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Pac-12 Preview

Ever loose your keys? How about your sunglasses? Ever lose a Pac-12 preview? Well, I did. I wrote this story 24 hours before the start of the college basketball season but wanted to add a little more to it. I loaded into the site, but forgot about it. Here it is, mosty untouched from when I wrote it.

A Pac-12 Player Of The Year candidate?

Best Team
Arizona. I think the Wildcats are the team to beat now that they have Mark Lyons in the fold. I actually like their freshmen 1-4 better than UCLA’s 1-4. Give me Lyons over Larry Drew II and Solomon Hill over Travis Wear. Bruins will give the Wildcats a run if they get Shabazz Muhammad cleared (HE DID), but if he is not cleared by the NCAA the Bruins may fall to third or fourth.

NCAA Bound
I like five to get in. The Wildcats and the Bruins will be joined by Cal, Stanford and Colorado.

Don’t Count Out
I think Oregon and Washington are also in the hunt for the NCAA, but I think they have to address some real flaws.

Really Bad
Utah, ASU and Washington State are going to be very bad. Both lost a lot…and weren’t good to begin with. (NOTE: ASU may not be quite as bad as I first believed. Not a tourney team by any means, but closer to 8th or 9th than 12th).

Best Player On A Bad Team
Brock Motum at Washington State gets the nod over ASU’s Jahii Carson.

Top-5 Freshmen
Muhammed, Kyle Anderson - UCLA, Grant Jerrett – Arizona, Kaleb Tarczeski – Arizona, Dominic Artis – Oregon. (NOTE: I would have added Josh Scott – Colorado to the list if Muhammed was not eligible. It also appears that UCLA's Jordan Adams and Arizona's Brandon Ashley should be on this list.)

Top-5 Newcomers
(I am including players who redshirted a year ago) Lyons – Arizona, Jio Fontan – USC, Carson – ASU, Omar Oraby – USC, Larry Drew II – UCLA. (After two weeks of action it is clear that Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi should be on the list),

Team I Like More Than Most
I like Colorado. They have a great coach, good returning talent and some nice incoming freshmen. They have tasted the NCAAs and I think they could end up being a top-three or four team in the league.

Sneaky OK?
I know Oregon State will miss Jared Cunningham and lack depth, but they do have a decent starting five and could be better than expected. Don’t expect an NCAA appearance or even sneaking into the top-6, but they won’t be an easy out and could shock some people, especially in Corvallis.

Player Of The Year Candidates
Solomon Hill – Arizona, Muhammad – UCLA, Allen Crabbe – Cal, C.J. Wilcox – Washington, Andre Roberson - Colorado.

Coaches On The Hotseat
Lorenzo Romar – Washington, Kevin O’Neill – USC, Ken Bone – Washington State, Ben Howland – UCLA, Johnny Dawkins – Stanford, Herb Sendek – ASU, Craig Robinson –Oregon State

1 Arizona
2. UCLA (had them fourth without Shabazz)
3. Cal
4. Colorado
5. Stanford
6. Washington (Without a late season improvement, a Romar staple, this team will be closer to seventh or eighth)
7. Oregon
8. Oregon State
9. USC
10. Washington State
11. ASU
12. Utah

  • I agree with your synopsis, and Arizona is the clear leader.

    This team is loaded at every position more than any Arizona team in the last 15 years or so. I have them going 12-0 in OOC. and probably 15-3 in conference at worst.

    It will be an exciting season. WOW.

  • Thanks Brad!

    Do you really think 7 coaches are on the hot seat?

    Seems to me that Dawkins has done a solid job and fits the role well. And I think since Romar has brought some solid success to WA, he would really have to botch the season horribly or go multiple bad seasons before they canned him. Maybe I'm wrong, but thats how it seems to me. If the Chemistry issues are that bad at UCLA as is being rumored , and they don't get it together, I can see Howland feeling some intense pressure from the fan base and administration.

    "Arizona has no tradition" - Bill Walsh "We have a tradition of kicking Bill Walsh's ass" - Teddy Bruschi

  • Gary Randazzo

    Romar's been on the hot seat with many of the Husky boosters for a while now, if not publicly than privately. I've always liked Romar and honestly believe he's one of the good guys in the sport.

    An interesting twist would be if Romar leaves Washington for the "open" UCLA job at the end of the season. The UCLA job would have been his when Harrick got canned had Romar not taken the Pepperdine gig, leaving the job wide open for Steve Lavin. Romar plays an up tempo style, recruits the Southern California market well (entire west coast, actually) and would win in Westwood.

    WSR Publisher National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Football Writers Association of America U.S. Basketball Writers Association

  • BradAllis

    I think 7 are on the hotseat, but I doubt more than 3 will be fired. Dawkins has done a decent job, but has not gotten the Cardinal to the tourney. Sendek seems to have the Devils playing better and financially the extension he signed last year makes it financially difficult to get rid of him.

    Bone is in trouble at WSU, though a lot of their issues are beyond his control. I think Robinson probably survives, but KO needs to make the tourney to make it as he is not a Pat Haden hire.

    The two that are most interesting are Romar and Howland. Romar has really elevated the UW program, but they have kind of stagnated under him. They have made the tourney 3 of the last 4 years, but only three of the last seven. Missing this year means they probably lose out on Aaron Gordon and that could really hurt. My guess is that he stays.

    Howland has all kinds of issues. If he does not at least get to the second weekend of the NCAAs I think he is gone.

    Editor-In-Chief of Wildcat Sport Report and co-host of the Arizona football and basketball pre and postgame shows on 1290 KCUB.

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