Week 2 Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings
Week 2 Pac 12 Basketball Power Rankings
As the preseason college basketball tournaments wind down the showing from the teams in the Pac 12 has been both good and bad.
The only two teams from the conference that actually won their preseason tournament was Colorado and Cal. Led by tournament MVP Askia Booker, Colorado defeated Dayton, No. 16 Baylor and Murray State to take home the Charleston Classic title. Cal beat Drake, Georgia Tech and Pacific to take home the DirecTV Classic and they were led by stellar play from Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs. It seems that the only two teams who represented the Pac 12 last season in the NCAA Tournament are once again stepping up and carrying the torch for the conference.
As for the other teams in the conference they have played well but there have been a few major disappointments in the early season, non-conference games.
UCLA, who came into the season ranked in the top 15, has now fallen completely out of the top 25 after their two losses to Georgetown and Cal Poly. The second loss was a complete shocker, especially since it came at home, and it has sparked talk of the Bruins being overrated.
The other team that has been a disappointment so far in 2012 is Stanford. They went just 1-2 in the Battle for Atlantis tournament and their top player Chasson Randle hasn't gotten much support. The defending NIT champs were thought to be dark-horses this season but looking at their early-season results it's hard to still classify them in the same way.
The conference as a whole will get better as the season progresses but there's still work to do in order to improve their national perception. Here's how the teams stack up heading into week two.
12. Washington State Cougars
Record: 3-3 Last week's rank: 10
The Cougars have suffered some tough losses so far in 2012. Besides a blowout loss to Kansas their other two losses have been by a combined three points, with one of them coming in OT. In the CBE Classic they did not win a game but likely should have against Texas A&M if they could have closed better.
They're playing decent basketball but they just aren't putting it all together yet and that's why they find themselves in the basement.
This week's games: Nov. 28 vs. Idaho
11. Washington Huskies
Record: 2-3 Last week's rank: 7
With the biggest drop of the week the Huskies have fallen four spots as they are the only team in the conference that is not at least .500 or better. After a surprising loss to Albany at home in their second game they had to go to OT to beat Seton Hall, they lost 77-66 to No. 4 Ohio State and then they got mopped by Colorado State in Seattle.
They were the regular season champs last year in the conference but it is looking like they are heading in the opposite direction this year.
This week's games: Nov. 29 vs. Saint Louis
10. Utah Utes
Record: 4-1 Last week's rank: 12
The Utes have found their way out of the Pac 12 basement with a 4-1 record. Their lone loss came to Sacramento State by three points but since they that loss they beat Idaho State, Central Michigan and Wright State. Their national ranking in some of the major offensive categories is noteworthy as they are 22nd in field goal pct and 38th in rebounds per game.
Although it may not be much it's still signs of improvement from a team that won just six games all of last year.
This week's games: Nov. 28 at SMU
9. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 4-1 Last week's rank: 9
The Sun Devils have gotten off to a solid start posting a 4-1 record with their lone loss coming against No. 14 Creighton in the Las Vegas Invitational final. Jahii Carson played very well in Vegas and posted a 30-point game against the Bluejays. He's validating his preseason standing as their best player and as a candidate for postseason hardware.
They have a pretty light preseason schedule before they start league play so I wouldn't be surprised if they started Pac 12 play with just two or three losses.
This week's games: Nov. 28 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff
8. USC Trojans
Record: 3-3 Last week's rank: 8
Yes the Trojans have lost three games already this year but all three have come against tough opponents, undefeated Illinois, Marquette and No. 25 San Diego State. On the other hand I guess you could say they haven't really beaten anybody else yet either and their win over Texas in OT in the Maui Invitational wasn't that impressive seeing how the Longhorns have started the season.
It's hard to tell yet if the Trojans are any good with their results so far this season. They lose to quality ranked teams but beat lowly teams.
This week's games: None until Dec. 3
7. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 4-1 Last week's rank: 11
The Beavers had a nice win over Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic and followed it up with an easy win over Montana State to improve to 4-1 on the season. A big factor in their wins so far has been their rebounding advantage as they are No. 13 in the country averaging over 44 boards a game.
Is Craig Robinson's team ready to compete in the Pac 12 or are they still a year away? We'll get a true look at how good the Beavers are this week as they travel to No. 10 Kansas.
This week's games: Nov. 30 at No. 10 Kansas
6. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 4-3 Last week's rank: 5
The Cardinal have not played their best against quality opponents so far in 2012 with two of their losses coming against No. 13 Missouri and No. 21 Minnesota. They are shooting poorly and they are not passing the ball that well. Stanford is near the bottom of the country in both categories and as a result they are just averaging 69 points a game.
They likely won't get tested again until they face NC State in mid-December so they have some time to work out their flaws between now and then.
This week's games: Nov. 28 vs. Seattle
5. UCLA Bruins
Record: 4-2 Last week's rank: 2
The Bruins lack of size and experience in the post has been exposed in their two losses and it's something that is a concern as the season goes on. Against Georgetown the Wear twins were dominated down low and then in the upset loss to Cal Poly the defense collapsed after jumping out to an 18-point lead. They seem to be lost on defense and they could have easily lost to UC Irvine and Georgia if not for some clutch shooting.
UCLA is reeling a little bit but nobody said it would be easy even with the top recruiting class in the country. Shabazz Muhammad will get settled in and the team will begin to gel a little more but until then there will be some unrest amongst the Bruins faithful.
This week's games: Nov. 29 vs. Cal State Northridge
4. Oregon Ducks
Record: 5-1 Last week's rank: 6
Oregon has been one of the other surprise teams so far from the Pac 12 as they've jumped out to a 5-1 record. They upset No. 18 UNLV in the semifinals of the Global Sports Classic in what was basically a home game for the Rebels since it was in Vegas and then almost upset No. 22 Cincinnati in the championship game.
Last season they finished in the top four in the conference and with the start they've gotten off to this year it looks like they can be right there again at the end of this year.
This week's games: Nov. 29 vs. UTSA
3. Cal Bears
Record: 6-0 Last week's rank: 4
Cal is one of only three Pac 12 teams without a loss as they swept their games in the DirecTV Classic. Allen Crabbe has been playing up to his potential as the front runner for conference POY and he's gotten help from running mate Justin Cobbs. Both players are averaging over 20 points a game as the Bears have cruised to their six victories.
Things will get a little tougher in the coming week though as three of their next four games come against ranked opponents.
This week's games: Off until Dec. 2
2. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 5-0 Last week's rank 3
Colorado followed up their Charleston Classic championship with an easy win over in-state rival Air Force. Freshmen center Josh Scott has slowly improved each game and he had his best performance against the Falcons putting up 20 points and seven rebounds. He often starts slow but picks it up in the second half as Colorado runs most of their offensive sets through him in the post.
If Colorado plays like they did against Air Force, four players scored in double figures and they won the rebounding battle 45-17, they are a team to be reckoned with.
This week's games: Nov. 27 vs. Texas Southern
1. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 3-0 Last week's rank: 1
Arizona had Thanksgiving break off, as far as playing games go, so they have not had a chance to improve their record. Thing will pick up next week as they will play three games between Dec. 1-8.
This week's games: Nov. 28 vs. Northern Arizona