Week 3 Pac 12 Basketball Power Rankings
Pac 12 Power Rankings: Week 3
The Pac 12 conference has gotten off to a decent start so far in 2012 but it could be so much better.
UCLA was supposed to have a bounce back season after missing the NCAA Tournament a year ago but it hasn’t quite worked out for them so far. They began the season ranked No. 11 but now they have fallen completely out of the top 25 after losses to Georgetown and Cal Poly. With the 2012 recruiting class they brought in and the talent that was already on the roster the Bruins should not be losing to teams like Cal Ploy, especially at home.
Stanford is another team that could be playing a lot better than they currently are. They already have three losses in November, one to Belmont and two in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Sure their preseason tournament was one of the tougher ones in the country but they were supposed to be a strong team that could compete with the likes of Missouri and Minnesota, the two teams they lost to.
The non-conference losses that the conference has suffered already will not help the national perception of the league after such a rough year last season. Look at the teams that the Pac 12 has lost to already in 2012: Cal Poly, Belmont, SMU, Pepperdine, Sacramento State and Albany. A power conference should not be losing non-conference games like these, ever.
But that’s how things have fallen into place so far so now all the Pac 12 can do is just keep getting better as a whole and root for each other as the teams continue their non-conference slate of games.
Here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week three.
12. Washington State Cougars
Last Week: W: 64-55 vs. Idaho
In their lone game last week the Cougars did what they had to do and took care of the Vandals. Brock Motum led the team with 26 points and nine rebounds and he continues his solid play to start out 2012. Tough games this week for the Cougars as they take on Portland and then invite the 12th ranked Bulldogs to Pullman for a good litmus test.
This week: Dec. 1 vs. Portland, Dec. 5 vs. No. 12 Gonzaga
11. Washington Huskies
Last Week: W: 66-61 vs. St. Louis
After getting shellacked by Colorado State at home a few nights earlier Washington bounced back and defeated St. Louis. They showed some grit and toughness playing with only seven players and they avenged their loss to Billikens from last year. C.J. Wilcox had his best game of the year, finishing with 27 points, which is encouraging for Huskies fans moving forward.
This week: Dec. 2 vs. Cal State Fullerton
10. Utah Utes
Last week: L 62-55 at SMU
The Utes were the only team to lose since the last power rankings were posted but they still have a better record than the two teams below them so they stay in tenth. However, losing to SMU isn’t the worst loss in the world since the Mustangs are off to a 7-1 start under new head coach Larry Brown. It was Utah’s first road game this season so I’ll give them a little slack.
This week: Nov. 30 at Texas State, Dec. 5 vs. Boise State
9. USC Trojans
Last week: No games
The Trojans’ last game was a six point loss to ranked San Diego State so that’s nothing to be ashamed of. They have a lot of time to get things right as they have eight days to prepare for their next game. We’ll see how they come out and play and whether they are rusty or they got things fixed remains to be seen.
This week: Dec. 3 at Nebraska, Dec. 5 at New Mexico
8. Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week: W 67-54 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Their only loss of the season came to ranked Creighton so the Sun Devils have gotten off to a very nice start so far in 2012. Jahii Carson is their best player and he’s playing like it in the early going. Like I said in last week’s rankings their upcoming schedule is pretty weak so I could see them continuing to move up this list as long as they don’t slip up.
This week: Dec. 1 vs. Sacramento State, Dec. 5 vs. Hartford
7. Oregon State Beavers
Last week: No games
Oregon State’s last game was an easy win over Montana State and it set them up for five days worth of preparation for their biggest test of the season. The Beavers head into Fog Allen Fieldhouse to take on the ranked Kansas Jayhawks, a battle that will be a nice litmus test for them. If they want to pull off the upset they will have to continue their strong play on the boards as they enter the game ranked 13th in the country averaging over 44 rebounds per game.
This week: Nov. 30 at No. 10 Kansas
6. Stanford Cardinal
Last week: W 68-57 vs. Seattle
The Cardinal came off their tough loss in their final game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament by taking care of Seattle at home. Although their play has been a little disappointing so far this season, there is a lot of games left for them to make their mark. Chasson Randle has been playing well but it’s the rest of the team that needs to step up and help him out. They have one game this week but then have 13 days until their next contest.
This week: Dec. 2 vs. Denver
5. UCLA Bruins
Last week: W 82-56 vs. Cal State Northridge
After falling completely out of the top 25 rankings a week ago the Bruins were easily able to shake off Cal State and get back to their winning ways. Before their latest win, it was one of the rockiest weeks in UCLA history as the Bruins were upset by Cal Poly and saw two players leave the team. Josh Smith quit the team due to personal reasons while Tyler Lamb elected to transfer due to lack of playing time. We’ll see how this affects them moving forward but it’s not the greatest sign for a team already struggling out of the gate.
This week: Dec. 1 vs. No. 23 San Diego State
4. Oregon Ducks
Last week: W 95-78 vs. UTSA
The Ducks are currently sitting in fourth place in the Pac 12 and that’s close to where they want to be at the end of the season. They have gotten off to a very nice start and continued their stellar play by routing the Roadrunners. Oregon’s next two games are not too difficult and it will set them up nicely before taking on an improved Nebraska team Dec. 15.
This week: Dec. 1 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff
3. Cal Bears
Last week: No games
Cal is one of three Pac 12 teams still undefeated, easily winning their last game against Pacific 78-58. They had plenty of time off, a whole week to be exact, to prepare for their first true road test of the season this Sunday when they travel to take on Wisconsin. Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs have been the main reason that the Bears find themselves undefeated and if they want to continue their unbeaten start they will have to continue their strong play.
This week: Dec. 2 at Wisconsin
2. Colorado Buffaloes
Last week: W 85-80 2OT vs. Texas Southern
Colorado avoided a major upset as they were able to hold off a feisty Texas Southern team in double overtime. The Buffs have struggled defending the perimeter in their past two games as both Air Force and Texas Southern were effective from beyond the three-point line. You can attribute it to hot shooting but Colorado’s defenders need to do a better job of getting out on the shooters and putting a hand in their face. With that said the Buffs are off to their best start in over 20 years but if they want to keep it going they will have to stay focused and deal with the tough three game stretch that’s ahead of them. Their next three opponents, Wyoming, Colorado State ad Kansas, have a combine record of 14-1.
This week: Dec. 1 at Wyoming, Dec. 5 vs. Colorado State
1. Arizona Wildcats
Last week: W 93-50 vs. Northern Arizona
The Wildcats routed their northern neighbors Northern Arizona to improve to 4-0 on the season. It was their first game in nine days and they did start a little slow but picked it up in the second half. Things pick up now though as they have three games in a week’s span starting with their first true road test of the season at Texas Tech.
This week: Dec. 1 at Texas Tech, Dec. 4 vs. Southern Miss