Busting Brackets

Pac-12 Basketball: Washington and Utah rises, UCLA falls in latest power rankings

Pac-12 Basketball gets league play going. Who have shown themselves to be the teams to beat so far?

Continental Tire Main Event - Washington v San Diego State
Continental Tire Main Event - Washington v San Diego State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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6. Oregon Ducks - 8-3

Typically, we have an idea about all of these teams before the start of league play. Yet I doubt even Coach Dana Altman knows what to do with this roster, considering that half of the team has missed at least multiple games. They’ve been without star big man N’Faly Dante for all of one game, while five-star freshman wing Mookie Cook has yet to play this season. Plus, forward Nate Bittle may be gone for the rest of the year as well.

It’s been a complete group effort among those that’s been healthy enough to play. Veteran guard Jermaine Couisnard (13.1 ppg and 5.3 rpg) leads them in scoring, while freshman point guard Jackson Shelstad (13.0 ppg and 3.0 apg) has been good. Freshman forward Kwame Evans Jr. has started 10 games and had a solid impact as well.

The good news for Oregon is that despite all of the injuries, they’ve yet to lose a bad game on schedule. Wins over Georgia and Michigan don’t mean much right now but it’s better than nothing. That being said, they also have a 20-point loss to Syracuse and gave up a ton of points against Santa Clara and Alabama as well.

The Ducks are hoping to get at least a piece or two back this week, as they take on both USC and UCLA at home. If that works out, we may have to take them seriously as an NCAA Tournament contender.