Pac-12 Power Rankings — 1/28/13

1. Oregon (18-2, 7-0) — The Ducks have a clear path to the Pac-12 title, but starting point guard Dominic Artis is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The freshman was averaging 10.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists before missing Oregon’s win over Washington.

2. Arizona State (16-4, 5-2) — ASU isn’t the second-best team in the conference, but it’s probably the hottest. A dominant win over UCLA proved Arizona State’s contender status, but will its short rotation wear out? In the Sun Devils’ last two games, four players logged at least 81 combined minutes.

3. UCLA (16-5, 6-2) — An initially triumphant road trip turned out to be a wash after the brutal loss to Arizona State. At their best, the Bruins can knock off top teams, but inconsistency will likely keep them on the edges of the top 25 for the season.

4. Arizona (17-2, 5-2) — The lack of a true playmaker hurts Arizona at times (see Mark Lyons’ 0 assists against UCLA) but the Wildcats are arguably still the conference’s most talented team. They played angry in a 24-point win over USC and could still conceivably sweep the rest of the schedule.

5. Colorado (14-6, 4-4) — The Buffs have won three straight after losing four of their first five Pac-12 games, and shot above 50 percent in back-to-back outings for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend. Andre Roberson somehow followed up a 20-rebound game, which tied a season-high, with five boards against Cal — his lowest total since Jan. 14, 2012.

6. Stanford (12-8, 3-4) — Hosting Oregon on Wednesday gives the the Cardinal a chance for its first marquee win. That would likely require some sleepwalking by the Ducks, as Stanford hasn’t exactly played great ball lately. A trip through the mountains resulted in 21-point loss at Colorado (awful) 31-point win at Utah (good).

7. Cal (11-8, 3-4) — Shooting woes continue to hound the Bears, who have failed to make more than half their two-point attempts in a conference game. Since the new year, Cal has beaten lesser teams (WSU, USC, Utah) but hasn’t threatened a quality team. How did it only lose to UNLV by one?

8. Washington (12-8, 4-3) — I suppose the Huskies felt sorry for others after starting conference play 4-0. “Why should we get all the wins?” Enter Utah and Oregon State, both of whom won their first Pac-12 games against Washington within the past 10 days. Through a three-game losing streak, Washington is surrendering 54.7 percent from the field — up 17.3 percent from the prior four outings.

9. Washington State (11-9, 2-5) — The Cougars got their second conference win with a 3-point squeaker over Oregon State, but must now host the Arizona schools before traveling to Los Angeles. WSU’s offensive options continue to be limited: forward Brock Motum and guard Mike Ladd are the only players to score double digits in the last three games.

10. USC (8-13, 3-5) — The Trojans played in three straight games decided by five or fewer points before Arizona used them as a punching bag. USC is playing hard under Bob Cantu, but a win at UCLA seems far-fetched at best. Visits from WSU and Washington next week look more promising.

11. Oregon State (11-9, 1-6) — Robert Nelson and Devon Collier are among the more efficient offensive players in the Pac-12, but the Beavers as a whole don’t play with any sort of cohesion. Craig Robinson has his team on pace for its worst conference record of his tenure, which could spell his end after five years.

12. Utah (9-11, 1-7) — The first Sunday home game in school history resulted in the season’s most dispiriting loss, a 31-point shellacking by Stanford in which just one Ute topped eight points. Center Dallin Bachynski, whose minutes have dwindled all year, will not play for the foreseeable future — apparently by mutual decision.

Past rankings:
January 21
January 14
January 7

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