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BTD’s Way-Too-Early 2019-2020 Pac-12 Basketball Rankings: Post-National Championship Edition (Teams 5-8)

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Mick Cronin has a lot to sort out in his first year at UCLA.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-Arizona State vs UCLA Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

5. Colorado Buffaloes

Key Returners: Tyler Bey, McKinley Wright IV, Shane Gatling

Key Newcomers: Maddox Daniels, Luke O’Brien

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: McKinley Wright IV, Shane Gatling, Tyler Bey, D’Shawn Schwartz, Lucas Siewert

The loss of guard Namon Wright to graduation might be the only change that Colorado has to their whole roster next season, besides the addition of two solid recruits in Maddox Daniels, a late JUCO bloomer who may be ready to start from day one, and in-state product Luke O’Brien. The projected starter above are as interchangeable as can be, as Maddox, Evan Battey and Daylen Kountz could all start if need be as well. The Buffs will be one of the deepest teams in the country and will probably shoot past this early sub-top four ranking.


6. Arizona State Sun Devils

Key Returners: Remy Martin, Rob Edwards, Romello White

Key Newcomers: Jalen Graham, Jaelen House, Alonzo Verge Jr.

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: Remy Martin, Rob Edwards, Taeshon Cherry, Kimani Lawrence, Romello White

As expected, Luguentz Dort is off the NBA after a spectacular freshman showing in the desert and forward Zylan Cheatham may have worked himself into a contract somewhere as well, with his hard-nosed and blue-collar play. Without Dort and Cheatham, the cupboard isn’t bare for Bobby Hurley (who’s staying with the Sun Devils) as he welcomes back dynamic point guard Remy Martin and a strike of other options who will flourish in his up-tempo system. Four-star recruits Jalen Grahan and Jaelen House should also help the cause.


7. UCLA Bruins

Key Returners: Moses Brown, Prince Ali, Jules Bernard

Key Newcomers: Shareef O’Neal (Medical Redshirt), Jaime Jaquez, Jake Kyman

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: Jules Bernard, Prince Ali, Cody Riley, Shareef O’Neal, Moses Brown

Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands NBA decisions appear to be mostly made, while Moses Brown and Cody Riley may still be figuring out their options for next season. Despite the coaching change, transfers have not been a topic of interest for the Bruins program, who could return a unique group of rising sophomores that endured a brutal freshman campaign. The depth on this group could be overwhelming and make UCLA a contender in the Pac-12 again, if chemistry doesn’t hinder this depth chart for another year.


8. Utah Utes

Key Returners: Timmy Allen, Donnie Tillman, Parker Van Dyke

Key Newcomers: Rylan Jones, Michael Jantunen, Matthew Van Komen

Pending Transfers: Jayce Johnson

Projected Starting Five: Vante Hendrix, Parker Van Dyke, Timmy Allen, Both Gach, Donnie Tillman

Departing with a piece like Sedrick Barefield after a strong handful of seasons in Salt Lake City will be tough, even for a Utah program that’s used to roster turnover. The fact that Jayce Johnson is exploring his own transfer options may show that the Utes’ somewhat unheralded recruiting scoop may be better than they look and that this returning core has a chance to turn some heads. Overall, this roster has a really strong nucleus, but wins just won’t come as easy as they did a season ago in the conference. They’ll need to find some star power in this group.


BTD’s Way-Too-Early 2019-2020 College Basketball Content