Arizona has no one among the top 15 in the Pac-12 in scoring or rebounding, and no one in the top 10 in assists, blocks or field goal percentage. And it has a point guard (Mark Lyons) with nearly as many turnovers (35) as assists (38).
So how could the Wildcats - who are ranked No. 3 in the country and the only Pac-12 team even close to be ranked in the top 25 - be such a clear favorite to win the Pac-12, which begins conference play this week?
Well, for one thing, no other Pac-12 team has demonstrated enough consistent success to suggest it can overtake the Wildcats over the course of 18 games.
More important is the fact that Arizona has a nice blend of experienced players who know how to work together, yet can each score a big bucket when called upon. For all the hoopla about Arizona's outstanding freshman class, it is the Wildcat veterans who control games at crunch time.
ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM SO FAR:
G - Allen Crabbe, Cal - Pac-12's leading scorer (20.9).
G - Mark Lyons, Arizona - Just makes the big plays.
F - Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA - Scored more than 20 each of the past four games.
F - Andre Roberson, Colorado - Pac-12's leading rebounder (12.1).
C - Brock Motum, Washington State - 19.7 points, 7.0 rebounds.
NEWCOMERS WHO MATTER: Newcomers lead six of the Pac-12 teams in scoring. Here's a ranking of the difference-makers in their first year at a Pac-12 school:
1. Mark Lyons, guard, Arizona (transfer from Xavier) - Team leader in scoring (13.4), assists (3.2).
2. Shabazz Muhammad, guard-forward, UCLA (freshman) - 19.6 points per game.
3. Jahii Carson, guard, Arizona State (freshman) - 17.7 points, 5.5 assists.
4. Josh Scott, center, Colorado (freshman) - 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds.
5. Jordan Adams, guard, UCLA (freshman) - 17.7 points.
6. Larry Drew II, guard, UCLA (transfer from North Carolina) - 8.6 assists.
7. Jarred DuBois, guard, Utah (transfer from Loyola-Marymount) - 13.5 points, 44.7 three-point percentage.
8. Damyean Dotson, guard, Oregon (freshman) - Team's leading scorer (11.1).
9. Dominic Artis, guard, Oregon (freshman) - 10.1 points, 3.5 assists.
10. Eric Wise, forward, USC (transfer from UC Irvine) - 11. 4 points, 55.6 three-point percentage.
SCARIEST TEAM: UCLA
The Bruins' victory over Missouri showed their capabilities now that Shabazz Muhammad is in shape and playing like a star. Whether UCLA can perform at a high level on a regular basis is the question.
MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM: USC
With all the additions this season, the Trojans figured to be the most improved team in the conference, perhaps a darkhorse title contender. But they are the only Pac-12 team with a losing record, although a tough nonconference schedule had something to do with it.
MOST PERPLEXING TEAM: Stanford
With the key players back from a team that won the NIT, the Cardinal was expected to challenge for the conference title. Some days (such as the close loss to Minnesota), it looks like that team. Some days (such as home loss to Belmont and close home victory over Lafayette), it doesn't. The problem is, Stanford can't shoot.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Oregon
The Ducks lost three of their top four scorers from last season's surprisingly successful team, but the early win over UNLV and a couple underrated freshmen suggest they may be better than expected again.
MOST MISLEADING RECORD: Arizona State.
Considering they were picked to finish 11th in the conference and have already surpassed their win total of last season, the Sun Devils' 11-2 mark is impressive no matter the competition, but they have beaten no one of note.
MOST INTERESTING MATCHUP: UCLA vs. Arizona.
They meet Jan. 24 in Tucson and March 2 at Pauley Pavilion (plus a possible meeting in the conference tournament). The talented Bruins may be erratic (much like the UCLA teams of the 1990s), but you can expect them to play their best against Arizona.
HOW THEY'LL FINISH: The Pac-12 season kicks off tonight when two teams not expected to challenge for the title - Arizona State and Utah - face off in Tempe. Here's how we expect the final standings to look (with their current overall record in parentheses):
1. Arizona (12-0) - Though not as good as their No. 3 ranking suggests, the Wildcats have enough talent, experience and cohesion to be consistently good. Plus, they don't have to play Stanford or Cal on the road.
2. UCLA (10-3) - The talented Bruins are capable of blowing out any team in the conference, but expect some inexplicable low points too.
3. Colorado (10-2) - The Buffaloes, who were the conference's best team at the end of last season, beat Baylor, and nobody likes playing them in Boulder.
4. Cal (8-4) - Despite obvious shortcomings, Justin Cobbs, Allen Crabbe and Mike Montgomery are too good to finish lower than this.
5. Oregon (11-2) - The Ducks don't have as much talent as other teams, but Dana Altman has put together a team that wins.
6. Stanford (9-4) - A top-three finish is very possible, but only if the Cardinal improves its horrible three-point shooting (27.3 percent) and Dwight Powell plays consistently well.
7. Washington (8-5) - Last season's regular-season Pac-12 champ was weakened by losing two players in the NBA draft first round. Now it depends on the outside shooting of C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs.
8. USC (5-8) - The Trojans have enough talent, and they have given hints that they're putting something together.
9. Arizona State (11-2) - The Sun Devils are better than expected with Jahii Carson in the backcourt, but not good enough to get to the upper half.
10. Washington State (9-4) - The two-point loss to Gonzaga was impressive, but deceiving.
11. Utah (8-4) - The Utes already have two more wins than they had all of last season, but they still have a ways to go.
12. Oregon State (10-3) - The home loss to Towson on Saturday tells us all we need to know.