Tag:Arizona State
Posted on: December 28, 2008 10:39 pm

PAC-10 Power Rankings (Pre-Conference)

There are still a few non-conference games remaining for the PAC-10 before the conference action begins this weekend. But most of the games are quite insignificant, and likely won't have much bearing on my rankings anyhow. Without furture ado, here are my PAC-10 Power Rankings heading into conference play.

  1. UCLA: Despite early struggles, they are a solid team with Collison at the helm. That three-guard lineup of Collison, Shipp, and Holiday is the best in the conference and enough to give any team fits.
  2. Arizona : They have a few ugly losses, but they have the best win in the conference (over Gonzaga). The Big Three are carrying a lot of the load and they have been getting help from unexpected talent. The youth is a concern.
  3. CAL: I said before the season, they are a surprise team to watch out for. Montgomery almost has you forgetting that they lost Ryan Anderson to the NBA. They're a great shooting team with a lot of long-range weapons.
  4. ASU: They've only got one loss, but that's not indicative of their struggles against a soft schedule. Harden is a beast that will carry this team far, but he's going to need a lot more help against the PAC-10.
  5. USC: Their record is padded because of their OOC schedule. DeRozan has performed well, but he's not even scratching Mayo numbers yet. They've got a few scorers and an average defense.Look for a loss or two in the second week of conference play.
  6. Stanford: They played a light OOC schedule, only eight games, but they won them all. With one of the wins coming over Santa Clara, they have done enough to deserve this spot for now. Their lacking frontcourt will cost them this spot... soon.
  7. Washington: Brockman is finally getting some offensive help, and a bit more muscle down low as well. They'll be moderately successful in PAC-10 play because of their interior size alone. They still need Pondexter to step it up another notch.
  8. Washington State: They got blasted by a couple of top-tier programs in non-conference play. I understand that the deliberate offense reduces points, but to only have three guys in double-digits (and just barely) isn't good. They need someone to step up and be a scoring threat in the worst kind of way.
  9. Oregon: They are a young team without a signature win, and some ugly losses. Ernie Kent will be on the hot seat if he can't get his freshmen to perform and fast. Don't sleep on Oregon though, they have the talent, just lack experience - and that's a great recipe for a second-half surge.
  10. Oregon State: Any surprise that they are here? With losses to Howard, Nevada, Yale, Montana State, and Iowa State it's not looking good that they'll pick up a win any time soon. The new coach has a huge task in front of him, maybe his brother-in-law can use some of that Senate Seat Money to buy off a couple refs for him. Just kidding, but seriously - it looks like they may go two straight seasons without a conference win. That's BAD!
Posted on: October 17, 2008 7:55 pm

Arizona State Sun Devils '08-'09 Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils

Head Coach: Herb Sendek
Last Season’s Results: Conf. 9-10 (5th), Overall 21-13. Post Season: NIT Tournament


Backcourt: Expect to see a 3-guard lineup out of the Sun Devils this year featuring Harden, Glasser, and Abbott. 

While Glasser and Abbott are both serviceable guard, Harden is the star here. Harden is a strong candidate for First Team All PAC-10 and PAC-10 Player of the Year. He’s lightening quick and can explode to the basket. This guy has NBA written all over him. 

With a three-guard lineup, Harden will likely draw the difficult task of defending the small forward position.  That could spell danger for the Sun Devils’ pressure defense as the taller forwards will have an easier time seeing passing lanes against the smaller guard.

Frontcourt: ASU and Jeff Pendergraph have a “Help Wanted” sign posted for help in their frontcourt. Will Taylor Rohde step up and be the alarming freshman who fills the role? Frankly, it looks like more woes in the frontcourt for ASU as Rihards Kuksiks will likely play PF with Pendergraph at center again this year.  Sendek will need this resolved by the time the Sun Devils travel to the SoCal area in January.

Bench: ASU will run several different players off the bench simply as ‘stop gaps’ to give guys a blow. Jarren Shipp, Johnny Coy, and Taylor Rhode look to be the only ones who will have much impact. Eric Boateng needs to improve beyond being a role player, but will see decent minutes regardless. Christian Polk will also see some playing time, but won’t see significant minutes.

Key Departures: Arizona State returns their entire roster with the exception of Antwi Atuahene who accounted for a meager 2.5% of the Sun Devils’ scoring.

Key Recruits:
PF- Taylor Rohde has the potential to develop into another solid big man for the Sun Devils. He won’t average 29.5 ppg as he did his senior year in high school, but should be a good role and bench player for the Sun Devils in his freshman year.

SF- Johnny Coy - Coy is ranked 23rd among incoming small forwards this year. He has a soft touch with decent range, moves well without the ball, and can finish with contact.
*Click on linked recruit names for highlight video.

Strengths: Jeff Pendergraph and James Harden return to Tempe this season along with 45% of the Sun Devils’ scoring from last season. Harden and Pendergraph provide a nice inside-out game. Pendergraph and Harden are the heart of this team and get better every year.

Weaknesses: The Sun Devils will continue to struggle this year if Harden or Pendergraph are off their game or on the bench for lengthy periods of time. The Sun Devils have a lot of decent role players, but unfortunately they lack one more offensive threat. ASU also lacks depth in the post and need to find some help for Pendergraph on the low blocks.

Key Dates:
Nov. 18 @ San Diego State
Nov. 27 @ Charlotte in the Anaheim Classic
Jan 15 @ UCLA
Jan 17 @ USC
Jan 21 @ Arizona

Outlook: The Sun Devils are in a crucial season as they will likely lose Pendergraph and Harden after the season and need to make a statement that Herb Sendek’s Sun Devils are for real. The authenticity of the team won’t be challenged until mid January when they have a three straight games on the road against the top teams in the PAC-10 (UCLA, USC, and UofA). Pendergraph and Harden are good enough to carry this team to a top five finish in the PAC-10.

Projected Finish: Second in the PAC-10, Top 25 Ranking, NCAA Tournament Berth.

Posted on: February 7, 2008 4:23 pm

PAC-10 Preview 02/07/2008

Arizona & Arizona State: Rivalry matchup!!! ASU continues to spiral downward, desperately looking for a win. At this point, where they've dropped 5 straight, I think even an emotional win would be warmly welcomed as they try to salvage the rest of their season in anyway possible. They have to travel to Tucson to face the Wildcats, who prior to their matchup with UCLA were the hottest team in the conference shooting over 50% from the field over a 4 game stretch. After being embarrassed on national television Arizona will be looking to make someone pay. They've likely found the next best candidate, to Oregon State, in ASU. Last month it took ASU a come from behind OT to get a meager 5 point win in Tempe without Bayless on the floor for Arizona. I expect to see this one get ugly quick and Arizona will run away with a big win over the stumbling Sun Devils.

California: After coming off a road trip where they swept the Washington schools, CAL has to feel pretty confident as they host the Oregon schools this week. They should make short work of Oregon State on Thursday night before having to face the Ducks on Saturday. The second game of the week will prove to be a high-flyin' uptempo shoot out as CAL and OU are both primarily offense-minded teams. Should be a great matchup, but Oregon has too many weapons to be slowed down. Being the worst defensive team in the conference, CAL better hope for an off night by OU.

Oregon: Coming off a big win against their rivals Oregon has a tough week ahead. They'll have to travel to the Bay area to face Stanford and CAL. Stanford is a clear-cut #2 in the conference, and are a force on both ends of the floor. Oregon is going to have to look to run if they want to win this one. Just like last time they'll have to get the score into the low 70's. The slow-down game will favor Stanford tremendously. They'll go from a tough defeinsive team to facing a great offensive team fueled by Ryan Anderson in CAL. Both games will ultimately come down to Oregon's ability to force the tempo and get a lot of production out of Malik Hairston.

Oregon State: They'll face the Bay area schools this weekend as well while hunting for their first conference win. Doubt they'll get it this weekend. Can't we just replace these guys with the Harlem Globetrotters or something?!

Southern Cal: USC has come to life recently having snapped out of their early conference schedule slump. They should have an easy time with inconsistent, and short handed Washington. The real match-up will be a defensive battle with Washington State. WSU has been struggling lately, so USC has the opportunity to pull off a big upset this week to keep competetive for the #2 spot in the conference. Should be interesting, but it's going to depend on whether or not WSU can snap out of their funk. If they do, USC doesn't stand much of a chance.

Stanford: They'll play host to the Oregon schools this week, and look to win 6 and 7 straight. Stanford is the most consistent team in the conference so far this season, and the only team to notch 5 straight conference wins. They'll be challenged this week by Oregon, who beat them in their previous show down. Stanford will need to slow the game down and force it inside to Brook Lopez. Stanford should continue their winning streak with a sweep this weekend.

UCLA: They made short order of the Arizona schools last week, and they are the standout team in the conference. They'll look to protect their 1 game conference lead as they face off with Washington and Washington State this week. They'll get WSU at a great time because they're looking to rebound from their recent struggles against the rest of the conference. UCLA just needs to continue to play with the desire they've shown the last couple of games and they ought to be fine.

Washington: Their lack of a talented, athletic guard continues to haunt them. Brockman is a true beast inside, but without a guard that can cut to the basket their offense will continue to struggle. I love the match-up of Love vs. Brockman this week, but that's the only area that Washington stands any chance. They'll get torn up by both SoCal schools defenses and won't be able to handle the athleticism of their opponents this week. Not an easy week to face when you're looking at pulling yourself out of the 9th spot in the conference.

Washington State: They've been struggling fiercely lately. Their only win recently is against the hapless Sun Devils which was by the skin of their teeth. Their defense better show up with fury if they want to even stay with seven against the surging UCLA team. WSU needs to at least pick up a split this weekend with USC and UCLA, but with the rising momentum of the SoCal schools, and the recent stumblings of their own it's going to be tough.

The Conference race is really starting to shape up this week. UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, and USC will be looking to extend their seperation from the bottom half of the conference. WSU will look to regain their confidence as they're a shell of their early season demeanor. And everyone else is looking to turn things around in an uphill battle. This week will either provide more seperation in the conference, or muddle everyone together even further... should be interesting!

Posted on: January 20, 2008 11:05 pm

PAC-10 Power Rankings - 01/21/2008

1. (+1) WSU (4-1):  Looked impressive coming from behind against Oregon, completely man-handled Oregon State.

2. (-1) UCLA (4-1): That home loss to USC hurts, but they’re still top of the PAC.

3. (+1) Stanford (4-2): They weren’t impressive in either of their wins, but they got the job done and protected their home floor.

4. (+2) UofA (2-3): That road loss to Stanford was close, especially considering how poorly they shot. Put up a great team effort against CAL and showed that they can win on the road even when over-matched down low.

5. (-2) OU (3-3): The loss against WSU was expected, until they started the game 12-2 but couldn’t keep it up. A loss to Washington hurts, even if it is on the road.

6. (+2) USC (2-3): I had a hard time not putting them in the 5 spot because that win over UCLA was impressive. Until they can show that it’s not a one game occurrence they don’t belong in the top half of the conference.

7. (-2) ASU (4-1): Tied for first in the standings, but have gotten there by fortunate timing to face UA and OU, and it took double-overtime to beat CAL, and they were worthless without Pendergraph against Stanford. They began to unravel this week and soon enough will prove that they are the most overrated team in the country.

8. (+1) UW (2-3): Looked impressive holding home court over Oregon by tripping up the streaky Ducks, but they got lucky against Oregon State. Fortunately for them CAL did worse than they did, otherwise they’d still hold the #9 spot.

9. (-2) CAL (2-4): Getting swept by the Arizona schools on their home court is no way to stay competitive in the PAC-10. They’re fighting for one of the last spots in the conference tournament.

10. (0) OSU (0-6): No surprise they lost two more. That game against Washington was a heart breaker. Gives you the idea that at one point they’ll pull of a huge upset in Corvallis.

Previous Week.

Posted on: January 17, 2008 9:52 am
Edited on: January 17, 2008 10:02 am


Despite the fact that College basketball has one of the best ranking systems there are frequently mistakes made. Teams that look to be solid hit their plateau and suddenly drop off the charts. Other teams just over-perform, get lucky breaks, and for some reason win games they probably shouldn't. These teams are impressive for a few weeks or months, but most of it has just been coincidence, lucky breaks, or an easy schedule. Because of this you've got teams that are over-rated in the top 10, unproven, or are just flat out Top-25 Posers. Here's my Top-10 Posers in the Top 25!

Some criteria for you...

  • Unproven: Means just that, the team is just as good as their ranking, but their SOS isn't a good indicator.
  • Overrated: Teams that are ranked above their actual quality, but still deserve a Top 25 spot.
  • Poser: Teams that don't belong in the Top 25, have not proven they deserve the spot and are overrated because of it.

10.#8 Washington State: UNPROVEN! - They've gotten as far as they did in large part to a SOS ranking of #127. They'll prove their mettle against Oregon, Arizona, and round two with UCLA. They belong in the Top 10.

9.#5 Georgetown: OVERRATED! - They've only got two losses, both to Top 25 teams. They'll drop out of the Top 5 with losses to Syracuse and Marquette. They belong in the Top 10

8. #10 Texas A &M - OVERRATED! - They looked bad against Arizona giving up a huge first half lead to lose big in the second half. That Texas Tech game makes 'em look really bad. Games that will put 'em in their place: OK State, Texas, Kansas. They belong between 15-20.

7.#14 Dayton - POSER!! - If these guys are so good, how do they lose to George Mason and UMass? They'll be exposed when they lose to Xavier... twice. These guys don't belong in the Top 20.

6. #23 Rhode Island, #24 Clemson, #25 Villanova - POSERS!! - They don't belong in the Top 25, just had good weeks when the bottom of the Top 25 had bad ones. The only team that might stick around is Clemson. The other two will be gone in a less than two weeks. These guys don't belong in the Top 25.

5. #16 Vanderbilt - POSER!! - They don't have any significant wins, and they lost to a bad Kentucky team. They'll be exposed the further they get into SEC play. They deserve to be between #20-25 if they deserve to be ranked at all.

4. #12 Butler - POSER!! - Wright State? Who can be a legitimate Top 15 if they lose to Wright State and don't have any impressive wins? Cleveland State pulls off the upset this week. Can we get someone in here whose actually beat someone good?! Get 'em outta here.

3. #21 Miami (Fla.) - POSER!! - They've lost to Winthrop and Boston College, but don't have a significant win, which isn't surprising since their SOS is a whopping 156!!! They'll be exposed in a big way as they completely fall off the table in the ACC. Don't deserve to be ranked.

2. #9 Indiana - POSER!! - The only half-way decent team they've played this year is Xavier, and they lost by 15. They barely held off a bad Illinois team at home. They'll be swept by Wisconsin this year, lost @ Illinois by double digits, and promptly be kicked out of the Top 25. The highest ranked poser there is right now!

1.#2 Memphis - GOTCHA!!!

The REAL 1. #22 Arizona State - POSER!! - They're not the highest ranked, but they're the biggest posers because their schedule is largely comprimised of coincidence. The toughest games they've played this year they have won, but if they were each played 1 week later they would've lost. They beat Oregon at home but since then Oregon has been tearing everyone up and have been absolutely lights out. The next week they played Arizona, without their leading scorer. ASU doesn't belong, period.

Posted on: January 16, 2008 2:21 am

Pac-10 Power Rankings: 01/15/08

  1. UCLA - Clearly the favorite to win the PAC-10 this year, and their utter dominance over Washington State makes me wonder if they'll sweep the conference.
  2. Washington State - With only one loss this season, and the great defense this team plays they'll stay right on UCLA's heels. They aren't a team to overpower everyone with their offensive output, but make no mistake about it they won't lose many games this year.
  3. Oregon - They lost to Arizona State, but since then they've put it all together, including a come from behind win against Stanford. They're an extremely high-octane offensive team that likes to get out and run. They're troubles for the season, barring injury.
  4. Stanford - The Lopez twins are an imposing force down low and can carry this team far. Though their guard play outside of Goods leave a lot to be wanted.
  5. Arizona State - Probably over-rated for now because of their fortunate timing for facing Arizona without Bayless and Oregon before they snapped out of their slump. ASU will quickly fall two spots within the next few weeks. They've got a nice trio of Pendergraph, Harden, and Abbot that propel the team. These kids just aren't experienced enough to stay in the top half of the conference for long.
  6. Arizona - The team on the rise in the PAC-10. They've suffered a recent rough spot in their year while dealing with injuries to Bayless and Brielmaier. Bayless is back with a vengeance, and the entire team plays better with him on the floor. They'll face a tough, but winnable matchup this week against Stanford.
  7. California - Present a very balanced attack and can hang with just about anyone. They aren't a dominant team, but they're good enough to keep teams, even UCLA, from running away with the game.
  8. USC - O.J. Mayo may be a future NBA great, but he's not good enough to carry this team to a winning record in the PAC-10. It's going to be a long season for this spot light seeker and his teammates at the bottom of the conference.
  9. Washington - A good team gone bad. For whatever reason these guys still can't get it together. On a positive note they will get their first win this week against Oregon State. Teams need to be careful not to overlook UW because they are still talented team that has known success as recently as last year. If UW can pull it together they can quickly move up a few spots in just weeks.
  10. Oregon State - Do these guys really belong in the PAC-10? For all the other good teams in the conference, Oregon State seems devistatingly out of place. They'd be more at home in a conference like the "Big Sky." They'll be lucky to tally 1 win this year.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com