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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 8, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 4

In ascending order …
No. 12 (Last week: 12) Utah (Record: 1-7, RPI: 302)
Recent result:
Lost 81-50 to Fresno State
Is Larry Krystkowiak on the hot seat? Seems a little premature considering Utah gave him a five-year deal worth $950,000 annually in April, but the Utes are off to the worst start in history of the program and there’s no relief in sight. Before training camp, Krystkowiak lost six players who transferred. Before the season opener he lost 7-3 center David Foster (broken foot) to injury. It appears Foster may not play this season and he’s unsure if he wants to redshirt and return next season. On Monday Krystkowiak suspended his best player guard Josh Watkins and Wednesday the Utes lost by 31 points – their most lopsided defeat at home – to a Big West school. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. The Utes may not win another game, which spells trouble for Krystkowiak. Sure it’s his first year, but not many coaches can survive a 1-29 season.
Up next: Saturday vs. BYU
11. (11) UCLA (2-5, 223)
Recent results:
Lost 69-59 to Texas
Maybe now UCLA can move and take steps to salvage the season after jettisoning junior forward Reeves Nelson. He’s been suspended indefinitely and there’s no timetable on his return. The Bruins have five home games against cream puffs to fix their flaws before the Pac-12 opener. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simmers, coach Ben Howland admitted he’s on the hot seat. “We’re 2-5 and we’re UCLA and that’s not a good position to be in. Yeah, I feel the heat — the heat I put on myself. We’ve got to do a lot better than what we are doing, and we will.”
Up next: Saturday vs. Penn
10. (10) Arizona State (3-5, 171)
Recent results:
Lost 69-61 to Nevada, Won 67-64 at Tulsa
The previous two coaches may be on the hot seat, but not Herb Sendek. Arizona State extended his contract, adding two years to his old deal. He’s in his sixth season and has a contract pays that him $1.2 million, which expires June 30, 2016. After a pair of double-double outings, junior guard Trent Lockett has become the focus of opposing defenses. He’s been shutdown in the past two games averaging 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds. ASU needs much more from its star.
Up next: Saturday vs. North Dakota State

9. (8) USC (4-5, )
Recent results:
Lost 55-40 at Minnesota
It’s been 23 years since USC played so inept offensively. The last time the Trojans failed to break the 40-point barrier was Jan. 7, 1988 when they lost 52-40 at home to Oregon. USC finished 7-21 that season. The Trojans should win a few more games this season, but coach Kevin O’Neill will must figure out a way to generate just a little bit of offense. USC averages 55.1 points per game which ranks 334th out of 345 Division I teams. The Trojans are the slowest team in the country, which means they average fewer possessions than anyone. USC averages 58.9 possessions per game. As a comparison, Washington leads the Pac-12 with a 75.1 average.
Up next: Saturday vs. New Mexico
8. (9) Washington State (5-4, 189)
Recent result:
Won 66-64 at Idaho, Beat Eastern Washington 75-49
Reggie Moore wanted to play like former Connecticut star Kemba Walker and the junior guard hit a Walker-like shot, nailing a jumper with 0.9 seconds left to beat Idaho. Washington State has a three-game winning streak, which is tied with Stanford for the longest in the Pac-12. Junior Brock Motum is second on the team and 10th in the league with 14.6 points an outing. He’s the only WSU player who has scored in double figures every game this season. Motum is also leading the team and is eighth in the Pac-12 with 7.3 rebounds a game. The Cougars nominated Charlie Enquist for Pac-12 Player of the Week last year, which is a huge accomplishment for the former walk on.
Up next: Sunday vs. Santa Clara
7. (7) Colorado (5-3, 111)
Recent result:
Beat Fresno State 71-64
Colorado is flying well below the radar. The Buffaloes could be a surprise team when the conference season begins. They lost two games in Puerto Rico to winning teams and dropped a one-point defeat at their cross-state rival. CU’s past seven games have been decided by nine points or fewer. The Buffaloes have a tough challenge Friday when it faces 8-1 Wyoming. Senior point guard Nate Tomlinson has a career 1.66 assist-to-turnover ratio which ranks eighth all-time at CU.
Up next: Friday vs. Wyoming
6. (4) Oregon (4-2, )
Recent result:
Lost 76-65 to BYU in Salt Lake City
This is probably a little too low for Oregon, but the Ducks dropped two spots to No. 6 following an 11-point loss in a not-so-neutral location against BYU. Oregon is still searching for an identity. In five games, Oregon has been led in scoring by four different players including: Tony Woods (12 points at Vanderbilt), Garrett Sim (17 vs. Eastern Washington; 20 at Nebraska; 16 vs. BYU), E.J. Singler (21 vs. SE Missouri State) and Johnathan Loyd (24 vs. UTEP). It’s good to have balance, but it’s better to have a leader with experience to take over in the clutch. The Ducks play the next six games at home before starting Pac-12 play.
Up next: Saturday vs. Fresno State
5. (6) No. 23 Arizona (6-3, 52)
Recent results:
Lost 78-72 OT at No. 12 Florida, Beat Northern Arizona 52-39
Suddenly Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones doesn’t look so bad. Not sure if he had the best relationship with coach Sean Miller. Maybe he shot a little too much and came up short in some big games, but the former Wildcats point guard had swagger, confidence and he could run an offense. Miller, who played at Pittsburgh from 1987-92, might be the best point guard on the team. Suspended freshman Josiah Turner is unreliable and Jordin Mayes is a streaky shooter, but he’s not a play maker. Miller was forced to give control of the offense to freshman shooting guard Nick Johnson, who had five turnovers, five fouls, five points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35 minutes against Florida. Solomon Hill, who won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award on Monday mysteriously disappeared and finished with five points and seven rebounds before fouling out. Arizona has a lot of nice parts, but finding a reliable point guard is priority No. 1 for Miller.
Up next: Saturday vs. Clemson
4. (5) Washington (4-3, 83)
Recent results:
Lost 79-77 to No. 11 Marquette, Lost 76-73 OT at Nevada
It’s never a good sign when the backup point guard (Tony Wroten Jr.) has more free throw attempts than the starting power forward (Darnell Gant), small forward (Terrence Ross) and shooting guard (C.J. Wilcox) combined. It’s particularly troubling when Wroten is shooting 47.7 percent (21 of 44) at the charity stripe. Gant is 8 of 11, Ross 16 of 18 and Wilcox 11 of 13. The trio is outstanding free throw shooters, but they don’t make frequent trips to the line. Wilcox hasn’t taken a free throw in the past four games, which coincides with the concussion he received at Saint Louis. Washington is shooting 61.2 percent at the line, which ranks 301st in the nation. The inability to get to the line coupled with the lack of an inside game puts a lot of pressure on the Huskies to score in transition and rely on three-pointers. Washington is 5-12 in non-conference road games and 5-8 in regular season neutral site games (1-8 in last 9) during coach Lorenzo Romar’s 10-year tenure at the school. Romar needs a victory to claim his 200th win as UW head coach. Washington leads the Pac-12 in
scoring, total rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and blocked shots.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 7 Duke in New York
3. (2) California (7-2, 65)
Recent results:
Beat San Jose State 81-36, Lost 64-63 at San Diego State
It took a 45-point blowout victory for coach Mike Montgomery to finally dole out some playing time to the reserves. Twelve players saw action, which is a first this season. Montgomery also changed the starting lineup. He started point guard Justin Cobbs in place of Brandon Smith and freshman forward David Kravish stepped in for Richard Solomon who is still suspended.
Up next: Sunday vs Jackson State
2. (3) Oregon State (6-1, 53)
Recent results:
Beat Montana 71-46
With a win Friday, Oregon State equals its best start through eight games since the 1986-87 season. The Beavers averaged 69.3 points per game in 2010-11, 60.3 in 2009-10 and 60.8 in 2008-09. In his fourth season, coach Craig Robinson has re-stocked the roster with athletic players and installed an up-tempo offense. OSU State is averaging 80.0 points per game this season, the second best average in the Pac-12 behind Washington (81.0) and 33rd best in the nation. OSU leads the conference in field goal percentage (.486), assists (16.3), turnover margin (+6.4) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1) and is second in scoring margin (+16.4). The Beavers’ 16.3 assists per game average is their best since 1991-92 (17.7). The key to OSU’s success: 30.7 free throw attempts per game, which is tops in the Pac-12. The Beavers put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.
Up next: Friday vs. Idaho
1. (1) Stanford (8-1, 17)
Recent results:
Beat North Carolina State 76-72, Won 72-49 at Seattle
Stanford may not receive a challenge until it visits Oregon State Jan. 7 or Washington on Jan. 21. Not sure if there’s a more complete team than the Cardinal. Kuodos to coach Johnny Dawkins who has built a team similar to Duke squads he starred on as a player. Stanford doesn’t have the most athletic players in the conference, but they’re long, aggressive and make it virtually impossible for opponents to run offense. Stanford has limited eight opponents to fewer than 60 points. The Cardinal has alos forced at least 17 turnovers in four straight games. Before its most recent victory, all of Stanford’s wins were by at least 12 points. Stanford is the deepest team in the Pac-12 with 12 players averaging at least six minutes per game. Dawkins nominated reserve wing Anthony Brown as Pac-12 Player of the Week last week. Stanford has a 13-day layoff.
Up next: Dec. 17 vs. San Diego

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Reggie Moore, top 25


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