Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Preseason Pac 12 power rankings : College Basketball

Published on November 10, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment

Here are my preseason Pac 12 power rankings for the 2011-12-college basketball season.

Big East


Big 10

Big 12

# 1. UCLA

Coach: Ben Howland (Eight seasons at UCLA 189-83), overall 357-182, 17 years

2010-11: Record: 23-11 overall, 13-5 in Pac 12 (2nd)

Starters Returning (3) Jones, Smith, Nelson

This will be Ben Howland’s best team since the final four teams, they lose 2 starters but they bring everyone else back. The strength of the Bruins will be the frontcourt; they have 6 players who are 6’8” or taller. Reeves Nelson (13.9 ppg) led the Bruins in scoring and rebounding last season. Nelson is a double double machine; he plays with great energy. Josh Smith (10.9 ppg) is a 300-pound center with great skills and soft hands; he just needs to improve his conditioning. The Bruins have plenty of depth up front led by North Carolina transfersDavid and Traivs Wear; they can also play the 3. Anthony Stover (.7 ppg) and Brendan Lane (3 ppg) also add depth. Lazeric Jones (9.1 ppg) is steady at point guard; he led the team in assists last season, but he needs to improve his shooting. Who will start for the Bruins on the wing? Don’t know but they have plenty of options. Tyler Lamb (2.6 ppg) struggled last year, but he has the talent. Jerime Anderson (5.1 ppg)can play both guard positions, but he has legal issues. Also looking for playing in the backcourt are freshman Norman Powell and JUCO transfer De’End Parker.

# 2. Arizona

Coach: Sean Miller (Two seasons at Arizona 46-23), overall 166-70, 7 years

2010-11: Record: 30-8 overall, 14-4 in Pac 12 (1st)

Starters Returning (3) Fogg, Hill, Perry

 Leading scorer and rebounder Derrick Williams is gone to the NBA, but head coach Sean Miller brings in a top recruiting class. Miller is the best young coach in the game. The Wildcats don’t return a high scorer, but they have plenty of players that played quality minutes. Look for shooting guard Kyle Fogg (8.1 ppg) to improve his three point shooting, and average double digits this season. Outstanding shooter Jordin Mayes (4.9 ppg) and highly rated freshman Josiah Turner will battle for the starting point guard position. Turner knows how to attack the rim. Adding depth here will be Brendon Lavender (3.6 ppg), who is a great shooter, and freshman Nick Johnson. Solomon Hill (8 ppg) will start at small forward; he can play both inside and out. Kevin Parrom (7.6 ppg) will also get plenty of time here; hopefully he recovers from being shot recently. Jesse Perry (6.6 ppg) is the leader in the frontcourt; he will put up better numbers with more playing time. Kyryl Natyazhko (1.9 ppg) will be the man in the middle; he needs to score more. Depth will be the issue here. Two freshman Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson and injury prone Alex Jacobson (.5 ppg) will try to provide the depth. Chol is the best talent.

# 3. California

Coach: Mike Montgomery (Three seasons at California 64-37), overall, 420-220, 20 years

2010-11: Record: 18-15 overall, 10-8 in Pac 12 (Tie/4th)

Starters Returning (4) Jorge Gutierrez, Brandon Smith, Harper Kamp, Allen Crabbe

The Golden Bears return their top 3 scorers, who all scored more than 13 points per game. The heart and soul of their team is guard Jorge Gutierrez (14.6 ppg). He led them in points, steals and assists last season. He knows how to get to the free throw line. Brandon Smith (6.4 ppg) also returns at point guard; he is a good shooter. Look for Minnesota transfer Justin Cobbs to compete for playing time with Smith. Providing depth in the backcourt will be redshirt freshman Alex Rossi and Emerson Murray (1 ppg). Allen Crabbe (13.4 ppg) was the conference Freshman of the Year last season. He’s Cal’s best three point shooter at the small forward position. Harper Kamp (14.2 ppg ) leads the way in the frontcourt. Kamp is a smart player that produces every game. Joining him up front will be Richard Solomon (5.6 ppg), who will put up better numbers with more playing time. Depth up front might be an issue for Cal. They brought in two freshman David Kravish and Christian Behrens. Bak Bak (2.6 ppg) has some playing experience.

# 4. Washington

Coach: Lorenzo Romar (Nine seasons at Washington 195-102), overall, 288-190, 15 years

2010-11: Record: 24-11 overall, 11-7 in Pac 12 (3rd)

Starters Returning (2) Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye

Head coach Lorenzo Romar losses his top 3 scorers, but he returns 6 who scored 4.6 points or more, and he also brings in a top recruit. Abdul Gaddy (8.5 ppg) returns after tearing his ACL; he only played 13 games last season. Gaddy will be the man at point guard. The Huskies will have plenty of talent on the wings. Terrence Ross (8 ppg) will score a lot more points this season; he was a star against North Carolina last year. Scott Suggs (7.4 ppg) and C.J. Wilcox (8.1 ppg) are two deadly shooters. Suggs, however will be out two months because of an injury.  The X-factor is highly touted freshman Tony Wroten, who can play both guard positions. Freshman Andrew Andrews and Hikeem Stewart will provide depth. The question for the Huskies will be the frontcourt play. Center Aziz N’Diaye (4.6 ppg) is a great shot blocker and rebounder, but not a scorer. Power forward Darnell Grant (5.2 ppg) can hit the wide-open three but he will need to play more in the paint. The depth here is very inexperienced. Trying to provide the depth will be freshman Martin Breunig, Jernard Jarreau, redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons, and the very raw Shawn Kemp Jr.

# 5. Oregon

Coach: Dana Altman (First season at Oregon 21-18), overall 413-245, 21 years

2010-11 Record: 21-18 overall, 7-11 Mountain West (Tie/8th)

Starters Returning (3) Garret Sim, E.J.Singler, Tyrone Nared

Dana Altman did a good job in his first year as head coach, but he loses 3 of his top 4 scorers. Though he does bring in 2 transfers, and a nice recruiting class. The Ducks best player is E.J. Singler (11.7 ppg). He is a complete player, who shoots the ball very well from the small forward position. Garrett Sim (8.2 ppg) can play both guard spots. Johnathan Loyd (4.7 ppg) will get a look at point guard; he is really small. Highly touted freshman Jabari Brown should start from day one at shooting guard. He is an elite shooter who can take it to the rim. Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph will help a lot, but won’t be eligible until December. Freshman Brett Kingma and Bruce Barron will supply depth. Leading the way up front will be Louisiana Tech transfer Olu Asholu. He averaged 14.2 points per game last season. Center Tryone Nared (5.1 ppg) is a good rebounder, but limited offensively. Jeremy Jacob (6.2 ppg) returns after having knee surgery. Wake Forest transfer Tony Woods will also provide depth as will JUCO transfer Carlos Emory, and freshman Austin Kuemper.

# 6. Stanford

Coach: Johnny Dawkins (Three Seasons at Stanford 49-48)

2010-11 Record: 15-16 overall, 7-11 in Pac 10 (Tie 7th)

Starters Returning (4) Anthony Brown, Josh Owens, Jarrett Mann, Dwight Powell

  The Cardinal only lose one player off last year’s team, but that player was Jeremy Green who scored 16.7 points per game. Head coach Johnny Dawkins is looking to get over the hump after three years at Stanford. Forward Josh Owens (11.6 ppg) led the team in rebounding last season, and shot a high percentage. Joining him up front will be Dwight Powell (8.1 ppg) who really came on last year as a freshman. Anthony Brown (8.7 ppg) is a very athletic player at small forward. Andrew Zimmermann (2.8 ppg), Stefan Nastic (3 ppg) John Gage (3.8 ppg), Josh Huestis (2.3 ppg) and Jack Trotter (3.2 ppg) all provide depth in the frontcourt. That’s a lot of depth. Leading the way in the backcourt is Jarrett Mann (4.9 ppg). Mann is a very good playmaker, but he needs to improve his shooting. Aaron Bright (5.1 ppg) is a very solid back up point guard. Freshman Chasson Randle should start at shooting guard from day one; he knows how to score. Gabriel Harris (1.4 ppg) is a solid back up.

# 7. Oregon State

Coach: Craig Robinson (three seasons at Oregon State 40-49), 70-77 5 years

2010-11 Record: 11-20 overall, 5-13 in Pac 10 (9th)

Starters Returning (3) Jared Cunningham, Devon Collier, Angus Brandt

The good news is that the Beavers return 3 of their top 4 scorers, and the bad news is those same players went 11 and 20 last season. The Beavers are loaded in the backcourt; they are led by Jared Cunningham (14.2 ppg). He does a little bit of everything. He is a great defensive player and he can also get to the free throw line. Ahmad Starks (7.8 ppg) returns at point guard; he made a lot of threes last year, but he needs to make more of them. Guard Roberto Nelson (7.5 ppg) will likely start at small forward; he has the potential to be a star. Rhys Murphy will be the back up here. Freshman Challe Barton, a Swedish native, will help out the backcourt with depth. Returning in the frontcourt is Joe Burton (7 ppg) and Devon Collier (7 ppg). Burton has a great skill set for his size. Collier shot a good percentage last season. The Beavers have tons of depth here led by center Angus Brandt (4.8 ppg), Eric Moreland returns from injury, Kevin McShane (.9 ppg), Chris Brown (.8 ppg), and finally true freshman Daniel Gomis.

# 8. Arizona State

Coach: Herb Sendek (five seasons at Arizona State 88-75), 342-231 18 years

2010-11 Record: 12-19 overall, 4-14 in Pac 10 (10th)

Starters Returning (2) Kyle Cain, Trent Lockett

Last year was a disappointing season for the Sun Devils filled with injuries. They lose 3 out of their 4 top scorers. This will be a very young team with no seniors on it. They will be led by shooting guard Trent Locket (13.4ppg) . He is a freak athlete and great rebounder for a guard; he needs to improve his outside shooting. Guard Keala King (3.7 ppg) returns; he has the talent to do more. There will be two newcomers to watch in the Sun Devils backcourt. First is Chris Colvin who played in 29 games at Iowa State. The biggest newcomer will be freshman Jahil Carson, but the bad news here will be is he going to be eligible to play? He was rated as a top 10-point guard in the country. Leading the way in the frontcourt is Kyle Cain (5.4ppg); he led the team in rebounding last season. Jordan Bachynski (2.8 ppg) and Ruslan Pateev (3 ppg) are two 7-footers in the frontcourt. Carrick Felix (4.6 ppg) will likely start at small forward; he played well in spots. Chanse Creekmur (3.1 ppg) will back him up. Freshman Jonathan Gilling will add depth in the frontcourt.

#9. USC

Coach: Kevin O’ Neil (two seasons 33-29), overall 206-209, 14 years

2010-11 Record: 19-15 overall, 10-8 in Pac 10 (Tie 4th)

Starters Returning (1) Maurice Jones

The Trojans would be a lot higher on this list, but Jio Fontan tore his ACL on the team’s trip to Brazil, they also lost 3 starters. Maurice Jones (9.9 ppg) is the leading returning scorer despite being only 5 foot 7, but don’t let this kid’s size fool you; he is a complete player. JUCO transfer Greg Allen will start at shooting guard; he is a great shooter. The Trojans depth lacks experience. Byron Wesley and Alexis Moore both freshman will supply the depth in the backcourt. Wesley is the better player. Garrett Jackson (3.2 ppg) will likely get the start at small forward. Leading the way in the frontcourt is Iowa transfer Aaron Fuller, who is also very undersized at power forward, but at Iowa he put up numbers. JUCO transfer Dewayne Dedmon is a 7-footer that can shoot it. He started playing the game of basketball. The Trojans also have depth questions here; Evan Smith has battle injuries, and James Blasczyk is another JUCO transfer, who started his career at Texas A&M. The depth took a big blow when Curtis Washington underwent shoulder surgery in August.

# 10. Washington State

Coach: Ken Bone (two seasons 38-28), overall 93-65,6 years

2010-11 Record: 22-13 overall, 9-9 in Pac 10 (6th )

Starters Returning (3) Marcus Capers, Reggie Moore, Abe Lodwick

The Cougars only lost 2 players from last year’s team, but those 2 players were their best players including all everything Klay Thompson. Shooting guard Faisal Aden (12.7 ppg) does a little bit of everything, but he needs to be more consistent. Point Guard Reggie Moore (9.1 ppg) battled injuries and the law last season, but he is a great talent. Marcus Capers (5.8 ppg) will also start; he is a great defensive and tough player. Providing the depth here is Aussie Dexter Kenrich-Drew, freshman DaVonté Lacy, and Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd. Brock Motum (7.6 ppg) leads the way in the frontcourt. He has great size and had a great shooting percentage last year. Abe Lodwick (3.5 ppg) put up good rebounding numbers for the amount of minutes he got. The Cougars have plenty of depth here led by Patrick Simon (3.2 ppg), Steven Bjornstad (1.3 ppg), JUCO transfer D.J. Shelton, freshman Greg Sequele, and Charlie Enquist (.5 ppg). Shelton is the best talent here; he started out at Cal State Fullerton.

# 11. Colorado

Coach: Tad Boyle (first year at Colorado 7-24), 80-80 overall 5 years

2010-11 Record: 24-14 overall, 8-8 in Big 12 ( Tied 5th)

Starters Returning: (1) Nate Tomlinson

The Buffaloes are now in the Pac 12, and they have lost their top 4 scorers from last year’s team. Colorado’s best returning player is forward Andre Roberson (6.7 ppg); he led them in rebounds last season. Austin Dufault  (6.6 ppg)also returns inside ; he is a high percentage scorer. Colorado has a lot of depth in the frontcourt. Shane Harris-Tunks returns from ACL surgery, Ben Mills (1.4 ppg) and Trey Eckloff (1.4 ppg) all provide depth. Utah transfer Carlon Brown could be a star for the Buffaloes, because he averaged 12.6 for Utah; he will start at the 3. Juco transfer and ex Texas A&M player Jeremy Adams will back him up. Nate Tomlinson (3.1 ppg) will start at shooting guard; he needs to score a lot more. Shannon Sharpe (2.1 ppg) will be the man at the point; he played pretty well in limited minutes last year. The backups here will be freshman Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. Dinwiddie should play first.

# 12. Utah

Coach: Larry Krystkowiak (first year)

2010-11 Record: 13-18 (6-10 in Mountain West)

Starters Returning: (2) Josh Watkins, David Foster

Gone are the glory days of Utah Basketball, and now comes in new head coach Larry Krystkowiak. The Utes only return 4 players that were on the team last year; they also lost 4 transfers. They are led by senior point guard Josh Watkins (14. 5 ppg). Watkins finds ways to get to the rim; he can also pass the ball well. Chris Hines (4.9 ppg) is a great shooter. The depth will come from JUCO transfer Cedric Martin, and freshman Kareem Storey and Anthony Odunsi. George Matthews is their best recruit; he will start at small forward. David Foster (2.9 ppg) returns inside; he is 7 foot 3 inches tall. He’s not much of a scorer but he’s a great shot blocker. Jason Washburn (6.0 ppg) also returns inside; he is a much bigger scoring threat. JUCO transfer Javon Dawson could start from day one at power forward. The depth will come from JUCO transfers Dijon Farr and Corbin Green.

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