Pac-12 Power rankings: Arizona holding steady despite loss of Brandon Ashley
1. No. 2 Arizona (23-1, 10-1 Pac-12 Conference)
After losing starting big man Brandon Ashley to a foot injury, the Wildcats have transformed their team by putting more of an emphasis on rebounding. So far, the change has covered up the loss of Ashley.
2. UCLA (18-5, 7-3)The Bruins have one of the most dangerous backcourts in the conference, but their inability to rebound and play defense has held them back.
3. Stanford (15-8,6-5)
The Cardinal has emerged as the conference’s dark horse. Stanford wasn’t expected to be this competitive, but as the season has progressed, the team keeps getting better. The Cardinal has won the games it was expected to, so now it’s just up to the team to knock off the Bruins and Wildcats.
4. ASU (18-6, 7-4)
The Sun Devils should have Arizona on upset alert. ASU has lost just one game at home this year — to Washington on Jan. 2 — but since then, the team has crept up the power rankings. The Wildcats beat ASU on Jan. 16 in McKale Center, but the Sun Devils were without its second leading scorer Jermaine Marshall. He’s back, and ASU is dying for a upset of this proportion.
Sophomore guard Gabe York drives down the court during Arizona's 54-76 win against Oregon State at McKale Center on Sunday.
5. California (16-8, 7-4)
Yes, the Golden Bears did beat the then-No. 1 Wildcats on Feb. 1. But they have also lost four of their last five games.
6. Colorado (18-6, 7-4)
They’re hanging in there.
7. Oregon State (13-10, 5-6)
The Beavers did lose to both ASU and Arizona this past week, but overall, OSU has played much better. Roberto Nelson is trying to make a late push for conference player of year, though it’s highly unlikely he will win. Depending on his recruiting class, head coach Craig Robinson may be on his way off of the hot seat. At the end of the day, having his team just play well won’t save his job.
8. Utah (16-7, 5-6)
The fact that the Utes haven’t won a single road game is ridiculous, especially considering how talented they are and how well they’ve played at home. They have a good chance tomorrow to finally capture that road win. Utah takes on USC, which has won just one conference game.
9. Oregon (15-8, 3-8)
This season has been a botch for the Ducks. The 2013 Pac-12 tournament champions have been desperate for a win since the calendar changed. Since conference play started, Oregon has lost four games by two points.
10. Washington (14-11, 6-6)
The Huskies just aren’t good, especially in the low post. Washington’s strong and young backcourt could make 2014-15 interesting, but it’ll still need to improve the frontcourt issues.
11. USC (10-13, 1-9)
The Trojans play Washington State on March 6. They better not lose.
12. Washington State (9-14, 2-9)
The Cougars play USC on March 6. They better win.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella