November 27, 2013 at 2:56 PM
Here’s our first Pac-12 power ranking.
1. Arizona (5-0) ……………….. Wildcats could face No. 6 Duke in preseason NIT final
2. Oregon (4-0) ………………… Ducks have to be concerned with defense allowing 73.5 ppg.
3. Arizona State (6-0) ……….. Might be undefeated, ranked in top 10 before Pac-12 opener vs. UW
4. UCLA (5-0) …………………… Bruins have faced just one team with a winning record
5. Colorado (6-1) ……………….. Face two in-state rivals before Dec. 7 game vs. No. 2 Kansas
6. California (5-1) ………………. Losing F Richard Solomon depletes thin front court
7. Utah (5-0) …………………….. Schedule ranked 342nd among 351 teams.
8. Oregon State (3-1) ………….. Lost at home to Coppin State before road win at Maryland
9. Stanford (5-2) ………………… Too much talent to allow opponents to average 75.7 ppg.
10. USC (4-1) ……………………… No. J.T. Terrell, no problem. Trojans have won four straight
11. Washington State (2-2) …… Win over Cal-State Bakersfield (4-1) looking better and better.
12. Washington (3-3) …………… Short-handed Huskies installed new defense a week too late
No. 5 Arizona (5-0) vs. Drexel (3-1), 4 p.m. …………. ESPNU
California (5-1) vs. Dayton (5-1), 4:30 p.m. ………….. ESPN2
Ball State (2-2) at Utah (5-0), 7 p.m. …………………… Pac-12 Networks
Picks: Arizona, Cal and Utah
Season tally: 43-8
December 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM
No. 1 Arizona (12-0 record, Last power ranking: 1; AP: 3, RPI: 11, Sagarin rating: 6, Pomeroy rating: 10) — The Pac-12 is 4-15 against ranked teams and the Wildcats have half of the wins. Arizona is clearly the class of the conference and they can still get a whole lot better. Too often they’re careless with the basketball. They average 15.1 turnovers, which is the second most in the league. Arizona’s Jan. 3 Pac-12 opener against Colorado should be a good one. The Buffaloes won their series last season 2-1, including a 53-51 win in the Pac-12 Tournament title game.
No. 2 Colorado (9-2, 3, –, 4, 20, 46) — Coach Tad Boyle worried the non-conference schedule was too difficult before the season. He doesn’t feel that way now. The Buffaloes played half of their non-conference games on the road, which helped them in the RPI. Going 4-2 on the road didn’t hurt either. CU has two guards (Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker) capable of taking over games and putting up big scoring numbers while forwards Andre Roberson and Josh Scott are solid double-double producers. They’re not flashy, but they’re steady.
No. 3 Oregon (10-2, 2, –, 56, 40, 32) — Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi has three double doubles in the past five games. During the stretch he’s averaging 9.8 points and 12 rebounds. The Ducks have held four of the past five opponents under 60 points. They’ll face a stiff test New Year’s Eve when they visit Nevada (8-4) in the final non-conference tuneup. Eight of Oregon’s opponents have RPIs that are over 150.
No. 4 Oregon State (9-2, 5, –, 138, 72, 87) — Eric Moreland might be the third or fourth option for the Beavers, but he was good enough to win the Pac-12 Player of the Week award on Monday. Ahmad Starks also won the award. Neither are OSU’s first or second-leading scorers, which proves the Beavers are an explosive team. Roberto Nelson has filled in nicely for departed star Jared Cunningham. OSU has the Pac-12′s second-longest winning streak at five.
December 7, 2012 at 7:15 AM
No. 1 Arizona (6-0 record, Last week: 2; 8 AP, 14 RPI, 17 Sagarin rating, 15 Pomeroy rating) — The Wildcats’ strength of schedule is ranked 82nd in the country and that’s probably being generous. Their best wins are against a Texas Tech (5-1) and Southern Mississippi (6-2), a couple of teams that are ranked 240 and 92 in the RPI. Against Southern Miss, Arizona needed to overcome 27 turnovers at home. Still the Wildcats look explosive at every position. We’ll know more about Arizona after the next two games at Clemson (5-2) and against No. 6 Florida (7-0).
No. 2 Oregon (7-1, 6, –, 29, 68, 72) — The Ducks are off to their best start since they went 8-1 in the 2007-08 season. They’ve also benefited from a relatively easy schedule that ranks 118th. However, Oregon beat a ranked UNLV and lost to No. 11 Cincinnati. Still you got to love the Ducks’ balance. Four starters and the top reserve average double-digit scoring. This team was billed as E.J. Singler’s squad, but he might be the fourth best player on the squad. Keep an eye on talented newcomer Arsalan Kazemi, a 6-7 forward who played three years at Rice.
No. 3 Colorado (6-1, 1, –, 5, 40, 56) — The Buffaloes only loss is to 8-0 Wyoming. Everyone talks about Andre Roberson as a Pac-12 MVP candidate, but CU’s best player could be 6-6 sophomore guard Spender Dinwiddie. He had a career-high 29 points in Wednesday’s win over Colorado State. The Buffaloes may have the best home-court advantage in the Pac-12. They drew 11,708 on Wednesday, which was the largest crowd in school history.