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A Quick Look Forward in the Pac 12

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by mattrob, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Watching last night's game, I couldn't help but think about next year's matchup, with Bitchynski, Carson and Marshall all likely moving on. Looking closer, there is a ton of talent leaving the P12 this offseason, and it could really impact the depth of the conference. Even assuming the Mayor moves on (which isn't exactly a lock), the Buffs look to be an early favorite again. A quick breakdown:

    Arizona: The Cats are loaded and already have 3 of the top 75 prospects in the country (plus a top JUCO) locked up for next year. They're oversigned right now, so expect some attrition, but they'll weather the loss of Aaron Gordon and whoever else moves on just fine.

    Arizona State: Their top 4 scorers will likely be gone, and those four also account for about 126 minutes per game. They recruited a little better this year, hitting the JUCO ranks hard and landing two top 150 prospects, but when Jonathan Gilling and Egor Koulechov are the two leading returning scorers, they're poised to fall hard.

    Cal: Cobbs and Solomon are gone, but Wallace, Bird, Matthews and Kravish all return. Rohrie and Diallo were solid pickups, but still, it's hard to see a big jump forward unless Diallo or Rooks emerge inside next year.

    Oregon: The traveling band of mercenaries will lose Moser, Lloyd and Calliste next year, but Young, Artis, Dotson and Cook return next year. Former top-100 recruit Jordan Bell should finally be eligible and another former 4* recruit, Brandon Austin, will be eligible mid-season. Along with incoming PG Casey Benson, the talent will be there, they could be much improved over this year, but there are some questions to be answered. They look to be very guard-heavy going into next season.

    Oregon State: For a team struggling to get into the middle of the pack this year, losing their top-3 scorers will be a huge blow next year. Moreland and Cooke should lead the way, and big man Isiah Manderson was a solid get in this recruiting class, but it's going to be tough for the Beavers to keep pace with the top half of the conference next year.

    Stanford: Dwight Powell, Josh Huestis, John Gage and Andy Brown all graduate this year, leaving huge holes in the front court. Chasson Randle and Stefan Nastic are really the only two returnees who made an impact this year. Youngsters Roscoe Allen, Christian Sanders and Malcolm Allen essentially lost the season due to injuries, and their returns and development next year will likely determine the fate of the Cardinal. Dawkins did manage to land a big-time recruiting class this year, but they'll need some veteran leadership to balance out that roster.

    UCLA: As usual, expect a lot of turnover in this talented, unpredictable team. Right now, the Wear twins are the only upcoming losses, but NBADRAFT.net has LaVine and Anderson both going in the top-15. They have Isaac Hamilton and another top recruiting class waiting in the wings, but it's hard to see the team taking a step forward if both LaVine and Anderson declare for this year's draft.

    USC: The worst team in the conference will graduate 3 of its top 4 scorers, but leading scorer Byron Wesley will be back. He'll be joined by transfers Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark and a very good recruiting class highlighted by 4* PG Jordan McLaughlin. They'll be an improved team next year, but they have a big climb out of the conference cellar.

    Utah: The Utes remain largely intact next year, with the exception of Renan Lenz's 12 minutes and 5 ppg. They'll continue to make the Rocky Mountain road trip brutal on opponents, even if they probably don't have the talent necessary to challenge the conference's elite teams quite yet.

    Washington: The shine appears to have come off of Lorenzo Romar's star, with another mediocre season. Leading scorer CJ Wilcox and big man Perris Blackwell will graduate, although guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews will return to lead the way next season. Projected starter Jernard Jarreau, who missed the season due to injury will be back next season as well. Also, keep an eye on Fresno State transfer Robert Upshaw. He struggled on and off the court at Fresno, but the 7 footer is a former 4* recruit who could surprise.

    WSU: The good news for WSU is they're only losing big man DJ Shelton this offseason. The bad news is he's nearly averaging a double-double (9.8ppg and 9 rpg) and they're woefully short on talent even with him. They're going to struggle again next year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. torerobuff

    torerobuff Dancing is forbidden Club Member

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    While I wouldn't call that a quick look, and I'd prefer to maintain focus on the current season, that's an excellent post. Rep.

    Edit: YMSSR
     
  3. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Overall, it looks like we'll see the middle tier of the conference thin out a little bit next year (if it hasn't already as this season has gone on). Arizona looks to be the class of the conference again, with UCLA and CU behind them. After that, it becomes a jumbled mess. Cal, Oregon and Stanford could all emerge, but there's reason to question if any of the 3 can reach their potential. Utah, Washington and USC are probably the next group, with ASU, OSU and WSU looking to be the bottom tier, at least to me.

    Anyway, it looks like another strong conference finish is very possible next year, which would make for a very good 5 year run for Tad. That should place us in a very good position with recruits, who should really only have a positive impression of Buffs basketball.

    OK, now that I've found something to distract me before Saturday, let's get back to THIS season and move back into the top 25 with a win over the Cats! Roll Tad!!!
     
  4. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    OK, fair enough! I'm with you on this season, but I needed something else to do while I wait for Saturday. I'm sure this will be buried by tomorrow morning and it'll be all about Saturday night!
     
  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    This is a thread that will need to be bumped at some point.

    Good stuff, mattrob.
     
  6. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Thanks Nik. Bad timing on this one, I know, but I think I get ready for these big games a little differently than most. I can't help but think about the impact a win would have on our future.
     
  7. SECOBuffsFan

    SECOBuffsFan Active Member

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    I think there could be a coaching change at Washington State also
     
  8. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Dammit Matt, I have to spread some rep before I hit you again.

    I actually was talking about this with Will at the Horse on Wednesday. Unless Zeus goes pro, they will basically have the exact same team only replacing Aaron Gordon with the superior (IMO) Stanley Johnson. Plus they add some depth with the incoming frosh. They are probably one of the early favorites to win it all next year.

    I think Bird may be gone too. It'll be interesting to see how that one plays out.

    I'm really high on Utah, and after hearing Will talk about their recruiting class, I'm convinced they're at worst a top 6 team next year. And I'm probably underselling them. Wright & Loveridge will both be back and improved and Kuzma and Chapman will give them some added punch.
     
  9. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Pretty much the entire pac-12 is improving. That is nothing but good news for us and the conference. With our recruiting class, CU has to be a favorite for a top 4 finish next year. If Dinwiddie were to return, we will be right up there with Zona.
     
  10. FtColBuff

    FtColBuff Member

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    I agree. But this is a good preview for next year. And our current team is the team we will have next year intact with the addition of Collier and Miller. So I see our prospects as real good with a chance to be great. And if Spencer Dinwiddie comes back, we can only be better.

    Arizona and UCLA will continue to be the better programs in the PAC 12. But I could see Tad moving us into that top tier of the conference and keeping us there for a long time.
     
  11. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    The bottom of the conference should be better, but I could see ASU and Stanford take steps back. Washington and Oregon are the wild cards. They could make the conference pretty strong overall, but if they have repeats of this year, it may be a little top-heavy next year.
     
  12. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Are there any more Shawn Kemp Jr's out there for UW? I mean, there's something like a dozen Shawn Kemp Jr's, but is there a rule about how many can be on the same team at the same time?
     
  13. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Does Gary Payton Jr going to OSU next year count?
     
  14. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Good post Mattrob - quick note on Marshall and ASU - he's done after this year, he used the graduate transfer rule this, so he's out of eligibility.
     
  15. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Yep, he was in that group of 4. I didn't make it very clear, but Carson is the only one who could potentially stay.
     
  16. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    This thread is going to be fun later in the year. Now let's focus on the kitties.
     
  17. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    Just want to add that I saw Nick Johnson in some mock drafts late first/early second, so he may leave Arizona. That would really hurt their perimeter defense (and offense)
     
  18. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Yeah, I saw that too. Miller's obviously expecting some attrition, so it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
     

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