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Basketball Power Rankings Don't Look Kindly at UW

The Huskies still have a long road back to men's basketball respectability.

The University of Washington men's basketball team — over parts of three seasons, from Isaiah Stewart to Terrell Brown — has dropped an incredible 35 of 44 games, including Tuesday's season opener to Northern Illinois 71-64.

Somehow Alaska Airlines Arena is still standing, Mike Hopkins remains the Husky head coach and the program continues to limp forward. 

The UW hosts Northern Arizona on Thursday night, a lackluster Lumberjacks team that made former Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd an 81-52 winner for Arizona in his coaching debut earlier this week. 

The Huskies have nearly all new talent, but one thing has remained the same, at least for one game — they still can't shoot. 

With the since departed Erik Stevenson and Hameir Wright firing away and missing at will from 3-point range last year, the UW finished a haphazard 5-21, the second worst season in school annals.

On Tuesday night, the no-look, no-hit Huskies changed the names but made just 20 of 75 field-goal attempts, including a frigid 3 of 18 behind the line. Emmitt Matthews Jr. connected on just 2 of 12 shots overall, Daejon Davis a bare 1 of 10 from the field. 

In what could be a long and inaccurate season, the Huskies turn up 11th in our first SI Pac-12 men's basketball power rankings. Only Cal is considered more of a bottom-feeder at this point. 

 

SI PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. UCLA, 60 points (5 first-place votes)

2. Oregon, 55

3. USC, 50

4. Arizona, 37

5. Oregon State, 36

6 (Tie). Colorado, 34

6 (Tie). Washington State, 34

8. Arizona State, 31

9. Stanford, 20

10. Utah, 14

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11. Washington, 13

12. Cal, 6

DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS

1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Oregon State; 5. Arizona; 6. Arizona State; 7. Colorado; 8. Washington State; 9. Utah; 10. Stanford; 11. Washington; 12. Cal

Comment: My preseason poll isn't exactly much different from Pac-12 media day. After losing three strong players in their back court, Arizona State looks to welcome new blood in a season where the program would love to reach the NCAA tournament again for the first time in a few seasons. Players to watch for ASU: Marcus Bagley, Marreon Jackson, Enoch Boakye.

JEFF FARAUDO, CAL SPORTS REPORT

1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Washington State; 5. Arizona State; 6. Oregon State; 7. Arizona; 8. Colorado; 9. Stanford; 10. Washington; 11. Utah; 12. Cal

Comment: UCLA is an easy preseason No. 1 in our rankings, coming off a Final Four season with pretty much everyone back. Oregon should be very good as usual. The jury is out on most of the teams in the middle of the pack. I believe Cal will be better, despite losing top scorer Matt Bradley to San Diego State. But after four consecutive losing seasons, the Bears are going to have to show me before I generate much confidence in them.

DYLAN REUBENKING, DUCKS DIGEST

1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Arizona; 6. Washington State; 7. Arizona State; 8. Oregon State; 9. Utah; 10. Stanford; 11. California; 12. Washington.

Comment: UCLA was a miraculous buzzer-beater away from going to the National Championship Game, and Mick Cronin's team returns all of its star players. Despite losing key starters, Oregon, USC, and Colorado will still be forces in the conference. Don't sleep on Washington State or Arizona this season.

SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Arizona; 6. Arizona State; 7. Oregon State; 8. Washington State; 9. Stanford; 10. Washington; 11. Utah; 12. Cal.

Comment: The Bruins are far and away the favorites to win the Pac-12, and for good reason. UCLA is returning every player who played a minute in its NCAA tournament run, and added probably the best big man in the transfer portal and an athletic freak of a five-star freshman in Myles Johnson and Peyton Watson. They aren’t infallible, and the whole top half of the Pac-12 is formidable this year, but anything less than a regular season title would be a disappointment for Bruin fans.

DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN

1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Oregon State; 5. Washington State; 6. Arizona; 7. Stanford; 8. Colorado ; 9. Washington; 10. Arizona State; 11. Utah; 12. California.

Comment: Pac-12 football should take a lesson from its basketball brethren. It's relevant again after last year's tournament. Title game entry. Elite eight teams. Lots of individual talent. Bring it on. 

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