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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies. E-mail Bob.

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December 17, 2007

Ranking the Pac

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:56 PM

Been enough games now to start assessing where teams are, so here we go with the first of our weekly ratings:

1, UCLA --- Has been beaten once and maybe has looked just a little more vulnerable than expected. But still the favorite to win the Pac-10 this year.

2, Washington State --- Only undefeated team, and while the schedule hasn't been great, win at Gonzaga shows the Cougars are right where everyone thought they'd be. Getting some consistent efforts from center Aron Baynes, which could make WSU better down the stretch this year than it was a year ago.

3, Stanford --- For all the emphasis on how good their inside game could be, Cardinal is also leading the conference in three-point shooting at 41.9 percent. And now Brook Lopez is eligible again.

4, USC --- Three losses, sure, but throw out the Mercer game as a fluke, and the other two are a four-pointer to Kansas and an overtime defeat to Memphis. Tim Floyd doing a good job of molding a lot of talented newcomers.

5, Arizona --- Looks like they've survived the Lute Olson situation pretty well. Jerryd Bayless might be a better PG this year than Mustafa Shakur ever was.

6, Oregon --- Lost a couple games, and you still wonder how much they'll miss Aaron Brooks when things get really tough. But also no reason to think not capable of another deep run.

7, Cal --- Has yet to play a ranked team but has gotten some breakthrough-type performances from guys like Patrick Christopher and Eric Vierneisel, indicating they are deeper than just the two big guys inside.

8, Arizona State --- Sun Devils most improved team in Pac-10 and one of the most improved in the country, likely to only get more dangerous as they gain more confidence. Freshman G James Harden averaging 16.4 points and shooting 55 percent from the field.

9, Washington --- This could be the most ominous sign of all --- despite big emphasis on defense, still last in the conference in field goal percentage defense at 47.3 percent --- Arizona is ninth at 43.4. Huskies need some feel-good wins entering Pac-10 play.

10, Oregon State --- So far, C.J. Giles hasn't helped much. Beavers are last in the league in shooting by a wide margin at 40 percent --- USC is next at 44.9.

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