Pac-10 Basketball: High-Low Preview

    
October 5th, 2009

Everybody loves a prediction. People that claim to hate sports predictions are just jealous that no one cares what they have to say or that their predictions are never right. But sometimes when making predictions, certain teams or groups of teams are truly to close to call. On CHN or in preview mags, we do our best to slot teams into specific spots, but sometimes you just want to say honestly, teams A, B, and C are virtually the same and luck will determine how they finish. You can't say that in a Top 144 ranking, but I'm saying it here in a series of High-Low predictions. Instead of plugging teams into specific spots, I'll give a range for each team's finish and a few reasons why.

 

(How about the high production values with that picture?..)

 

 

PAC-10 HIGH-LOW

With programs like USC & Arizona undergoing major changes, the Pac-10 could arguably be a 3 or 4 bid league.

* my projected finish in yellow

 

 

 

 

 

ARIZONA

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Arizona's tourney streak will likely come to an end, but the rest of them Pac-10 is weak enough that the Wildcats could still finish .500 in league play.

 

 

ARIZONA STATE

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Harden & Pendergraph combined to score 35 ppg for the Sun Devils. But with defense and good coaching, Herb Sendek's squad should end up on the tournament bubble.

 

CALIFORNIA

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With the likes of Christopher & Randle back, there's no reason Cal should finish below 2nd in the conference. However, inconsistent defense and rebounding may keep them from winning the title.

 

OREGON

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As bad as Oregon was last year, there's more than enough talent for Oregon to approach .500 in league play. Anything short of that and Ernie Kent might be out of a job.

 

OREGON STATE

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Last year's surprise team has been predicted by some to finish as high as 3rd or 4th in the league. Expectations are probably too high at this point, and coach Robinson would be thrilled with an NIT trip.

 

STANFORD

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Even in a down Pac-10, Stanford's talent is still sub-par. Matching last season's 6-10 league record would be considered a fine accomplishment.

 

UCLA

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UCLA loses all it's big name players, but is rebuilding at a perfect time. Some big-name freshmen and last year's sophomores should help UCLA return to the tournament yet again.. but a 1st round exit is likely.

 

USC

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No program experienced as much turmoil as USC, but with the likes of Dwight Lewis, Leonard Washington, and Alex Stepheson, the Trojans should at least avoid the Pac-10 cellar.

 

WASHINGTON

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Like Cal, Washington has serious questions on the interior. However, the guards are so good that Lorenzo Romar will only need serviceable contributions from the likes of Gant & Bryan-Amaning.

 

WASHINGTON STATE

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Besides losing quality seniors in Baynes & Rochestie, WSU also loses the coach that turned the program around. Despite the changes, the Cougars have a stud in sophomore Klay Thompson who could score 17-20 ppg.

 

>> ACC: High-Low Preview

>> Big 12: High-Low Preview

>> Big Ten: High-Low Preview

 

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