Through the first weekend of conference play we have some movement in the standings. The previously on top Arizona State Sun Devils began the year with another difficult loss but rebounded with a big win over Colorado.
Perhaps the most surprising part is that a team most counted out before the season began again finds themselves on top of the pack.
No. 1 - Arizona (11-4, 2-0)
The Wildcats just always find a way to be among the conference’s best. Arizona took care of business at home sweeping the Rocky Mountain schools, but their victory of Utah was far from easy.
UA needed overtime to knock of the Utes, but head to the Bay Area with the best record in the conference. For a team that struggled rebounding the basketball in non-conference play Arizona did a better job in their last two games with only a minus-two differential.
No. 2 - Arizona State (10-4, 1-1)
It was a week of extremes for ASU. They were upset by Utah at home in a second half collapse, but responded with a route of Colorado in easy fashion.
The Sun Devils experimented with a new, taller lineup and saw strong results on both ends of the floor. Arizona State has caused many people to scratch their heads with their recent performances, but perhaps shaking things up will be what ASU needs to get them back on track.
Sophomore forward Romello White has come on strong of late, as he averaged 13 points and 7.5 rebounds against the mountain schools.
No. 3 - Washington (10-4, 1-1)
It was a fairly quiet week for the Huskies, they easily bested their rival Washington State at home to reach double digit wins.
UW moves up a few spots in this rankings after those ahead of them slipped up. They’ve also been a great home team as they sport an 8-0 record at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Washington might sport the best defense in the country, and continue to be led on the offensive end by sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell and senior forward Noah Dickerson.
No. 4 - Oregon State (9-4, 1-0)
The Beavers are riding high off their upset of Oregon in Eugene as Wayne Tinkle’s team is off to a fast start.
Oregon State welcomes the LA schools to Corvalis looking to improve their record and cement their status as one of the better teams in the conference.
Redshirt junior Tres Tinkle has been a monster early in the season as he’s averaged 20.5 points and 8.6 rebounds through the season’s first 13 games.
No. 5- UCLA (9-6, 2-0)
So far, so good under interim head coach Murray Bartow. The Bruins swept the Bay Area schools this past week at home and still boast substantial talent.
It’s still been a mostly lost year in Westwood, but with a wide open conference and a schedule that avoids a trip to the Arizona schools could work out well for UCLA.
No. 6 - Oregon (9-5, 0-1)
It was the Ducks turn to have a difficult week. Freshman star Bol Bol announced that he will miss the remainder of the season with a left foot injury, effectively ending his college career.
Making matters worse, Oregon lost to their in-state rival Oregon State at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. For a program only two years removed from a Final Four appearance, very little is going right at the moment.
No. 7 - Utah (7-7, 1-1)
The Utes were that close to pulling back-to-back upsets of the Arizona schools before falling in overtime at the McKale Center.
Utah will settle for the split and return home with a little momentum and some more respect in these rankings.
Senior guard Sederick Barefield averaged 25.5 points in the two games and is proving to be one of the best scorers in the conference.
No. 8 - Colorado (9-5, 0-2)
After a great start in the non-conference it was a tough trip to the desert for the Buffaloes.
CU were easily defeated by both Arizona schools as they struggled to get anything going offensively. They were completely shut down by ASU’s zone defense and were forced into a lot of turnovers by the Wildcats.
No. 9 - USC (9-6, 2-0)
Andy Enfield’s Trojans were absolutely awful to begin the season. But like their crosstown rivals they just needed a visit from the Bay Area schools to get back on track.
USC boats two high scoring players in senior forward Bennie Boatwright and junior forward Nick Rakocevic, but the defense has been abysmal ranking No. 229 out of 351 teams in Division I.
No. 10 - Stanford (7-7, 0-2)
The immediate future of Stanford basketball took a hit when Reid Travis transferred to Kentucky, but I think few expected the Cardinal to be this bad.
Third-year head coach Jerod Haase appeared to be turning the program around in a promising direction, but after losing too much talent it might be another long rebuild in Palo Alto.
No. 11- Washington State (7-7, 0-1)
Senior forward Robert Franks is doing the best he can. He’s leading the league in scoring with 22.1 points per game.
Nothing else is going right with the Cougars, and it’s worse for the final team on this list.
No. 12 - California (5-9, 0-2)
Another week, another series of growing pains for the Golden Bears. Pair that with matchups against the top two teams in these rankings and the future doesn’t look any better.
Junior guard Paris Austin and sophomore forward Justice Sueing have been the only positives in a lost season, as they’ve both averaged 14 points per game.