About three weeks ago I was anxiously awaiting news about UCLA’s media day since UCLA football had once again failed to live up to their early season glory (clearly everyone who knows me knows I knew this was about what to expect this year, but still). uclafab5_frosh-1

Back to hoops though, there may only be two teams in the Pac who are even as good as they were last year. UW SHOULD be better than last year, but they’re relying on a 5′8″ two guard to be their savior. However, they still have Jon Brockman and Q-Pon, though enigmatic, has huge upside and this is the year he has to put it together. ASU returns everyone of note (which is basically James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph) from a team who got snubbed from the tourney, but they have no difference making recruits which makes it hard for me to buy into a team who hasn’t actually done anything yet.

The best team in the league is still the Bruins. They have the best pg in the league, well maybe the two best pg’s in the league in Collison and Holiday. They have 6 guys returning to the team for at least their 3rd season and other than Josh Shipp who has redshirted, none of them have had a season end short of the Final Four. They have the best recruiting class in the country and the best coach in the league. They’re two deep at every spot and until someone actually wins a Pac-10 title or Ben Howland isn’t the coach, UCLA is the preseason favorite.

Here’s my top to bottom prediction of the league with a mini preview of each team:
1)UCLA- read above.

Song Girls2)USC- SC returns a lot of talent. They’re big backcourt is back with Hackett and Lewis, they bring in Demar Derozan to fill the lanes on the wing and dunk on any idiot who tries to jump with him. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this guy, check youtube, he’s legend already. They have Taj Gibson in the middle and have a lot more depth than Timmy’s had at USC since he’s been there. Almost everyone that goes into the L.A. roadtrip will get swept, if not everybody.

asu-noe

3)ASU- They finished level in the league last year. They lost basically nothing, and gained almost nothing. By virtue of everyone else getting weaker, they move

up the list. James Harden is among the best handful of players in the league and Jeff Pendergraph has improved each year. The problem I have with this team is their guard play is not good, they have no real depth, and 9-9 and barely missing the tourney was a huge success for the program. I think they are overrated on a national level, but the Pac is so weak they have a chance to finish here.

4)UW- Like I said above, they believe IT will come in at 5′8″ and be one of the best players in the league. I don’t. Unless Romar actually demands his players play defense, this year will again be a disapointment ending outside of the big dance. They clearly have a bunch of talented athletes, and Jon Brockman is an absolute beast, but they are a team that needs to prove it on the court.

5)WSU- Although they lost the cornerstones of their recent stunning turnaround and success, they return enough guys and brought in enough solid recruits to remain relevant. Tony Bennett is a great young coach who may have made a huge mistake by staying at Wazzu, but you can’t argue with the success he’s had since taking over for his pops.

6)Zona- This team has enough front end talent to be at least a couple spots higher than this, but this program is in such disarray that they could actually finish lower than this. The soap opera that is Arizona hoops takes different turns everyday. Today it was announced that Jeff Withey, a freshman center who decided to leave the school after Lute retired, was denied his release by the Zona AD. Anyway, they have no depth, they have no leadership at the top, and their best player is soft.

7)Cal- Cal and Oregon have pretty similar talent, the Ducks might even be a little better. However, if all things are equal and you have me choose between Mike Montgomery and Ernie Kent, well, you get the point.

8)Oregon- see above.

9)Stanford-Stanford returns three decent players in Mitch Johnson, Anthony Goods and Law Hill. They have no size, no depth and there new coach comes from Coach K’s tree. All of this adds up to the start of a dark time in Cardinal hoops.

10)OSU-They were 0-18 last year and didn’t get any better.

That’s all I got for now, but stay tuned for a national preview.

Pete

6 Responses to “The Fall of Western Athletics?”

  1. ruggedly said

    1. I clearly should have put more pictures in here next to the other schools, but when I was looking for girls from UW and Wazzu, I was like… uhh… they don’t have any son!

    2. Who is UW’s supposed savior?

  2. Petejn said

    Isaiah Thomas is the Nate Rob wanna be at UW.

  3. DuckMadness said

    UCLA looked horrible in their 1st game that’s not preseason favorite stuff

  4. Petejn said

    Dear DuckMadness-

    Ernie Kent.

    Haha.

  5. gildo said

    if you want picks esa, go here. a linked site from collegehumor.com

    http://tempe12.com/component/option,com_g2bridge/Itemid,88/view,gallery/

  6. DuckMadness said

    Ernie? Whatever. We aim for .500 Bruins are supposed to aim for championships

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