The world order on the West Coast has been shuffled again, and it looks familiar.
Stanford guard Jeanette Pohlen guarded by Cal’s Eliza Pierre – Deb Gumbley photo
1. Stanford (10-2, 1-0). The Cardinal get their spot back. Beating No. 4 Xavier and then No. 1 Connecticut and then beating rival Cal by 33 points in Berkeley…that’s a good week’s work done. Three weeks ago, this team was shaky. Now they could be the best in the country. Arizona schools coming in to Maples this week should provide more of a test than the Bears did.
2. UCLA (12-1, 2-0). The Bruins opened the week with their first loss, a home defeat against an LSU team that is frankly not what it once was. But going on the road to the Washington schools to kick off the Pac-10, UCLA got back on track. It will be interesting to see if the LSU costs UCLA its top 10 ranking. It probably will.
3. USC (10-3, 2-0). The Women of Troy have won six straight games now after sweeping the Washington schools and the best part of their game right now is now many contributions they are getting from different places in their lineup.
4. Arizona State (10-2, 2-0). The Sun Devils had to cancel their game against Marist over the Holiday break, but came back after a longer-than-expected rest and swept the Oregon schools. Now things get tougher. The Bay Area trip will be a big test for the Sun Devils’ defense.
5. Arizona (11-2, 2-0). The Wildcats put up 109 points against Oregon to get a win and open Pac-10 play. So we know they can score.
6. Gonzaga (11-4). WCC play begins this week for a Zags team that was beaten by Notre Dame, down at halftime to Seattle University, but rallied to win the latter game on Thursday. This team is just a rung below the elite teams in the country at this point in the season, but expect that Gonzaga will win the conference – again.
7. Cal (8-4, 0-1). The Bears laid a huge egg at home on Sunday against Cal. This is a team with talent, but if they don’t figure out the chemistry and leadership part, this might be a very long season and an unexpectedly low finish in the conference standings.
8. Nevada (11-2). The Wolfpack are the surprise of the West Coast thus far. This is a best-ever start for Nevada. Leading scorer Tahnee Robinson missed the last two games because of the death of her grandfather, but is expected to be back when Nevada opens WAC play on Thursday.
9. Fresno State (8-5). One more non-conference game for the Bulldogs, who will face Riverside on Monday. Fresno came close against USC on Wednesday, falling 82-78 on 29 points from Jaleesa Ross. Then it’s on to WAC play, where the Bulldogs are picked to win another title.
10. UC Davis (11-3, 1-1). If there was some better competition here the Aggies would be off this list for opening the Big West with a two-point loss at Fullerton. But Davis evened its league record by beating Northridge at home.