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An early look at the Pac-12 in 2012

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by mattrob, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    OK, with a great 2011 season that far exceeded expectations now behind us, I wanted to put together a quick look at what we should be looking at next season. Overall, the conference should be much improved, with Cal and Oregon the only two teams I see taking a significant step back. I tried to note any possible attrition, particularly with Arizona, Oregon State, and Washington, but did not assume any future recruits/transfers. Also, this got a little long, so I'm breaking it up into multiple posts.

    Arizona- Fogg and Perry were the leaders this year, so losing them will be a pretty big blow. Solomon Hill, Nick Johnson, and (if he returns) Josiah Turner will be the returning core. Angelo Chol’s also a talented kid who had a disappointing freshman year, but this team will be built around a great incoming freshman class. They already have signatures from 4 of the Rivals top-50 for 2012. With Hill, Chol, Ashley, Jerrett, and Tarczewski, they’ll be big and athletic, but their guard play may be a question, particularly if Turner does not return. They’ll likely be the pre-season favorites to win the conference, but they’ll be extremely young and need the freshmen to live up to the hype immediately. Also, there are some Arizona fans questioning Miller's ability to develop young talent, as Chol and Turner were highly-regarded recruits who did not live up to their billing last season.

    Arizona State- Well, the good news for ASU is they won’t lose anyone to graduation. The bad news is there was very little talent to begin with and Keala King, the leading scorer to begin the year, was dismissed mid-season. They managed to land one Rivals top-150 prospect in Eric Jacobsen, who will add some size to the lineup, but this team has a long way to go. They should be among the bottom-3 in the conference again next year.

    Cal- Considered the conference’s best team for much of this year, Cal’s lack of size and depth caught up with them at the end of the season. Unfortunately for Bears fans, neither situation looks to be improving next year. They lose their best interior player in Harper Kamp, as well as their leader in Jorge Gutierrez. Ty Wallace was a nice pick-up, but he’ll be hard-pressed to fill Gutierrez’s shoes next season, and it’s unlikely their other signee (Kaileb Rodriguez) will be ready to contribute. The guard play should be solid with Wallace, Cobbs, and Crabbe, but David Kravish and Richard Solomon are the only big men of note, and their depth will be almost non-existent next year. Cal looks to be due for regression next year, when the rest of the conference should be much improved.

    Oregon- The Ducks made a run at the tourney this year, but lose most of their scoring punch next year, with Joseph, Sim, and Ashaolu all graduating. Artis, Dotson, and Carter make for a solid incoming class, but Carter and Dotson look to be more long-term projects than immediate impact players. They’ll need Artis and Tony Woods to step up as solid compliments to EJ Singler if they’re going to be a factor next year.

    Oregon State
    - The Beavers graduate only Kevin McShane, who played 8.5 mpg this year, and landed a decent recruiting class, led by Rivals top-150 prospect Langston Morris-Walker. The wildcard here is Jared Cunningham. If he returns, this is a talented, experienced group who should be a team to watch next year. If he leaves early for the NBA, they lack a go-to scorer and look much more like a middle-of-the-pack team, at best.
     
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  2. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Stanford- Built on size, toughness, and the scoring of Chasson Randle last year, Stanford graduates their best post player in Josh Owens, along with solid depth in Andrew Zimmerman, Jarrett Mann, and Jack Trotter. They’ll be much more perimeter-oriented next year, led by Randle and Aaron Bright. They’re also bringing in what is probably the 4[SUP]th[/SUP] best recruiting class in the conference, landing Christian Sanders, Rosco Allen, and Grant Verhoeven, all of whom were CU targets at one point. Sanders adds another shooter, while Verhoeven should bring size and toughness inside. The key, though, will be Allen. If he can adjust to the college game quickly, he’s the type of dynamic inside-outside threat that can make the Cardinal a contender for the conference championship.

    UCLA- A major disappointment this year, UCLA will likely be projected behind Arizona next year. Personally, I think that may be a mistake. While ‘Zona’s incoming bigs adjust to the college game next year, UCLA returns 3 established big men in Josh Smith and the Wear twins. Kyle Anderson’s an elite prospect, a potential match-up nightmare as a 6’8” PG. And Jordan Adams is another top-100 talent to add to the roster. The Bruins’ size will be tough for teams to handle, yet they’ll be athletic enough to get up and down the floor. The only thing they really look to be lacking at this point is a shooter to stretch the floor. We could see UCLA make a quick return to the nation’s elite.

    USC- They were bad this year…very bad. Things should get better next year, though, with the return of Jio Fontan, the projected starting PG who suffered a pre-season knee injury and missed the 2011 season. Verbals from JT Terrell, one of the top JUCO’s in the nation, and Brendyn Taylor should add some scoring punch next year as well. However, outside of 7’ Dewayne Dedmon, there’s very little size on the roster and that doesn’t look to be improving. USC will be better next year, but I don’t see them as a threat to move out of the bottom half of the conference.

    Utah- The Utes won’t lose anyone to graduation this year, but honestly, there’s not much talent to lose. There is reason to believe they’ll be better, with the return of 7’3” David Foster, the 2010-11 MWC DPOY who missed this year due to injury, and the addition of top-150 recruit Jordan Loveridge. Foster won’t help the anemic offense, however, and the Utes will need to slow the pace again next year to have a chance to compete in most games. Similar to ASU and USC, they’ll be better, but they really don’t have anywhere to go but up.

    Washington- The PAC-12 regular season champs won’t graduate any of their top-5 scorers. They’re a talented, athletic team, featuring 3 explosive guards in Ross, Wroten, and Wilcox, with a strong interior compliment in Aziz N’Ddiaye. The real question here is whether they lose one or more of the guards to the NBA. If they all return, this is one of the conference’s elite teams. If not, I’m not sure the team has the depth to overcome the loss of a premier talent like Ross or Wroten. They also didn’t sign anyone in the early period and have no known commitments this spring.

    Washington State- Brock Motum returns to lead the way, but there’s not a lot of returning talent around him. Wazzu did land a solid class this year, led by 4* Demarquise Johnson, but they have a lot of ground to make up in a conference that should be markedly improved next year. They’ll be hard-pressed to get out of the bottom-half of the Pac-12.
     
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  3. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Finally, the only team we all really care about:

    CU- Losing Nate, Carlon, and Austin hurts, but Carlon is the most significant, imo. The team needs a go-to scorer to emerge next year (again). Outside of that, I like the look of this team. Dre, 'Ski, and the Mayor will form the core, and we'll bring back a number of role players in SHT, Chen, and Adams. The incoming talent is very exciting next year, with Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon adding size and toughness that was missing on the interior this year. Xavier Johnson may be the most college-ready of the group, and will likely fill Carlon's starting spot from day 1. His length, rebounding and inside-outside game are ideal for a wing, but he won't fill the scoring void left by Carlon, imo. The big question mark is depth at the guard position, with 'Ski, Spencer, and not much else. I think Jenkins could step up, but they need to one more ball-handler. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a grad transfer added to replace Nate. We'll be bigger, more athletic and more talented, though it's yet to be seen if we'll actually be better next year. If a grad transfer is brought in to replace Nate, I think we will see an improved, deeper team. Without a go-to scorer, though, I'm not sure it'll be enough to compete with the 'Cats, Bruins or Huskies for the conference championship. A return to the Dance certainly isn't out of the question, though.


    Having said all that, here's my VERY early guess at next year's standings. This does not factor in any possible attrition.

    1. UCLA
    2. Arizona
    3. Washington
    4. CU
    5. Oregon State
    6. Stanford
    7. Cal
    8. Oregon
    9. USC
    10. Wazzu
    11. Utah
    12. ASU
     
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  4. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Ya I am scared to see what happens at UCLA. Either this year they return to their usual spot at the top of the conference, or they have another disappointing season. IF the second option happens, we will see a coaching change at UCLA. Either way UCLA is trending up and with their history/tradition/ and basketball fan base it will be tough to keep up unless the AD at CU steps up too. They cannot sit back and think this thing will just take care of itself now.

    *Sidenote* I hope DiStepheno saw what type of awesome exposure the University got these past two weeks with a successful athletic program. Maybe the admin can surprise me and start backing athletics.
     
  5. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Here are the Win Shares % lost by school (offensive, defensive and total %). I included Wroten in UW's loss calculation as I figure he will jump for the league.

    Arizona
    Off Win Share % lost60.82
    Def Win Share % lost33.11
    Total Win Share % lost46.56
    ASU
    No significant contributors lost
    CAL
    Off Win Share % lost24.85
    Def Win Share % lost29.28
    Total Win Share % lost27.37
    CU
    Off Win Share % lost46.70
    Def Win Share % lost 35.50
    Total Win Share % lost40.71
    Oregon
    Off Win Share % lost62.45
    Def Win Share % lost49.13
    Total Win Share % lost56.73
    Oregon St
    Off Win Share % lost1.98
    Def Win Share % lost2.85
    Total Win Share % lost2.37
    Stanford
    Off Win Share % lost38.09
    Def Win Share % lost34.56
    Total Win Share % lost35.81
    UCLA
    Off Win Share % lost32.56
    Def Win Share % lost26.95
    Total Win Share % lost29.38
    USC
    Off Win Share % lost7.20
    Def Win Share % lost1.72
    Total Win Share % lost1.10
    UW
    Off Win Share % lost23.97
    Def Win Share % lost26.80
    Total Win Share % lost25.82
    WSU
    Off Win Share % lost31.69
    Def Win Share % lost41.50
    Total Win Share % lost35.07
    Utah
    no significant contributors lost
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
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  6. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    wow. once again CU has to replace a ton of production.
     
  7. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Yep. It's a good thing that top-25 class is on it's way, we're gonna need them to contribute from day 1.
     
  8. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    JG - any chance you can show us what we lost last year?
     
  9. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Now I like Carlon Brown, Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault as much as anybody, but let's not pretend that losing them will be the same as losing Alec Burks, Levi Knutson and Cory Higgins was.

    We'll be better next year than we were this year. That's a fact.
     
  10. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    Sacky, it isnt the caliber of the guys you lose, it is the caliber of the guys around to replace them. Carlon was huge for us this year.
     
  11. MrFrumpylane

    MrFrumpylane Well-Known Member

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    Disagree, somewhat. They were vital in terms of senior leadership. Next year, there will be virtually none.
     
  12. RK

    RK UBL Club Member

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    Next year will once again prove. We don't rebuild we reload.
     
  13. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    yes. replacing their production with a 5th year senior's production with tourney experience was pretty nice. Although we have some very talented kids coming in, not having any seniors starting next year will not be good.
     
  14. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    The three you listed are going to be tough to replace.

    Brown - Carried us into the tournament by fighting off a half year long slump and his leadership will be missed greatly, hopefully Dinwiddie and Booker become vocal leaders. Roberson is a action leader but is too quiet to be a vocal leader.

    Tomlinson - As much as we love to hate him, we were a better team when he was in. He ran the offense and was a lock down defender and without him, I don't think we win the Oregon or Arizona game.

    Dufault - Quietest one of the three but came on strong later in the year and gave us a big man who could go inside or take a three.
     
  15. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    Last Year % Lost (Burks, Higgins, Knutson, Relphorde)

    CU 2010-2011 WS Lost
    Off Win Share % Lost76.40%
    Def Win Share % Lost47.27%
    Total Win Share % Lost65.20%

    vs. this Year (Tomlinson, Brown, Dufault)

    CU 2011-2012 WS Lost
    Off Win Share % Lost46.70%
    Def Win Share % Lost35.50%
    Total Win Share % Lost40.71%
     
  16. RK

    RK UBL Club Member

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    Wow 65%

    Have I mentioned I like our coach?
     
  17. alec10burks

    alec10burks Member

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    I could easily see Xavier Johnson coming close or even matching Carlon's production this year.

    Dude is a monster and should be able to contribute well right away.

    And one of our biggest weaknesses (our length) will be a strength next year with Gordon, Andre, SHT, and Josh Scott as our big men. We should be better than this year barring any freak injuries.
     
  18. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    I think Xavier can come close tl Carlon's numbers too, but it's the way Carlon scores that will be missed. It's hard to rely on a freshman to come up with those key crunch-time buckets consistently.
     
  19. btbuff

    btbuff It's an inside joke Club Member

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    I am curious to see what happens defensively next year.

    Dufault was on of the most fundamentally sound pick-and-roll defenders in the league. He moved well and got back to his man. His man-on-man post defense was the worst aspect of his play. He just refused to body up guys in the post. Tunks has stepped up and may be able to play more minutes when we are dealing with larger post players next year. He is a big body. Overall, shot blocking will improve: Xavier, Scott, Gordon can all block shots. Plus Andre will continue to play some great help defense. So maybe we consider post defense an improvement.

    The question here is perimeter defense. Xavier's are long and should be able to provide some outside defense. Adams and Dinwiddie will continue to get more comfortable. I'm not sure how to view Ski here. We lose Nate and Carlon. At times, Carlon was our most physical defender and Nate loved to stick to his man. Is this area going to be an improvement?

    Improvements: Overall defensive athleticism, help defense, shot blocking
    Regressions: Fundamental defense(especially in the pick and roll), solid perimeter defense
     
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  20. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    It's good that fundamental defense is quite teachable - so I expect Boyle to keep coaching the kids up on it
     
  21. RK

    RK UBL Club Member

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    If we get worse at perimeter D we are ****ed. We were pretty bad at it all year. It really cost us in non conference play and finally in the tournament.
     
  22. mattrob

    mattrob Club Member Club Member

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    Xavier has the ability to be a very good defender, but it may take a little time. He spends a lot of time in the middle of Mater Dei's 2-3 zone, so it's going to be an adjustment for him to man up against Pac-12 wings.
     
  23. btbuff

    btbuff It's an inside joke Club Member

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    Leads me to question.. With more shot blockers will it make sense to go zone more often?
     
  24. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    The perimeter D was out of design, we chose to pack it in, cut off dribble penetration and leave ourselves susceptible to the 3. Are you going to get beat occasionally and is this going to catch up to you after a while? Sure, but jump shooting in college bball is so horiffic this wasn't a bad strategy.
     
  25. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

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    It may make sense but it is never going to happen, Tad despises the zone. With more athletic guys next year we are going to be even less likely to see it.
     
  26. RK

    RK UBL Club Member

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    It made sense in the Pac 12 for sure, because aside from Sim there aren't many knockdown 3 pt shooters but we should be able to adapt that game plan for teams like Baylor.
     
  27. rosstr

    rosstr Well-Known Member

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    We will be more athletic with the new recruits but worse in the paint with the loss of Dufault. Gonna take a couple years for those post players to ripen.
     
  28. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    No we will be stronger in the paint with Scott next year. It'll take Gordon sometime though.
     
  29. Highlander27

    Highlander27 Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to say, I'm not a basketball fanatic by any stretch but like all Buff fans, I got swept up in the emotion of our tourney run and success this year. I understand what's going on but truly appreciate some of the great posts folks have made on this thread lead by MattRobb. Well thought out responses and it's only primed my excitement for next season. Good job boys. I'm really hoping we can make this an annual Spring Deal.
     
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  30. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I agree. But it can be argued that Dinwiddie & Booker, although very good, were not the equivalents of Burks, Higgins & Knutson, yet we had a better season, no? It can also be argued, I believe, that the incoming freshmen are all as good or better than what is leaving the program. We'll get leadership from Dre and Dinwiddie, of that I have very little doubt.

    We're going to be better next year than we were this year.
     

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