Week 11 Pac 12 Basketball Power Rankings
Pac 12 Power Rankings Week 11
From top to bottom it is fair to say that the Pac 12 is having a bounce back season after a poor national showing last year. There are currently two Pac 12 teams ranked in the top 25 with a third likely coming next week after unranked UCLA’s upset over Arizona.
Is there much that separates the league’s top three teams? Oregon, UCLA and Arizona are the top three teams standings wise but they all are equally talented. You could say that Oregon is the best of the three seeing that they already beat the other two but they won’t have to play either of them again this season. It won’t be transparent who the best team in the conference is until conference tournament time but that is still a ways away.
As far as the rest of the conference goes there are an abundance of quality teams with mediocre records. Arizona State and Washington are coming back to earth a bit after quick conference starts whereas a group of three teams sit right behind them with three conference wins. Ground in the standings can easily be made up if a team can get on a hot streak and knock off some of the teams above them.
One team that I think is primed to make a run up the Pac 12 standings is Colorado. They regained their swagger in a home blowout win over Stanford and they have Cal, the team directly above them in the standings, coming in on Sunday. If they can knock off the Bears they will improve their record back to .500 in conference play and gain some more confidence heading into a Utah road game before their Oregon road trip.
Probably the best game in the next week will be when Washington travels to Eugene to take on the Pac 12’s lone undefeated team in conference play Oregon. It will be an interesting matchup but I don’t really see Oregon losing that one at home.
Here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week 11.
12. Utah Utes
Record: 9-10 (1-6)
Last week: W at Washington 74-65, L vs. Cal 62-57
The Utes overall and Pac 12 record may not reflect the true quality of this team. Yes they are only 1-6 in conference play but all of their losses except for one came by less than ten points. They lost to Arizona by three, they lost to UCLA by four and they beat Washington who was previously undefeated in conference play. There’s some talent in Salt Lake but it may take a bit longer for it to be realized.
This week: Jan. 27 vs. Stanford
11. Washington State Cougars
Record: 10-9 (1-5)
Last Week: L 58-49 vs. Colorado, L 68-61 at No. 16 Oregon
Washington State’s only win in the Pac 12 was against Utah and that’s not saying a whole lot. In their two losses last week to Colorado and Oregon the cougars shot less than 36% in both contests while committing 27 turnovers. Brock Motum has been held to under 15 points in his last three games, which is another thing that does not bode well for Wazzu.
This week: Jan. 26 at Oregon State, Jan. 31 vs. Arizona State
10. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 11-8 (1-5)
Last week: L at USC 69-68, W vs. Washington 74-66
Oregon State has let their solid non-conference success go to waste with their rough start in Pac 12 play. They have played the top three teams in the conference and they lost to all of them. However, their only win came in their last contest against Washington who had only lost one other conference game. There’s some reason for optimism but they will have to turn things around soon if they want to finish in the top half of the standings.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. Washington State, Jan. 31 at Cal
9. USC Trojans
Record: 8-12 (3-4)
Last week: W vs. Oregon State 69-68, L at Arizona State 98-93 OT
USC played a really tough non-conference schedule that diminished their confidence but they’ve regained a bit during conference play. They are 3-4 in Pac 12 play and they have played some solid basketball. USC has talent but they haven’t put it all together quite yet. The loss at Arizona State hurt because they arguably played their best game of the season but still fell short.
This week: Jan. 26 at No. 6 Arizona, Jan. 30 at UCLA
8. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 11-8 (2-4)
Last week: W vs. Cal 69-59, L at Colorado 75-54
Stanford was able to beat rival Cal last week but then they got stomped on the road at Colorado. They were outrebounded by the Buffs 45-29 on Thursday and shot a paltry 31%. Credit to Colorado for their solid defense but the Cardinal are struggling of late and if not for a win against Cal things could be a lot worse. If they don’t turn things around could Johnny Dawkins be on the hot seat? It’s a distinct possibility.
This week: Jan. 27 at Utah, Jan. 30 vs. No. 16 Oregon
7. Cal Bears
Record: 11-7 (3-3)
Last week: L at Stanford 69-59, W at Utah 62-57
Cal is 3-3 so far in conference play and they’re playing just like they were during their non-conference schedule. They are a bit inconsistent, they are having a hard time scoring and they are struggling to rebound the ball effectively. Still, Cal finds themselves solely in sixth place in the Pac 12 with an opportunity to make up some ground and make some statements in the next few weeks.
This week: Jan. 27 at Colorado, Jan. 31 vs. Oregon State
6. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 13-6 (3-4)
Last week: W at Washington State 58-49, W vs. Stanford 75-54
Colorado had a confidence boosting win against Stanford on Thursday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Their offense broke out of a month-long scoring drought and finally got back to the transition game that is so effective for them. Andre Roberson tied a career high of 20 rebounds against the Cardinal and it boosted his season average to 11.9 rpg, good for the top spot in Division I. When he plays with the confidence and mental focus he did against Stanford, Colorado is a tough team to beat.
This week: Jan. 27 vs. Cal
5. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 15-4 (4-2)
Last week: L vs. No. 6 Arizona 71-54, W vs. USC 98-93
The Sun Devils’ two conference losses have come against the two best teams in the Pac 12, Oregon and rival Arizona. They aren’t quite on the level of those two teams but they have a chance to make a statement on Saturday against arguably the best team in the conference, UCLA. If they can somehow knock off the Bruins they will have to be taken more seriously as a Pac 12 contender.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. UCLA, Jan. 31 at Washington State
4. Washington Huskies
Record: 12-7 (4-2)
Last week: L vs. Utah 74-65, L at Oregon State 74-66
After getting off to a 4-0 start the Huskies have dropped their last two games against two of the weaker teams in the conference. CJ Wilcox has done his fair share to put the Huskies where they are but he needs some help. Washington will quickly need to get their act together because they take on two of the top teams in the conference next week as they have to travel to Oregon and then come home to host Arizona.
This week: Jan. 26 at No. 16 Oregon, Jan. 31 vs. No. 6 Arizona
3. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 16-2 (4-2)
Last week: W at Arizona State 71-54, L vs. UCLA 84-73
The Wildcats dropped their second Pac 12 game as they fell to UCLA at home on Thursday night. After falling behind early, like they have all season long, they were unable to complete the comeback like they usually are able to do. When you take a look at their schedule, and their results, Arizona has played some really close games during conference play and could easily have more than one loss. However, good teams usually find a way to win and that’s what they have done.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. USC, Jan. 31 at Washington
2. UCLA Bruins
Record: 16-4 (6-1)
Last week: L vs. No. 21 Oregon 76-67, W at No. 6 Arizona 84-73
UCLA is arguably the hottest team in the conference even despite the loss to Oregon at home. Shabazz Muhammad has been the catalyst in the Bruins’ turnaround and his stellar play helped lead the Bruins to an upset of Arizona. Out of all of the teams in the Pac 12 I think that UCLA is the most dangerous come tournament time.
This week: Jan. 26 at Arizona State, Jan. 30 vs. USC
1. Oregon Ducks
Record: 17-2 (6-0)
Last week: W at UCLA 76-67, W vs. Washington State 68-61
The Ducks are the only remaining undefeated team in Pac 12 play and they have made their case as the best team in the conference. The good thing for Oregon is that they are done playing Arizona and UCLA for the rest of the regular season. Their schedule sets up nicely and they have the inside track at the No. 1 seed in the Pac 12 tournament. However, they do have some tough games remaining with matchups against Washington and Colorado twice.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. Washington, Jan. 30 at Stanford