Men's hoops guide: Pac-12 preview
Log on to dailywildcat.com to see our Pro/Con discussion on whether Arizona or UCLA will win the Pac-12 crown
Head Coach: Sean Miller (10th year, 4th at Arizona)
2011-12 record: 23-12, 12-7 Pac-12
Key Losses: Kyle Fogg, Jesse Perry
Key Additions: Mark Lyons, Kaleb Tarczewski
Best Player: Solomon Hill
Head Coach: Ben Howland (19th year, 10th at UCLA)
2011-12 record: 19-14, 11-7 Pac-12 (1-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Lazeric Jones, Reeves Nelson
Key Additions: Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson
Best Player: Shabazz Muhammad
UCLA’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class is highlighted by Muhammad. If and when he returns from his suspension, the Bruins will be a force to be reckoned with. Until then, Pac-12 is Arizona’s to lose.
Head Coach: Lorenzo Romar (16th year, 10th at Washington)
2011-12 record: 24-11, 14-4 Pac-12 (2-0 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Tony Wroten, Terrence Ross
Key Additions: Perris Blackwell, Dion Overstreet
Best Player: C.J. Wilcox
The defending Pac-12 regular season champions return only two starters, one of them being 7-footer Aziz N’Diaye, who dominated the paint against UA last year.
Head Coach: Dana Altman (18th year, second year at Oregon)
2011-12 record: 24-10, 13-5 Pac-12 (1-0 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Jeremy Jacob, Devoe Joseph, Garrett Sim
Key Additions: Arik Armstead
Best Player: E.J. Singler
The Ducks are a team on the rise, posting 20 win seasons in consecutive years, but there are only four players returning with significant playing time, so the Ducks will have to rely on transfers and freshmen.
Head Coach: Tad Boyle (Seventh year, third at Colorado)
2011-12 record: 24-12, 11-7 Pac-12 (1-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Carlon Brown
Key Additions: Josh Scott
Best Player: Andre Roberson
Colorado defeated Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game last season in what was the best season in school history, and Roberson is a top NBA prospect.
Head Coach: Johnny Dawkins (Fifth year, fifth year at Stanford)
2011-12 record: 26-11, 10-8 Pac-12 (0-1 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Josh Owens, Josh Huestis
Key Additions: Christian Sanders, Rosco Allen
Best Player: Chasson Randle
The defending NIT Champion returns three starters and its two top scorers from a season ago, meaning they can be a serious threat to contend for the conference crown.
Head Coach: Mike Montgomery (36th year, fifth year at Cal)
2011-12 record: 24-10, 13-5 Pac-12 (0-1 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Jorge Gutierrez
Key Additions: Kahlil Johnson
Best player: Allen Crabbe
Gutierrez was the Bear’s best player for the last two seasons, but the former Pac-12 Player of the Year left the team in in the capable Crabbe’s hands, who is this year’s highest returning scorer and rebounder.
8. Oregon State
Head Coach: Craig Robinson (Eighth year, fifth year at Oregon State)
2011-12 record: 21-15, 7-11 Pac-12 (0-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Jared Cunningham
Key Additions: Jamal Reid
Best Player: Devon Collier
The Beavers underperformed a season ago, finishing under .500 in conference play, but were able to win 20 games. OSU is experienced, returning 10 letter winners, including four starters.
9. Arizona State
Head Coach: Herb Sendek (19th year, sixth year at ASU)
2011-12 record: 10-21, 6-12 Pac-12 (1-1 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Trent Lockett
Key Additions: Bo Barnes, Evan Gordon, Jahii Carson
Best player: Carrick Felix
ASU lost its leading scorer and most consistent passer in Lockett, but the Sun Devils replace him with Felix, who started 27 games a season ago, and Carson, who was ruled academically ineligible last season but was highly recruited out of high school.
10. Washington State
Head Coach: Ken Bone (22nd year, fourth at Washington State)
2011-12 record: 19-18, 7-11 Pac-12 (0-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Abe Lodwick, Marcus Capers, Reggie Moore
Key Additions: Jordan Railey
Best Player: Brock Motum
Washington State returns only two starters from a team that dipped in production compared to a 22-win 2010 season, but Motum is one of the conference’s best big men.
Head Coach: Larry Krystkowiak (Fifth year, second year at Utah)
2011-12 record: 6-25, 3-15 Pac-12 (0-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Josh Watkins
Key Additions: Glen Dean, Aaron Dotson, Alexander Ricketts
Best Player: Jason Washburn
Utah is an unknown commodity with so many new pieces, including seven transfers and a relatively new head coach.
Head Coach: Kevin O’Neill (19th year, forth year at USC)
2011-12 record: 6-26, 1-17 Pac-12 (0-2 vs. UA)
Key Losses: Alexis Moore
Key Additions: Omar Oraby, Renaldo Woolridge
Best Player: Jio Fontan
USC finished last in the Pac-12 a season ago, amassing only one conference victory, but an influx of talented transfers will help the Trojans this season.