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BTD’s Way-Too-Early 2019-2020 Pac-12 Basketball Rankings: Post-National Championship Edition (Teams 9-12)

A lot hinges for Stanford on KZ Okpala’s NBA decision.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Middle Tennessee vs Stanford Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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.