*Cal-After seeing Cal lose a large amount of its team, it would be easy to write them off and put them at the bottom of the league, but don't be fooled. Led by a great head coach in Mike Montgomery, Cal will be relying on young gun 4-stars Gary Franklin and Allen Crabbe and word is both are ready to contribute and play. Returning defensive pest Jorge Gutierrez will be the main man on both offense and defense and will have to keep the team moving along and keep his teammates focused. Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison will get a ton of playing time and will have to be effective on defense as well as be able to create room for the guards to get open looks at the basket.
*USC-Though USC is thin, there is still a chance for this team to make noise in the league. 4-star freshman top 100 recruit Bryce Jones will get run alongside fellow newcomer Maurice Jones. The two talented guards will compliment the focal points of this team, stud forward Nikola Vucevic and big man Alex Stephenson. In USC's case, it's more quality than it is quantity, but in a league that is slowly building back up and improving bench play, USC will have trouble keeping up with most teams. However, if USC is able to continuouly impose their style of play and slow the game down with lockdown defense, they will have great opportunities to put teams away.
*Stanford-A battered and bruised team last year that far exceeded everyones expectations, Stanford gets Josh Owens(missed all last year) and Andy Brown back, both of whom were expected to contribute a ton last season. On top of that, Stanford brings in a deep and talented recruiting class led by consensus top 50 big man Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown, two highly sought after recruits that will help make Stanford a very good team after a year of experience and playing time.
*Oregon State-Oregon State lost some crucial components in their team from last season in Roeland Shaftenaar and the Tarver brothers. Junior forward Omari Johnson and Australian big man Joe Burton will have their work cut out for them trying to replace key cogs in last years team. OSU's defense should still make things difficult for teams and they will win their fair share of games, but a lack of depth will make it hard for Oregon State to match their opponents intensity. The very talented 2009 signee Roberto Nelson should finally be eligible and will be a big boost for the Beavers giving head coach Greg Robinson a definite scoring option alongside versatile Jared Cunningham and newcomer top 150 recruit Ahmad Starks.
*Oregon-Oregon is Oregon. No bench to speak off thanks to a plethora of offseason transfers and player departures. UO will have to rely on forwards Joevan Catron and E.J. Singler to carry this team. The ducks will win a few games against the lower tier and may steal a game or two against a solid opponent. It will take a couple of recruiting cycles before Oregon becomes a legit threat again and Dana Altman seems to be doing well in that regard with 5-star 2011 guard Jabari Brown already in the fold
Pac-10 Preview: Part II
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