1/5: UCLA 65, Arizona 58
1/8: Arizona 57 , USC 46
1. Jesse Perry
Previous rank: 2
UCLA: 32 minutes, 13 points, 5-13 shooting 6 rebounds, 5 offensive rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 3-3 FT
USC: 33 minutes, 20 points, 9-13 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2-4 FT
Despite being dominated by the Wear twins of UCLA and giving up 11 points to DeWayne Dedmon on Sunday against USC, Perry's offense so far through Pac-12 play elevates him to the top spot heading into week three of the conference schedule.
In three games, Perry is averaging 16.3 points on 56 percent shooting from the field while contributing 5.3 rebounds per game as well. As long as he's having to defend players that are bigger, Perry is going to struggle. However, he's showing that will not be the case when the Wildcats have the ball.
His jump shot out to 15 feet is just good enough to earn the respect of opponents, which often times opens up opportunities for him to score on drives to the basket. His ability to alter his shot in the air and get to the rim with relative ease should allow Perry to continue his fast start to Pac-12 play in a conference without a truly dominant defensive big man.
2. Solomon Hill
Previous rank: 1
UCLA: 32 minutes, 16 points, 7-15 shooting, 11 rebounds, 4 offensive rebounds, 1 assist, 5 turnovers, 2-6 FT
USC: 26 minutes, 11 points, 3-7 shooting, 10 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 5-6 FT
Despite posting double-doubles in both contests in Los Angeles, Hill loses the top spot in this week's power rankings due to his ball handling. In a combined 58 minutes of action, he dished out just one assist and turned the ball over a staggering eight times. Hill has really stepped up as a junior and protected the basketball well for the most part this season, but eight turnovers in two games, as I'm sure he will admit, is simply unacceptable.
On the plus side, Hill rebounded the ball at a high rate, especially on the offensive end, and shot nearly 50 percent for the weekend. After being absent for most of the first half against UCLA with just two points, he nearly led the Wildcats back with 14 second half points. His offensive output is critical to UA moving forward, and he'll have to be more careful with the ball with 15 conference games to go.
Previous rank: 5
UCLA: 28 minutes, 9 points, 2-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 5-6 FT
USC: 25 minutes, 2 points, 1-2 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal
It wasn't a dominating weekend by any means for Turner, but the fact that he continues to progress as a ball handler and distributor is a major positive for Arizona. Turner continues to increase his role each game, and his assists have outnumbered his turnovers in five consecutive games.
While Turner may not be dominating just yet at a level that was expected of him, his performance is steady enough to where point guard is no longer a glaring weakness on the team. In fact, as he continues to grow and develop, it may just become one of the team's strengths.
4. Kyle Fogg
Previous rank: 4
UCLA: 27 minutes, 7 points, 2-5 shooting, 1-3 3pt, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2-2 FT
USC: 28 minutes, 10 points, 2-6 shooting, 1-4 3pt, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 blocks
Fogg has usually struggled out in Los Angeles and his fourth trip out West was no different this time around. He shot just 36 percent from the field and 28.5 percent from three-point range and was really a non-factor in both contests.
He did not have as poor of a weekend as others, but as a senior and one of the team's primary options, UA can not afford for Fogg to have an off night. He has to be more consistent in his effort and with a weekend series with the Oregon schools on the horizon, he needs to turn it around in a hurry.
5. Nick Johnson
Previous rank: 3
UCLA: 27 minutes, 2 points, 1-6 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2-2 FT
USC: 28 minutes, 4 points, 2-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls
I love Johnson's effort on both ends even when he's struggling offensively, and this weekend was a prime example of that. He shot just 20 percent for the weekend but did everything else that he could to keep his team in the game. That mentality will really carry him a long ways and help him get out of his weekend slump in time to be a big contributor against Oregon State and Oregon.
Off nights can be expected from a freshman, but it is pleasing to see him pick up the slack on defense or in rebounding to compensate for his lack of offense. He shouldn't remain this low in the power rankings for long, and a strong showing against the Oregon schools this weekend will likely catapult him back into the top three.
Previous rank: 8
UCLA: 13 minutes, 6 points, 2-3 3pt, 1 rebound
USC: 12 minutes, 4 points, 1-2 3pt, 1-2 FT, 1 block, 3 turnovers
Lavender moves back into the sixth spot after sliding in last week's rankings due to his ability to score in bunches if given open looks. With Parrom's recovery taking longer than expected and Mayes struggling at times off the bench, Lavender's three-point shooting ability has earned him some playing time moving forward.
I was even encouraged to see Lavender pump fake a three-point attempt and make a move for a higher percentage shot near the basket. Although it resulted in an offensive foul, it is good to see that he's trying to expand his skill set and find ways to score beyond the three-point shot.
7. Jordin Mayes
Previous rank: 8
UCLA: 15 minutes, 0 points, 0-4 shooting, 0-3 3pt, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0 turnovers
USC: 22 minutes, 4 points, 2-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals
The game against UCLA was certainly a forgettable one for Mayes, but he bounced back against USC for a decent outing. At times Mayes is too careless with the ball and seems just a split second behind in his decision making, but he remains aggressive as a scorer and aside from one forced three-pointer against USC took generally open looks.
It's evident to me that despite his increased role as a sophomore that Mayes is still trying to find his niche on this team. Once he figures that out and lets the game flow to him more naturally, Mayes should be able to elevate his play to a more consistent level.
8. Kevin Parrom
Previous rank: 6
UCLA: 12 minutes, 1 point, 0-2 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
USC: 17 minutes, 0 points, 0-1 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
It was a forgettable weekend for Parrom, who contributed virtually nothing on the offensive end in two games. He has really been unable to string together consistent outings from one week to the next and is still very much in the process of recovering, both mentally and physically, from his well-documented off court struggles.
Right now Parrom's strengths are his defense, leadership and toughness. I know he's certainly not at the level he wants to be, but if he can't contribute as a scorer at least he's helping the team out in other ways.
9. Angelo Chol
Previous rank: 9
UCLA: 13 minutes, 4 points, 2-3 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 4 fouls
USC: 5 minutes, 0 points, 3 fouls
Every so often there are good signs shown by Chol, but more frequent of that are stretches of game action where he looks lost, timid and frankly overmatched. In just 18 minutes this weekend he picked up seven fouls, which was due in large part to poor positioning and poor decision making defensively.
As long as he continues to pick up fouls at such an alarming rate, it will be impossible for Chol to be a contributor this season. He needs a boost of confidence to pick up his play on both ends, but his foul trouble continues to limit his development.
10. Kyryl Natyazhko
Previous rank: 10
UCLA: 1 minute, 0 points, 0-1 shooting
USC: 4 minutes, 2 points, 1-1 shooting, 1 offensive rebound
It says a lot about his role on the team that Natyazhko was limited to just 1 minute while the Wear twins lit up the Wildcats for a combined 34 points. He has clearly lost the faith of his coach and he may not have the opportunity this season to earn it back.