Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 2

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Kelly Fang/Senior Staff

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1. No. 4 Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12)

With a pair of double-digit wins against Utah and Colorado over the weekend, the Cardinal maintained their undefeated start to Pac-12 play. Senior Chiney Ogwumike recorded more than 30 points in both wins. The All-American forward has been virtually unstoppable all season. Stanford has held the No. 4 national ranking for four straight weeks, and with Ogwumike in the form she is currently in, Cal’s cross-town rival looks unlikely to slip up anytime soon.

Josh Netter

2. No. 15 Cal (12-3, 4-0)

Cal remains one of three unbeaten teams in conference play. The Bears have looked more impressive lately, which bodes well for the squad as it faces a tougher conference schedule. After losing to No. 1 Connecticut, Cal went on a five-game winning streak that included notable victories over then-No. 17 Colorado and Oregon. The squad’s field goal percentage has risen from about 36 percent to nearly 43 percent in those last five games, due in large part to the offensive fireworks of Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray. To remain in the upper echelons of the Pac-12 and the national rankings, the No. 15 Bears will have to prevail over No. 19 Arizona State.

— Taylor Brink

3. No. 19 Arizona State (14-2, 3-1)

It’s been a positive start to the season so far for Arizona State, with a consistent top-25 national ranking and only two losses to its name. The Sun Devils picked up two hard-fought wins at home over the weekend, seeing out USC in an overtime victory Friday before defeating UCLA by just two points Sunday. The squad — led by a balanced scoring attack and a defense giving up about 65 points per game — travels to take on Cal this week for what will be its sternest test of the season so far.

— Josh Netter

 

4. Washington State (10-6, 4-0)

The Cougars topped in-state rival Washington twice last week, winning by two on Tuesday and by nine on Saturday. Those two wins have helped Washington State remain one of only three undefeated teams in conference play. Offensive diversity has been key to the Cougars’ success. The squad has had four players scoring in double-digits in each of the last two games, allowing Washington State to conquer the Huskies twice for the first time since 1995.

— Taylor Brink

5. Oregon State (10-6, 2-2)

After picking up three straight losses to top-25-ranked teams, Oregon State returned to form by beating up on its neighbors from Eugene not once but twice over the weekend. The Beavers’ defense was extremely impressive in both wins, holding Oregon’s high-flying offense in check and keeping the nation’s best attack well below its 100.1 scoring average. Guards Jamie Weisner and Sydney Wiese have torn up the Pac-12 so far, as the pair combined for 62 points and 22 assists in the victories over Oregon.

— Josh Netter

6. USC (11-6, 4-1)

The Trojans technically sit in fourth in Pac-12 standings, but they are in the middle of our power rankings after splitting results last week. USC lost a nail-biter to Arizona State in overtime after sinking a last-minute three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. The result was USC’s first conference loss of the season. The squad bounced back with a nine-point road victory over Arizona.

— Taylor Brink

7. No. 21 Colorado (11-4, 1-3)

The Buffs are struggling. Colorado entered the season ranked No. 19 in national preseason polls and proceeded to breeze through its nonconference schedule, but the team has since dropped three of four. In Pac-12 play, a narrow win over UCLA has been sandwiched by an upset loss to USC and a pair of defeats at the hands of Cal and Stanford. At 1-3, the Buffs have some work to do.

— Josh Netter

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

UCLA sits at 2-3 in Pac-12 play, with the loss that put the Bruins on the undesirable side of .500 occurring on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz. The Sun Devils prevailed in the back-and-forth bout, escaping the upset threat by a mere two points. The Bruins also have a daunting schedule ahead, so the future does not look significantly more promising. UCLA will have to come up with some big wins if it wants any hope of salvaging its season.

— Taylor Brink

9. Oregon (9-6, 0-4)

Oregon plays attractive basketball, but so far in the Pac-12, the Ducks’ fast-paced style has failed to produce results. The nation’s No. 1 offense puts up an astounding 100.1 points per game, and four different Ducks are averaging double figures in scoring. Head coach Paul Westhead’s high-flying offense even drains more than 10 three-pointers per game. But it’s the record that matters, and Oregon is currently winless in conference play.

— Josh Netter

10. Washington (8-7, 1-3)

The Huskies dropped both of last week’s games to rival Washington State, despite a valiant effort by Kelsey Plum, who recorded a career-high 30 points. With the losses, the Huskies remain with only one Pac-12 win. Three-point-shooting hurt Washington, particularly in the second tilt, as the Huskies hit a mere 6-of-25. Washington may be able to get back on track in its next few games, as a struggling Utah and an average Colorado lie ahead.

— Taylor Brink

11. Utah (7-8, 0-4)

Utah’s true colors are starting to show. After closing nonconference play in December at a respectable 7-4, the Utes have since dropped four straight to their Pac-12 opponents. Most recently, Utah succumbed to Stanford and Cal in a pair of double-digit losses. Fielding a largely inexperienced lineup this season, Utah is looking well on its way to fighting Arizona for the title of the Pac-12’s worst team.

— Josh Netter

12. Arizona (4-11, 0-4)

The Wildcats earn last place in this week’s power rankings after recording losses to both USC and UCLA to join Utah as one of only two teams without a win in Pac-12 play. While Utah was able to tally a fairly successful nonconference stretch, Arizona was not so fortunate. The Wildcats have a measly four wins on the whole season thus far, and with dominant Stanford and Cal looming on the schedule, it seems unlikely that number will change anytime soon.

— Taylor Brink

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