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PAC-12 Conference 2019-20 College Basketball Predictions


(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

I got to admit, I felt that there was something wrong with the Pac 12 last season. Most teams in this conference were not very good during the regular season and there were only three (3) teams to make it into the NCAA tournament. We had Oregon picked to win the Pac 12 regular season title, but they struggled in the first half of the season. They loss to  Texas Southern  @ home in pre-conference play.

Washington, the PAC 12 title winner was only a 9th seed in the NCAA tournament, the highest seeding of any PAC 12 team that season. Without Arizona being at the top of the Conference it was boring as hell to watch this conference. I’m sorry if I’ve offended anybody, but it was. However, I think that this is going to be a totally different season for the Pac 12 – more exiting. Arizona should be done with all the distractions that took place last season with all the FBI probe bull. USC and Oregon are stacked this season. Washington has some very good recruits coming in.  I truly believe that the number of teams participating in the NCAA from the PAC 12 will double. You got to watch out for teams such as Colorado, who has several players returning from a Team that loss to Texas in the Quarterfinals of the NIT. Oregon State also has several players returning from the 2018-19 season. S watch out for this team.

With that said here is how we rank the Pac-12 for the 2019-20 season.


1. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona had the 6th best recruiting class in the nation for 2019-20 and the 2nd best in the Pac-12 only behind Oregon. Returning for Arizona will be Chase Jeter, one of the team's stop scorers from the 2018-19 season. Also returning will be frequent starter Dylan Smith. Brandon Williams will miss the 2019-20 season according to Stadium's Jeff Goodson. Arizona has three (3) top 25 freshmen who have NBA potential and Coach Miller knows what to do with these type of players. Nico Mannion Nico Mannion is quick point guard who likes to slash to the rim. Combo guard Josh Green may be one of the best floor generals on this team. He is a big guard who can see the floor well - and I add that he can shoot. Big man Zeke Nnaji can dominate the paint. And let's not forget the graduate transfer Stone Getting’s who is experienced and can do a lot of things as a big man. Look for Arizona to return to top form this season.
Projected Starting Five:

PG

Nico Mannion PG #12

SG

Dylan Smith SG

SG

Josh Green SG #13

PF

Stone Getting’s PF (Cornell)

PF

Chase Jeter PF

2. USC Trojans

USC has a Chris Beard (Texas Tech) type of a roster this season. The perfect combination of returning starters, high scoring graduate transfers and top 50 five-star recruits. Veterans mixed with quality freshmen. This USC team, on paper, can win the Pac 12 conference and a move deep into the NCAA tournament. Top 2 scorers Jonah Mathews and Nick Rakocevic have returned. Graduate transfers Quinton Adlesh and Daniel Utomi  were the top performers on their teams prior to graduating. Scoring is going to remain high for this team. Adlesh is also a great defender and should help this team to improve greatly in defense. Top 50 Freshman Isaiah Mobley is a beast in the post. He is also a very good rim protector. He and Quinton Adlesh together are going to make this team dangerous defensively. And don't forget about Onyeka Okongwu. This big guy is dangerous under the rim and is a very good outside shooter. This team is all right dangerous. But I must tell you,  I also believe that coach Andy Enfield is going to have this team playing with a since of desperation this season because if he finishes anywhere below a sweet sixteen appearance in the NCAA tournament, with this type of team, he can easily find himself on the Hot seat just after seven seasons with the team. The highest this team has ever finished in the tournament was in the 2nd round.

Projected Starting Five:

PG

Quinton Adlesh PG (Columbia)

SG

Jonah Mathews SG

SF

Daniel Utomi SF (Akron)

PF

Nick Rakocevic PF

PF

Isaiah Mobley PF #23

3. Oregon Ducks

We were expecting Oregon to win the Pac 12 in 2018-19 but that didn't happen. However, this team finished in the Sweet Sixteen in 2019., better than any team in the Pac-12. But just like last season, this team is loaded from top to bottom. All the positions are covered. Returning from the 2018-19 season will be point guard Payton Pritchard and forward Francis Okoro. Pritchard is a very good point guard. He can score at will and is a floor general. He averaged 12 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game last season. Pritchard will  have some help this time with back up JUCO transfer Christopher 'Chris' Duarte and four-star freshman Chandler Lawson on the roster. Duarte can score at will and is a very good defender. Oregon also has two (2) top 50 players on the roster in N'Faly Dante and C.J. Walker. Dante is a beast under the rim.  He can body his way to the rim and is also a very good rim protector. Walker is a high-flying big man who can slash to the rim. This Oregon team is going to be very dangerous in the Pac12!

Projected Starting Five:

PG

Payton Pritchard PG

SG

Anthony Mathis SG (New Mexico)

SF

Shakur Juiston SF (UNLV)

PF

Francis Okoro PF

C

N'Faly Dante C #10

4. Washington Huskies

This will be a slightly different Washington team than the one that won the Pac-12 conference title last season. There will be several players missing from this roster due to graduation and transfer. Fortunately, Washington has reloaded with the 11th best recruiting class in the nation, according rivals.com. Washington has added two (2) top 10 freshmen recruits in Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels.  Stewart  is the 2nd best college basketball player in America according to Rival.com. He is a big bodied future NBA star who can run the floor. McDaniels  is a five-star big man who is very athletic and can shoot. He plays more like a 2 and 3  rather than a 4. Let's just hope that he doesn't get pushed around due to his size. Washington will also have the luxury of having a nationally ranked shooting guard on the roster come 2019-20 in Raequan Battle. This top 100 ranked recruit is a lights out shooter. He'll be perfect for drawing out the defense because of his ability to knock down the three.
At the point guard position will be Kentucky’s transfer, Quade Green . According to Seattle Times he will be eligible to start in conference play of 2019-20. His Role at Kentucky was reduced by Calipari, for some reason or another, prior to leaving the team. The one concern that I have for this team is depth at the point guard position. 

Projected Starting Five:

PG

Quade Green PG (Kentucky)

SG

Raequan Battle SG #70

SF

Hameir Wright SF

PF

Jaden McDaniels PF #7

PF

Isaiah Stewart PF #2

5. Oregon State Beavers

Oregon State, a team that finished 10-8 in the Pac-12, will be returning several players form the 2018-19 season, which includes four frequent starters, Ethan Thompson, Tres Tinkle, Alfred Hollins, and Kylor Kelley. With the roster strengthening, this team has nowhere to go but up. Hopefully, the Pac 12 conference performs well as a whole because a week pre-conference schedule coupled with struggling conference may have kept Oregon State out of the tournament. With a weak 2019-20 pre-conference schedule, Oregon State is going to hope that the Conference does well.

Projected Starting Five:

SG

Jarod Lucas SG

SG

Ethan Thompson SG

SF

Tres Tinkle SF

SF

Alfred Hollins SF

PF

Kylor Kelley PF

6. Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado has nearly all pf its player returning for the 2019-20 season. Chemistry should be very high with this team. Colorado loss to only Texas in the Quarterfinal of the NIT in 2019. Texas won the NIT. This is a team that is poised to be in the running to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. It all depends on what their pre-season schedule looks like, which hasn't been released yet. The only concern we have for this team is depth in the back court. Colorado was ranked only 7th in the Pac-12 in assists per game last season. It’s going to be interesting to see how far this team gores in 2019-20.

Projected Starting Five:

McKinley Wright IV PG

Shane Gatling SG

Tyler Bey SF

D'Shawn Schwartz SF

Lucas Siewert PF

7. Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State will get back the 2nd best point guard in the Pac-12 from the 2018-19 season in Remy Martin. He was the 2nd best point guard in the PAC-12 only behind Jaylen Hands of UCLA, who turned pro after the 2018-19 season. Arizona State will also return two (2) other frequent starters from the 2018-19 season in Rob Edwards and Romello White. Edwards should be 100% and will be looking to increase his value as a pro before the end of the season. Expect him to score in high double-digit figures night after night. White, the team’s 2nd best rebounder from last season will be poised to lead this team in rebounding next season. Juco transfer Andre Allen is also an excellent rebounder and should help replace the 10.3 rebounds per game loss by the departure of Zylan Cheatham. Allen averaged 13.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game at his final season at Arizona Western Community College. Top 100 freshman Jaelen House is point guard who can defend and is quick to get to the basket. He and Juco transfer Alonzo Verge are going to help this team improve greatly in the assist and defense categories.

Projected Starting Five:

Remy Martin PG

Rob Edwards SG

Alonzo Verge, Jr. SG (Moberly Area)

Romello White PF

Andre Allen PF  (Arizona Western)

8. Utah Utes

This is going to be a very young Utah team, made up of mostly freshman and sophomores. Sedrick Barefield, Novak Topalovic, and Parker Van Dyke have all graduated and Jayce Johnson has taken his services to Marquette, Donnie Tillman has transferred to UNLV and so on. Fortunately for this Utah team, they will be getting back three (3) frequent starters in Timmy Allen, Both Gach, and Riley Battin. Other than that, eight (8) of the eleven (11) scholarship players have never played a game on the division 1 level yet. That may be a problem in the end. However, expect this team to remain a high scoring team that could move the ball well.

Projected Starting Five:

Rylan Jones PG #89

Both Gach SG

Timmy Allen SF

Riley Battin PF

Matthew Van Komen C

9. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford has three (3) frequent starters returning in Bryce Wills, Daejon Davis, and Oscar Da Silva. Stanford should look for support players Jaiden Delaire and Lukas Kisunas to play bigger roles on the team. Unfortunately, this team may not have enough depth to compete for the top of the Pac 12.
Projected Starting Five:

Bryce Wills PG

Daejon Davis PG

Oscar Da Silva SF

Jaiden Delaire SF

Lukas Kisunas PF

10. UCLA Bruins

This is a young UCLA team with a new coach. There only two (2) seniors on the team, with the rest being mostly freshmen and sophomores. Just like Washington, the concern is depth at the point guard position. Freshman Tyger Campbell maybe the starting point guard for this team with no one on the roster to back him.

Projected Starting Five:

Tyger Campbell PG

Prince Ali SG

Jaime Jaquez, Jr. SF #83

Shareef O'Neal PF (RS)

Jalen Hill PF

11. Washington State Cougars

Washington State will return three (3) frequent starters from the 2018-19 season in CJ Elleby, Marvin Cannon, and Jeff Pollard. Washington State will look to Jervae Robinson to play a bigger role in the starting lineup. Robison played in 32 games and starters in only 7 last season. Washington State has also brought in a star JUCO transfer, Isaac Bonton, to help on defense and in scoring. He is listed as the 14th best scorer,68th best in steals and the 29th best in nation in assists. He averaged 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game in his final season at Casper Community College. Let's just help that he helps this team to improve on defense. Washington State was one of the worse defensive teams in the nation last season. Washington State had a negative 3.9 scoring margin last season. They allowed their opponents to put up on average 78.7 points per game last season. That's more than the 74.8 points per game that the team put up on average. Getting to the top pf the Pac 12 may be an uphill battle next season.
Projected Starting Five:

Isaac Bonton PG (Casper)

Jervae Robinson SG

CJ Elleby SF

Marvin Cannon SF

Jeff Pollard PF

12. California Golden Bears

This team was bad in all categories last season. Can Coach Mark Fox turn this team around this season? We shall see.
Projected Starting Five:

Paris Austin PG

Kareem South PG (Texas A&M CC)

Matt Bradley SG

Andre Kelly PF

Grant Anticevich PF

 

 

 

College Basketball 2019-2020 Predictions

American Athletic Conference (AAC) | Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) | Big East Conference | Big Ten Conference

Big 12 Conference | Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) | Pac 12 | South Eastern Conference (SEC) | Sun Belt

Mountain West Conference (MWC) | West Coast Conference (WCC) | More...

Podcast: PAC-12 Conference 2019-20 College Basketball Predictions - Episode 35