Washington's Tony Wroten. Here are the 15 most important players in the Pac-12 Conference.
Let's just all admit it's been an off-year for the Pac-12, which had three teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 (Arizona, UCLA, and California).
With the talent that teams like Arizona, California, Washington, and UCLA put out last year, it seemed as though the Pac-12 was going to give us some excitement this year.
However, no Pac-12 team has won a game against a Top 25 team, and the conference has been spread open, so far, with the title within reach for practically every team.
It may be an off-year for the Pac-12 teams, but there are some players who are lighting it up within the conference.
Young talents like Allen Crabbe, Tony Wroten, and Maurice Jones have made us already giddy to see how next year's Pac-12 will play out.
Here's a look at the most important players in the Pac-12 right now.
Trent Lockett (guard, junior) has been a ray of hope for the Sun Devils this year, as the team is struggling to win games in the Pac-12.
He has mirrored his solid stats of last year, only he has been taking more three-pointers this year and making them as well (42.4 percent).
Lockett unfortunately suffered a severe ankle sprain recently, so we are unsure how much time he'll be seeing on the court for the rest of the season.
However, we have seen how important his influence was on the Arizona State team, as the Sun Devils have been wiped out in consecutive games with Lockett sidelined.
13.9 PTS 6.4 REB 2.2 AST 1.5 STL 3.2 TO
23 PTS (twice); 12 REB (twice); 7 AST (vs. Oregon State);
4 STL (twice); 7 TO (twice)
Solomon Hill (forward, junior) has picked up the slack on a disappointing Arizona team that was ranked the highest (No. 16) out of all the Pac-12 teams in the preseason.
The Wildcats have been struggling to stay above water in the Pac-12, and although Hill hasn't reached quite the level that he wanted to this year, his production has kept Arizona within striking distance in the conference.
Hill has grown plenty in his junior season and the Wildcats hope that he continues to grow next year as a senior.
11.7 PTS 7.9 REB 2.9 AST 0.6 BLK 2.4 TO
23 PTS (vs. Oakland); 11 REB (3 times); 7 AST (vs. New Mexico St.);
2 BLK (twice); 5 TO (vs. UCLA)
Aaron Bright (guard, sophomore) is Stanford's silent assassin and has really shined so far in his sophomore season after playing a smaller role in his freshman season.
He is an accurate three-point shooter (43.2 percent) and can drain shots from well beyond the arc. Bright has been key in close games, and his three-point ability spreads the floor well for the Cardinal.
In addition to his great outside shot, Bright creates plays for his fellow teammates and has become a big threat to opposing defenses.
12.1 PTS 1.4 REB 3.5 AST 0.7 STL 2.3 TO
21 PTS (vs. Fresno St.); 4 REB (vs. Syracuse); 7 AST (vs. Utah);
2 STL (4 times); 5 TO (vs. Oklahoma St.)
Garrett Sim (guard, senior) has really turned it on as a senior, and has become the Ducks' go-to guy in tight situations.
He is shooting a very accurate 48 percent from three-point land, and has been a great complement to the Ducks' offense.
Sim has exceeded all with hard work and tenacity, which will continue to help the Ducks be at the top of the Pac-12 standings.
12.4 PTS 2.5 REB 2.7 AST 1.2 STL 1.7 TO
20 PTS (3 times); 6 REB (twice); 7 AST (vs. BYU);
3 STL (vs. Prairie View A&M); 5 TO (vs. Wash.)
Lazeric Jones (guard, senior) has really stepped it up after his early season woes and has become UCLA's biggest offensive producer.
His perimeter shooting has made the Bruins much more of a threat for defenses, and his consistent production has helped the team make a surge after a disappointing start of the season.
Jones worked hard on his shooting during the off-season and it is really starting to show, as both his field-goal and three-point percentages have increased.
13.5 PTS 3.5 REB 4.4 AST 1.9 STL 2.3 TO
26 PTS (vs. Stanford); 6 REB (twice); 10 AST (vs. Arizona St.);
6 STL (vs. Pepperdine); 5 TO (vs. Middle Tenn. St.)
Maurice Jones (guard, sophomore) has been the sole reason why USC has been in contention to win any games this season.
The Trojans have really struggled this season and haven't been able to win a Pac-12 game yet (0-7); however, Jones has been giving it his best effort in order to try to resurrect this struggling team.
The 5'7" guard has been carrying the team on his shoulders after some rough news that Jio Fontan had a preseason injury that would sideline him for the whole season.
Jones was a big factor in the five games that USC has won this year, and will undoubtedly play a huge role in any future wins.
14.6 PTS 2.3 REB 3.5 AST 1.8 STL 2.4 TO
28 PTS (vs. S. Carolina); 6 REB (vs. Cal Poly); 7 AST (twice);
4 STL (vs. California); 7 TO (vs. Oregon State)
Andre Roberson (forward, sophomore), alongside Carlon Brown and Austin Dufault, has been able to booster Colorado up in the Pac-12 and start the Buffaloes off 5-2 in the conference.
He averages a double-double and can also drain one from behind the arc when needed. At 6'7", he's a very agile forward and does well to find his center of gravity on the court.
Roberson is also a force on defense and has come up with some big blocks this season.
11.6 PTS 11.3 REB 0.9 AST 1.5 BLK 1.9 TO
21 PTS (twice); 17 REB (vs. Utah); 4 AST (twice);
4 BLK (twice); 5 TO (twice)
Josh Owens (forward, senior) has been a key contributor to Stanford's success this season, helping the Cardinal to a 15-5 record to start the season and a 5-3 record in the Pac-12.
He isn't the most dominant forward in the Pac-12, but he is very efficient and can be counted on to make shots around the basket.
The Cardinal can always expect production out of Owens, who has scored in double figures in 17 out of Stanford's 20 games.
13.1 PTS 6.1 REB 0.8 AST 1.1 STL 1.5 TO
21 PTS (vs. Oklahoma St.); 11 REB (vs. Oregon St.); 3 AST (vs. Syracuse);
3 STL (3 times); 3 TO (3 times)
Brock Motum (forward, junior) has really taken over the Washington State team and led the team to some key victories despite a rather quiet year from the Cougars.
The 6'10" Aussie can also hit three-pointers, which makes him a big threat on offense. Motum has scored in double figures in all but two games for Wash. State and has thrice scored 25 points or more.
His 15 points and 10 rebounds, alongside Faisal Aden's clutch three-pointer, helped recently propel the Cougars past California, who is at the top of the Pac-12 standings.
15.4 PTS 6.1 REB 1.9 AST 0.5 STL 2.9 TO
27 PTS (twice); 10 REB (twice); 5 AST (vs. W. Oregon);
1 STL (10 times); 6 TO (vs. E. Washington)
C.J. Wilcox (guard, sophomore) has done well to fill the void of Isaiah Thomas alongside freshman Tony Wroten.
After playing a key role on a tournament-bound Washington team last year, Wilcox has really blossomed as a Husky and has put up consistent numbers.
His ability to create open shots for his teammates could improve, but Wilcox is generally looking good on the offensive side of the ball this year.
15.5 PTS 3.5 REB 1.4 AST 1.1 STL 1.3 TO
25 PTS (vs. Seattle); 6 REB (vs. Georgia State); 3 AST (3 times);
4 STL (vs. Florida Atl.); 3 TO (4 times)
Joseph transferred to Oregon for this season
Devoe Joseph (guard, senior) has made a huge impact for Oregon after transferring from Minnesota last year.
After clearing his eligibility, Joseph proved his worth to the Ducks by scoring 18 points with four assists in his first game in green and yellow.
Joseph has found his niche in the Pac-12 with Oregon and has been a huge factor in the Ducks' 6-2 start in conference play. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
15.0 PTS 3.5 REB 2.7 AST 1.5 STL 2.0 TO
30 PTS (vs. Stanford); 8 REB (vs. SF Austin); 7 AST (vs. Wash. St.);
5 STL (vs. Prairie View A&M); 5 TO (vs. Wash. St.)
Jorge Gutierrez (guard, senior) has had a great senior season to follow up a breakout junior year. He is averaging the same point totals as last year (14 PPG), only he averages less turnovers per game (2.3 this year, 3.0 last year).
Gutierrez creates plays for Cal and is very crafty in attacking the basket. He is also a great defender, and shows intensity on both sides of the court.
14.1 PTS 5.0 REB 4.4 AST 1.3 STL 2.3 TO
26 PTS (vs. Oregon State); 9 REB (vs. UC Irvine); 10 AST (vs. Jackson St.);
4 STL (vs. USC); 5 TO (vs. George Washington)
Jared Cunningham (guard, junior) leads Oregon State, a team which has the sixth-most productive scoring offense in the nation.
He has twice scored over 30 points and has scored in double figures in all games but two, with seven points as his lowest recorded total.
When Cunningham is hot, which he frequently is, the Beavers constantly rely on him and try to get the ball in his hands.
He is also a great asset on defense for Oregon State, as he has a certain intensity about him.
17.7 PTS 3.7 REB 2.9 AST 2.9 STL 2.8 TO
37 PTS (vs. Texas); 9 REB (vs. Texas); 8 AST (vs. Portland St.);
7 STL (vs. Vanderbilt); 7 TO (vs. Vanderbilt)
Allen Crabbe (guard, sophomore) has improved upon his impressive numbers as a freshman and has now become the Golden Bears' leading scorer.
He is a very versatile guard and quite agile at 6'6". Crabbe's three-point shooting has been unreal this year at 45 percent.
If he decides to remain at Cal for all four years, he will go down as one of the best guards in Golden Bears' history.
15.8 PTS 6.0 REB 2.1 AST 0.5 STL 1.5 TO
26 PTS (vs. Oregon); 12 REB (vs. Oregon); 6 AST (vs. UCLA);
2 STL (vs. Washington); 3 TO (6 games)
Tony Wroten (guard, freshman) has been one of the Pac-12's most exciting players this year. Not only does he have a good chance of winning the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award, but he could also win the Pac-12 Player of the Year award.
Wroten attacks the hoop like nobody else in the Pac-12 and has a knack for scoring. The Pac-12 isn't getting much coverage this year (and for good reasons), but he could also be an All-American as well.
His biggest downfall is that he turns the ball over very frequently; however, he is very quick and can play defense as well. Once he gets fully acclimated to the college game, there will be no stopping him (if there already isn't).
16.6 PTS 4.5 REB 3.3 AST 2.0 STL 4.2 TO
27 PTS (vs. UCSB); 9 REB (vs. Oregon State); 6 AST (twice);
6 STL (vs. Houston Baptist); 6 TO (3 times)