1. Arizona (14-4) *
2. Oregon (13-5) *
3. UCLA (12-6) *
4. California (11-7) *
5. Utah (11-7) *
6. USC (9-9)
7. Arizona State (9-9)
8. Oregon State (8-10)
9. Colorado (7-11)
10. Stanford (7-11)
11. Washington (5-13)
12. Washington State (2-16)
Originally I did not think Arizona could win the conference, but this is Sean Miller’s best coaching job and I like how he has handled everything so far. As long as Allonzo Trier and Gabe York get along and Dusan Ristic gets the minutes he deserves, I think Arizona will be just fine. The game against California late in the season has the potential to be huge, but Arizona has to like that it is at home.
I really like this Oregon team not only because of its guard play, but because it finally has a legit big man in Chris Boucher. The Ducks should be able to score with anyone and Tyler Dorsey has played about as well as it could possibly play.
UCLA is loaded on paper and any time you have that kind of talent, you’re going to have a shot. Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh are a legit front court combo and Isaac Hamilton is playing the best basketball of his life. The Bruins will have game where their defense completely fails and that’s why I can’t pick them to win the conference, but it wouldn't be a shocker.
I haven’t liked California in one game I have seen it play. Now, make no mistakes about it, the starting five is as talented as it gets. However, beyond Ivan Rabb, there is no big man worth 20 minutes a game and there’s no depth whatsoever. Maybe that won’t be a major problem and the Golden Bears can overcome it, but I have my doubts.
Utah is a much better team than I originally thought and much of that is because of Kyle Kuzma’s emergence. If he is able to continue playing well through Pac-12 play, Utah is going to beat some good teams.
Beyond those five, the conference is up in the air. USC has shown major improvement and its back court will make it difficult to beat.
Arizona State plays hard every game and as long as it does that, the Sun Devils are going to have a shot.
Oregon State has enough talent to get an upset or two, but not enough to make the tournament.
The other four teams just aren’t very good and while anything can happen, the pure talent isn’t enough to think any of them will make a run.
Cody James Martin
1. Arizona (15-3)*
2. UCLA (13-5) *
3. Utah (12-6) *
4. Oregon (11-7)*
5. Washington (9-9)
6. California (9-9)*
7. Arizona State (8-10)
8. USC (8-10)
9. Oregon State (6-12)
10. Stanford (6-12)
11. Colorado (6-12)
12. Washington State (5-13)
Surprise, Arizona wins the Pac-12. Actually, the real surprise is that I don't think the Wildcats lose at home this season. Sean Miller deserves immense credit for what he has been able to accomplish with this team and with Kaleb Tarczewski slowly working back into the mix, Arizona will be a tough out.
UCLA is going to be a force, but will take some lumps on the road. There is definitely some star power on the court, however the Bruins have played down to competition this season and I can foresee a few bad losses.
The Utes and Ducks are quality teams, but don't have the power to win the conference and will be tripped up across the long season. Both will be able to pull off some impressive wins at home, but neither team will be able to get through the conference season without some tough losses along the way.
After that, the parity of the conference really comes into play. Washington, Cal, ASU, and USC are all incredibly similar and have some gaping holes in their overall games. Each of the four will knock off one of the top teams in the conference, but will also drop a game to the bottom third as well. The Huskies and Trojans were both very up and down in the non-conference schedule.
California has some of the best talent in the conference, but it really hasn't come together for them yet. There have been flashes of brilliance, but flashes won't be able to get the young team through the conference gauntlets.
Bobby Hurley is one of my favorite coaches in the conference and is going to have the Sun Devils moving upwards in the future, but he doesn't quite have the right players in order to succeed just yet.
Oregon State is on the right track, but still needs another year or two of development under Wayne Tinkle.
Stanford and Colorado are rapidly declining and could both potentially be looking for new coaches after the season, with my money on Johnny Dawkins getting the boot shortly after the season ends.
Finally, Wazzu is just plain bad and is easily the worst team in the conference. Ernie Kent's best years are behind him and the Cougars don't have the talent to compete at a high level in the conference right now.
1. Oregon (14-4)
2. Arizona (13-5)
3. UCLA (12-6)
4. Cal (11-7)
5. Utah (11-7)
6. Oregon State (10-6)
7. Washington (9-9)
8. Arizona State (8-10)
9. USC (8-10)
10. Colorado (5-13)
11. Washington State (4-14)
12. Stanford (3-15)
On paper this is Dana Altman’s most complete team at Oregon. There is everything on this roster: athleticism, size and with the return of Dylan Ennis, added perimeter depth along with a reason to move Casey Benson back to his a more efficient role on the bench.
It says here, this team will be major problems for any team come NCAA tournament time.
Due to talent and coaching, Arizona and Oregon are a cut above the rest of the league.
Arizona probably has the least amount of question marks, but the top end talent of the squad probably isn’t quite what it has been the past few seasons. That said, this is still a top 10-15 team.
UCLA is probably ahead of schedule and much of that has to do with the vastly improved play of Tony Parker and Isaac Hamilton. Parker’s play looks legit, so if Hamilton can maintain this level of play, there is every reason to believe the Bruins should be one of the top four teams in the conference.
I was wrong regarding Utah. Going into the season, I thought this was an incredibly well coached, one man team that would struggle throughout the season. The Utes have proven that they can be a tough out for any team in the country. Utah can also stink up the joint, as evidenced by the 30 something point loss to Miami.
While Cal has as talented a core as any team in the country, this might also be the tightest roster rotation ever. I was never a huge fan of California to the due to the fact that guys like Kameron Rooks and Sam Singer are counted on for extended periods of time.
For a long time it looked like Lorenzo Romar would be on his way out of Washington. This last recruiting class changed that. Look for the Huskies to pull off a couple big upsets this season.
Assuming Chriss or Murray don’t foolishly decide to go pro, this is a team that on paper will be as talented and deep as any in the conference next season.
Oregon State fans have to be excited. Even with arguably the best player in the conference, the Beavers will be in an uphill climb to make the tournament. Nevertheless, this freshman class is probably even better than expected. Tinkle is doing things up in Corvallis.
Arizona State has obviously been the surprise of the conference and similar to much of the rest of the conference, a team that can beat any squad on a given day.
It’s easy to tell that similar to Sean Miller some 5 years ago, Bobby Hurley has the demeanor and most likely the recruiting ability to become a force in college basketball.
Even though observers to this day beat up the Andy Enfield hire, I still like it. Enfield has recruited at a high level and this team demonstrates that. Next year USC will be one of the better teams in the conference, led by a conference player of the year candidate
Colorado has surprised a bit this season, but bottom line, this is one of the most non-descript rosters in the league. Not buying this team
Washington State has a perfect pairing of arguably the worst coach in the conference along with the worst job. That said, Kent is probably a good fit for Wazzu. This team actually is somewhat dangerous, but not too dangerous.
Stanford won’t matter as long as Johnny Dawkins is the head coach. He stinks.