9. Oregon State Beavers
Key Returners: Tres Tinkle (NBA Draft), Ethan Thompson, Kylor Kelley
Key Newcomers: Jarod Lucas, Gianni Hunt, Julien Franklin, Payton Dastrup (BYU)
Pending Transfers: None
Projected Starting Five: Ethan Thompson, Alfred Hollins, Payton Dastrup, Tres Tinkle, Kylor Kelley
The Beavers point guard situation is incredibly tough to digest at the moment, as it’s unknown if Wayne Tinkle will simply turn the keys over to Ethan Thompson or let the freshmen duo of Jarod Lucas and Gianni Hunt battle for the spot. If Tres Tinkle returns (as he should) from testing NBA Draft waters, the Beavers bring back one of the league’s best individual talents. Oregon State desperately will need to find some consistent shot-makers on the perimeter though.
10. Stanford Cardinal
Key Returners: KZ Okpala (NBA Draft), Daejon Davis, Oscar Da Silva
Key Newcomers: Tyrell Terry, James Keefe
Pending Transfers: None
Projected Starting Five: Daejon Davis, Cormac Ryan, Bryce Wills, KZ Okpala, Oscar Da Silva
Stanford has a likable returning cast in Palo Alto, but the belief that KZ Okpala hears positive feedback from NBA scouts and stays in the 2019 selection process is not unthinkable. If Okpala does depart, it’ll turn the Cardinal into Daejon Davis’ team, which means developing pieces like Cormac Ryan and Bryce Wills will have to take a real sophomore leap. Hopefully, this squad doesn’t feel the mounting pressure of a fanbase that might be growing restless with Jerod Hasse.
11. Washington State Cougars
Key Returners: C.J. Elleby (NBA Draft), Marvin Cannon, Jeff Pollard
Key Newcomers: Nigel John, Daron Henson, Chance Moore (Wichita State)
Pending Transfers: Ahmed Ali, Carter Skaggs, Isaiah Wade
Projected Starting Five: Jervae Robinson, Marvin Cannon, C.J. Elleby, Jeff Pollard, Nigel John
Kyle Smith may be helped by C.J. Elleby trying out the NBA Draft process and keeping his name (for now) off the transfer market. Marvin Cannon, a rising junior swingman, really came into his own as last season progressed and after initially announcing his intention to transfer, big man Jeff Pollard is returning. If Smith can find a point guard in Jervae Robinson (or de-committed recruit Ryan Murphy), it may keep Elleby away from any ball-handling responsibilities.
12. California Golden Bears
Key Returners: Paris Austin, Matt Bradley, Andre Kelly
Key Newcomers: Charles Smith IV, Joel Brown, D.J. Thorpe
Pending Transfers: Justice Sueing, Jr., Darius McNeill, Connor Vanover, Juhwan Harris-Dyson, Roman Davis
Projected Starting Five: Paris Austin, Charles Smith IV, Matt Bradley, Andre Kelly, Grant Anticevich
California will be greatly hurt by the transfer market as five players have expressed interest in leaving from the time between Wyking Jones was let go and new head coach Mark Fox was hired. Paris Austin is a strong veteran piece to build around and guard Matt Bradley was one of the league’s biggest freshman surprises. Expect Fox to try to salvage together this recruiting group in the next few months, anchored by four-star prospect, Charles Smith IV.