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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Way, way too early Pac-12 men’s basketball rankings

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Tyler Baker
Arizona fans cheer on the Wilcats during Arizona’s 82-78 against Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament on March 10, 2016.

1. Arizona — With a trio of five-star recruits in the fold and head coach Sean Miller not going to Pittsburgh, the Wildcats claim the No. 1 spot here. Arizona may not get Josh Jackson, but Allonzo Trier may return and Ray Smith will get a chance to show why he is a Wildcat.

2. UCLA — The Bruins did not make the tournament, but prized recruits Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf could be tremendous in 2016.

3. Oregon — The Ducks are losing Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin to graduation and could be losing Dylan Brooks and Chris Boucher to the draft. The door might still be open for you in Tucson, Tyler Dorsey, so keep that in mind.

4. USC — The Trojans could return their top 10 scorers next year, as all of them have at least one more year of eligibility. With so much turnaround in the conference, they could be ranked again next season.

5. Washington — A team that missed the tournament will also lose its top freshmen to the draft.

6. Utah — The Utes will likely be without Jakob Poeltl next year, but they do have reinforcements in Jayce Johnson and Devon Daniels. Although neither will likely have the impact of Poeltl, they could still do damage in the Pac-12 Conference.

7. Oregon State — Gary Payton II is gone, but Tres Tinkle should be able to pick up the slack. The team also has a couple of three-star recruits, so they could reach 20 wins next year.

8. Stanford — The Cardinal lost its coach but gained four-star recruit Kodye Pugh and three-star recruit Trevor Stanback.

9. California — The Golden Bears are losing Tyrone Wallace and will likely be without Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown, so next year could be miserable for the Golden Bears. The stars were supposed to align this year and we saw how that worked in Berkeley, California, this past season.

10. Colorado — The Buffaloes are losing star big man Josh Scott to graduation, so 2016 may be an uphill battle. The Buffaloes have three players signed, but only one is at least three-stars. It could get rough for the Buffs.

11. Arizona State — Bobby Hurley brought in four-stars Sam Cunliffe and Jethro Tshisumpa to the Sun Devils for 2016. This team is primed for a Cinderella NIT run, so watch out.

12. Washington State — The Cougars have not done much recruiting wise and finished last in the conference this season. They might improve from last year, but there is no concrete evidence that would say otherwise.

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