If it’s a down year for college basketball overall then it’s a historically down year for the Pac 12. Programs used to playing for championships are struggling to maintain rosters competent enough to win games while others can’t stay healthy enough to roll weak opponents.
Star power is lacking overall but Utah has Jakub Poetl with the talent to be an immediate impact player in the NBA. Too bad they can’t get the ball to him. The loss of Delon Wright really brings that point home.
Arizona lost and lot but gained a lot in transfers like Ryan Anderson. Allonzo Trier has been hurt most of the year and is just getting back, and thus, guard play has been inconsistent at best. Losing guys like Kaleb Tarczewski has hurt team leadership and they just haven’t been the team most expected to be the best out west.
UCLA had some big early-season wins against teams that perhaps weren’t as good as many hoped. But they have a couple really solid options that are productive. They just don’t have any depth and haven’t been able to keep guys from jumping to the NBA way too soon. Imagine this team with Kevon Looney and a guy like Jordan Adams (who is two years removed but shouldn’t have gone then).
Dana Altman has been great with transfers and recruiting his own guys. JuCo players have really helped in Oregon and this team really came together quicker than many expected. They are struggling right now, though.
The Trojans of USC have surprisingly put together a strong season while taking advantage of a down conference year. Even Colorado and Washington have had solid years after both being down the last two seasons. While Oregon State and California haven’t been as competitive as most hoped coming into the season even with so much talent.
When all is said and done Arizona should pull the regular season out barely over Oregon but it might be just the opposite on the conference tournament. California is probably the dark horse in a do-or-die situation.