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BTD’s Way-Too-Early 2019-2020 Pac-12 Basketball Rankings: Post-National Championship Edition (Teams 1-4)

Not much separates the four teams projected to be atop the conference right now.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

1. Arizona Wildcats

Key Returners: Brandon Randolph (NBA Draft), Brandon Williams, Chase Jeter

Key Newcomers: Nico Mannion, Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji, Terry Armstrong

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: Nico Mannion, Brandon Williams, Brandon Randolph, Josh Green, Chase Jeter

A year after Arizona’s legendary recruiting haul fell apart due to fallout from the FBI corruption scandal, the Wildcats have compiled the nation’s best 2019 prospect grouping, led by five-star pieces in Nico Mannion and Josh Green. That means that despite all the turmoil surrounding Sean Miller’s program off-the-court, it seems like the boys from Tuscon are returning to their usual form on the floor, with high expectations for this squad once again. Brandon Randolph should return to school, leaving the Wildcats with a nice blend of veteran and fresh faces to build around. However, a lack of front-court depth could become this unit’s achilles heel.

2. Oregon Ducks

Key Returners: Payton Pritchard (NBA Draft), Victor Bailey Jr., Kenny Wooten (NBA Draft)

Key Newcomers: C.J. Walker, Isaac Johnson, Chris Duarte, Chandler Lawson

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: Payton Pritchard, Chris Duarte, Victor Bailey Jr., Kenny Wooten, C.J. Walker

It was mostly expected that Bol Bol (even after a hindered freshman campaign) would bolt for a chance at the NBA, but the adamant decision from Louis King that he’ll remain in the pro process changes some projections for the Ducks. Even with the addition of big men C.J. Walker, Isaac Johnson and Chandler Lawson, Oregon will need all their other pieces to return to campus, including point guard Payton Pritchard and the versatile Kenny Wooten, to stay near the top of the league. Look for JUCO transfer Chris Duarte to have a monster impact as well, after being named NJCAA National Player of the Year this past season.

3. USC Trojans

Key Returners: Nick Rakocevic, Jonah Matthews, Charles O’Bannon Jr. (Injury)

Key Newcomers: Isaiah Mobley, Onyeka Okongwu, Quinton Adlesh (Columbia), Max Agbonkpolo, Kyle Sturdivant

Pending Transfers: J’Raan Brooks, Victor Uyaelumo

Projected Starting Five: Derryck Thornton, Quinton Adlesh, Jonah Matthews, Isaiah Mobley, Nick Rakocevic

With the graduation of program mainstays Bennie Boatwright and Shaqquan Aaron, the USC Trojans were ready to go through some off-season upheaval. However, Kevin Porter Jr.’s NBA call makes things a bit more interesting, as now USC has to find a way to balance all their talent and find court-time for so many gifted pieces. Projecting a starting five for this group was near impossible, as not only does Andy Enfield add two five-star recruits in Isaiah Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu, but he also throws former McDonald’s All-American Charles O’Bannon Jr. back into the thick of things, as well as Columbia graduate transfer Quinton Adlesh and two four-star prospects.

4. Washington Huskies

Key Returners: Naz Carter, Hameir Wright, Sam Timmins

Key Newcomers: Isaiah Stewart, RaeQuan Battle, Quade Green (Kentucky), Marcus Tsohonis

Pending Transfers: None

Projected Starting Five: Marcus Tsohonis, RaeQuan Battle, Naz Carter, Hameir Wright, Isaiah Stewart

The decision of guard Jaylen Nowell to keep his name in the NBA Draft will be the difference between if the Huskies are favorites in the Pac-12 or just strong contenders. Washington brings in a ridiculous quartet of newcomers, highlighted by Kentucky transfer Quade Green (who will become eligible mid-season) and five-star big man, Isaiah Stewart. Mike Hopkins has used his upstate New York and east coast connections to potentially start one of the most unique groups in Pac-12 history, after losing (if Nowell turns pro), his top six leading scorers. Washington will need to fill the point guard void as well, until Green becomes eligible.

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