pac 10 run down

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pac 10 run down

my breakdown and analysis of the pac 10:

the conference is way down and right now, you could make a case that California would be the only team in if selection sunday was in 48 hours. But the depth is promising and there are no real cake walks. Many teams have a young core and have shown growth as the season has continued. Here is my personal rankings based on what I've seen and some notes:

1)california-after a pre-season top 10 ranking by many, the bears failed to impress in big out of conference games primarily to lack of size inside. By the time conference play roled around, the top 25 ranking was a distant memory. But they seem to have got themselves back on track in conference play at 6-2 (14-6 overall). Jamal Boykin has been huge down low in giving them the inside presence they need and jerome randle and patrick cristopher continue to impress as one of the better back court combo's in the country.

2)washington-the huskies are kind of the opposite of cal. They had a fine non conference schedule that saw them go 10-2 and carry a number 16 ranking into conference play. A blow out victory over cal made them appear to be the crown of the conference. But things turned quickly and they have found themselves in last place, 3-5 (13-7 overall). Lack of post play and gaurds looking to go one on one too much have hurt. But this team is still loaded with talent and I believe they will turn it around thus my #2 ranking.

3)arizona-poor non conference play makes it highly unlikely for an at large bid, but they have been one of the most impressive teams in conference. Freshman derrick williams and senior Nic Wise are leading the way for a team loaded with young athleitc players who should make some noise in years to come. 5-3 (11-9 overall)

4)usc-after getting starting pg mike gerrity back 9 games into the season, the trojans rolled off 8 wins in a row and looked like one of the tournament ready teams out west. Then a self imposed suspension resulting in no tournament play this year seemed to suck the life out of the trojans. But they still have the best size in the pac 10 with alex stephenson and nikola vucevic to go along with sharp shooting senior dwight lewis. little depth and suspect perimiter defense seem to be the hole for this team. 4-4 (12-8 overall)

5)arizona state-maybe the second best chance of getting an at large bid in the conference right now. They have a veteran squad that plays defense and takes advantage of each possesion. Junior Rihards Kuksiks, who was primarily a spot up shooter playing alongside james harden, has now stepped up his game and been more assertive. Still, this team has nobody playing at an all-conference level and has trouble creating shots off the dribble. That spells for mediocre team with little chance of advancing in march if they were invited. 4-4 (14-7 overall)

6)washington st-another at large hopeful who played a weak non conference shedule, the cougars are a solid but unspectacular team. Klay Thompson is the leader at about 23 points a game, but he still can be shut down by defenses that focus on him and he needs another year or two to even think about entering the draft. The good news is that if he does stick around, he will have one of the best young back court mates alongside him in freshman pg reggie moore. Moore has been one of the best freshman in the pac 10 and together with klay and some tough interior play from deangelo casto, this team has talent to knock off anyone. 4-4 (14-6 overall)

7)ucla-after a horrendous non conference schedule where they looked better suited for the big sky conference, ucla has really gotten things turned around with a very young team. Freshmen reeves nelson and tyler honeycutt have made their impact felt. The movement of jerime andersen to the bench and smarter play from senior nikola dragovic has greatly improved this team. They also have switched strictly to a zone defense for the first time under ben howland. They are a tough team, but even a hot run down the stretch is too little too late. 4-4 (9-11 overall)

8)stanford-landry fields and jeremy green have had to carry this otherwise overmatched squad. When they are on, they can beat anyone in the conference. They alone make this a dangerous team, but overall this team has been over achieving and are looking forward to a top 15 recruiting class coming into next year to get things rolling. 4-4 (10-10 overall)

9)oregon-inconsistent should be senior pg tejuan porters last name, and the rest the team has taken his lead. SOme days they have sophomore center MIchael Dunigan looking like the next nba player out of eugene. They have athleticism and shooters, but no one shows any consistency. There best bet is to get into an up and down tempo and hope for easy baskets. 3-5 (11-9 overall)

10)oregon state-a veteran team that finally had expectations entering the season has been one of the conferences biggest dissapointments. They lost to Sacramento St for crying out loud. The offense is struggling and they must rely on playing an ugly style of ball and keeping it low scoring to stay in games. Junior calvin Haynes is leading the way with 13 ppg, but it's looks like it's back to the drawing board for the beavers. 3-5 (9-11 overall)

all conference first team:

Jerome Randle pg california
Patrick Cristopher sg california
Klay Thompson sf washington st
Landry Fields sf stanford
Quincey Pondexter sf washington

player of the year: Landry Fields 23 ppg, 8 reb, 3 asst 2 stls

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