Looks like Arizona will be the team everyone will be chasing.
Like everybody else, Pac-12 basketball teams have put the balls away, but not the plans. What’s behind them, and ahead:
What just happened: A bit of a disappointment in league, Arizona (27-8, 12-6) waded through Belmont and Harvard to make the NCAA Sweet 16 before a wrenching loss to Ohio State. The top two scorers, Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill, depart, but — depending on ‘Zona’s appeal to get Kevin Parrom an extra year — Wildcats could return everybody else.
Stat of note: ‘Zona had a 6.4 rebound margin, which should only improve next season.
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Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Brandon Ashley, F Aaron Gordon, C Kaleb Tarczewski, G Nick Johnson, G T.J. McConnell.
Finish line: Wildcats will get a lot of run as preseason top-five nationally, as Duquesne transfer McConnell gives them the true point guard they lacked this year. Incoming with touted Gordon is 6-foot-7 All-American F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. This is the outfit everybody else in the league will be chasing.
What just happened: Injection of PG Jahii Carson lifted the Sun Devils (22-13, 9-9) to a berth in the NIT, where they lost in the second round to eventual champ Baylor. Carson’s decision to stay next season was monumental.
Stat of note: Sun Devils led the league in FG percentage (.459) but were last in FT shooting (.659).
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Jonathan Gilling, C Jordan Bachynski, G Jahii Carson, G Evan Gordon, G Brandan Kearney.
Finish line: Carson’s Wednesday announcement immediately means the Sun Devils are an NCAA-tournament threat, giving them four starters back. Michigan State transfer Kearney (6-5) won’t be eligible until midsemester. Big guy Bachynski was inconsistent but set Pac-12 season blocks record (120).
What just happened: Bears (21-12, 12-6) caught fire late in the season with seven straight Pac-12 wins and nosed into the NCAA tournament, where they beat UNLV as a No. 12 seed. Leading scorer and league player of the year Allen Crabbe declared for the NBA draft.
Stat of note: Cal made a league-low 74 threes in Pac-12 play, 36 by Crabbe.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F David Kravish, F Richard Solomon, G Justin Cobbs, G Tyrone Wallace, G Jabari Bird.
Finish line: Bears need front-line help and could get some from 6-11, 275-pound incoming freshman Kameron Rooks. Cobbs has requested input from the NBA, but is unlikely to leave. Bird is a highly regarded recruit who should help ease the impact of Crabbe’s departure.
What just happened: Buffs went 21-12, 10-8 and made their second straight NCAA tournament as a Pac-12 entity under Tad Boyle. The coach and AD Mike Bohn went to San Antonio last week to try to convince forward Andre Roberson, who is mulling the NBA, to return to CU.
Stat of note: G Spencer Dinwiddie made 198 free throws, 43 more than anybody else in the Pac-12.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Andre Roberson, F Xavier Johnson, C Josh Scott, G Spencer Dinwiddie, G Askia Booker.
Finish line: Buffs will get help from redshirt forwards Wes Gordon and Chris Jenkins. If Roberson comes back — and he’s too unpolished offensively for the NBA — they would return their top five scorers. They look like the biggest threat to Arizona.
What just happened: Oregon blew to an 18-2 start, withstood a slump related to the foot injury of freshman PG Dominic Artis, then won the Pac-12 tournament and crashed the Sweet 16 to finish with 28 wins.
Stat of note: In losing four seniors, Ducks are stripped of 41.1 points per game and their top four rebounders.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Ben Carter, F Elgin Cook, C Waverly Austin, G Dominic Artis, G Damyean Dotson.
Finish line: Cook, a 6-6 JC product who visited Gonzaga and UO on the same trip, will add athleticism. The losses are heavier than any other Pac-12 school, but don’t assume Dana Altman is done; he’s regularly added a productive “summer surprise” to the roster.
What just happened: Losing starting center Angus Brandt early in the season to a knee injury, Beavers lurched to a 14-18 record and last-place tie (4-14) in the league. Forward Eric Moreland is exploring an early out to the NBA.
Stat of note: OSU had five crowds of less than 5,000 for league games.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Devon Collier, C Angus Brandt, G Challe Barton, G Roberto Nelson, G Ahmad Starks.
Finish line: In Craig Robinson’s five years (31-59 in Pac-12 games), the Beavers are statistically better when playing slower; lately, they play quicker but win less. If the perennial also-ran Beavers fail to make the NCAA tournament next year, it will mean at least a quarter-century between trips.
What just happened: Coming off an NIT championship, Stanford finished a disappointing 19-15, 9-9 in league. Big man Dwight Powell announced he’s returning, which gives Cardinal almost a full roster coming back, plus redshirted swingman Anthony Brown.
Stat of note: Powell, a 6-10 NBA prospect, shot .455 on threes but only .469 on two-point attempts.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Dwight Powell, F Josh Huestis, G-F Anthony Brown, G Chasson Randle, G Aaron Bright.
Finish line: Cardinal shot only .416, 259th in Division I, but that wasn’t its only problem. Stanford needs to get tougher, or Johnny Dawkins won’t see his first NCAA appearance in six seasons as coach. Cardinal made it in 13 of 14 years before his arrival.
What just happened: The Bruins went 25-10 and 15-3, won the Pac-12 regular season, led the league in scoring — and fired coach Ben Howland. They bowed out in their first game of the NCAA tournament and named Steve Alford coach, prompting this tweet from veteran LA Times writer Chris Dufresne after Alford’s introductory presser: “I can’t imagine a worse first impression than the one Steve Alford made at UCLA.”
Stat of note: Bruins made exactly 100 fewer turnovers than opponents.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Kyle Anderson, F David Wear, F Travis Wear, G Jordan Adams, G Zach Lavine.
Finish line: G Shabazz Muhammad is assumed gone to the NBA, but Anderson is likely back. Rural Georgian Tony Parker, who referenced Westwood recently in a tweet about “Fakewood,” probably transfers. Gifted guard Lavine, Bothell High product, should play early, but Bruins, out-rebounded by 6.5 a game in Pac-12, badly need more inside will.
What just happened: Trojans were just starting league play when coach Kevin O’Neill was fired, and they went 14-18 after an initial burst of success under interim Bob Cantu. Now they’ve turned to flavor-of-the-NCAA-tournament Andy Enfield, fresh from Florida Gulf Coast.
Stat of note: Trojans committed 80 more fouls than opponents and shot 131 fewer free throws.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Roschon Prince, C Omar Oraby, G Byron Wesley, G J.T. Terrell, G Chass Bryan.
Finish line: Prince, 6-5 Long Beach Poly product, comes highly advertised, but Trojans released touted Texas guard recruit Kendal Harris when O’Neill was canned. Seven-footer Dewayne Dedmon, implicated in an early-morning fight in March that may result in police charges in Spokane, may leave early for the NBA. At a place where the average home attendance for Pac-12 games was league-worst 4,461, the buzz for Enfield’s arrival could wear off quickly.
What just happened: Utes were far feistier than the season previous, going 15-18 and 5-13, beating Colorado and Oregon and getting to the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.
Stat of note: Utes’ FG defense of .398 was second in league to Cal’s .393.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Jeremy Olson, F Jordan Loveridge, G Delon Wright, G Dakarai Tucker, G Brandon Taylor.
Finish line: Uncertainty of future of Seattle guard products Glen Dean (Roosevelt) and Aaron Dotson (Rainier Beach) makes lineup a bit of a guess. JC product Wright is a significant addition. At a place where basketball is important, coach Larry Krystkowiak will need to take another step forward.
What just happened: Huskies endured a herky-jerky season, losing seven games at home, starting 4-0 in league but then losing seven of their next eight. They finished 18-16 and 9-9, losing in the first round of the NIT.
Stat of note: UW averaged its fewest points (67.9) in the 11-year Lorenzo Romar tenure and its fewest steals (5.2) and assists (11.9) since the 1970s.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F Mike Moser, F Shawn Kemp Jr., G C.J. Wilcox, G Andrew Andrews, G Nigel Williams-Goss.
Finish line: Much depends on whether Wilcox goes early to the NBA; if he does, Huskies lose their top four scorers. Prospective UNLV transfer Moser is an explosive athlete who can shoot, Williams-Goss factors in as a freshman and USF transfer Perris Blackwell is a load around the basket. Program needs an uptick after sitting out of four of the last seven NCAA tournaments.
What just happened: Without banished PG Reggie Moore, Cougars went 13-19 and 4-14, tying for last place in the Pac-12. They lost eight games by five points or less.
Stat of note: In the banner year of 2008, WSU drew an average 9,785 for league games. This season it was 5,112.
Sketching a 2013-14 lineup: F D.J. Shelton, C Jordan Railey, G Royce Woolridge, G DaVonte Lacy, G DeMarquise Johnson.
Finish line: Cougars were last in league games in several categories, reflecting a lack of athleticism. Johnson and incoming PG Ike Iroegbu need to have major impact. Coach Ken Bone, starting year No. 5, likely needs at least a Pac-12-middle finish to keep his job.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org