PacHoops Power Rankings: Our debut and we need a title

We’re going to give Power Rankings the old college try. Hike up the back of our drawers, grunt twice, and force rank folks one-through-twelve. My focus could meander, I make no promises on continuity or sense. Here’s our PacHoops Power Rankings debut.

But…before we get started, I’m open to suggestions on what to call this. Hit me up.

1) Arizona Wildcats

Brandon Ashley and TJ McConnell scored the final twelve points, Arizona yielded just one basket in overtime, the Wildcats swept their westerly foes for the second time in two seasons (SDSU and the Zags) and many more facts from a big win. But ultimately, the ball don’t lie:

2) Utah Utes

I recommend finding your closest Austrian friend and having them give you a crash course in how to pronounce Jakob Poeltl before Bill Walton calls his next Utah game. The young man flying up draft boards went double-double on Wichita State. Plus, since we’re all ego-centric in some (every?) regard, it’d be best for you to be able to correct people during the biggest week of Utah basketball since I don’t know. They travel to BYU and #8 Kansas then head to Vegas. Did I mention the Utes are ranked thirteenth. Be cool and know how to pronounce Poeltl so you can correct people.

3) Washington Huskies

It’s early, but maybe not too early, to call this the Lorenzo Romar revival tour? His team is undefeated and just knocked off #16 San Diego State. They’re ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 2011. San Diego State has a comically bad offense but who cares. Washington’s win over them was the first by a Pac-12 school not named Arizona in the conference’s last 16 games against the Aztecs. #TakeBackTheWest. Here’s to WSU knocking off Gonzaga on Wednesday night, too.

4) California Golden Bears

Travis Decuire was really close to getting the job at Cal. He was a Montgomery understudy and beloved by players and staff alike (I know this from a source!). The gig obviously went to Cuonzo Martin who has done well with Decuire’s former team. So it should come as little surprise that when Decuire brought his 3-3 Montana team to Haas, despite being not a very good team, they were as prepared as any group could possibly be to play Cal this season. The game went to double overtime and the Bears prevailed.

5) UCLA Bruins

The biggest news is that the Bruins have announced a home-and-home with Kentucky. In other news, Bryce Alford is good you guys. If his name was Bryce Harper or Bryce Drew, there would be much more discussion surrounding the sophomore point guard scoring stats; which look like this:

54.1% eFG%, top-30 assist rate, almost 3:1 assist:TO rate, 93% FT%, 17.7ppg

6) Oregon Ducks

Traveling across the country to play at Mississippi State at while you’re anxiously awaiting the results of the first ever CFP selection Sunday is a classic recipe for disaster. The Ducks lost.

7) Colorado Buffaloes

Good luck trying to figure this team out. That’s a boring first sentence and actually a rather lazy one. But I’m really, really struggling to get behind this one. The Buffs just aren’t giving us a ton to love right now. It’s not you it’s me? I think we’re in a rut right now? Maybe we should take some time apart? I’m not breaking up with anyone, we just need a little time to – ya know – focus on ourselves.

8) Stanford Cardinal

They played no games for a week so I’ll write no words for their week.

9) USC Trojans

I like math. It usually helps to answer questions and numbers speak louder than anecdotes – professionally speaking. So when you look at what USC is doing, well here’s what it mathematically comes out to. They take the 11th quickest possessions in the country but maintain an average (67.4 AdjT) number of possessions per game. This suggests that their defense manages to slow things down and the math confirms as much. The Trojans force the 339th longest possessions in the nation. The Trojans are actually pretty efficient defensively, ranking within the top-100 defensive teams. They’re not, however, the most efficient offense, ranking 202nd with a 98.3 ORtg. We’ve known USC was quick but now we’re learning that they’re also bad, hucking up shots just to get back on defense. I guess it means they’re just trying to optimize the amount of time they spend doing what they do best: defense.

10) Oregon State Beavers

Rather than discuss why the Beavers aren’t ranked higher, I’d prefer to announce the candidacy for Gary Payton Jr as Pac-12 Player of the Year. ESPN has a separate page dedicated to his Italian alter-ego, Gary Paytonii, but the reality is that right now, he’s the real deal. Here’s the numbers:

14 points, 9.6 boards, 2 assists, 2.1 steals, 1.4 blocks, a 128 ORtg and a famous dad.

But you knew the last one.

11) Arizona State Sun Devils

Jonathan Gilling (aka J. Gilling y’all) is shooting 58% from distance and the Devils got a road win in Vegas. That’s what I’ve got for ya.

12) Washington State Cougars

You know this is a rebuild so I’m going to link to the following right after sharing an Ernie Kent quote:

“We’ve always told our players, at some point in time you’ve got to come join the party and you’ve got to bring something with you when you come.”

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