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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

PAC-10 Hoops Power Rankings

An incredibly weak men’s basketball Pacific 10 Conference can still have power rankings, right?

For a conference that received three votes in the AP Top 25 poll this week, putting any order to the irrelevant cluster means nothing.

It would almost be more accurate to rank them 10a, 10b, 10c, etc. But alas, here are this week’s winners and losers.

Our debut Pac-10 rankings take a look at how the conference established this pecking order.

 

1. ASU  (14-5, 4-2 Pac-10)     

A four-game winning streak is all anybody can do to gain national respect in a depleted conference. The only way for the Pac-10 to improve is by defining its caste system and ensuring that two or three teams establish themselves against the rest. For the time being, ASU holds that responsibility.

2. USC (11-6, 3-2)

Only the gritty Trojans remaining from the Tim Floyd regime would thrive under Kevin O’Neill — and that’s a good thing. O’Neill failed to do that as interim head coach at Arizona because his players were too soft. No doubt today’s Trojans have embraced the role as a permanent spoiler this season.

 

3. Washington (12-5, 3-3) 

By setting the tone with thumps against Stanford and California last weekend, some called it the Weekend of the Decade for the Huskies. Granted it’s only been a few weeks, but Washington needed a sweep against the Northern California schools after losing three of its first four conference games. Just like that, it’s toward the top.

 

4. California (11-6, 3-2)

After a murderous nonconference schedule (losses to Syracuse, Ohio State, New Mexico and Kansas) the Bears landed on their feet with an impressive win against USC. Jerome Randle is still one of the conference’s best players, despite only having only 462 friends on Facebook.

 

5. Washington State (13-5, 3-3)

They almost blew a 21-point lead to Stanford — but who cares. A win in the Pac-10 is a win — without Tony Bennett, no less. Ugly or pretty, it keeps them afloat.

 

6. Arizona (9-9, 3-3)

Imagine a year when wins at UCLA, at Oregon and against Washington aren’t all that impressive. The Wildcats split their first three conference weekends with Saturday wins — seemingly reviving a week’s worth of confidence. Saturday’s showdown in Tempe will be Arizona’s first true test as a full-strength developed team. As the New Yorkers (Kevin Parrom and Momo Jones) establish their roles, look for the Wildcats to jump higher as experience becomes a strength.

 

7. Oregon State (8-9, 2-3)

It’s hard to overlook a 99-48 loss to Seattle University (what?) and list them higher than three other teams in the conference, but then again they’ve won two of three including a Civil War victory against the Ducks. From this point onward, there’s no difference in talent or strength.

8. Oregon (10-7, 2-3)

Judging by the deafening silence in McArthur Court this weekend, it’s not a great time to be a Duck. When ex-UA assistant Mike Dunlap signed a two-year deal this offseason, many wondered if that was Oregon’s successor plan for an underperforming Ernie Kent.

 

9. Stanford (8-9, 2-3)

Would be a fifth-place team in the Mountain West Conference.

10. UCLA (7-10, 2-3)

Would be a sixth-place team in the Mountain West Conference.

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