Pac-12 Basketball Preview and Predictions

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It’s still weird to write “Pac-12” but in the ever changing college sports landscape, the conference expanded with the additions of Colorado and Utah.  Those two schools won’t help the Pac-12 become a stronger conference during the 2011-2012 season, but the league should be slightly more competitive as a whole.

Here are my Pac-12 predictions for the 2011-2012 season.  Click on the school”s name for an in-depth breakdown of each team.

1. Arizona
Top to bottom, the Wildcats are the most talented team in the conference.  The question will be whether Sean Miller can put it all together in time.  I say, “yes.”

2. Washington
If Abdul Gaddy and Tony Wroten Jr. are as good as I think they will be this year, the Huskies will be just okay despite losing a few starters.

3. UCLA
One of the best frontcourts in the country, but their backcourt has plenty of question marks.

4. Oregon
The Ducks bring in a couple transfers and talented freshman in Jabari Brown that should make them a real threat.

5. California
I am just not as high on the Golden Bears as others are.

6. Stanford
This is supposed to be the year Johnny Dawkins gets the Cardinal into the upper half of the conference standings.

7. USC
An off-season injury to Jio Fontan was a major setback but the Trojans always pose a challenge with their hard-nosed defense.

8. Oregon State
Craig Robinson’s seat will only get warmer after the Beavers disappointed last season and likely will struggle this year as well.

9. Arizona State
The Sun Devils are still waiting on highly-touted freshman Jahii Carson to be cleared by the NCAA.

10. Colorado
The Buffs only have one starter returning but could surprise some people if sophomore Andre Roberson can have a breakout year.

11. Washington State
Had Klay Thompson and D’Angelo Casto returned, you are looking at a team possibly competing for the Pac-12 title.

12. Utah
The Utes will easily be one of the worst major conference teams in the country.

All-Pac-12 First Team
Reeves Nelson, UCLA
Terrence Ross, Washington
Allan Crabbe, Cal
Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
Jorge Gutierrez, Cal

All-Pac-12 Second Team
Solomon Hill, Arizona
Joshua Smith, UCLA
Harper Kamp, Cal
Abdul Gaddy, Washington
Anthony Brown, Stanford

All-Freshman Team
Jabari Brown, Oregon
Josiah Turner, Arizona
Tony Wroten Jr, Washington
Chasson Randle, Stanford
Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Defensive Player of the Year:
DeWayne Dedmon, USC

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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