OPINION: Pac-12 Power Rankings

Columnist sheds light on where basketball teams land in the conference; WSU is #8

Sophomore+forward+CJ+Elleby+attempts+to+slow+down+Oregon+offense+on+Jan.+16+at+Beasley+Coliseum.
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OPINION: Pac-12 Power Rankings

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby attempts to slow down Oregon offense on Jan. 16 at Beasley Coliseum.

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby attempts to slow down Oregon offense on Jan. 16 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby attempts to slow down Oregon offense on Jan. 16 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby attempts to slow down Oregon offense on Jan. 16 at Beasley Coliseum.

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  1. 11 Oregon (17-4, 6-2)

Oregon played in the thriller of the week against the number two team on this list, USC. It took two overtime periods, but the Ducks escaped with the win behind 30 points from junior guard Chris Duarte. He also led the Ducks in during in their second win of the weekend over UCLA as Oregon maintained their spot atop the conference.

  1. USC (16-4, 5-2)

There is no such thing as a moral victory but falling to the 11th best team in the country in double overtime is about as close as it comes. The Trojans proved their mettle against Oregon, in large parts due to a 23 point, 14 rebound double-double in 46 minutes from freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu. The Trojans bounced back against Oregon State as they cruised to a 20-point victory in Corvallis.

  1. 20 Colorado (16-4, 5-2)

The Buffaloes suffered a disappointing loss to Arizona on Jan. 18 but rebounded against the pair of Washington schools over the weekend. They opened up with a convincing win over the Cougars in which they shot over 45 percent from the field and did not even need one of their best players, junior guard Tyler Bey. They continued their hot streak against the Huskies as Bey returned and contributed 16 points.

  1. Stanford (15-4, 4-2)

Stanford had an uninspiring week. The Cardinal lost its second conference game of the season against California. Stanford had a chance to recover from its heartbreaking loss to USC against the Golden Bears but fell 52-50 in the game by shooting 16.7 percent from behind the arc. Only three Cardinal players scored in double-digits, and the leading scorer was junior forward Oscar da Silva with 13 points.

  1. Arizona State (12-7, 3-3)

The Sun Devils recovered from a tough week against two of the top teams in the conference with an impressive win against their in-state rivals. The only game they played over the weekend was against the Wildcats who they shocked with a 66-65 win. They were down by 22 points late in the first half of that game but were able to come back in large part due to junior guard Remy Martin.

  1. Arizona (13-6, 3-3)

The Wildcats once again find themselves behind the Sun Devils. First it was on the court on Saturday and now it is this list. The silver lining of their collapse was the performances of their two stud freshmen: forward Zeke Nnaji led the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds and guard Nico Mannion also chipped in 16 points.

  1. Utah (12-7, 3-4)

The Utes climbed up the conference standings over the weekend with wins over Washington and Washington State, notching their second and third conference wins on the year. They were able to beat the Huskies despite a bad shooting day, 33.9 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from three. They looked better against the Cougars on Saturday as freshman guard Rylan Jones led them to a win with 24 points.

  1. WSU (12-9, 3-5)

After an all-time weekend two weeks ago, the Cougars had a disappointing pair of games this weekend. They lost on the road against Colorado and Utah and still have yet to beat either one of them on the road since they joined the Pac-12. Junior guard Isaac Bonton continued his impressive streak of scoring by leading the Cougars with 31 points over the two games.

  1. UCLA (10-10, 3-4)

The Bruins suffered a tough loss to the Ducks but were able to split their weekend slate of games with a win over Oregon State. Junior guard Chris Smith led the team with 15 points in the win against the Beavers but could not follow that up against the Ducks. Freshman guard Jake Kyman provided a spark in that game with 20 points off the bench, but it was not enough to take down Oregon.

  1. California (9-10, 3-3)

The Golden Bears got possibly their biggest win of the season by beating a Stanford team that is near the top of the conference standings. They eked out a two-point win over the Cardinal in a game where only five players scored, led by senior guard Paris Austin. Despite having the worst overall record in the Pac-12, California has three conference wins and finds itself seventh in the conference.

  1. Washington (12-9, 2-6)

The Huskies dropped both games on their weekend road trip. They started with a tough, one-point loss against Utah in a game where they outshot them. They were up 11 points with six minutes left to go but allowed the Utes to comeback and steal a win. Washington did not fare much better against Colorado, losing a fairly uncompetitive game despite 23 points from freshman forward Isaiah Stewart.

  1. Oregon State (12-8, 2-6)

The Beavers continued their slide down the Pac-12 standings by dropping their third and fourth conference games in a row. They played UCLA close in their first game of the weekend but had no such luck in a 20-point blowout loss to USC on Saturday. Senior forward Tres Tinkle was consistent across both games, scoring 17 points in each, proving why he is one of the best scorers in the conference.