the last six games and averages 12.0 points in that span. In his first 13 games, he shot 39.1 percent, averaging 6.2 points per game. Brown tallied 21 points and eight rebounds – both career highs – in the win over OSU.
Next up: Thu vs Arizona, Sat vs ASU
7. (6) USC ()
Recent results: Lost 82-73 at Arizona, Won 63-61 at ASU
USC forward Nikola Vucevic apologized for his “we played like women” comments following the loss at Arizona. The Montenegro native meant to say “we played soft,” which is still a stinging indictment of the Trojans. … USC has lost four of the last six games and they’re fading fast. The losing will continue until the Trojans learn how to play against a zone. And finding a few more bodies wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Three Trojans are among the top 10 in the conference in minutes played. Coach Kevin O’Neill’s seven-man rotation doesn’t make much sense as USC begins the second half of the Pac-10 season.
Up next: Wednesday at UCLA
6. (7) Oregon (10-11, 3-6; 155)
Recent results: Lost 85-77 at Cal, Won 67-59 at Stanford
Raise your hand if you thought Oregon would win three conference games. Liar. The Ducks are much better than most had believed before the season. They’re not conference contenders just yet, but they’ve won three of the past five games, including a victory at Stanford. The win snapped a 24-game losing streak at Maples Pavilion. … Keep an eye on junior F Tyrone Nared (right) who had his first career double-double with 14 points/10 rebounds last week at Cal. He’s is averaging 5.7 rebounds over the last six games. … Senior F Joevan Catron is playing like an all-conference player. Five of Oregon’s next seven games are at home.
Next up: Thu vs WSU, Sat vs UW
5. (5) California (12-9, 5-4; 58)
Recent results: Beat Oregon 85-77, Beat OSU 85-57
The Golden Bears are in the middle of an important two-week homestand. They took care of business last week and should have little difficulty Thursday against ASU. The big test is Saturday versus Arizona. Cal, the defending Pac-10 champion, is tied for fourth in the conference and sweep this week could get it back in the race for the title. … Junior F Harper Kamp has posted double-digit scoring figures in 10 straight games. He’s shooting 59-of-103 (.573) from the field and averaging 16.7 points during that span.
Next up: Thu vs ASU, Sat. vs Arizona
4. (4) Washington State (15-6, 5-4; 65).
Recent results: Beat UW 87-80
Klay Thompson said: “We think we can be the best team in the league.” There’s compelling evidence to believe him. After an 0-2 conference start, WSU is 5-2, which includes an overtime defeat at Cal and a two-point loss to Arizona. Seemingly the Cougars gained great momentum and confidence following Sunday’s convincing win over Washington. Coach Ken Bone called it his biggest victory in two years with WSU. The Cougars are winning with defense. They’re allowing opponents to shoot 37.8 percent from the field, which is best in the Pac-10.
Next up: Thu at Oregon, Sat at OSU
3. (3) UCLA (14-7, 6-3; 47)
Recent results: Won 73-72 OT at ASU, Lost 85-74 at UCLA
Who made this schedule? Before the season it probably seemed like a good idea to bring in St. John’s for a nonconference game, but looking at it now seems like a potential landmine for the Bruins. It’s a big week in Westwood. First they host cross-town rival USC then their former coach Steve Lavin arrives with the Red Storm, which defeated No. 3 Duke last week. Lavin posted a 145-78 (.650) record in seven seasons (1997-2003) with the Bruins. … UCLA is the only Pac-10 team to with five players averaging double figures in scoring. … The Bruins have a talented front line, but their guard play is still their Achilles heel.
Next up: Wednesday vs. USC, Sat vs St. John’s
2. (3) Arizona (18-4, 7-2; 22).
Recent results: Beat USC 82-73, Beat UCLA 85-74
If not for a one-point loss at Oregon State, the Wildcats would have sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 race with control on who wins the title. Arizona is surging after its 17-point defeat at UW two weeks ago. The Cats easily handled the Los Angeles schools and in the process may have discovered a legitimate No. 2 threat to compliment sophomore star Derrick Williams. Point guard Lamont Jones (left) took a big step forward in the wins and won his first conference Player of the Week award. The only thing missing now is a legitimate perimeter shooter. The candidates include: Solomon Hill, Kyle Fogg and Jamelle Horne. … Williams injured his right (shooting hand) pinkie, but doesn’t appeared to be slowing down. Not only does he lead the league in field goal percentage (127-of-199, .638), Williams has now hit enough three-pointers to qualify for the league lead in three-point field goal percentage (24-of-34, .706). … Arizona clinched its 27th consecutive winning season.
Next up: Thu at Stan, Sat at Cal
1. (1) Washington (15-5, 7-2; 26)
Recent results: Lost 87-80 at WSU
One loss on the road against the cross-state rivalry isn’t enough to knock the Huskies out of first place. Isaiah Thomas said “it’s not time to panic,” and he’s right. But maybe it’s time for UW fans to be concerned. Several ominous trends have developed. The Huskies have had several slow starts, which has required second-half spurts. They’ve shot fewer than 31 percent on three-pointers in three of the past five games and Sunday’s 11 of 31 performance was a recipe for disaster. And finally, in both conference defeats Matthew Bryan-Amaning is averaging seven points. He may not be UW’s best player, but he’s probably the most important player because he’s the only consistent inside scoring threat.
Next up: Thu at OSU, Sat at Oregon