by: David Kay
One down, five major conferences to go. Our 2009-2010 college basketball previews tipped-off last week with the Big East (to check those out click on the links at the bottom of the page.) Now, we head west to check in on the Pac-10 Conference, which should be down for a second straight season.
Part one of our four part series begins with the teams that are in re-building mode. Washington State loses their head coach and three starters. Coming off a trip to the NCAA Tournament, Arizona State will be without their top two players and counting on a bevy of role players to step up. The re-loading process continues at Stanford under second year head coach Johnny Dawkins. These teams should struggle in the Pac-10 as they all have some major shoes to fill with relatively inexperienced rosters.
8. Washington State (7th in P-10, 8-10 in P-10, 17-16 overall, NIT)
Tony Bennett’s stay in Pullman was a brief one as the Cougars head coach bolted for Virginia and the lure of coaching in ACC. Ken Bone comes from Portland State, who he led to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, to replace Benentt. The cupboard isn’t completely bare for Bone, but it sure it young and inexperienced. This team will go through some growing pains this season, but could be a year or two away from being seriously talked about as a Pac 10 contender.
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: DeAngelo Casto (So)/Charlie Enquist (So)/Steven Bjornstad (Fr)
F: Nikola Koprivica (So)/ Brock Motum (Fr)/James Watson (Fr)
G/F: Klay Thompson (Sr)/Abe Lodwick (So)
SG: Marcus Capers (So)/Mike Harthun (So)/Anthony Brown (Fr)
PG: Xavier Thames (Fr)/Reggie Moore (Fr)
Gone: PG-Taylor Rochestie, C-Aaron Baynes, F-Caleb Forrest, F-Daven Harmeling
Player to watch: Thompson- The 6’6 swingman started all 33 games a year ago for Wazzu. He has a smooth stroke from the outside and should be one of the top scorers in the conference this season. NBA potential is there if he can add some muscle to his fairly thin 200 pound frame.
9. Arizona State (T-3rd, 11-7, 25-10, NCAA Second Round)
From conference title contenders to cellar dwellers in just one year; that’s how badly the Sun Devils will miss James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. Harden was the team’s only playmaker last year while Pendergraph was their lone true low post presence. Both are now playing at the next level and I don’t see any of the returning role players from last season being able to step up into either of those spots this season.
Projected Depth Chart
C: Eric Boateng (Sr)/Alex English (Jr)/Ruslan Pateev (Fr)
F: Rihards Kuksiks (Jr)/Taylor Rohde (So)/Victor Rudd (Fr)
G: Jerren Shipp (Jr)/Trent Lockett (Fr)/Demetrius Walker (Fr)
G: Ty Abbot (Jr)/Brandon Thompson (Fr)
PG: Derek Glasser (Sr)/Jamelle McMillen (Jr)
Gone: SG-James Harden, PF-Jeff Pendergraph
Player to Watch: Kuksiks- The Sun Devils’ top returning scorer at just 10.3 points per game, Kuksiks will likely be the “go-to” scorer. He lives on the perimeter as 93 of 118 field goals last season came from beyond the three-point line. If he can show some dribble penetration ability, it would be a major plus for ASU.
10. Stanford (9th, 6-12, 20-14, CBI)
Johnny Dawkins is in re-building mode at Stanford. The Cardinal loses their top two scorers and starting point guard from last season in which they went 11-0 in non-conference play, but 6-12 in the Pac-10. Landry Fields is the only returnee who averaged more than seven points per game a year ago.
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Josh Owens (Jr)/Elliott Bullock (So)/Matei Daian (So)
PF: Andrew Zimmerman (So)/Jack Trotter (So)/Andy Brown (Fr)
G/F: Landry Fields (Sr)
SG: Jeremy Green (So)/Jarrett Mann (So)/Da’Veed Dildy (So)
PG: Drew Shiller (Sr)/Gabriel Harris (Fr)
Gone: F-Lawrence Hill, G-Anthony Goods, PG-Mitch Johnson, PG-Kenny Brown, C-Will Paul (suspended)
Player to Watch: Green- Dude can light it up from deep, shooting almost 46% from three last season earning him a spot on the All-Freshman Team. With a new starting backcourt, Green will likely be asked to pick up the scoring load left behind by Anthony Goods.
Pac 10 Preview Continues:
Wednesday: Teams 5-7
Thursday: Teams 1-4
Friday: Post-season Awards Predictions
Sportsbank.net Big East Previews/Power Rankings
Teams 13-16 (Rutgers, South Florida, Providence, DePaul)
Teams 9-12 (Notre Dame, Pitt, Marquette, St. John’s)
Teams 5-8 (Syracuse, Louisville, Cincinnati, Seton Hall)
Teams 1-4 (Villanova, West Virginia, UConn, Georgetown)
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