Welcome to the Pac-10 Weekend Wrap. Dvieira over at Addicted To Quack coordinates a conference basketball power poll with the Pac-10 bloggers at SBN, and I'm a voter. Here's my ballot with my thoughts on each team's weekend; you can find the full power rankings here at ATQ.
Things have started to shake out a little bit after this week's games, so let's get to it. Just one more weekend before the Pac-10 schedule is 50 percent complete.
Last week's rank listed after team name.
1. ASU (1)
Just one game to judge the Sun Devils on, and it was a not a strong showing. Let's play Grady's game. Three different teams each put together one of the following offensive showings in a game this past weekend. Can you guess which is which, and from which game?
- Team A: 83.5 efficiency, 33.0 eFG%
- Team B: 74.0 efficiency, 31.9 eFG%
- Team C: 83.4 efficiency, 33.3 eFG%
Team A is Arizona State against Arizona -- Team B -- on Wednesday. (I'm sure you can all guess who Team C is.) And you thought Saturday's game with the Trojans featured some brutal offense. Imagine a game where both teams shot the ball worse than the Cougs did on Saturday. Yeesh.
So, no, Arizona State wasn't exactly world beating in its one game last week. That said, you never take for granted a road win over a rival, especially if that rival is absolutely desperate for a win, so I kept the Devils in the No. 1 spot.
2. Washington (4)
For the second week in a row, I contemplated rating the Huskies higher than I actually did. Beating USC and UCLA the way they did was certainly impressive. However, UW has a long history of playing well at Hec-Ed, but flopping on the road. These Huskies are 3-0 on the road so far, but those wins are over WSU, OSU and Oregon -- who are a combined 6-15 in the Pac-10. For me to truly believe, I need to see them do it on the road against a quality team, when they're not getting home cooking to the tune of 75-85 percent FTR. But I'm this close to jumping on the bandwagon.
3. UCLA (2)
Once again, the flaws of the Bruins showed through. The defense just isn't as good, they don't crash the glass with abandon anymore, and when they're not hitting their outside shots, they're ineffective on offense. No UCLA team of the recent past would have allowed WSU to come all the way back the way in the fashion it did on Thursday, nor would they have allowed Washington to score 40 percent of its points from the free throw line. Some have questioned their toughness. I don't; I just think they're not as talented. The Bruins are still very good, but they're more vulnerable than we can remember since the arrival of Ben Howland.
4. USC (4)
The Trojans end up here more or less by default. This team is really struggling to score without Dwight Lewis, and if the Cougs could have even sort of shot the ball, they would have been swept up here. Lucky for them, Cal lost to Oregon State.
Also lucky for them, is that they have Taj Gibson, who I think has cemented himself as the premier big man in the conference. He's a game changer on defense, and has become much more dynamic on offense. The thing that's got me most impressed is that Saturday was one of those games in the past where Gibson would have gotten discouraged and become a total nonfactor. Instead, he personally took the game over in the last five minutes. That's leadership.
5. Cal (3)
Losing to Oregon State at home? Really?
6. WSU (7)
We can't underscore enough what a missed opportunity this past weekend was. The tough part is that this team looked every bit the part the whole game Thursday, losing primarly because UCLA just made some big plays down the stretch, and for 85 percent of the game against USC. There is hope for the season, as home hasn't been a panacea for anyone this year -- there are road games to be had. But we've made it awful tough on ourselves.
7. Oregon State (9)
The Beavers just swept a road series? Next you're going to tell me the United States elected a black president ...
In all seriousness, I'm shocked that this has happened. When I saw OSU play the Cougs, I saw a team nearly devoid of Pac-10 talent. Maybe teams are still just taking them lightly -- for OSU to hold Cal to one made bucket over the final 10 minutes of that game is just mindboggling, as is OSU shooting 62 percent against Stanford. It just doesn't make any sense to me, but whatever. I'm just glad we beat them.
8. Stanford (8)
Losing to Oregon State at home? Really?
9. Arizona (6)
For weeks, I've resisted dropping Arizona this far -- I'm having such a hard time believing that the Wildcats are this bad. Yet, here they are, at 2-5. They certainly possess the talent to make a run to yet another NCAA Tournament, but this feels like a team that's spiraling out of control. And with the hottest team in the conference coming on Thursday and the root canal coming on Saturday one has to wonder if they even have hope of righting the ship this weekend.
They're just not shooting the way they have in the past, and with the notable exception of their game against USC, just about every team in the conference who plays tough defense has shut them down.
10. Oregon (10)
They stink. They really, really stink. Wanna know how bad? The Ducks' have the worst offensive efficiency in conference play (93.7) and worst defensive efficiency in Pac-10 play (115.7). The good news? That's a little better than the 07-08 Beavers (87.1 and 116.6).