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December 26, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Arizona State moves into top four

Arizona State center Jordan Bachnyski is one of the top players in the Pac-12. (Photo credit: US Presswire)

Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski is one of the top players in the Pac-12. (Photo credit: US Presswire)

Arizona State has enough balance to contend for a Pac-12 title.

The Sun Devils feature a dynamic point guard in Jahii Carson, who is fifth in the conference in scoring (19.6 points per game) and sixth in assists (5.8). They have a 7-2 shot blocker and rim protector in Jordan Bachynski. They can also spread the floor with shooters (Jermaine Marshall and Jonathan Gilling). And they have an athletic lockdown wing defender in Shaquielle McKissic who can guard several positions.

Depth could be an issue, although ASU’s bench received some help when Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney became eligible this week.

The Sun Devils (10-2) have played just one bad game this season, an 88-60 loss to then-No. Creighton in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif. They also lost 60-57 to Miami in a consolation game.

It remains to be seen if ASU is simply benefiting from a weak schedule ranked 321st by basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy.

At any rate, the Sun Devils are 7-0 at home and they’ve turned historically stale and dormant Wells Fargo Arena into a place that’s drawing 6,000 fans. It should be a stiff test for Washington, which opens the Pac-12 season at ASU on Jan. 2.

— Here’s a look at how the Pac-12 teams stand in the RPI: Oregon (6), Colorado (9), Arizona (12), Stanford (52), UCLA (68), USC (70), Arizona State (73), California (74), Washington State (135), Utah (141), Washington (169) and Oregon State (181)

— Here’s where the Pac-12 teams rank in Jeff Sagarin’s ratings: Arizona (1), Oregon (12), Colorado (25), UCLA (29), Arizona State (34), Stanford (48), Utah (57), California (66), USC (106), Oregon State (129), Washington State (135) and Washington (148).

— Here’s where the Pac-12 rank in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings: Arizona (4), Oregon (22), Colorado (28), UCLA (31), Arizona State (39), Stanford (41), California (60), Utah (67), USC (100), Oregon State 9119), Washington State (123), and Washington (138).

And finally, here’s our take on the conference.

PAC-12 POWER RANKINGS

Team ………. Last wk … Record … Comment

1. Arizona ………. 1 … 13-0 … Kaleb Tarczewski (ankle) should play in Pac-12 opener vs. WSU

2. Oregon ………. 2 … 11-0 … First in Pac-12 in points scored (90.3) and points allowed (74.6)

3. Colorado …….. 3 … 10-2 … Toughest non-con finale in Pac-12 with game against Georgia (6-4)

4. ASU ……. 5 … 10-2 … Jordan Bachynski (7-2) vs. UC Irvine’s Mamadou Ndiaye¬†(7-5) on Sat.

5. Utah …………… 6 … 10-1 … Win over BYU looking better after Cougars pushed Oregon to limit

6. UCLA ……….. 7 … 10-2 … NBAdraft.net believes backup G Zach LaVine is a lottery pick next yr.

7. Stanford ……….. 4 … 8-3 … Same starters in first 11 games after juggling lineup past few years

8. California ………. 8 … 8-4 … Ricky Kreklow (hand) out 4-6 weeks, Jabari Bird (ankle) injured

9. USC …………. 12 … 8-4 … Last three games (2-1) decided by 8 points, including two at buzzer

10. Oregon State … 9 … 7-4 … Need a playmaker to run offense, create easy shots for big front line

11. Washington …… 11 … 6-5 … Four-guard lineup should go; F Desmond Simmons should start

12. Wash. State … 10 … 6-5 … When DaVonte Lacy struggles, bad things happen for Cougars

Comments | More in Pac-12 Power rankings | Topics: Arizona State, Jordan Bachynski


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