The University of Washington men’s basketball team, over parts of three seasons, from Isaiah Stewart to Terrell Brown, has lost an incredible 35 of 44 games, including Tuesday’s first game of the season against Northern Illinois 71-64 .
Somehow, the Alaska Airlines Arena is still standing, Mike Hopkins is still Husky’s head coach, and the show continues to limp.
UW host northern Arizona Thursday night a mediocre 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 almost all the new talents, but one thing has remained the same, at least in one game: they still can’t shoot.
With Erik Stevenson and Hameir Wright having since departed firing 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 Huskies who did not watch or hit changed the names, but made only 20 of 75 field goal attempts, including a frigid 3 of 18 behind the line. Emmitt Matthews Jr. made just 2 of 12 total shots, Daejon Davis just 1 of 10 shots from the field.
In what could be a long and inaccurate season, the Huskies placed 11th on our first SI Pac-12 men’s basketball power rankings. Only Cal is considered more of a bottom feeder at this point.
MEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RATINGS SI PAC-12
1. UCLA, 60 points (5 first-place votes)
2. Oregon, 55
3. USC, 50
4. Arizona, 37 years old
5. State of Oregon, 36
6 (tie). Colorado, 34
6 (tie). Washington State, 34
8. State of Arizona, 31
9. Stanford, 20 years old
10. Utah, 14
11. Washington, 13
12. Cal, 6
DONNIE DRUIN, ALL THE DEVILS OF THE SUN
1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. State of Oregon; 5. Arizona; 6. State of Arizona; 7. Colorado; 8. Washington State; 9. Utah; 10. Stanford; 11. Washington; 12. Cal
Comment: My preseason poll is not much different than the one from Pac-12 media day. After losing three strong players on its backcourt, Arizona State looks to welcome new blood into a season where the show would love to hit 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. State of Washington; 5. State of Arizona; 6. State of Oregon; 7. Arizona; 8. Colorado; 9. Stanford; 10. Washington; 11. Utah; 12. Cal
Comment: UCLA is an easy preseason No. 1 in our rankings, after a Final Four season with almost everyone back. Oregon should be fine as usual. The jury is out on most of the teams in the middle of the group. I think Cal will be better, despite losing top scorer Matt Bradley to San Diego State. But after four losing seasons in a row, the Bears will have to prove me before I build a lot of confidence in them.
DYLAN REUBENKING, DUCKS DIGEST
1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Arizona; 6. State of Washington; 7. State of Arizona; 8. State of Oregon; 9. Utah; 10. Stanford; 11. California; 12. Washington.
Comment: UCLA was at a miraculous rate of going to the National Championship Game, and Mick Cronin’s team returns all of its star players. Despite losing key headlines, Oregon, USC and Colorado will continue to be forces at the conference. Don’t sleep in Washington State or Arizona this season.
SAM CONNON, ALL THE BRUINS
1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Arizona; 6. State of Arizona; 7. State of Oregon; 8. Washington State; 9. Stanford; 10. Washington; 11. Utah; 12. Cal.
Comment: The Bruins are by far the favorites to win the Pac-12, and for good reason. UCLA is giving back every player who played a minute in their NCAA tournament career, adding probably the best big man on the transfer portal and a five-star first-year athletic monster in Myles Johnson and Peyton Watson. They’re not infallible, and the entire upper half of the Pac-12 is formidable this year, but anything less than a regular-season title would be a disappointment to Bruin fans.
DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN
1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. USC; 4. State of Oregon; 5. State of Washington; 6. Arizona; 7. Stanford; 8. Colorado; 9. Washington; 10. State of Arizona; 11. Utah; 12. California.
Comment: Pac-12 soccer should learn a lesson from its basketball brethren. It is relevant again after last year’s tournament. Title game entry. Elite eight teams. Much individual talent. Go ahead.
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