Pac-12 Power Rankings: Arizona team to beat as conference play begins




 

It's been a roller coaster of a non-conference slate for the Pac-12 men's basketball programs - and one doesn't need to look any further than the wins and losses for the Colorado Buffaloes to see what we mean.

Colorado has defeated two top 25 teams, pretty handily, while suffering tough losses to Grambling and UMass.

They aren't alone in having some questionable performances. Arizona State blew the doors off a very good Michigan team, but also suffered a loss to Texas Southern.

A new era of transfers has created situations where many teams are behind in terms of learning the playbook and familiarizing themselves with new teammates, which can create a chaotic environment during the first month of the season.

Now that the dust has mostly settled, and conference play is set to get started on November 30, it is time to take a look at the Pac-12 men's basketball power rankings. These rankings will be updated weekly as we inch closer and closer to March and the inevitable madness that ensues.

California Golden Bears (0-7)

 

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 213

Next: vs. USC (11/30)

Devin Askew has been excellent for the Golden Bears after transferring from Texas, but this team is 0-7 under coach Mark Fox with losses to Southern, Texas State, UC San Diego and UC Davis.

Cal became the first P-5 team in 40(!) years to begin the season 0-7, although the Louisville Cardinals joined them just a few days later in this dubious category.

The Bears have been within 10 in all but one game this season, so there's a bit of bad luck here, but this isn't a program expected to do much damage in conference play.

Oregon State Beavers (3-4)

 

Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 241

Next: vs. UW (12/1)

The Beavs began the season 3-0 with wins over Tulsa, FAMU, and Bushnell, but they have gone on a four-game skid since then.

Losses to Duke and Florida are understandable, but those are sandwiched by a pair of losses to lowly Portland State by 13 and 12 points, respectively. Those kind of losses cannot happen for Wayne Tinkle to keep his job in Corvallis.

Washington State Cougars (3-2)

 

Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 60

Next: @ Oregon (12/1)

KenPom likes the Cougars, but right now their resume is pretty so-so with losses to Boise State and Prairie View.

They do have three blowout victories, although they'll need to prove they can do it against teams that aren't Texas State, Eastern Washington, and Detroit before we can bump them in the rankings.

Utah Utes (5-2)

 

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 63

Next: vs. Arizona (12/1)

Utah is looking to make some moves under coach Craig Smith, and after a very active summer in the transfer portal this team is off to a solid start this year.

Losses to Sam Houston and Mississippi State sting, but this team handled Georgia Tech and blew the doors off both Long Island and Bakersfield. They'll get their first real test against Arizona as conference play gets underway.

Washington Huskies (6-1)

 

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 99

Next: @ Oregon State (12/1)

Washington isn't as high in KenPom as some of the teams below them, thanks mostly to very narrow margins of victory against teams like North Florida, Utah Tech, and Fresno State, but they are 6-1 with a win over (then) ranked Saint Mary's.

The loss to Cal Baptist is the lone blemish so far for coach Mike Hopkins, who is hoping another successful season will cool his seat as head coach of the Huskies.

Stanford Cardinal (3-4)

 

Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 65

Next: vs. UCLA (12/1)

Stanford's 3-4 record looks pretty ugly, but their losses are all very respectable: 10 points to Wisconsin, 12 points to No. 17 San Diego State, four points to Ole Miss, and eight points to Memphis.

Factor in a win over Florida State and you have a program that should compete for middle of the pack in the Pac-12, depending how sophomore wing Harrison Ingram develops this year.

Colorado Buffaloes (4-3)

 

Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 58

Next: vs. ASU (12/1)

I'm not sure if there is a more confusing team in all of college basketball than Tad Boyle's Buffs, who are 4-3 with big time wins over Tennessee and Texas A&M along with stunning losses to Grambling and UMass.

Arizona State and Washington should give us a better sense of how to evaluate the Buffs within conference play.

USC Trojans (4-3)

 

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 62

Next: vs. Cal (11/30)

USC's season opening loss to Florida Gulf Coast looms large, but this team still has enough talent - led by Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson - to be a big-time player in the Pac-12.

They open with Cal and Oregon State, so at the very least they should begin conference play 2-0.

Oregon Ducks (3-4)

 

Syndication: The Register Guard

KenPom: 43

Next: vs. WSU (12/1)

It's been a rough start for Dana Altman's team, although the three-game losing streak was at least to a group of teams all ranked well inside the top 25. Factor in some serious health issues and it's easy to see this team rebounding and jumping back into the conversation for a Pac-12 title.

Arizona State Sun Devils (6-1)

 

Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The Republic

KenPom: 52

Next: @ Colorado (12/1)

A one point loss to Texas Southern is the only thing standing between both Arizona schools being the only undefeated teams remaining in the Pac-12.

As it stands, Bobby Hurley's team has a blowout victory over No. 20 Michigan carrying their resume, along with a series of easy victories over teams like Grambling and Alcorn State.

This roster is chalk full of newcomers, and how they perform in conference play will be a fascinating storyline to watch this year.

UCLA Bruins (5-2)

 

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom: 11

Next: @ Stanford (12/1)

Mick Cronin and the UCLA Bruins certainly hoped for a better showing over feast week, but narrow losses to Illinois and Baylor are hardly the dealbreakers they could be - especially after this team took care of solid mid-major programs in Pepperdine and Bellarmine right after.

Still, Cronin and the Bruins have work to do if they want to catch the No. 1 team in the conference, and one of the top teams in all of college basketball, in the Arizona Wildcats.

Arizona Wildcats (6-0)

 

(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

KenPom: 9

Next: @ Utah (12/1)

If this team keeps playing like this, they could be the No. 1 seed out west and should compete for a national championship.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire

COMMENTS

More Related News

Police: Oregon kidnap suspect killed 2 men before cornered
Police: Oregon kidnap suspect killed 2 men before cornered
  • World
  • 2023-02-01 22:09:28Z

The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon - a man who spent little time behind bars for a similar crime in Nevada - killed two men before being cornered ...

New trial date set for Bucyrus man facing threat charges in federal court
New trial date set for Bucyrus man facing threat charges in federal court
  • US
  • 2023-02-01 13:52:01Z

A March 7 trial was scheduled for Joshua Russell, 44, of Bucyrus, for allegedly making death threats against the then-governor-elect of Arizona.

Is Arizona really becoming more purple? What the 2024 Senate race could tell us
Is Arizona really becoming more purple? What the 2024 Senate race could tell us

Rep. Ruben Gallego has entered the Arizona Senate race, raising the possibility of a three-way contest among him, the GOP nominee and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Arizona lawmakers seek to spend $360M more to widen I-10 between Phoenix, Tucson if feds don
Arizona lawmakers seek to spend $360M more to widen I-10 between Phoenix, Tucson if feds don't chip in

Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, wants the state to backfill an expected rejection of a grant by federal officials for the Chandler to Casa Grande project.

In the West, pressure to count water lost to evaporation
In the West, pressure to count water lost to evaporation
  • US
  • 2023-01-30 15:02:32Z

Exposed to the beating sun and hot dry air, more than 10% of the water carried by the Colorado River evaporates, leaks or spills as the 1,450-mile (2,334...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Basketball