It is that time of year for PAC 12 Basketball predictions. For giggles I did my picks by KemPom which means UCLA is predicted to be sixth! Of course that is only one off of the media pick of fifth. Remember that this is prediction post, not an expectations post. Our expectations remain the same.
Without further ado:
1. Arizona (high pick 1, low pick 2)
By some accounts Arizona is down but almost everyone agrees that they are the favorite for the PAC 12 Championships. Sean Miller is a great defensive coach and like UCLA won at Gonzaga and beat UNLV. However, it seems like Arizona is more vulnerable this year.
2. Utah (high pick 1, low pick 5)
Utah has the likely player of the year, Jakob Poelti, who is averaging almost 18 points and 10 rebounds shooting 71%! He had 19 and 14 against defending champs Duke OT win.
3. California (high pick 2, low Pick 4)
If Utah has the best player, Cal has the most talent. Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb are strong candidates for Freshman of the Year and one and dones. They join senior Tyrone Wallace and the son of former UCLA assistant coach Jordan Matthews in giving them a strong a veteran preference to go with the super freshmen.
4. UCLA (High pick 4, low pick 6)
Is UCLA the team that beat Kentucky at home or Gonzaga on the road? Or are they the team that lost to Monmouth at home and was blown out by Kansas? We should find out quickly. With the first three games against the best (at home) and worst of the conference (on the road).
5. Oregon (high pick 2 low pick 9)
How important is offense? Apparently we disagree with Oregon having the biggest predicted split in predicted finish. Oregon is the anti-Arizona. They are the best offensive team in the PAC 12 according to Kempom. Which team will give UCLA more trouble, the good defensive team or the good offensive team?
6. Colorado (high pick 4, low pick 7)
Josh Scott may be the most overlooked player in the PAC 12. The 6'10" Senior is averaging 18 and 9 while shooting 62%. The Buffaloes two loses have come against ranked teams. People forget about Colorado at their peril.
7. USC (high pick 3, low pick 9)
Steve Alford has not lost to USC in basketball and UCLA has not lost to Just SC since January 10 2011. While I would rather have kept the football win streak alive it is always nice to beat Just SC.
8. Oregon State (high pick 7, low pick 8)
Apparently this is the pick BN contributors agree the most on it. UCLA should win this battle of coach's sons as Tres Tinkle and Bryce Alford battle it out.
9. Stanford (high pick 8, low 10)
Now it is time for the Coach K disciples. Fortunately for UCLA these guys played for Coach K but do not coach like him. How long can Johnny Dawkins survive at Stanford?
10. ASU (high pick7, low 11)
First year Coach Bobby Hurley is not Coach K. He takes over an ASU team in transition.
11. UW (high pick 10, low 12)
UCLA has not swept a road trip in the Steve Alford era. This weekend is their best chance. UW and WSU are truly awful.
12. WSU (high pick 11, low 12)
Ernie Kent will soon be joining Steve Lavin and Kevin glug glug O'Neil as former PAC 12 coaches broadcasting games. The only question is will this year or next be his last.
What are your thoughts? Please pick who you think will win the PAC 12 and where UCLA will finish in the comments.