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February 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Pac-10 Power Rankings: Week 14

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WEEK 14 PAC-10 POWER RANKINGS
In ascending order …
No. 10. Last week (9) Oregon State (Record: 9-16, Pac-10: 4-10; RPI rankk: 225)
Recent results:
Lost 82-63 at Oregon
Scathing review of the Beavers by Sports Illustrated contributor George Dohrmann, who followed OSU’s Roberto Nelson while writing “They Played Their Hears Out.” In his blog, Dorhrmann writes: “Oregon State has to be one of the worst major conference teams in the nation. Worst of all, they remind me of one of Joe Keller’s team: No discipline, poor fundamentals, a lack of leadership, and a coach on the sideline who doesn’t appear to have any answers.” Robinson’s response: “They way I handle stuff like this is I don’t ever comment on it. I would hope that I wouldn’t have to comment on it.”
Next up: Thursday vs Stanford, Saturday vs California
9. (7) Stanford (13-13, 6-9; 141)
Recent result:
Lost 69-53 to USC, Lost 69-65 to UCLA
Something has to give tonight. Stanford has a three-game losing streak and Oregon State has lost four in a row, which is the longest in the Pac-10. Stanford won the first game by 14 last month. If the standings don’t change, these two teams will see each other again in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament in two weeks. … Coach Johnny Dawkins may have began the youth movement. At one point during the USC game, the Cardinal had five freshmen on the court. Over the last two games, those freshmen combined for 52 points (26.5 points per game) and 36 rebounds (18.0 rebounds per game).
Next up: Thu at OSU, Sat at Oregon
8. (10) Arizona State (10-16, 2-12; 149)
Recent results:
Beat Washington State 71-69, Lost 79-62 to Washington
It seemed as if the Sun Devils had given up on the season and its coach Herb Sendek during their dismal late-game performance against UW. ASU rallied two days later. Without injured senior starters Ty Abbott (left shoulder) and Rihards Kuksiks (ankel) the Sun Devils snapped a nine-game conference losing streak with the win over the Cougars. Kuksiks injury could be serious. He’s missed the past two games. Freshman guard Chanse Creekmur earned his first start and tallied a career-best 18 points against WSU, including hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range.
Next up: Thu at UCLA, Sat at USC


7. (6) Washington State (17-10, 7-8; 81).
Recent results:
Beat Cal 75-71, Lost 75-62 to Stanford
In a strange way, maybe the two straight losses last week helps the Cougars postseason chances. Follow me here. Their bubble has popped. They’re chances of earning an at-large NCAA tournament berth is no longer there. They don’t have to play the what-if game or look at the scores around the country. Their mission is simple: Win the Pac-10 Tournament. And WSU can do it. On consecutive days the Cougars beat Mississippi State and Baylor to advance to the finals of the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. They have a star in Klay Thompson (above, right) who is capable of scoring 30 points. Now the only thing they need to do is get healthy (Faisal Aden has a knee injury) and get on a roll. They also need to make sure Thompson shows up for the team bus on time.
Next up: Sunday at UW
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6. (8) USC (15-12, 7-7; 86)
Recent results:
Won 69-53 at Stanford, Won 78-75 at Cal
The last thing any of the Pac-10 coaches want to see is a motivated Trojans team. The conference tournament is in their backyard just down the street from Galen Center. When it seemed as if USC was dead in the water, it travels a little north and captures its first road sweep this season. It was also USC’s first sweep in the Bay Area since 1992. … But before you jump on the Trojan bandwagon, you should know they haven’t won three consecutive games this season. Still tonight’s 7:30 p.m. showdown against No. 10 Arizona is the best game on the Pac-10 docket. It features two of the top big men in the league in Wildcats sophomore Derrick Williams and USC’s Nikola Vucevic (near left). He leads the conference with 16 double doubles.
Up next: Thu vs Arizona, Sat vs ASU
5. (5) Oregon (14-12, 7-7; 124)
Recent results:
Beat OSU 82-63
The Ducks are looking at a 10-8 Pac-10 record and a fourth-place conference finish, which seemed unthinkable a few months ago. And here’s the scary thing about Oregon, it’s getting better and better. After starting the conference 0-4, the Ducks are 4-1 in the second half of the Pac-10 season. Only Arizona has a better record. One reason for the late-season revival is junior point guard Malcolm Armstead. He’s distributed five or more assists in five of the last six games, averaging 6.5 assists during that span. He averaged just 2.6 apg in the first seven league games he played this season. … Tonight’s game against California will go a long ways in determining who finishes fourth.
Next up: Thu vs Cal, Sat vs Stanford
4. (4) California (14-13, 7-8; 72)
Recent results:
Beat UCLA 76-72 OT, Lost 78-75 to USC
Maybe I have a soft spot for the Golden Bears, who remain at No. 4 in the rankings. This is just a gritty team that doesn’t quit. Coach Mike Montgomery has whittled the rotation to just 6-7 players and the starters are forced to play heavy minutes. Four starters tallied at least 41 minutes in the overtime win over the Bruins, which looked a little like the triple overtime defeat to Arizona. This time, Cal made the big baskets at the end. Especially junior guard Jorge Gutierrez who posted a career-high 34 points in the UCLA win. He has reached double digits in each of the last eight games, averaging 20.8 points during that span.
Next up: Thu at Oregon, Sat at OSU
3. (3) Washington (19-8, 10-5; 35)
Recent results:
Won 95-74 at Seattle University, Lost 87-86 at Arizona, Won 79-62 at Arizona State
Senior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning is on a tear recently. In the past three games, he’s averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3.6 blocked shots. Against Arizona, he tied the UW single-game record with seven blocks. … Washington coach Lorenzo Romar had hoped to have the lineup settled this late in the season, but injured guard Scott Suggs (strained left MCL) forced more changes. It looks as if Romar has settled on redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox at least until Suggs return. Suggs will miss Sunday’s game against Washington State and will be re-evaluated next week.
Next up: Sun vs WSU
2. (2) UCLA (19-8, 10-4; 42)
Recent results:
Lost 76-72 OT at Cal, Won 69-65 at Stanford
The Bruins had their six-game winning streak snapped at Cal, but they’re still playing with a lot of confidence. And they’re home this week. Saturday’s game against Arizona will likely decide the Pac-10 regular-season champion. UCLA doesn’t have a bonafide star, but it may have the best starting five in the conference, which takes into account freshman Joshua Smith, the former Kentwood High star. Technically he doesn’t start, but he plays starter’s minutes.
Next up: Thu vs ASU, Sat vs Arizona
1. (1) Arizona (23-4, 12-2; 14).
Recent results:
Beat UW 87-86, Beat WSU 79-70
The Wildcats have an eight-game winning streak, their longest winning streak since the 2006-07 season. They can clinch the Pac-10 regular-season title with a sweep this week in Los Angeles. They’re one of the hottest teams in the country and improved to No. 10 in both polls. … Arizona is 19th nationally in free throw shooting with a 75.5 percentage. Last the Wildcats were 40-of-44 free throws (.909) at the charity stripe and Williams connected on on 20-of-21 attempts (.951). He also won the Pac-10 Player of the Week award for the third time this season.
Next up: Thu at USC, Sat at UCLA

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, top 25

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