4. Arizona State
5. Washington State
9. Oregon State
Washington—Lorenzo Romar and the Huskies have won the Pac-10 Conference Tournament the last two years. Washington brings back the most of their team from last year. One big loss was Quincy Pondexter graduating and heading to the NBA. Washington will be slim in the front line. Matthew Bryan-Amaning and transfer center Aziz N'Diaye will need to bang down low to bring the intensity in the blocks. Isaiah Thomas will take on a bigger load scoring and distributing the ball. The number one question: How will Abdul Gaddy bounce back from a sub-par season?
Arizona—Former Pac-10 freshman player of the year F Derrick Williams returns for his sophomore season. Momo Jones, a tough point guard who can score, will direct traffic for the Wildcats. Freshman guard Daniel Bejarano is one of the most talked-about freshmen entering the conference. Newcomers Jesse Perry and Jordan Mayes will also help out the Wildcats this year. Washington and Arizona are both deep this year and have a chance of wearing opposing teams down with depth on the roster.
UCLA—UCLA has the talent but it did not show on the court last year. Malcolm Lee has gotten raves, along with Jerime Anderson, for being a great backcourt but gas yet to live up to the hype. UCLA saw a spark last year in Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt. Former McDonald’s high school All-American Josh Smith enters UCLA as the big man on campus. Smith will play a similar role to what Kevin Love played during his Bruin days.
Arizona State—The runners-up in conference play last year. The Sun Devils bring back a solid squad. Directing a slow-tempo style of play, Coach Herb Sendek is known for being a great defensive-minded coach. Freshman guard Keala King will bring toughness. Ty Abbott, Jamelle McMillan and Trent Lockett will be the key to the Sun Devils' success this year.
Washington State—The Cougars return three key players from last year—Reggie Moore, DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson will take on a big roles this year. Andre Winston could turn a lot of heads at the guard position. The production on the court will need to be displayed by other players on the team.
USC—With only nine scholarship players, USC will have troubles this year. The Trojans will have a new backcourt highlighted by a decent frontcourt. Alex Stephenson and Nikola Vucevic are two solid guys that can bang in the post. USC will have far to go to compete at a high rate in the Pac-10.
Stanford—A young Stanford team will return scorer Jeremy Green. Josh Owens will return this year after sitting out last year and hopefully will help out the Cardinal in finding some offensive scoring. The team lost Landry Fields to the NBA and will be in the rebuilding phase this year and possibly next year.
California—Losing four starters from last year, the Bears will have to find offense from some new faces. The top returning player from last year is Jorge Gutierrez. Gutierrez wreaks havoc on the defensive side and has shown a little offense in his game. The freshman will need to step up quick in order for the Bears to compete this year.
Oregon State—Roberto Nelson is still not cleared to play NCAA basketball, which is a huge blow for the Beavers. The Beavers will be relying on sophomore guard Jarred Cunningham. Senior Calvin Hayes can contribute as well, but others will need to step up and compete. Look for another down year for the Beavers.
Oregon—Oregon opens up Matthew Knight Arena this year. In the process, they lose six players. First-year head coach Dana Altman will have a huge task to tackle with this team. Malcolm Armstead is the only standout that remains.