There has been a lot of talk about how the Pac-12 was weak this year based on some of the very early returns. After all, UA was looking particularly vulnerable, as was Cal after getting pasted by Missouri. I don't think our struggles need any further mention. That's the supposed "class" of the Pac-12 stinking it up on the hardwood, and it wasn't too much of a stretch to assume that the conference race would degenerate into a tickle fight.
Well a month into the season, and while Howland's ragtag bunch are saying goodbye to SI coverboy Reeves Nelson for a second time in two weeks, the rest of the conference is slowly pulling themselves together.
9-1 Stanford has already played Oklahoma State, NC St, and then #5 Syracuse, losing only to the Orangemen, but playing them tough in the Preseason NIT final. Then there's surprising 6-1 Oregon State, whose only loss is to then #22 Vanderbilt by a basket. Meanwhile, they were able to beat a familiar foe in Texas that wore down and punked our Bruins at "home" this past Saturday.
After that are the preseason favorites Cal and Arizona with 6 wins apiece. Cal's slate is admittedly unspectacular, but that's what we said about LMU and MTSU and we all know how that turned out. Arizona just dropped a tough game to #12 Florida at Florida in overtime. A loss is a loss for them, but does anyone think we would push the #12 team in the country to overtime in their gym right now?
Speaking of close calls, UW couldn't survive a late 3 and lost to #11 Marquette last night, but even at 4-3, it still seems like they have something to build on.
So here we are, sharing the conference cellar with fellow sub .500 teams ASU, Utah, and the Trogans, and even ASU has a "big" win over Wake Forest to show for the young season.
The revised wisdom has been we need to buckle down and focus on making a big run in conference. It doesn't look like that's going to be the cakewalk many had expected not even two weeks ago.
UCLA Basketball - Get Your S#*@ Together.